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Monday, July 3, 2023

KoopaTV's June 2023 Review Newsletter — The FINAL Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You'll want to read this entire newsletter if you care even a little about KoopaTV!

I don't want to write this newsletter, since I know what it represents (and you should click that link if you don't understand why it's the last newsletter), and it's not something I like.

For more information on that, read to the end of this newsletter.

Don't miss KoopaTV's new videogame, Fire Withdraw!

You might not have expected KoopaTV to publish a videogame on the Sunday before this newsletter was to go out. But it happened! It's a very rare and fortunate event. ...And you ought to go play Fire Withdraw, too, instead of just marveling at its existence. You can play Fire Withdraw directly from KoopaTV for free, even. (Play it on a PC.)

Fire Withdraw promotion title screen Koopa Troopa fireball barrage Super Mario Brothers
The answer to the second question should be “Yes” if you focus hard enough.
But you gotta prove it!

Hm, I'm just now reminding myself that I (or multiple people) need to go update the TV Tropes pages for both our videogames and our website as a whole.

Top Five Recommended Experiences of June 2023

June 2023 was pretty much the only month of KoopaTV's ten-year history where I had a plan for what to publish on every day of the month. However, FakE3 events kept popping up that needed a Reaction Log, so that bumped off content that will now just never exist. ...So it's hard to pick just five articles from a month that had a lot of high-intent works, several of which I've wanted to write for YEARS. Here's my attempt (that ends up omitting all of those Reaction Logs) in chronological order:
  1. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Resolved Many of Diamond & Pearl's Release-Era Issues — This article exists on the theory that the issues identified near when a game is initially released are more authentic problems than those that crop up several years later, which are prone to outside influences and unrelated biases. Based on that, Ludwig compared the noted negatives of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl a decade and a half ago with what Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl did, to try to mend the latter's poor fan reputations.
  2. The Mushroom Kingdom Hyperinflation and its Problem for the Koopa Clan — The monetary mismanagement caused by Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom causes great damage to the Koopa Kingdom, and that's why Koopa Kingdom's interventions are justified.
  3. Pokémon Stadium Kids Club Minigame Tier List — There are nine minigames in Pokémon Stadium—which are the worst and which are the best? And why?
  4. Mario's Subcon Dream Comes From Childhood Memories — There is a very close tie between Mario dreaming about Subcon compared to his memories as a baby, which this article explores.
  5. Left-Handedness Deserves More Recognition — The left-handed witch, Witch Princess, discusses her difficulties operating in a world and gaming ecosystem designed for right-handed people.

Hm, that's overwhelmingly biased towards the last week of June. In times like that, I'll say that every KoopaTV article is worth reading and checking out. And you ought to do just that. Especially since there won't be any new articles coming out—so you'll be able to much more easily catch up than ever before! Now... let's move on to the user-generated parts (and afterwards, a big list of KoopaTV prize winners, and concluding thoughts you'll want to see):

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Play Fire Withdraw: A Free Videogame By KoopaTV!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The next generation of one-button gameplay, with a very important moral lesson.

Check below (under the page break, so it doesn't try to load every time someone sees the home page) for a new videogame you can play right from KoopaTV. ...On a PC with a keyboard. This is KoopaTV's first new videogame since 2017! And this is my first completed project developed using Scratch 3.0. It's also KoopaTV's first and only videogame that's based on the Super Mario IP. (Which we don't own. Go beat the Story Mode for the credits.)

As of July 9, 2023, you can now play the game with just a mouse, but it's not implemented in an optimal way or reflected in-game yet. This patch also made Level 5 marginally easier.

As of July 31, 2023, the in-game instructions and user interface reflect mouse use, including level selection and a new KoopaTV instructional dialogue in Level 1 (and Level 1 is marginally easier to make sure you don't die while listening to the instructions). This should also make the game playable on a mobile device. I strongly believe that the most optimal way to play the game is still using a keyboard key, though.

