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Thursday, November 21, 2019

November 20 2019 Democrat Presidential Primary Debate 5 ANALYSIS!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is a filler debate. Though maybe they're all going to be like that.

I will try to make this analysis fairly quick, since the debate itself was only a little over two hours long last night, with ten candidates. (Compared to three hours and twelve candidates in October 2019's.)

From left to right, we had Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. Names don't ring a bell? Check out KoopaTV's 2020 presidential debate index, which has summaries of what's going on so far. The debate was moderated by MSNBC (a more overtly liberal division of NBC) and the Washington Post.

(MS)NBC is continuing their fascination with giving Cory Booker more time than he deserves.
As well as giving Andrew Yang no time to talk.

Let me state above the fold: MSNBC has a long and continuing history of trying to black out Andrew Yang's candidacy. Naturally, this extends to how they conduct their debate.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Crashing Market Crashers By Becoming a TRILLIONAIRE!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ♪ If I were a rich man... Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum... ♪

All I still use my 3DS for is accumulating Gem Apples in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, using it as a portable music player brought to me by Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, sometimes playing Pocket Card Jockey, and accumulating Play Coins so I can hire more (superficially diverse) feline stock analysts for Market Crashers, which is a minor game at the Nintendo 3DS's StreetPass Mii Plaza. It's based around different publicly-traded companies offering their stocks on the market, and buying low and selling high in an action game format. Predictive button-mashing, with the help of the analysts.

I like the game because I like hoarding money. I've been playing it every day for years.

In fact, I have so much money, I just became a trillionaire today. Count the commas. (They'd be decimal points in Europe, which I never liked.) This coincides with the United States stock market indices reaching record highs in the past few days.

Market Crashers trillionaire trillion G Nintendo 3DS StreetPass Mii Plaza
 ♪ All day long, I'd biddy biddy bum, if I were a wealthy man. ♫

The developers at Good-Feel never intended people to play the game for so long after the first ten billion, where you got a 24-karat gold statue of your Mii. But they did incentivise it a bit at the results screen with big bags of money that eventually become gold-coloured when you're in the hundreds of billions. So what happens when you're at a trillion?

Well, the money stack stops moving. There are no more accumulated bills in the money pile. Once you're at a trillion, the game stops showing any graphical representation of that and refuses to make the giant money bags symmetrical. Sure, the money counter (presented as a variable numeric text) keeps going up. But there's no satisfaction from there visually being no more cash to go around.

Where is it going? Perhaps we'll find out in tonight's presidential debate. The Democrats attack the wealth of millionaires. The Democrats attack the wealth of billionaires.

Will the Democrats start updating their rhetoric to confiscate the wealth of the trillionaire class as well? ...Or will they overlook the trillionaires and I'll be immune?

Which scenario would YOU rather have: The government take my money and waste it, or me continue to offer KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program prizes funded from my own figurative pocket? ‘cause KoopaTV doesn't make any revenue, but we still have costs. This site exists purely to do good for society, no matter the price. That's better than what the United States government does.

(Seriously, have you looked at the prizes for the current round, round 29? Only a trillionaire could afford to give away that much stuff for FREE.) 

Ludwig will be watching the Democrat presidential debate tonight. Stay tuned for his analysis tomorrow (Thursday), and he'll be sure to mention any concerns about trillionaires. Ludwig supposes an irresponsible billionaire, millionaire, or even a thousandaire could afford to give out the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program prizes, but you got to have a trillion in the bank to truly be well off enough to give away that money. You are free to comment in the comments section if you think negatively about Ludwig writing an article essentially to brag about money. He doesn't think he'll keep playing Market Crashers.

Ludwig watched the debate, and notes all mention of trillions in his analysis.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Why Pokémon National Dexers Failed But Sonic's Movie Got Redesigned

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The right circumstances to affect change.

I just received this request from ShinyGirafarig, one of KoopaTV's long-time readers, which I'll transcribe here since our requests page is so popular that it no longer anchors to specific comments correctly:

“Is there a right way to ask for things from major companies?

Is there a respectable way for the target audience to ask for changes such as to make Sonic the Hedgehog more accurate in the movie? To add back all the Pokémon in a future game? Some other request? I keep seeing memes jokingly saying that "bullying worked" for why Sonic was fixed.

While there is always "vote with your wallet" sometimes bad products get sold because people did not know they would like a product after buying them and companies would get the wrong message. Or being able to actually boycott a product. A company can easily think they no longer like product when in reality the fandom does not like the direction it headed.” 

Some four years ago, I wrote an article—also driven by a KoopaTV fan request—called “The Effect of Fan Influence”. That article largely covers ShinyGirafarig's request, but rather than tell her I already wrote about it, I'm going to take my article's points as a framework, and expand on it using the two examples she brought up regarding how the Sonic the Hedgehog movie now has a redesigned Sonic the Hedgehog after fans demanded it to the movie's director, yet the National Dex concerns fans brought up with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield were ultimately ignored for the final release.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Catastrophic: YouTube Culls Comments For COPPA

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Rated E for everyone? Off with your head!

At the beginning of September, Google-owned YouTube got wrecked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with a record-breaking $170 million settlement for boisterously violating the Child's Online Privacy Protection Act, henceforth known as COPPA. This act serves to prevent online properties—like YouTube—from knowingly collecting private information from kids, defined as those under 13 years old. That ended up being what YouTube was doing, collecting information on anyone (including kids) who viewed videos, and knowingly, too. Check out that press release for some quotes catching Google red-handed, including them telling toy makers Mattel and/or Hasbro, “YouTube is today's leader in reaching children age 6–11 against top TV channels.”

