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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bowser's Shulk-Bash Backslash Backlash

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - One-upping basic “M” alliteration with a tongue twisting tale.

One consequence of the Pyra and Mythra newcomer announcement from last week's Nintendo Direct is that there's new artwork associated with their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate existence:

There's a lot of very interesting things going on here. First, pay attention to Mythra's outfit. In a previous KoopaTV article titled “Massive Melee Mythra is a Marvelous Meta Miracle” by ex-KoopaTV staffer RawkHawk2010, he predicted—over two years ago—that Mythra's leggings and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC would result in Mythra appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in more than just a Spirit capacity. By the end, he was rudely warning King Bowser Koopa about Mythra, referencing Shulk's trailer that we saw in an August 2014 Nintendo Direct. What you need to know about that trailer is it began with Bowser innocently wandering the Gaur Plain and watching butterflies, and then this Shulk jerk surprise BACK SLASHES the Koopa King for no reason. That was the first time I had ever heard of Shulk.

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Shulk Back Slash Bowser trailer
Shulk Back Slashed Bowser in his debut trailer for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.
I've personally held a grudge against Shulk ever since.

Now, look back at the embedded artwork at the top of the page by Masatsugu Saito. Notice who is right behind Shulk's back? That's right. It's King Bowser Koopa. And while everyone's Xenoblade Chronicles attention is on Pyra and on Mythra, Lord Bowser, expertly avoiding Pyra's and Mythra's trailer altogether (as did every other Koopa in the game, including myself), is instead using this time for REVENGE on Shulk. Saito happened to catch the moment before the backslash backlash.

Monday, February 22, 2021

JOIN the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open February 2021!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - At the last weekend of February.

Check it: The first Nintendo of America out-of-game online tournament (for prizes) of 2021! And it's for Mario Tennis Aces! Register now over here. Taking place February 27 at 13:00 Eastern.

Mario Tennis Aces North American Open February 2021 logo key art
For the first time, someone other than Mario gets to appear in the tournament key artwork.

If you do ever want to play Mario Tennis Aces during any other time of year, you're never going to find a random person in the free play online section. You may find someone in the in-game online tournament, but if you don't like that ruleset and want to make your own, you're out of luck, unless you look for non-random friends to play with. (And you can find a lot of people—and help/guides resources—in the Mario Tennis Aces Club Discord server.)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 28: Training for an ARMS Race

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring just one of the Four Masters.

The G7—the governments of United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan—have today reiterated their support for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to happen this 2021. This is contrary to reports from anonymous sources from last month. I can confirm that Koopa Kingdom's opinion wasn't consulted, but should the Olympics go on, we'll be there under Team Koopa. And I'm in Team Koopa. ...Which means I gotta be FIGHTIN' FIT FOR FENCIN'. And to be in better shape, I'm playing Ring Fit Adventure every week. In 2020 I completed the normal Adventure Mode, and in 2021 I'm playing Extra Fitness.

At the end of last week's Week 27, I adjusted the Ring-Con vibration setting from Strong to Weak, for the first time. There is a very noticeable difference, and Weak really is... weak. At first, I forgot I made the settings change, and I actually thought my Ring-Con was broken. There should be a setting in-between Strong and Weak (the only other setting is to have no rumble at all), but Weak is much more quiet for things like Back Press, where the Ring-Con will be constantly vibrating (and behind your body).

On Week 28, we're playing World 28: Extra Fitness Lv. 192, which is very lengthy and substantial because it's based on World 5: Dragaux vs. the Four Masters, and that was another world that took me one and a half weeks to complete. I'm trying to do it all in one week.

Armando opens up the world declaring we need to reach his gym first, and there are a lot of levels (16) to get there.

Ring Fit Adventure World 28 Armando dialogue will be opponent world map
We're going to have to do far more than deal with just Armando in this world.

The world first opens up with General Store 24, which offers the Flame Contender II, Volt Contender II, and Atomic Contender II outfits for a LOT of money (and six Citrine stones). These raise red-skill, yellow-skill, and blue-skill attack power by 5%, respectively. I'm actually trying on the Atomic Contender II outfit for the first level, Exertion River, since it recommends to use Leg Fit Skills. It's in my best interest to clear these as fast as I can so I can clear the world in a week, but still doing all the enemy fights so I'm, you know, getting the game's fitness benefits This does let me situationally turn two-round KOs into one-round KOs compared to wearing the Galactic Jogger (which has worse stats, but is my go-to outfit due to its 5% increased experience bonus), which speeds fights up considerably.

The Exertion River—besides several minutes worth of rowing activity—also has an unavoidable squat Treasure Chest containing the recipe for Deep Red Smoothie. For two Strawberries, two Raspberries, and two Fennel, you can concoct a smoothie with 7 hearts of restoration, and ↑↑ to red Fit Skill attack power, AND it turns all your Fit Skills to red. My problem is that I only have one Fennel, and I dunno where to find more. ...It turns out that I picked one up at Exertion River, and Exertion River in World 28 has different ingredient drops than Exertion River in World 5. That's already very interesting.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ludwig Babysits in Mario Kart Tour; Joe Biden Plays the Series Too?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How'd I get stuck with this?