Fire Withdraw level select buttons story mode click tap touchscreen mouse Scratch 3.0 mobile
Fire Withdraw is KoopaTV's first and last-ever videogame that you could play on a mobile device!
(It's inferior to using a keyboard on a PC, but it's possible to play through the game and the UI fully supports it!
Try it on a stable connection.)

Fire Withdraw is a single-player game that evolves the one-button gameplay inspired by the Egg Catcher minigame from Kirby's Adventure (and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe) and further developed by the Rock Harden minigame from Pokémon Stadium. I have a full explanation of everything below the page break (plus the embedded game itself, playable right from your web browser), so go: ↓↓↓↓↓


Friday, June 30, 2023

Buy the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Remaster!

>By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Play the free demo if you feel nervous about the idea!

Today, several notable videogame titles released on the market. I have no problem with them (except for probably Everybody 1-2-Switch), but I will have a problem with YOU if you do not strongly consider purchasing the HD remaster of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, available on all modern gaming platforms at the moment. I'm saying this as someone who still has the DS cartridge (but also considers its 2011 release to be a top 10 game released in the 2010s.) Here is the launch trailer particular to the Nintendo Switch.

The trailer might make it seem like any typical murder mystery adventure game (featuring time travel), but unlike, say, Ace Attorney, Ghost Trick (written by Shu Takumi, who wrote several Ace Attorney titles) is significantly more interactive. You're not just pushing A to scroll through text and occasionally making menu-based selections (by no means do I personally have an issue with that level of interactivity, but I know some people I've tried pitching Ace Attorney to do have that problem); your spirit is constantly moving around, and you must move around strategically. The puzzles get multi-layered and quite involved as the game progresses, though you can try again as often as you'd like.

Ghost Trick Phantom Detective remastered Nintendo Switch Ghost World possess an object Sissel
Non-living or non-formerly living objects are all across detailed environments, and moving from possessing one to another within your range is how you move.
...And some objects let you perform an action, too.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Ike (from Fire Emblem) is Not Gay

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The accusations against him are playground bully logic. Instead...

For several years, KoopaTV's comments section has been assailed by weirdos who insist that Ike from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is gay. Or maybe it's the same guy.

Unfortunately, it's not just that one guy who has been spreading this claims about Ike. There is a whole part of the Fire Emblem fanbase that has mistaken beliefs about romantic and/or sexual relationships, including many people that are themselves gay. It's very strange to see to see, but a big part of it is that there is a movement (that doesn't care about the truth) that wants to redefine any and every character as gay, in their image. (Some game developers are also interested in doing this to their own characters, or as the basis for making new characters.) They even want to say I'm gay. And to that, I say, don't say gay!

...Seriously, don't. It's not a very precise term. (And it's only in my article headline because that's the terminology people keep using, not because it's good terminology.) Instead, take a look at this 2x2 matrix I've developed. It's... not a very original thought, but it's a concept a lot of people don't understand, including laypeople:

2x2 matrix table chart asexual aromantic homosexual homoromantic heterosexual heteroromantic bisexual biromantic same opposite sex
This 2x2 matrix represents classifications on romantic and sexual attractions, based on attraction/no attraction to the same or opposite sex. (For more information, research “split attraction model.”)
The sexual identity movement tries to overcomplicate this with ideas of >2 genders and words with complex prefixes to feel unique and quirky, but this chart is the basic and enduring truth.
(There... may be one possible addition or complication to this that may explain common attractions in Fire Emblem, however.)

This chart may raise even more questions, so before I go to talking about Ike's life specifically, I'll answer some of those questions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Left-Handedness Deserves More Recognition

By WITCH PRINCESS - It's hard to operate in the world with your preferred hand when almost everything wasn't designed for you to do so.

If you couldn’t tell from the title of the article, I am a left-handed witch. That means I pretty much am accustomed to doing (almost) everything with my left hand, from writing to eating to using a physical calculator.

I say almost in parenthesis because there are things such as cars, computers, and even video game console controllers that require me to use my right hand much to my displeasure.

My dominant hand has always been my left, according to my parents. Fortunately, I had parents who never tried to “retrain” me to use my right hand instead of my left. However, just because they didn’t doesn’t mean I was free of right-handed influence. There’s a whole list here dedicated to lefty problems!