No one really paid any attention to this until last week, when YouTube sent an e-mail to every channel owner telling us that there is mandatory, important action we, YouTube channel owners, need to take, in one of three methods:
  1. Automatically mark our channel (and every video inside) as not-for-kids. YouTube will continue to collect all viewers’ information who watch these videos
  2. Automatically mark our channel (and every video inside) as for-kids. YouTube won't collect viewers’ private information on these videos
  3. Mark each and every video individually as either for-kids or not-for-kids

If you mark this incorrectly and the FTC feels like prosecuting you, you can be fined up to $42,350 per violation—that's per video. (You probably wouldn't get fined over $170 million, though, if you happen to have 4,015 YouTube videos or more.)

There's no safe, easy answer, as demonstrated in this 2x2 matrix I made:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 1

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the first week of me playing Ring Fit Adventure!

Welcome to the first of KoopaTV's fitness log series, as announced last week. I never figured out what a non-ironic fitness/workout/weekly I'm-going-to-lose-weight blog actually looks like, so I don't have anything to parody as a model. Given that, I'm just going to experiment with formatting and content. If you have any recommendations or things you'd like to see, let me know in the comments section. Normally, I'd write this sort of thing at the end of an article, but I feel like being upfront because it's easier to write this than the actual content. Not sure what I was thinking to be honest.

Week 1 Impressions of Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure pwned me on Day 1, and that was just doing all the settings. I had to select options such as that I don't do any exercise for someone of my age group, and that I live outside of Canada. I told the game my weight and age, and I guess I'll tell you the former number as well.

Ring Fit Adventure Tipp settings weight pounds
I'm 140 pounds as of Sunday night (November 10).
A lot of that weight is my shell and I can't do anything about that. But I'd love to get back to 130.

Playing Ring Fit Adventure, and this is a bad mindset I have right now that I'm hoping I'll lose later, feels like “I'm going to exercise and have fun with it.” instead of “I'm going to have fun and get exercise out of it.” I want to think of it as a game first. But I'm not. I also really, really want to play other games now, and I haven't played anything else on my Switch all week.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Buying Pokémon Sword/Shield? Why I Won't

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You can do what you want with your own money, of course. (Or even my money.)

In preparing to write this article, I've been reviewing KoopaTV's coverage of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. For pretty much every official announcement from The Pokémon Company International, we published something about it. As I was hoping for, I don't think it was an information overload this time around.

However, I wasn't ever really hyped over Pokémon Shield, which is the version I'd pick if I was going to buy one. When they were first revealed and named in February 2019, I said I was optimistic about what was shown in the trailer, but worried about Junichi Masuda being the producer on the game. In the June 2019 Pokémon Direct, I said I was more interested in playing the game than I was before watching that—though I wasn't giving the game much actual praise in the article tone.

What followed were a lot of individual Pokémon and feature announcements that either didn't move the needle, or actually got me looking less forward to the game. The biggest controversy among the fanbase has been about the fate of the National Dex and Pokémon from past generations being put into the game. I'm on record only caring about that in the context of what it means for spin-off games, so that wouldn't be the reason for why I wouldn't buy Pokémon Shield itself.

I'm not getting it because, if it weren't a Pokémon game, I wouldn't even consider it. Pokémon Shield hasn't presented itself as a competent Japanese RPG in terms of what we've seen. Meanwhile, I have a copy of Dragon Quest XI S now that is waiting to be played after I was so pleased with the demo. I have other, better things to play.

If GAME FREAK is going to continue to operate on an annual release schedule, we're going to get a Galarian iteration next year anyway, which'll probably add substantially more content and fix a lot of problems. I'll re-look at the situation then, and of course, KoopaTV will cover the announcement. Alternatively, they'll remake an older generation, like the Sinnoh games, which I'm worried about how they'll handle it.

I haven't been very specific in this article. I know there is a tremendous amount of negativity surrounding the game with cut Pokémon, cut moves, bad story and characters, linear pathways, whatever. I haven't myself gone into specifics because I don't want to read non-official spoilers/leaks/possible misinformation. So, I gave a chance for Junichi Masuda, GAME FREAK, and The Pokémon Company International to impress me with an interview that's supposedly directed at people who “weren't hyped enough about these games”.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Version 6.0.0 (November) Fighter Usage Stats!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - 6.1.0 might change everything, so I gotta specify.

They announced a version 6.1.0 of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to deploy shortly after this article will publish, and that might affect the balance patches for characters. It isn't completely correct to deem this the November usage stats (especially so early in the month), though these do derive from the results of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open November 2019, which had the grand prize of going to the Genesis 7 tournament in January.

While I'm not going to Genesis 7, I'm very happy with my own performance. I finally got in the top 32 within my region—a solid 31st place. My diagram in the Online Open August 2019 article isn't FAKE NEWS anymore. The ladder only being three hours instead of four helped a lot, as did the revised stage list. (I still want Fountain of Dreams or Dream Land, though.) You can read about my journey in the comments section in the article hyperlinked in the previous paragraph. A whole lot of Bowser play. I lost immediately in the bracket round to a Mario player, however. Curse that plumber.

