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Friday, September 17, 2021

Latios and Latias aren't INCLUSIVE enough. Meet Latixs

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The non-binary Eon Pokémon.

As people are celebrating Eon Heritage Month now in honour of Latias and Latios, the so-called Eon Twins (September happens to be the last time Latios and Latias have been distributed by Event in the West), there's a group of people who feel excluded. Allow me to explain.

You see, Latias and Latios are gendered Legendary Pokémon. Legendary Pokémon with a gender are a mere fraction of all Legendary Pokémon, which themselves are a mere fraction of all Pokémon in general. Usually, they're genderless. Latias is female. Latios is male. But what about people who don't identify as female or male? What Eon do they get? For a while, there was no inclusive answer. But KoopaTV would like to make you aware of... Latixs!

Latixs Latias Latios Eon Enby Pokémon Southern Island non-binary genderless agender Latinx
Meet Latixs. Pronouns: They/them.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Tencent's Got ≥9 million Nintendo Switch suckers with Pokémon UNITE


This isn't normally the kind of subject matter I'd devote an article to, but something about it makes me particularly upset.

Today, The Pokémon Company International announced that the Switch version (since the mobile versions won't be out for another week) of Tencent-developed Pokémon UNITE has achieved nine million downloads. This is in direct opposition to my article titled, “Pay-to-Win or not, Avoid Pokémon UNITE!” (Of course, far, far less than nine million people read that article. If only KoopaTV was more widely circulated, we could be saving (more) people!)

On top of this, there are already over five million pre-registrations for the mobile versions. Why, people? Why do you want Tencent—and the Chinese Communist Party with its recent history of using data-based surveillance for nefarious purposes—to have access to your information? When the game is free, you're the product. (Well, that and its pay-to-win monetisation scheme.) It's not even a good game. But you can bet that Tencent will be even more aggressive with Pokémon UNITE since they're being barred from their aggressive game monetisation and even basic playing in their mainland, China, and it's a brilliant way to exploit what's really a new demographic for them. You don't want to include yourself in that.

Ludwig plans to write and publish an actually substantive Pokémon article for tomorrow, though it'll still be mocking something. On the note about when the game is free and you're the product, while KoopaTV is free, there's no monetisation scheme at play. This site merely wants to entertain you (and influence your mind). Please feel free to give feedback about that, too!

Here's that substantive Pokémon mockery the next day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"Generic Anime Swordman" in Nintendo Switch Anime-Style Action Games

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Nintendo listed ten “anime-style” games... how many feature generic anime swordsmen?

Over on the GameFAQs board for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (also known as SmashFAQs), there is a lot of talk about the “generic anime swordsman.” (This is also inclusive of swordswomen such as Lucina, Pyra, and Mythra.) The idea is that the existing roster is flooded with these Japanese sword-wielding characters, and many people's future requests are also in the same archetype. There are actual gameplay implications for having so many disjointed hitboxes to contend with, so it's not a mere question of aesthetic. Apparently, any humanoid (Meta Knight seems exempt, despite literally featuring in an anime where he used a sword) with a sword who was developed from Japan is generic, so don't think too hard on that. (I'll think hard for you in this article.)

At the end of August, Nintendo published a news item that went out on their website and the Nintendo Switch News service: Jump (dramatically) into anime-style action! This listed ten supposedly anime-style, recent-ish Nintendo Switch games that Nintendo felt like promoting. I figured it could be fun researching the games and seeing if they have any generic anime swordsmen.

Note that I only have actual first-claw knowledge of three of the games on the list... and then I have to research all of the other ones. I'm trying to avoid giving you spoilers on any of these.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Epic Games vs. Apple Court Decision has Arrived!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I read the whole thing, so here's what happened as I understood it, written in

In the hottest court case associated with the videogame industry filed in 2020 (sorry, Billy Mitchell), Epic Games accused Apple of being a monopolist in the two areas of iOS app distribution and iOS in-app purchasing. Epic Games had long plotted to make a spectacle of Apple's problematic behaviour in a move that got Fortnite removed from Apple's App Store (due to Epic Games breaching their Apple contract [and this breach of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement is noted by the court] by installing a hot fix to bypass Apple's in-app purchases monopoly) and resulted in 20% reduced V-Bucks prices on PC and consoles. That price reduction—and Fortnite not being on the App Store—is still in force even to this day.

The court has ruled on the case. You can read the 185-page ruling here... or you can listen to me talk (or write) about it for you. I recommend you do both, since I find the footnote references to specific testimony to be amusing and you might find it funny too. For example, the bit about Peely the Fortnite banana man dressing up in a tuxedo “to reflect the general solemnity of a federal court proceeding.” And while I considered the in-game racial equality documentary We the People to be a failed Fortnite experiment, Epic stated it was viewed by 1.5 million people and they used that as evidence of Fortnite being more than just a gaming experience. They really believe it's a virtual social space that transcends the definition of a videogame.