The main problem I’m going to share with you though relates to gaming for lefties, specifically, a call to Nintendo and other companies to design ergonomic controllers for us!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Mario's Subcon Dream Comes From Childhood Memories

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - More specifically, the events of Super Mario Bros. 2 was influenced by the events of Yoshi's Island (chronologically).

Remember: The events of Super Mario Bros. 2 (or Super Mario Advance, the superior way to experience it) were all a dream. They did not actually happen. ...Sorry, I guess that spoiled the game's ending, but I'd like to think everyone knew that already.

That isn't a controversial statement—or shouldn't be, if you understand dreams. However, even though the events of the dream are fictitious, they do represent—even in an indirect way—things that actually happened to the person who was dreaming (Mario). For more information, let's ask an expert in the field. He's known as Pewter. He seems to know what he's talking about:

AI The Somnium Files Pewter explanation of dreams constructed from images experiences memories of dreamer subject
Pewter: Dreams can only be constructed from images and experiences the subject was present for.
Mizuki's Somnium couldn't have contained that figure if she didn't see it in person.
Of course, not everything we see in our dreams looks exactly the same as it did in the real world.
You saw some strange things in Somnium earlier, didn't you, Date?
That event you experienced is obviously not as it happened in reality.
Dreams are a collage of many memories intertwining and blending with each other.
Your skills as a Psyncer allow you to untangle those dreams and solve mysteries no one else can.

What does the state of Mario's dreamy experience in Super Mario Bros. 2 have to say about his past experiences? I believe the memories he's conjured up come from his childhood, or more specifically, his state as a baby or toddler. Now, this can get messy, because Mario has a time machine, and that's how Baby Mario can co-exist with his adult self in the present at times (or sometimes his adult self is in the past). And sometimes he's even employed his baby self as a... doctor? So that causes scenarios where Baby Mario's memories involve things he's seen way into the future, and that affects Mario's dreams in the present (or past relative to today, when he actually had the dream told by Super Mario Bros. 2). In other words, because of his baby self time travelling, Mario as of Super Mario Bros. 2 is able to dream of things that hadn't happened yet in his life because those were past memories encountered by his baby self in the future.

AI The Somnium Files Date hiding something Mario mannekin
With that caveat out of the way, we'll try to understand Mario's subconscious for the rest of this article.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Pokémon Stadium Kids Club Minigame Tier List

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Worst-to-best of the nine minigames in Pokémon Stadium!

A few months back right after the first Pokémon Stadium became available on the Nintendo 64 emulator on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, I wrote an article about how Generation 1 mechanics really don't hold up today. I also wrote about how the minigame aspect (the Kids Club) is overrated, because the quality of the minigames themselves are lacking. Today, I'm going to go into more detail about those minigames and how they are designed, rating them in a worst-to-best tier list. My experiences are based on playing the minigames both with three other computer players, as well as with other real people. Also, note that my ratings are based on playing Pokémon Stadium on the Nintendo Switch. I DID play it on the Nintendo 64, but my game design thoughts are significantly more refined now.

Pokémon Stadium unlocking HYPER difficulty mode computer players Kids Club minigames
If you get five minigame wins in a row in “Who's the best?” mode on HARD difficulty, you'll unlock HYPER difficulty.
It's not more fun than HARD, and winning is sometimes impossible.

Ekans’ Hoop Hurl

In-game Description:
Aim using the + Control Pad. Pull back and flick the Control Stick to launch EKANS.
The one with the highest score wins.
Pull the Control Stick back further to toss further.
Flick it lightly to toss a short distance.
Featured Pokémon
Ekans (controlled), Diglett (objective), Dugtrio (design of the floor)
60 seconds. The player with the highest score at the end of that time wins. Ties are possible.
Ekans’ Hoop Hurl is easily the worst minigame of Pokémon Stadium—and I'd argue among the worst experiences of the entire Nintendo 64 library. It is one of the very few Nintendo 64 experiences that asks you to use both the Control Stick and the Control Pad at the same time. This is terrible for several reasons, including how uncomfortable it is.