The actual winners were King Chris (who moved to somewhere else in Canada since he won the September 2019 tournament, apparently?), Wisdom (Duck Hunt from Missouri), Annoying Orange (Bayonetta from Nevada), and John Numbers (Wii Fit Trainer from New York, and the legendary Nintendo competition protagonist).

Anyway, once again (see September 2019's here and August 2019's here) I aggregated the ladder rounds across all regions of North America for this tournament. This time, there were 6,788 registrants and 3,225 players who played at least one match, for an average 47.51% participation rate. That's significantly less than the participation rate in August and September, and if you want a marketing lesson, it's because the automated/manual reminder e-mails telling people they have 24 hours until the tournament starts never went off/were never written. This caused about an ~8% drop in participation rate (again, defined as the number of people who play out of the number of people who registered—not the raw number of people playing) because people forgot they signed up for the tournament, and splitting the regions up over two days (though a given player will only play during one day) may have also confused people about when they had to play. This time, there were 36,824 games played. Despite the drop in the %, it's a raw number improvement from September, but still not as good as August's numbers.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate November 2019 version 6.0.0 Terry Joker popularity fighter usage stats picks

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Movie — New Design, Same Disrecommendation

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This doesn't fix any other issues you might've had.

Remember that Sonic the Hedgehog movie that was supposed to release in November 2019...mere days ago? Paramount Pictures wants you to forget that was ever in the works—they have put the YouTube trailer of that movie in private view mode. I thought it was a funny gimmick where I wouldn't be able to screen-capture Sonic the Hedgehog's old movie design in that article because he kept moving too quickly for the print screen button. I didn't know two days later that the movie's director would tell everyone that Sonic would get redesigned and I should've saved a copy of the old design for the record.

(Fortunately, other people stole the trailer and uploaded it on their channels without marking it as private, such as this one. I wonder if it'll get copyright claimed.)

Then that redesign got the whole movie officially delayed to February 14, 2020. That's still the official release date, as seen in this new trailer with Sonic's new design: 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Nintendo Investor Q&A: No Defined Remake Policy

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Plus, scary China stuff.

You might vaguely remember that I published good Nintendo financial news here a week ago, related to their quarter ending September 30, 2019. Good news is less memorable than bad news (unless Nintendo doing well upsets your feelings or your investment strategy), so I understand if you found the whole affair underwhelming. Regardless, Nintendo's president, Shuntaro Furukawa, took questions from investors and answered some of them.

The last time Nintendo held a Q&A briefing with investors was half a year ago (that's two quarters ago), where I commented:
“No matter who has been the president in the past several years, there's no new information presented in these Q&A sessions. I hope next time, the investors go back to asking silly, amusing questions, because Nintendo management sure won't say anything useful or entertaining. It's the anti-KoopaTV.”

Guess what? The questions were pretty relevant, and Nintendo management was still unhelpful.

Investors generally wanted to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite, which has sold about two million systems. What kind of people are buying it? What's driving their behaviour? Are they more or less profitable than a regular Nintendo Switch customer?

Friday, November 8, 2019

New KoopaTV Feature: Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Logs Series

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That's right. I'm documenting my training.

I hope you read my article from Tuesday about the reformation of the Olympics team, TEAM KOOPA. We have a dual purpose: win for the glory of Koopa Kingdom, and eliminate Mario and Cappy, who will also be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

However, it's been a while since I've really done much physical activity, and almost four years since I've trained for the Olympics. That was a disaster. Not the physical act of training, but the whole session and being attacked while in a foreign hellhole land.

But I do need to still get in shape. Fortunately, Ring Fit Adventure has released at such a good time. It's perfect to get my body the way it needs to be so I may fence properly. With a sabre, not with a faux border wall.

Anyway, after failing to buy Ring Fit Adventure at a proper store, I just ordered it from the Internet (after waiting for it to stop being sold out). It came. Here's me with the box:

Ring Fit Adventure physical box package Ludwig Von Koopa plush plushwig
Well, here's me on the box... It's, uh, 3D box art of Ludwig vs. Dragaux!

Ring Fit Adventure comes with everything it says it'll come with, by the way. The game box and cartridge, the Leg Strap, and the Ring-Con.

Ring Fit Adventure unboxed contents game cartridge Leg-Strap Ring-Con Ludwig Von Koopa plushie
Ring Fit Adventure's unboxed contents.
Joy-Cons and Ludwig not included.

So what's with the article title? New KoopaTV feature?

I'm going to document my progress with Ring Fit Adventure—and therefore my overall fitness training—on KoopaTV on a weekly basis. We might even call it Fitness Fridays.

Though there'll probably be circumstances where I HAVE to publish something else on that Friday.

You all in the audience can keep me accountable. In fact, maybe you all can get inspired and contribute stuff of your own. We can take your guest submissions, after all. Hopefully, Ring Fit Adventure is as intrinsically pleasing to play as I think it conceptually is, as opposed to something like Wii Fit.

I'll tell you right now that I'd love to lose ten pounds. What's my starting point? Stay tuned for the first edition of the fitness log to find out. (Just don't expect me to start fitness until after Sunday—for the very immediate future, I need to train in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.)

Ludwig theoretically is going to be doing this series until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics happen, or until he meets his fitness goals. Alternatively, it's possible that his obsession with portraying Ring Fit Adventure in a positive light is totally misplaced and he will absolutely hate the game and never want to play it again. It's also possible that writing these fitness logs will be really repetitive both to write and to read, so Ludwig will be trying to keep things as fresh as he can. Your feedback will be important! Wendy might also do this, maybe.