Actually, that's a crucial part of it. Epic Games wanted to present Apple as being a monopolist of all app distribution (not just games—since Fortnite isn't just a game, or so Epic Games is trying to lead you to believe). Apple said that the relevant market is all digital videogames (including PCs and consoles), which would give Apple a much smaller role and therefore they're not a monopoly. The court disagreed with both of them, seeing the relevant market as digital mobile gaming transactions. While Apple has the majority market share there (55%), that's not close enough to monopolist market share yet. Epic also tried to convince the court that the Epic Games Store is a general digital store, and not... a games store specifically. In the court's write-up, they saw that claim as “suspect.” Mostly because the user interface and marketing all indicate it's a games store for gamers and gaming. (To say nothing of the name.) Still, Epic wanted to present the Epic Games Store as a full-fledged potential competitor to the Apple App Store, but it was being stifled by Apple's monopolist policies creating a barrier to entry.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Never Forget: Muslims around Earth actually rioted and killed over "Innocence of Muslims"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They proved their incompatibility with Western* civilisation.

September 11 isn't just a date associated with 2001. It has meaning past that. Remember September 11, 2012? That was the day that America's consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorists. They murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, though then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questioned what difference it made who those terrorists were and their reasoning for terrorising the complex.

The United States government suggested that it was an offensive video that spontaneously triggered those terrorists to get their rocket-propelled grenades and attack the consulate and murder the Americans. That video is known as Innocence of Muslims, and while connecting it to that Benghazi attack was a lie shamelessly repeated by Susan Rice (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; now Director of the United States Domestic Policy Council) with the misinformation fed to her by the unreliable and untrustworthy American “intelligence community”, it is a fact that Innocence of Muslims did trigger many Muslims in other locations to engage in violent behaviour... resulting in over 50 deaths and many hundreds of injuries.

It's all documented in the Wikipedia article “Reactions to Innocence of Muslims”, an article that is required reading for this KoopaTV article. But on top of that, I also have required listening: Innocence of Muslims is actually still available on YouTube (at least, in the United States—it may be censored in other countries that do not allow free speech—that's a greater point I'll go into more detail about later in this KoopaTV article). You can watch it embedded below. Note that despite it being called “Muhammad Movie Trailer”, this is the whole thing that Muslims worldwide reacted to. There's no “non-trailer” version... and as you'll quickly figure out, that's really a good thing:

Friday, September 10, 2021

Chinese Communist Party to “slow” regulatory approvals of new videogames

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...According to a source and not an official declaration.

Remember how KoopaTV dedicated several articles in August to China, and it all ended with their new policy of three hours of online gaming for people under 18 per week? Well, that's not over. September means there's new opportunities for China to get into the news!

While initial reports erroneously said that China was suspending all new approvals for new videogames altogether for an indefinite amount of time, an update at the South China Morning Post published about six hours later clarified that it's not a total suspension, but just a slow-down. Still indefinite. Now, this is “according to people with knowledge of the matter” so it's not to be taken with 100% certainty (just because it's a story about the world's villains doing something bad doesn't actually make it true—there is a whole, VERY fascinating Wikipedia page about how this sort of sensationalist media coverage regularly happens to North Korea). However, this is the sort of thing that we'll be able to figure out in retrospect even if the Chinese Communist Party won't go out and say it directly.

Chinese gaming companies NetEase and Tencent were reportedly instructed in a private meeting with regulators to enforce the new limits, stop making the games inherently addictive and monetarily exploitative, and to make sure that Western values like “‘worshipping money’ and ‘gay love’” (as the article put it) were not to be in games played by Chinese people.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

LEGO Super Mario 64 ? Block set... seems odd

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm not ready yet to connect this to an evil plot, but... it's odd...

Today—and maybe this got lost in some other news and announcements—Nintendo and The LEGO Group jointly announced yet ANOTHER collaboration: a massive ? Block that opens up to real Super Mario 64 courses. Observe this video:

Coming October 1 of this year (very soon) for an asking price of $170. 2064 pieces. LEGO says it's for 18+ individuals, but the video from Nintendo's channel has it marked as YouTube Kids, so I dunno how that works. I don't think people 13 and under are interested in Super Mario 64 nostalgia, and that's clearly what they're going after, per this line from the trailer:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Tripwire Interactive Tripped Over to Diversity-Hating Mob

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ousted CEO because of one political post (which proves his point).

Once upon a time (May 2021, actually), the Texas state legislature passed the Texas Heartbeat Act—which enables non-governmental parties to file civil lawsuits against someone who intends to or has assisted in someone having a medically unnecessary abortion... for a minimum court award of $10,000 per abortion plus attorneys’ fees (see Sec. 171.208). It came into effect September 1, 2021. Here was a signing photograph for it:

Dawn Buckingham Texas SB8 Heartbeat Act abortion bill signing photo picture
Shout-outs to the men and the many women making heart-shapes with their hands.
(Because it's the Heartbeat act. ...There's a distinct lack of beating, though.)
Original tweet.