For some reason, it's like every political site, news site, and gaming site wrote something about President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. playing Mario Kart Arcade GP over Presidents Day weekend when he hung out at the Camp David retreat with his family. I'm not sure the fascination behind it. If the arcade machines were at Camp David the whole time, then other presidents (possibly starting with President George Walker Bush?) have probably played it too. We just didn't hear about it because they didn't have 27-year old granddaughters with an active social media life.

Naomi Biden, that aforementioned granddaughter, apparently used a “story” feature on the social media platforms to spread the word (which subsequently deletes it after), but this journalist documented/preserved the one-second clip that caused a media firestorm:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

KoopaTV's LIVE Reactions to the February 17 2021 Nintendo Direct

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...You could skip to the end for the “one last thing”, or you could participate in the journey along the way!

Many Nintendo fans have proclaimed the DEATH of the Nintendo Direct. After all, the last one called NINTENDO DIRECT was in September 2019, and to these people (I'm not included), Nintendo presentations like the Nintendo Direct Mini and the many Partner Showcases throughout 2020 just don't count.

But today, an indisputably direct and grandiose in scale Nintendo Direct has arrived, and KoopaTV's entire five-member staff reacted to it. Follow along with the embedded Direct with our live commentary immediately below:

[4:55 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Five minutes until the Nintendo Direct of February 2021 begins...!
[4:56 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Either I got something broken, or there's no waiting room audio from the Nintendo Direct stream.
[4:57 PM] HeavyLobster: I'm here.
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Do you hear any audio?
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: It's eerie.
[4:58 PM] HeavyLobster: no
[4:58 PM] HeavyLobster: Let's hope this is a good one.
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: They usually have waiting room audio, don't they?
I guess it's been a long time so maybe I don't remember.
[4:59 PM] Witch Princess: hiya
[4:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Witchy! You're...alive!
[4:59 PM] Witch Princess: yeah I survived that blizzard
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: RATING PENDING TO MATURE 17+
[5:00 PM] HeavyLobster: Let's Go!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Take Advantage of the CAPCOM Lunar Sale of 2021!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ending February 19, 02:59 Eastern.

Japanese gaming publisher CAPCOM is holding a limited sale (called the Capcom Lunar Sale) from February 11 to February 19, 2:59 AM Eastern time. ...And KoopaTV didn't tell you for most of the sale because we were busy (and didn't know about it). But now we're telling you! Here are the available games—and these sales are ONLY on the (storefront from fellow Japanese gaming publisher) Nintendo eShop (Nintendo Switch)... and in the American one. This sale isn't in Japan or Europe:
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen—$15, or 50% off
  • ŌKAMI HD—$10, or 50% off
  • Onimusha: Warlords—$8, or 60% off
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy—$15, or 50% off
  • Shinsekai Into the Depths—$15, or 25% off

It's not obvious to me why these games were picked for a sale that's supposedly themed around the Lunar New Year. It makes a lot of sense for Ōkami, because that has all sorts of Zodiac-related content between the Celestial Brush gods and the animals you feed. (And it's totally worth $10...and a lot more.) But it makes sense for, say, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, which doesn't have Zodiac themes. Sure, there's an occasional dragon and tiger motif, but that doesn't encompass the whole Zodiac.

Okami HD Bull Statue Zodiac Treasure item description catalogue
Ōkami clearly pays tribute to Zodiac themes.
I don't think any of those other games do.

By the way, CAPCOM has recently disclosed that the Ace Attorney series has sold a total of 8.0 million copies, across the whole franchise. The Switch/Steam/Xbox One/PlayStation 4 rendition that released back in 2019 has also sold 1.0 million copies. Back at the start of 2019, the cumulative sum of series sales was at 6.7 million. Perhaps discounting Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy every (other) month is working out. At the very least, none of the other individual games in the franchise are million-sellers.

Ludwig obviously personally recommends Ōkami and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. He hopes to keep raising that 8.0 number to be even higher, and maybe there'll be another official Ace Attorney announcement to come that can contribute to that besides discounting the product? This is the first time CAPCOM has done a Lunar Sale, sort of like how yesterday's article was the first time KoopaTV did a Lunar New Year article.

CAPCOM is used to doing February sales, but just calling them a generic CAPCOM Publisher Sale.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was on sale literally just a month ago, in January 2021.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The MOONAR...erm, Lunar New Year 2021 into America-wide Winter Storms

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Happy Moo Year...?!

In many East Asian countries, including South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, they're celebrating the “Lunar New Year”, which also has an associated Zodiac of twelve animals that cycle every year. Over the weekend, the Lunar calendar just switched over to the Year of the Ox, which is probably the best one of them all. (Hard to dispute that when there's no shelled creatures on the Zodiac that'd otherwise be in competition.)

That means leading up to the switch, Japanese games with ongoing events had bovine-themed events, like Pokémon GO featuring Tauros and Miltank (but not New York-exclusive Bouffalant) and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield featuring Tauros, Miltank, and Bouffalant in Max Raid Battles (but not Tapu Bulu who lives in a giant Crown Tundra cave with all the other Legendary Pokémon).