Here's the first fitness log for week 1!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Pokémon's Personality-Morphing Mints

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This has got to be abuse, right?

There are two ways to view this trailer of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield news:

  1. Pokémon are friends and great the way they are, independent of their battling abilities
  2. Pokémon are tools for battlers to attain personal glory

If you view the world the first way, this is abhorrent. If you view the world the second way, you'll be very pleased with just how easy and accessible GAME FREAK is making it to get a competitively-viable team in-game, as opposed to having to breed (and abort—if they're merely “released” how come you don't see them in the wild after?) a lot of Pokémon to get the perfect nature:

Consolation to the first way of thinking: According to the official site, the Nature doesn't change. Just the stats behind it. So when the Pikachu in the trailer smelled the Modest Mint, they still keep their Sassy Nature—but instead of Sassy's Special Defence ↑ Speed ↓ trait, Pikachu has Modest's Special Attack ↑ Attack ↓. (Sassy is competitively a horrible Nature for Pikachu, but it's one of the best personalities you can be blessed with.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Ludwig Reacts to Sakurai's Terry Bogard Stream

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Late and alone.

I was never going to be able to watch Masahiro Sakurai's livestream of Terry Bogard facing the fury in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate live at 8 AM Eastern time today. Terrible timing. I got things to do then.

So I have to watch the video-on-demand, and once I get past that, I could unlock access to the rest of the Internet, which surely is discussing nothing but this livestream.

So I'm hyped to watch and react to every moment of this, not because I care about or even know who Terry Bogard is, but I have a lot of Discord notifications to check. Let's go...

Watch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Mr. Sakurai Presents “Terry Bogard” from Nintendo on

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Team Koopa at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm looking to end this war.

Surely you have heard this by now, right? Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has released today on Nintendo Switch in partnership with SEGA.

As you can tell by the title, the actual Olympics occur in 2020 (starting at the end of July) but right now it's 2019. What's happening now is our formal declaration and training period.

You should remember the same thing happened with the 2016 Olympic games at Rio de Janeiro. Team Koopa had an announcement and a training period. Except the actual training was a massive disaster and we had to evacuate Rio before the actual Olympics began. Rio, for its part, was (and probably still is) an unlivable hellhole.

Tokyo is different!

And we have tremendous reason for being there. The 2016 Closing Ceremonies that promoted the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was Cappy's formal introduction to the world. Team Koopa knew it was coming, which was why we were involving ourselves in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics to begin with.

KoopaTV has basically wiped out Cappy's companion, the Nintendo Labo, as a dangerous threat. Now we're going to finish off Cappy itself, where Cappy started. Mario himself will be there too.

Here's who is coming to Tokyo for Team Koopa: 

Monday, November 4, 2019

September 30, 2019 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Eat glowingly positive sales numbers!

Well, I looked through Nintendo's financial statements for the quarter ending September 30, 2019. That's six months into their fiscal year, though the whole concept of fiscal years isn't terribly exciting for normal people. 

In terms of stand-out sales figures, 19.01 million people bought Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch (versus 8.44 million on the Wii U), and there are 15.71 million owners of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Splatoon 2 is only at 9.28 million, a mere 260,000 units in 3 months. That's what happens with online-based games when all the new content is done. There's 41.67 million Nintendo Switch systems sold.

September 30 2019 Nintendo Switch software game sales chart Link's Awakening Fire Emblem Three Houses Super Mario Maker 2 Bros. U Deluxe
The biggest thing here is that 1-2-Switch is finally off the top ten best-selling Nintendo Switch games.
(New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is at spot 8.)

Ring Fit Adventure, having released in October, doesn't appear in these results. We'll have to wait three months for that. But Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said Ring Fit Adventure is a super important title for Nintendo this year, and spent more time talking about it than, say, Pokémon.

Interesting bit about the Nintendo Switch Lite: Nintendo considers it a huge success, but after its first week being launched, the regular Nintendo Switch was outselling it week-by-week. For whatever reason, 43% of Nintendo Switch Lite purchasers already own a Nintendo Switch. Not sure how so many people could be fooled into something financially stupid, but hopefully it's for members of the family and not for themselves.

Lastly of interest, the 3DS segment sold less stuff than the mobile one. That's not because mobile is doing great—growth was almost flat year-over-year, but the 3DS just collapsed despite Nintendo sacrificing AlphaDream for it.

At least the Switch is doing fantastic.

Ludwig's favourite game on that chart is still Kirby Star Allies, which he gave a full review of as a birthday present to himself. He wishes it would suddenly sell enough to warrant Nintendo disclosing updated numbers, but that probably will never happen.

The article covering the quarter ending June 30, 2019 is over here.
By comparison, the article covering the quarter ending September 30, 2018 discussed mostly Kirby Star Allies.
Don't like Ludwig's questions? How about these ones from investors?

Friday, November 1, 2019

KoopaTV's October 2019 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The October newsletter isn't one to fear!

Welcome to the latest edition of KoopaTV's newsletter! October 2019 sure feels like it went by quickly, yet it feels like I haven't written a newsletter in a while. (But I did, and you'll see it in the related articles at the bottom below the footer.)

