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Friday, May 20, 2022

About Authority in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and why Micaiah should've gotten Authority Stars

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Gameplay-story integration! ...Except in this case?

One relatively underlooked mechanic in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is the Authority stat. It doesn't help that the stat is mislabelled in the American localisation of the game. What it actually does in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is provide 5 points of hit and avoid to every unit in the commander's army for every one Authority Star on the commander—a buff that can matter a bit, especially with several Authority Stars. (What the description claims is that the unit can have as many Bond Supports as the number of Authority Stars they have... but that's not the case.) In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, every unit on the field belongs to a given faction. Sometimes, red enemy units (or green other units) will consist of multiple factions, and these may have different commanders or no commanders at all. An example may be the Volunteers and the Bandits in Chapter 2-1 (Winds of Rebellion), as opposed to the Rebels under the Authority of Yeardley and his one Authority Star. There are many instances where you command yellow partner units in the story that appear to share the same affiliation as your lord (such the Crimean Royal Knights NPCs), but they do not get any Authority boosts because they aren't literally in your direct command.

If a given faction has several units with Authority Stars, only the commander's Authority Stars matter. This comes into play a lot in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and it differs from how the last game with Authority (you might see it called Leadership Stars there), Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, did it. In Thracia 776, any unit with Authority—not just Leif, the lord—contributed to that faction having additional hit and avoid—this all applies both to your own units and enemies. For your own units, that added an element of strategy where you might field units (and you have limited deployment slots) JUST because they have Authority, so they can support all of your units. While units with any stars are... rare and far and few between, that might be why you might field Finn or the only reason you'd use Glade. Thracia 776 also has a Fatigue mechanic that is designed to make you not use the same units every map, which increases the complexity of your strategic decisions on whether or not to bring someone just because they have Authority.

Leif starts the story off with zero Leadership/Authority Stars, but as the game progresses, he'll have up to two. Micaiah starts her story off with zero Authority Stars as well... and ends the game that way, too.

Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn Micaiah Authority associations screen command level
Micaiah is her own Commander, but she has no Authority, so no one in the Daein Army, including her, get boosts.
Note the incorrect Help tip about bond supports.

And by the way, this article is going to have end-game spoilers for Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, so if that bothers you, you should turn away now. (And if it doesn't bother you because you don't think you'll ever play it... well, perhaps one day it'll be ported/remastered/remade, and be more accessible and cheaper, and then you'll want to play it, because Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is fantastic.)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Interesting additions, definitions, and omissions from PlayStation's "ultimate list of popular, gaming-related terms"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What do you think?

In a move that maybe KoopaTV should've done a long time ago if we wanted to fish for a lot of page views and clicks (but now we never will), the marketing team at Sony Interactive Entertainment (and it looks like someone in their UK office? Cheers to you!) put together and published this editorial glossary of PlayStation's ultimate list of popular, gaming-related terms. They claim that these are “the definitions of some of gaming's most popular words, terminology and slang phrases.”

That right there is a contradiction. If it's really an ultimate list, then it shouldn't merely have “some” of gaming's most popular terminology, but all of them. After all, surely we know that “ultimate” ought to mean “everyone is here”... so it SHOULD be an exhaustive list. Ultimately, it's not (though there are some words I didn't expect would've appeared), some of the words have... strange definitions (likely because this is a major corporation publishing the list), and some phrases that you think should legitimately be there ain't on there. I'll give you my thoughts on all of those areas in this KoopaTV article!

Interesting terms that made it to the list

I've never heard of some of the terms they've used—and I believe that in my decades in the gaming scene, that if a phrase was popular, I'd know about it by now. These include “ADS” (or Aim Down Sights), though it's exclusively a first-person shooter term and I don't play those or lurk discussions on them, so alright. I can see, when searching for it, that it's fairly popular and I'm just ignorant. Moving on...

I've never heard of the term “judder.” I've heard jank. I know people say a game might stutter. Or shudder. It's not a term that gamers invented, at least. That either means I'm culturally ignorant, or it means that gamers don't all use that loanword. As for something interesting in the glossary—that I DO know the meaning of already—they put in “T-pose”... I just didn't expect that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pokémon HOME NOW Links to Pokémon Legend Arceus, Brilliant Diamond, and “Shinning Pearl”

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm arguably a fake Pokémon fan (lol), but I can at least point out typos no one else will.