Speaking of tundral environments, it's REALLY cold throughout the United States of America. Like, TEXAS is getting several inches of snow. It's no surprise that those Pokémon events stopped before the snow was falling. Bovine, of which many live in Texas, don't appreciate that winter environment. (And for Tapu Bulu, I guess it's warmer in the cave than the horse-caused cold.)

Dragon Quest XI S Sniflheim frozen solid cow
The cold freezes both a bovine's body, as well as food supply. Stay inside!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 27: Returning to the Nation of Sporta

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Putting smiles on people's faces. Except Ring's.

Welcome to another edition of KoopaTV Fitness Fridays, where I document me playing through Ring Fit Adventure (as well as other fitness-related activities) throughout the week, all for your entertainment/information/whatever. While being fit is its own reward, I also am training to satisfy Team Koopa in the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympics. Last week in Ring Fit Adventure, we cleared World 26 on difficulty level 29. That's one less than the maximum difficulty, but right now, I'm finding 29 a lot more fun than 30, so I'll stick with that.

My fitness began on Sunday, February 7, but not with Ring Fit Adventure. There was more snow, falling throughout the day, and I shovelled it three times over the course of the day. That's much better than shovelling it once after it's already fallen. You push it when it's still a couple of inches and still light, before it becomes unmovable rock-esque snow that you can't push, but must lift.

As a result of my good decision, my back doesn't hurt a bunch on Monday, so I'm able to play Ring Fit Adventure just fine. Now we're on World 27: Extra Fitness Lv. 187! While this one uses the same world design as World 4: The Nation of Sporta, will this Extra Fitness version be as lovable and endearing as the Sportans? ...And will it actually take a second week to complete like it originally did? (Hope not.) Find out in this article!

And immediately, Sportan NPCs are greeting me as a hero for saving Sporta and their way of life, and are welcoming me back and saying I can train here as I wish. Loving the continuity, and so the first place we're going to are the Sportan Waters. Originally, we couldn't clear the level because we didn't have the power-up to let us cross rivers, which set the rest of the world's story in motion because Dragaux Stadium is directly north of Sportan Waters. This time, we've already mastered the secrets of the Abdominal Press & Twist, so nothing is stopping us!

Ring Fit Adventure World 27 hero who saved Kingdom of Sporta Sportan Soldier
I don't actually remember how Sporta was in danger before.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

VIDEO of Nintendo Cloning Human Earth Girls?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not a special effect.

By the time you're reading this, you can purchase Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Nintendo Switch. If you wanted to, you could've purchased Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U for many years now, and at 1/3 of the price of the Switch version. I don't think much of Bowser's Fury, other than that Bowser Jr. is an idiot.

Still, the rest of Nintendo's fiscal year is dependent on Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury being a big financial success, and so Nintendo is making a lot of advertisements for the game. Among them is this ad, which I'll let you watch, and then we really, REALLY need to talk about it here. ...And you can't talk about it on YouTube, because Nintendo shut down the comments section by marking it as for kids.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Winning LEGO Idea: Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone Set Coming!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unlike the plumber LEGO sets, this one appears to be pure in intent. Here's how LEGO Ideas work.

When I first heard that there would be a Sonic the Hedgehog set by LEGO, I was worried. After all, you look at the harm caused by the collaboration between LEGO and Nintendo with LEGO Super Mario (which is summarised from KoopaTV's GOTY 2020 article's Best KoopaTV Series of 2020 award), and the idea that SEGA could be joining in for double mascot trouble is terrifying.

But then I actually read LEGO's press release about the LEGO Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone set, and I thoroughly investigated the backstory of their announcement, instead of relying on incomplete (and bad) gaming media reporting. I'll share what I've found out with you so you can have complete and good reporting, which leads me (and will lead you) to the conclusion that this is nothing like the LEGO Super Mario project.

At the core of understanding this announcement—LEGO and SEGA are working together to develop this design, which currently has no defined price point or release date—is understanding the LEGO Ideas platform. Per some guidelines, creative LEGO fans (and these are an intense and dedicated bunch) can submit LEGO sets for community voting, and it takes very little to join the community and be eligible to vote. The LEGO set, which gets a description and updates akin to a Kickstarter campaign, has a certain number of days to get supporters, in several different stages. (60 days to get 100 supporters, another 365 days to get 1000 supporters, 182 days afterwards to get 5,000 supporters, and finally another 182-day extension to reach a total of 10,000 supporters.) There's the skill of taking photos and having structural LEGO integrity, and then there's the skill of being able to market and promote your campaign.

Then the LEGO company will meet three times a year to consider any project that has met the 10,000 supporter threshold and decide whether your idea should become a real product. In the case of the Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone by Viv Grannell (also known as toastergrl), she opened it up in February 2019. She got to 10,000 supporters as of March 2020, which is a timeline entirely before the LEGO Super Mario announcement ever happened. Then the announcement that it'll be a real product happened February 2021. This is a long-term ordeal.