October 2019 continued KoopaTV's string of solid months, though it was the first month in what's felt like a very long time without an Ace Attorney article during the month or an Enlightenment Movement article. Doesn't mean October was uninspired or not focused on developing KoopaTV canon. In fact, it focused plenty on that. Here's some EVIDENCE:

KoopaTV's Top Five Experiences of October 2019

Actually, there's a lot of articles that I thought were even written in October, so maybe it was longer than I thought. That actually makes limiting this to a top five fairly challenging and I had to spend a lot of time coming up with this chronologically-ordered list. Read these articles if you haven't already... and read everything from this month (and on KoopaTV in general) after that. Well, finish the rest of this newsletter first, because there's some stuff you'll be happy to see announced:
  1. A Brave New World in Subnautica  — Kamek writes KoopaTV's second review of 2019, and it's about the indie open world experience Subnautica, which it turns out he's quite fond of.
  2. October 15 2019 Democrat Presidential Primary Debate 4 ANALYSIS! — I usually (purposefully) avoid the politics-focused articles in the newsletters, but I think I did a pretty good job with this one in that it's issues-focused and not candidate-focused. You'll learn a lot about your choices here.
  3. I'm Extremely Impressed With The Dragon Quest XI S DemoDragon Quest XI S is Ludwig's first Dragon Quest game, though for this article, his impressions are just based on the demo. ...Though he did buy the game after writing it! Features cows.
  4. Yes In My Backyard: Dilapidated Houses in the City Trial — Ludwig tackles the issue of affordable housing while also going into a failed government programme instituted by King Dedede.
  5. Luigi's Mansion 3 and Halloween 2019 — A wide-ranging article continuing this site's distaste for Halloween, plumbers, and the FAKE NEWS media, but also the taste for delicious candy.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Luigi's Mansion 3 and Halloween 2019

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The best candy from the best source of entertainment.

After ignoring fellow Nintendo Switch titles Astral Chain and DAEMON X MACHINA, perhaps I should at least give Luigi's Mansion 3 a release day article. Not that I care about it—and I don't understand why anyone who wasn't a Day 1 GameCube owner would—but Luigi is a very relevant topic for KoopaTV, so here we are. Luigi's Mansion 3 features Luigi, his ghost-dog Polterpup, Mario, Princess Peach, and some dumb escort Toads going to a haunted hotel. Mario and Peach (and the Toads but no one cares about them) disappear and Luigi has to rescue them and not get pwned by King Boo.

There must be a lot of Day 1 Luigi's Mansion fans from 2001 on GameFAQs, because Luigi's Mansion 3 is the most-anticipated game of October 2019 over here:

GameFAQs October 2019 release looking forward to Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi's Mansion 3 with 36.36% of the vote.
Personally, I voted for Ring Fit Adventure, though that got the least number of votes.
Clearly, that's not reflected in Ring Fit Adventure being out-of-stock from many retailers. (I'd know. I tried and failed to get it.)

To my surprise (but still not to my interest), Luigi's Mansion 3 is getting a lot of well-rated reviews from most outlets, with the exception of the FAKE NEWS Washington Post. This time, they're fake news because the top of their review page portrays Luigi's Mansion 3 as looking like this:

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

PlayStation Vueless

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Pronounced view.

Yesterday, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that they will be shutting down their PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020.

Since I've never actually written about what PlayStation Vue is, here's an explanation in Sony's own words, complete with trademark symbols:

“PlayStation™Vue streams live TV, movies, news and sports across the USA without a cable or satellite subscription. PlayStation™Vue is available across a variety of PS Vue live streaming devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV®, Roku® Players and TVs, Android TV, web browsers, mobile devices, PlayStation®4 consoles, and PlayStation®3 consoles.” 

The key bit there is that it's one of those services that appeal to cord-cutters, and it also works for people who don't have a PlayStation. ...Unfortunately, no one really figured that out based on the name, and so Sony decided to focus on their “core gaming business.”

As someone who is currently a cable subscriber but grew up without cable (so I don't understand the whole generation's fascination with SpongeBob SquarePants), I pretty much just watch Fox News Channel and Fox Business with the cable subscription. That's not really a good use of money, so I've looked into the whole chord-cutting movement. There's articles out there about watching Fox News without cable and they suggest these services. One of them is PlayStation Vue. But there are just so many options, and between picking one that is with the PlayStation brand name and one that is without the PlayStation brand name, I'd rather go without it as someone who wants nothing to do with the PlayStation.

Plus, the price kept increasing.

After this announcement was made, one can no longer sign up for a new subscription or free trial with PlayStation Vue.

My problem with these is that $50 a month is stupid for a couple of channels I really want. That's literally the same problem that people have with subscribing to cable to begin with. In the case of PlayStation Vue, Sony never appeared to articulate what makes it stand out from the many competitors out there. ...Doesn't seem to be a big loss to the world. I don't really know why Sony was in this business to begin with, and it seems like they didn't either.

With the recent disclosure that the PlayStation 4 has joined the elusive >100 million unit gaming console club, Sony has better things to focus on. So does KoopaTV, but oh well. If you can explain to Ludwig why these cord-cutting services are better than keeping the cord to begin with, do try to.

Full disclosure: Ludwig just wanted a quick companion piece to when Sony shut down PlayStation Home some years ago.
Compare and contrast this to the Nintendo TVii.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Call of Duty and Hillary Clinton: Russophobia Abounds?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think it's a cause→effect relationship here. And it's intellectually lazy and boring.