After The Pokémon Company International announced last week that players will “soon” be able to link Pokémon HOME (their cross-platform cloud subscription service that allows for transferring Pokémon across games and generations) with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, and Pokémon Shining Pearl, they surpassed people's patience expectations by making that available... as of publishing. (Not counting people's expectations this should've been done right at those games’ launches.) Version 2.0.0!

That means that you can transfer Pokémon from Shining Pearl, Brilliant Diamond, Sword, and/or Shield to Pokémon HOME... and then trade them to any of those, or to Pokémon Legends: Arceus. If they go there (back in time), they'll be put into a Strange Ball, which is this minty colour Poké Ball. Pokémon from Pokémon Legends: Arceus can also go to any of those games too (and may also appear in Strange Balls... when transferred to a Galar game, it's a normal Poké Ball)—though it won't work out if they're exclusive to Pokémon Legends: Arceus or not in a game's Pokédex. Pokémon moves and levels may also be changed... They aren't deleted though; if you put a Pokémon in, move it somewhere, and move it back to where it was, it can still have its original info (including moves, ball, and Alpha status).

Spinda cannot be transferred to/from Pokémon Shining Pearl or Pokémon Brilliant Diamond to Pokémon HOME.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Activision Blizzard King's "Diversity Space Tool" is weird, and has a cover-up involved

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Plus, my thoughts on the tool itself.

Last week, someone or some several people at Activision Blizzard King (usually I'd say Activision Blizzard; today King gets to be included because they're a big part of the story... and hey, we're inclusive at KoopaTV) published this piece titled “King’s Diversity Space Tool”. Note that I linked to an archived version of what's currently (as of publishing) live on Activision Blizzard's “news room”, where it remains the predominant and top story. THIS archive link is what they originally published, which is far longer and more extensive, titled “King’s Diversity Space Tool: A Leap Forward for Inclusion in Gaming”.

The gist of it is that there is a greater appetite for inserting “diversity in game content” among game developers around the world, according to the unscientific, unrandomly sampled 2019 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey. (KoopaTV published an article about a similar report from the International Game Developers Association back in 2016 about how they portrayed diversity in gaming to be the industry's biggest issue, which I disputed and deemed a myth. Obviously, people at Activision Blizzard King disagree with me.)

I guess I should note that the survey itself didn't really define what “diversity in game content” means. I think you can easily define and interpret the word as “not every game should be a first-person shooter”. Y'know, that kind of diversity. That said, the respondents typically thought “racism among gamers” and “sexism among gamers” (and in their workforce) is on the rise.

Anyway, with that greater appetite, some employees working at the King part of Activision Blizzard King, at their own time, started making this Diversity Space Tool, which is supposed to be used during the character concept phase of character design. Its purpose is to measure your group of characters among several demographic metrics and see where your blind spots are. This is apparently supposed to reduce “tokenism, stereotypes, and exclusion”, although that objective is only in the original story and not in the sanitised current version. For an idea of how it works, check out these screenshots of the tool being used for Overwatch characters. Note that these screenshots are only available in the original story; there is no visual indication of how this tool works in the currently published edition:

Monday, May 16, 2022

Join the Splatoon 2 Turf War May 2022 (May 21)!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I don't have much commentary, but I like that it's happening.

There probably isn't enough content here for its own article. But I did want to document this.

Nintendo of America is once again teaming up with eSports platform Battlefy to bring a new competitively minded Splatoon 2 event... the Splatoon 2 Turf War May 2022! Taking place this Saturday (May 21, 2022) at 13:00 Eastern. Register here.

Splatoon 2 Turf War May 2022 banner
Also, this is as-of-yet unused artwork for these official Splatoon 2 tournaments.

The ruleset for this tournament is the exact same as the Splatoon 2 Turf War February 2022, which I've already explained in another article. The entire event is a four-hour ladder on the Battlefy platform. You matchmake with your team (you need to register with a full team of four to five members [allowing for an alternate] before the event begins) throughout the four hours whenever you feel like it on the Battlefy platform and report scores on it, which could be constantly or maybe you want to allow for minor breaks. The top four teams by the end of the period get some kind of prize, with placing determined by match wins minus match losses. One match is a best-of-3 against another team. Every game is Turf War. Stages are set to random. No Splatfest Tees allowed, but feel free to use any other gear and weaponry.