I'd like to show you the in-game description below. Pay particular attention at the photo of how you are supposed to hold the controller. Note that controllers don't look like this anymore: Both the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Nintendo GameCube Controller, as examples, have the Control Stick at the top left of the controller and a D-Pad southeast of it. Those controllers also have two prongs for two-handed people, instead of the Nintendo 64's three prongs for three-handed people:

Friday, June 23, 2023

Ludwig's First-Ever Visit to a Physical Therapist

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - An evaluation appointment. Treatment appointments to come. (Now updated at the bottom of the article.)

I haven't played Ring Fit Adventure since the start of 2023. There is something resembling a good reason for this: I've been in pain for the past four months, particularly on my right hip. As opposed to persistent pain in my left hip at the end of 2021. You probably have the impression that my body is a mess. You would be right.

Since I haven't been totally following my chiropractor's fitness advice (and my chiropractor helps me feel better but doesn't cure my pain in the long-term), my primary care physician suggested I go to a physical therapist (PT). It takes quite a while to schedule an evaluation appointment with a physical therapist, since I suppose they're in big demand. (My doctor also refused to let me get an MRI or X-ray because he thinks I'm too young to have problems). But today I finally got one! For the first time ever. Lemme tell you what happened.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

The Mushroom Kingdom Hyperinflation and its Problem for the Koopa Clan

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - About the devaluation of the gold coin thanks to Princess Peach's monetary mismanagement.

The gold coins in the Mushroom Kingdom are practically useless. As the reigning monarch of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach is accountable and responsible for this result that damages the living standards and economy of the Mushroom Kingdom. And as trading partners and users of the same gold coin currency, Koopa Kingdom has a vested interest in wanting the currency to be useful.

For almost twenty years now, I've been thinking about the drastic currency fluctuations the gold coin has had, especially in a short period of time. Take a look at this:

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga Tolstar Stardust Fields currency exchange conversion Mushroom Beanbean gold coins gif

According to that exchange rate, 115 Mushroom Kingdom gold coins equal 10 Beanbean Kingdom coins, or 11.5 Mushroom coins to 1 Beanbean coin. That's not inherently bad. But what is bad is the exchange rate a mere few weeks later:

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga Prince Peasley bet Mushroom Beanbean coins conversion currency exchange gif

99,999,999,999,999 Mushroom coins converted to a mere 99 Beanbean coins. (That's 99 trillion, 999 billion, 999 million, 999 thousand, 999 coins.) That's an exchange rate of 1,010,101,010,101 Mushroom coins to 1 Beanbean coin. (That's 1 trillion, 10 billion, 101 million, 10 thousand, 101 coins.) That's a percent change of approximately 8,783,487,044,256.52%. Many economists seem to like the definition of “hyperinflation” being a 50% change in a month. It's almost unfathomable how much more reasonable a normal hyperinflation would be compared to what the Mushroom Kingdom goes through.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Nintendo Direct June 21, 2023 Live Reactions!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's a lot of emotion involved, at least.

Today, there was a Nintendo Direct livestream featuring roughly 40 minutes of information focused mainly on Nintendo Switch titles launching this year, including new details on Pikmin 4. Watch it embedded here:

I gave a live-reacted text log (annotated with select screenshots) below. KoopaTV staffer Kamek is also present in the log... in his own way.

[9:54 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[9:55 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM AHH
[9:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Back.
[9:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Not sure if I did a good job wiping myself but I don't have enough time for that!
[9:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Some people have already asked me what I expect or want to see in this Nintendo Direct. I expect nothing. I didn't ask for this event to happen.
[10:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: But I am interested in the fact that media people / influencers / whomever have claimed that Nintendo backed out of E3 2023 because they have a weak lineup and have nothing to show.
[10:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: First thing: Pokémon.
[10:01 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Someone also told me there wouldn't be Pokémon at Nintendo Direct because Pokémon has their own event.
[10:01 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Obviously mistaken.