I always thought Call of Duty games released on Tuesdays in November, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (not to be confused with 2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered from 2016) released last Friday. It is a new game with, according to developer Infinity Ward's hype, an ambitious story.

You may remember that in 2013 for Call of Duty Ghosts and in 2014 for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, KoopaTV had gimmick articles reacting to all of the cutscenes in those games. They didn't make for an engaging or memorable story, though that 2014 article did result in the “Hold X to Pay Respects” meme becoming popular throughout the Internet among console gamers. ...It's just PC gamers held F and outnumbered everyone.

But, yeah, a meme was all anyone got out of Call of Duty story before. How'd Infinity Ward do this time?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Metacritic user reviews PlayStation 4 PS4 Russia Russians
Well... they pissed off a lot of Russian bots.
But, hey, at least it's the #1 most discussed PS4 Game of 2019!
A swarm of Russians (be they real or robotic), many of whom are like this fellow and have never reviewed anything else on Metacritic in their history, have gone to 0-bomb Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for alleged Russophobia.

A bit of background is in order.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Koopa Kingdom Celebrates Game Over of ISIS Founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Death to the enemies of Koopa Kingdom!

Amazing and material news for Koopa Kingdom came out of Planet Earth over the weekend: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader and arguably founder of the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS—sometimes known as Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant for ISIL; Daesh; or just Islamic State [IS—not to be confused with Nintendo developer Intelligent Systems]) was KILLED. He's dead! No more! GAME OVER.

President Donald John Trump of the United States of America confirmed this via news conference. He talks for about 9 minutes and the rest is question & answer with the press:

Obliterating ISIS has been a major Koopa Kingdom priority for years, and especially for KoopaTV. That's because ISIS, under the leadership of al-Baghdadi, was an expert via social media in manipulating people outside of the Middle East to come join their jihad and fight for their caliphate of world domination under an extremely oppressive Islamic ideology. That's not just a theory for us at KoopaTV. It happened to our very own Noxial, who quit KoopaTV as our social media person after mere weeks on the job to go join ISIS. She took one of our then-mascots, Devin the TV Troopa, with her, and Devin died in an ISIS-forced suicidal Blue Shell.

So, yes. ISIS members are very bad people and Koopa killers, and given the opportunity, they'd kill more Koopas. Less importantly, under al-Baghdadi's leadership, they killed many thousands of Middle Eastern people, beheaded many Westerners and Japanese, displaced many hundreds of thousands of people, and conquered a lot of territory.

The leader is dead, but these are radical Islamic terrorists. They won't be gone after this.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Mario Kart Tour and Koopalings as Gacha Incentive

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I hate this BECAUSE I love myself.

I would like to open this article with a snarky paragraph about how Mario Kart Tour is a desperate failure, but that wouldn't be accurate with KoopaTV's Truth mantra. In fact, Mario Kart Tour is Nintendo's most successful mobile game launch—by far. There's over 90 million downloads of it. Probably over 100 million by now.

I wish Mario Kart Tour was treated like Fallout 76 by the general population, but I guess not.

To capitalise on this success, Nintendo is doing some kind of Halloween-themed thing that finally brings Luigi (who apparently lost his keys... just like I did) and Waluigi (and Baby Luigi, and King Boo, and King Boo Luigi's Mansion-style, and Rosalina in a Halloween outfit) to Mario Kart Tour.

Meh, who cares.

Well, remember in my one-and-only Mario Kart Tour article a month ago I wrote this bit to describe myself and my as-of-then non-appearance?
“Neither am I [in the game], though I was in the game's beta version. Guess I'll be a future release to try to keep people playing.

Personally, I don't want to be used as a gacha incentive.”  

Well, I'm going to be in as a gacha incentive. I get several seconds to myself in this new trailer:

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Next Up: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open November 2019!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - YOU can register! ...In October! (Or up until the tournament starts.)

Today, Nintendo and Battlefy announced the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open November 2019, the next in their Online Open series—this will be the seventh. You may remember the previous one being for September 2019—they took a break for October 2019.  But you can sign up for the November tournament right now. It's free. If you're one of four winners, you get a ticket to the Genesis 7 tournament in January. More on that in the article.

Depending on where you are in North America, the tournament is either on Saturday, November 9 (starting 10 AM Pacific); or Sunday, November 10 (starting 11 AM Eastern). That's already a big change from how they've been running these tournaments lately, which have been all on the same day across the continent. I believe this is because they're expecting much more participation than last time, and they want to spread their dispute resolution staff less thin.

This article is going to go over the changes from before, because they're largely favourable for the player experience and deserve to be recognised. I'm also going to discuss potential implications for... Super Smash Bros. Ultimate downloadable content!

But first, here's the new logo, which is now tinted blue instead of red: 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open November 2019 logo Battlefy Nintendo blue
I like this more.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Who is the First Sucker for Fallout 1st?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Explain to me why you're not a moron if it's you.

Upon the disastrous release of Fallout 76, KoopaTV was charitable to Bethesda and didn't write a scathing article. The game was bug-filled, absent of many features, and filled with highly questionable game design decisions. But Bethesda wanted to commit to the games-as-a-service model and has released many patches and updates for Fallout 76 that have repaired some of those glitches. Bethesda even released a battle royale mode and promised human NPCs and full dialogue trees back in their horrific E3 2019 conference (those won't be around until 2020, however, as The Wastelanders update... which as far as we know, is free).