Third and fourth place get $50 in My Nintendo Gold Points plus a Nintendo Switch Carrying Case. Second place gets $75 in My Nintendo Gold Points and the Nintendo Switch Carrying Case. But the Grand Prize winners (everyone on the team) gets $100 in My Nintendo Gold Points, the Nintendo Switch Carrying Case, a backpack, a Splatoon 2 jacket, and a Splatoon 2 Turf War May 2022 Trophy!

I'm told that everyone (who filled out their prize paperwork) except the most recent official Nintendo event participants have been awarded their prizes by now. That's good, because there's been complaints about that in the past. Personally, I'm happy that the competitive event output in this first half of 2022 is basically equal to the entirety of Nintendo's competitive event output for the whole of 2021. It's a good trend!

Ludwig hasn't joined a team and he's not sure how interested he is in doing so. He's X-ranked in every ranked battle mode (not that it matters) but he's not actually good at competitive Splatoon, since the majority of his time with the game is just Salmon Run, and the skills in that don't come close to the skills required to be successful against other Inklings or Octolings. He really wrote this article because a Battlefy employee told him this tournament was happening, and he felt compelled to write something about it.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Nintendo's Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2022 Q&A Analysis!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - These actually aren't that thrilling.

If you looked at some FAKE NEWS media stories over the past week, you might have heard very juicy things about Nintendo and their Q&A to analysts and investors over their fiscal year ended March 2022 financial results (that KoopaTV analysed here with TWO charts).

Of course, KoopaTV—as a responsible website—waited until the official Nintendo translation of that question and answer session, which lacks juice. Erm... I'd still like for you to read my thoughts on the seven questions, of course. I mean, I'm not just here to tell you to ignore everything below this part of the page! I put some effort into it!

Question 1: Why are you assuming sales declines and these foreign exchange rates?

I wonder if this is the same person that asked about Nintendo's foreign exchange rate assumptions at the 81st Annual Meeting of Shareholders last year. Or maybe Nintendo just has an on-going record of mispredicting foreign exchange rate assumptions to make their numbers look better. (Nintendo had to revise their initial assumptions last year later on.) Anyway, Nintendo president Furukawa acknowledged that there are many supply issues with semiconductors (something Nintendo foolishly dismissed last year) and things are just really uncertain. They also said accurate forecasts are hard in general. As for exchange rates (assuming 1 USD = 115 JPY and 1 EUR = 125 JPY), while Nintendo doesn't make much purchasing in Euros, they do spend a lot of American dollars, so currency shifts with that can effect profitability. Really not that thrilling of a discussion, as someone who slept during finance class (though I still got an A). Moving on...

Thursday, May 12, 2022

KoopaTV's Nine-Year Anniversary, and a Free Speech Commitment

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV's free speech values!

Today, KoopaTV is nine years old! Woohoo!

Can... can that be the whole content of the article? No? You want something with some production values and effort? Well, fine.

Since it's on people's minds lately (more than usual, with certain billionaires dabbling in social media platforms that we've previously derided as echo chambers), let's talk about FREE SPEECH. A concept that KoopaTV loves and regularly defends.

Why Free Speech for a Nine-Year Anniversary Article?

There are two things that come to my mind when I think about the number nine, which I've already made clear years ago when I wrote, “Should The Number Nine Be Nixed?” (That was in response to several product lines skipping the ninth version of something. Clearly, KoopaTV isn't skipping this one.) AND I associate both of those things with... FREE SPEECH. (I don't know why I keep capitalising that—I promise it's not something I always capitalise like I do with FAKE NEWS.)

Herman Cain, Nine, and Freedom of Speech

Herman Cain was a former Republican presidential candidate in 2011, famous for his 9-9-9 tax plan that would've replaced the current tax code. That's a 9% personal income tax, a 9% corporate income tax, and a 9% federal sales tax. He loved the number nine in other aspects of his life as well. His website, CainTV (which opened July 4, 2012—because real American patriots purposefully delay things until the next July 4), is the website that KoopaTV is a parody of. When he died, his staff decided to keep the site going, in his name. That site dismantled March 16, 2021, because it got way too weird. The last staffer there remarked about how it was “nine unforgettable years”—but people who know how to count know that it wasn't exactly nine years. It was eight years, eight months, and thirteen days, or 3,178 days total. Our article to commemorate that moment was this one in January of this year about a CAPCOM Lunar New Year Sale, because that's fitting, I guess. (And, what do you know, the CAPCOM Golden Week Sale is STILL going on as of publishing.)