Why am I writing about this? Well, now that it's in effect, it's getting more attention, and that includes from gaming industry people... especially from ex-gaming industry people. Meet John Gibson, former president of Tripwire Interactive, a game studio out of Roswell, Georgia. The company mostly focuses on PC gaming, with titles like Red Orchestra, Maneater, and Killing Floor. They've also published games from other studios, like Chivalry 2 developed by Torn Banner Studios. Here's what Mr. Gibson said:

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Summary of Masahiro Sakurai's Katsuhiro Harada's Bar Appearances

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Almost two hours of footage condensed into digestible written summaries!

Did you that Tekken producer Katsuhro Harada has a talk show (a YouTube channel) called Harada's Bar? Well, he only opened it about six months ago (March 2021) and the numbers of watchers are in the mere thousands... Well, until Super Smash Bros. series director Masahiro Sakurai first came on the show in August. Those four episodes are in the tens and hundreds of thousands in views. Probably shows who is more popular...

Anyway, the timing is nice because Kazuya Mishima (of Tekken) has been making an interesting impact on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as downloadable content, and Harada and Sakurai are friends (Sakurai even came to Harada's wedding reception—though so did everyone else). Over several episodes (because why just have one episode?) they discussed many topics. To do you a favour, I watched them all and summarised them with my thoughts. Of course, what I find interesting and notable likely differs from you, so I've also embedded the episodes as well so you can judge for yourself. The episodes are voiced in Japanese but contain English open captions.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Grit Blue Moon's Degenerate "True Grit Triumphs" Experience

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A bad online event tourney... trivialised by a broken CO.

Last weekend had a dreadful Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online event tourney: True Grit Triumphs. There isn't really a theme to it: It's just two-stock free-for-all Stamina (150 HP) matches that last 3 minutes. No items, no Final Smash Meter, and no hazards on in the stages. No character restrictions. The only unique thing there is the presence of Stamina, which is otherwise ignored by people outside of a select few Classic Mode routes and some Spirit Battles. So why is that so bad?

In practice, Stamina just doesn't work with two stocks and only three minutes. The rules heavily encourage camping and avoiding direct combat until time runs out. Sudden Death is enacted based on stock count, not hit points remaining—so a player with 1 HP and 1 stock and a player with 150 HP and 1 stock when the three minutes are up will be considered tied, and they will both go to Sudden Death. When Sudden Death starts, all players will only have 1 HP... so any attack will KO them. That's different than normal %-based KOing that you would deal with in non-Stamina Sudden Death... as the video below should make abundantly clear:

In the above, Grit (represented as Fox McCloud) avoided direct combat and mostly stayed away from others and shot very long-range lasers. Grit has way more range than any of the other combatants, and can wipe out enemies’ stamina before they ever reach him. Once it became Sudden Death, one hit from the Blaster gun is enough to end the fight and do that 1 HP of damage, and there's pretty much nothing Ganondorf (...Von Bolt?) could do about it. The Blaster comes out very fast and goes very far... and he can keep shooting an endless stream of the lasers. (Von Bolt could've tried jumping to the higher platform instead of rolling, though.)

Fox McCloud Grit Blue Moon Advance Wars Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gun victory screen
It's a true Grit triumph, done exactly how Grit would've approached it. (In a non-approaching way.)

While it's very in-character of Grit to fight that way... it's still very degenerate for everyone else. Grit is commonly seen as a top-tier commanding officer in the Advance Wars series (well, mostly Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising) because of the increased range and attack power of his indirect combat Artillery units. People hate fighting him. He's THE camping character in Advance Wars, after all. He will have rows of infantry to protect his Artillery and Rockets (and Missiles, if necessary) and then slowly advance...obliterating everything in the way to his opponent's headquarters. Very effective if there are chokepoints (limiting avenues to approach), like how Fox's lasers are harder to avoid if there is only one path to approach (no platforms). He can keep the path locked down. Advance Wars combat also runs on a Stamina mode with unit health, so it's pretty accurate to compare.

At least in Sudden Death for non-Stamina, you have to walk up to someone and hit them with a move that deals knockback. There are still many projectiles that will do that, but at least they tend to be more difficult to use than Blaster. At least this bad event tourney is over now.

By the way, for people who didn't get the meta of the event tourney and they actually lost both of their stocks before the three minutes were up, it was very common for them to just ragequit and disconnect, which causes the game to suddenly pause for SEVERAL seconds as it processes that this person has turned off their Nintendo Switch. This totally cuts into the mental momentum concentration that the remaining players have. That same problem would go for any stock-based free-for-all match. A lot of players are impatient and inconsiderate twits who don't care how the game ends. Stock is still the superior mode for singles and team matches... just not for online free-for-alls.

Ludwig didn't come up with the Fox strategy. Instead, he encountered someone else who was doing it first. Then Ludwig copied the strategy for the content (and easily won with it)... and then he decided to make it an Advance Wars thing because it's named after Grit. Maybe you'll want to comment on if you played the tour for yourself. Did you think it was fun? At all?

Want more Advance Wars Blue Moon content? Check out this analysis featuring Colin Blue Moon!
The event tour that got a KoopaTV article before this one was more thematic in nature, about characters from the 2010s.