The game has been released for almost a year now, and got a permanent price cut within weeks of release. I'll take the word of Bethesda's die-hard fans that Fallout 76 is worth playing now. Maybe even enjoyable. You can get it for $20 (a time-limited 50% off from $40—initially was $60) at retailers. 

Bethesda E3 2019 BE3 bloody face paint fan testimonial
I don't want to argue about it with this guy. He seems terrifying, dangerous, and representative of a typical Bethesda fan.

I'll argue with Bethesda themselves. You see, they need to make up for their immediate permanent price cuts and salvage Fallout 76. Why do they need to? ...They're unwilling to cut their losses and damaged reputation. So here is Bethesda introducing Fallout 1st, available now, which is a $13-a-month auto-renew-by-default subscription (or $100 for a year) to Fallout 76 benefits! (Note, you still need to buy the game separately, and an online subscription on your console if playing on PlayStation or Xbox.)

Fallout 1st features Private Worlds for you and up to seven friends—you can play without randoms (something other games tend to offer for free at launch); unlimited item storage, whatever a survival tent is, $16.50 worth of micro-transaction money (with discounts on micro-transactions—but note they're still there), an in-game outfit, and unique icons and emotes. You don't need the subscription to play the game.

I will argue that everyone can and should not only ignore this subscription, but Fallout 76 entirely. Let's remind ourselves what Bethesda's Pete Hines said a year ago about post-launch content pricing:
“All the content we ever put out for Fallout 76--all the DLC, all the post-launch stuff--is going to be free. That's important. And to say, the Atomic shop is cosmetic stuff. To make sure folks understand--look there's a line. There are people who have crossed it, but we're going to stay on the right side of it in terms of the things you can spend money on and how this stuff works and what you're getting for your $60, [t]hat you know, when they put out new content or features or whatever, I'm getting that stuff for free. That feels right.”
(The Atomic shop, which is the micro-transaction place, later offers more than just “cosmetic stuff.” To make sure folks understand, everything he said then is just untrue now.)

Right now KoopaTV is offering you the opportunity, between September 1 and October 31, to get a FREE subscription to Nintendo Switch Online by getting into KoopaTV's Family Group for one year. Just win the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program! You won't be able to play Fallout 76 with that, though. And it won't auto-renew so you'll need to win again next year. But, hey, you gotta save money somehow.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Yes In My Backyard: Dilapidated Houses in the City Trial

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Regretting your policies around affordable housing, eh King Dedede?

Time to tackle an issue that's vexed me for over a decade now: On what basis are those crap-mounds in Kirby Air Ride's City Trial mode supposed to be houses? Yes, they're referred to as “dilapidated houses” (meaning the houses have all fallen into disrepair), but how were these supposed to be houses to begin with?

Kirby Air Ride City Trial dilapidated houses mud metal bricks
Kirby observing these crappy houses (and standing on one) about two Kirby in height.
There's no doors, though apparently the circles are windows.
One wonders how these were so haphazardly constructed, with all of the different materials seemingly stitched together.
What are these made of and how would anyone live in them?

These houses were constructed, a few dozen of them, right outside of the main part of the City. The common objection existing residents have to building low-income/affordable housing units is that, while the folks in the municipality mean well, they just don't want them in their backyard (“not in my backyard”, or NIMBY). The people already living in the city or owning property there are commonly worried that development of these buildings will lower the value of the existing property, and real-estate is a large part of people's wealth. (Hence why a wealth tax to be paid on a cash basis is stupid.) They're also concerned that affordable housing will bring in a lot of riff-raff into the area. Crime and stuff. Sort of the same reason that building gambling establishments like casinos and horse-tracks in municipalities get objected to. 

Governments put together all kinds of rules and regulations to mess up the housing market and create an artificial scarcity in housing, thus increasing the value of the existing homes and contributing to a supply-demand in-balance. That results in either homelessness or poor people trying to live elsewhere that's more accommodating to building houses. Regulations may include superfluous environmental impact studies, zoning laws, impossible building codes (grandfathering in existing places), arbitrary permitting processes, and more. This obviously raises the cost of development far past the actual construction, so it doesn't get built.

As for the City, King Dedede apparently waived the concerns of the two paragraphs above and ignored the NIMBY people. ...But I guess the houses are so awful and then not maintained that no one is living in them. Then they're just a blight on the City, as the NIMBY-ers said would happen. Thus, they've tasked Kirby with their destruction.

Monday, October 21, 2019

I'm Extremely Impressed With The Dragon Quest XI S Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Free, high-quality entertainment lasting as long as many whole games.

I admit, with all of the fantastic gaming experiences on the Nintendo Switch lately—with more to come—I can't and don't play everything I write about. That includes some of the not-so fantastic experiences.

That means when I come across something amazing—even belatedly so—I should write about that. Of course, the game I have in mind isn't a secret—and not just because you're fully capable of reading the article title, but also because it's fairly-well publicised.

During October, I played the 10–11 hour Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition demo, which is a ridiculously long title. We've had very advance notice of Dragon Quest XI coming to the Switch, all the way back in 2015 when it was called the Nintendo NX. And in August 2019, Square Enix released an eShop demo, which transfers your save file to the full version, released September 2019.

One of the biggest features the game has to offer is the ability to play the game in 3D, HD graphics... or 2D, 16-bit style. Unfortunately, the demo forces you to play it in 3D, despite trolling you with the 2D option: 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Start Your Marathon: Ring Fit Adventure Released!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's just something so ensnaring about this ring...