Anywho, KoopaTV has very officially outlasted the website that we were founded to be a parody of. If we just stopped now, I'd feel pretty good about our run. And I wouldn't even have to die to make that happen. Ah, but, back to free speech...

As a political candidate and a commentator on both the web, as well as on the radio, Herman Cain welcomed diverse points of view and free speech. He railed against the lack of free speech on college campuses, and certainly employed freedom of speech of his own, to the point that callers came on the show and accused him of “verbal fellatio.” You can hear that in this clip:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Nindies May 11 2022 Put Me To Sleep, and CAPCOM's Poverty-Busting Philosophy

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'd say it's cringe, but we did the same thing.

It's a good thing I didn't try to do a live reaction log of today's Nintendo Indie World Showcase, because I literally fell asleep as a result of it. Therefore, the log would have very, very little content. I'm also not the kind of person that falls asleep on their keyboard, so you wouldn't even get strings of nonsense. (I fall asleep backward, not forward. Just like my political philosophies.)

I... embedded that not with the expectation you'd actually watch it, lest you fall asleep too. (It's a problem because I didn't watch this live but in the evening, in other words, when I'm supposed to be writing articles and putting thought into them. Guess you won't get thoughtfulness today!)

With regards to what little commentary I can offer, skip ahead to the Another Crab's Treasure section. To be honest, when the screen said “A BRAND NEW SOULSLiKE” I read “SOULSLiKE” as “Silksong” and was confused. But, yes, the developers at Aggro Crab specifically want it to be like Dark Souls. Here's a real quote from Nick Kaman of Aggro Crab in this video:

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Nintendo's Results For Fiscal Year Ended March 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Okay, NOW we're at the hardware declining point.

Cool news—the long-awaited Nintendo financial results for their fiscal year that ended March 2022 has been released. See their explanatory material here and consolidated financial statements this way. Top line results are that from April 1 2021 to March 31 2022, they sold 23.06 million Nintendo Switch consoles across the family, and 235.07 million software games in that same time period (across all publishers). That makes for a lifetime total of 107.65 million Nintendo Switch units, and 822.18 million software units.

Nintendo is super excited that they will have restricted stock units now for their executives. That basically means their executives will have stock-based performance rewards that will encourage them to remain with the company and have it do well. They are also excited for a 10-for-1 stock split vote they are having this fall, as well as stock buybacks—which some investors asked them to do a year ago. That'd make 10 times as much stock in the market, so it should have the effect of dividing Nintendo stock price by 10. Why are they doing this? I have no idea. Companies do stock splits to make their stock more attractive/affordable to non-institutional buyers, but Nintendo's stock is already pretty cheap, I think.

Anyway, here's how some games sold. ...Oh, and I have one never-before-seen data table to add to this series after that, too!

Nintendo Switch million selling software March 31 2022 fiscal year Ring Fit Adventure
I think it's accurate to say that Ring Fit Adventure is very much slowing down.
And it might even get knocked off the top 10 by Pokémon Legends: Arceus at 12.64 million and rapidly growing.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The 2021 and 2022 20th Anniversary Ace Attorney Orchestra Concert Differences

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Two different 20th Anniversary Ace Attorney concerts... on different years!

Remember that Ace Attorney concert I mentioned at the end of that article about Maya Fey calling Phoenix Wright an attention whore? Well, that concert happened, and it was called the Ace Attorney 20th Anniversary Orchestra Concert. However, there was also a 20th Anniversary Orchestra Concert that took place in 2021, the year of the actual 20th anniversary.

That means... there are TWO concerts in the span of a year for Ace Attorney. That's very impressive and very appreciated attention. But now we're in a scenario where we need to be able to tell the two anniversary-timed concerts apart—2021 and 2022—and they actually do have different sets of music! To which my friend (and KoopaTV reader) Samantha Lienhard messaged me and said that the 2022 concert, unlike the 2021 concert, “had a big section devoted to Investigations 2. ...I want this to mean something.” (She's referencing what could be named Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Miles Edgeworth's total lack of being localised and how we've been asking CAPCOM for years to make that happen.) But I told her the differences required more investigation, and in Ace Attorney fashion, I was granted one additional day of investigating after pleading with the judge. THEREFORE, in that day... I MADE THE FOLLOWING EMBEDDED TABLE.