I still dispute the characterisation that this is a 180-degree turnaround, but back in the beginning of September last month when Nintendo had that really weird teaser trailer, I had no idea that I'd devote so much coverage to whatever it turned out to be, especially in such a short period of time. But when Nintendo properly revealed the game as Ring Fit Adventure, I instantly became stoked about the concept. Gimmicky exercise controller + proper RPG experience? This is a game that can be both intrinsically fun and extrinsically beneficial! It just needed to get that intrinsic part down, which, based on Ring Fit Adventure's presence of traditional Japanese roleplaying game tropes like towns and skills and a story, looks like they're getting right. Plus, a villain in Dragaux we can all support.

Now, unlike some other very-recently released games on the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo isn't ignoring the game on arrival. Here's the launch trailer.

That second half of the trailer is awesome. I'm just loving the personality and cool music that Dragaux exudes, and I'm pleased that I made a great choice in dedicating a whole article to the bodybuilding dragon NAMED DRAGAUX. Just look at this:

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Did You Know Little Town Hero Released? Here's Some Gigantamax Pokémon Instead

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This wasn't even a joke.

Remember Little Town Hero by GAME FREAK? I don't think Nintendo did. There's no word from them about it. It's out, with no release trailer love or anything, and the game has sub-standard scores from reviewers who find it too confusing and mysterious and don't understand and don't want to understand the battle system. I don't either, but I also haven't played or really gone much into the game since my last article about Little Town Hero. I haven't given it a try. Maybe we'll get a demo.

With any luck, the battle system is complicated but also immensely satisfying, much like GAME FREAK's masterpiece, Pocket Card Jockey. Little Town Hero is a short pseudo-RPG that is meant to be replayed over and over, much like how Pocket Card Jockey is supposed to be replayed over and over.

You know what we're also seeing over and over? GAME FREAK glorifying Charizard. Take a look at this new Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield trailer featuring Gigantamaxing, again:

You don't see it in the thumbnail, but one of the five Gigantamax-compatible Pokémon in that trailer is Charizard, obtainable through rare Max Raid battles. The others are Pikachu (obtainable if you own Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu!), Eevee (obtainable if you own Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee!, Meowth (obtainable if you own the game early enough and use Mystery Gift), and Butterfree (also obtainable through Max Raid Battles).

Here's what I wrote back in July when they announced Gigantamaxing:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October 15 2019 Democrat Presidential Primary Debate 4 ANALYSIS!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'd like to ask Senator Warren what her experience and background is to serve as commander-in-chief.

Time for everyone's least favourite time of the month—the recap of last night's Democratic presidential primary debate! This time, we have two FAKE NEWS giants, CNN and the New York Times, with a whopping TWELVE presidential candidates! From left-to-right on the podiums, we have...
  1. Tulsi Gabbard
  2. Tom Steyer
  3. Cory Booker
  4. Kamala Harris
  5. Bernie Sanders
  6. Joe Biden
  7. Elizabeth Warren
  8. Pete Buttigieg
  9. Andrew Yang
  10. Beto O'Rourke
  11. Amy Klobuchar
  12. Julián Castro 

If that massive list of names scares you and you don't know who these people are, KoopaTV has been keeping track of them at our 2020 Presidential Debate Coverage Index, which also features links to all of the debate coverage for this season.

I'm definitely not going to go name-by-name in this article and tell you how everyone did with great detail. The debate lasted three hours and most of it isn't interesting to talk about since a lot of that time was retreading. I'll give you my top three topics and then some AWARDS. But first, NPR's talk-time count:

Replace the graphic's title of “Who Dominated This Debate?” with “Who Does The Mainstream Media Want To Win?”
(And for the first time EVER, Andrew Yang isn't dead last in talking time!)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Time For Fun With Typhoons: Nintendo Live 2019!?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, thanks for taking my article to heart, sort of? Might've missed the point, though.

A year ago, there was supposed to be a Nintendo Direct on September 6, 2018. It got delayed for one week due to a natural disaster, the 2018 Hokkaido earthquake, which ended up killing four-dozen or so people.

In a take that's pretty characteristic of me, I criticised Nintendo for the delay of the Direct due to the disaster, which didn't personally impact Nintendo folks and wouldn't stop the production of the Direct since it's pre-recorded. Meanwhile, they rescheduled it during a natural disaster that was affecting the Americas, being Hurricane Florence.

This year, you may remember from the article about the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open August 2019 that the grand prize was ultimately being part of the North America team for the mid-October Nintendo Live 2019 international tournament taking place in Kyoto, Japan. Right at Nintendo's doorstep. That ultimately ended up with the formation of the North American team after hard-fought Super Smash Bros. Ultimate matches, and they were all set to participate— Epic_Gabriel, YoseFu, Wrath, and UnderDoc substituting for substitute Heeew.

Then came Typhoon No. 19, or Typhoon Hagibis. Devastating natural disaster ripping through Japan that is still going on as of writing. It's already killed six-dozen or so people and that's going up, so it's more fatal than last year's earthquake. Lots of cancelled flights and emergency declarations.

That includes the whole North America team. They weren't able to make it to Japan and attend Nintendo Live. ...Yes, that means the tournament still occurred over the past few days, during the typhoon. Oddly enough, they assembled an invitational “Dream Team” of Nairo, Mr. R, and Mkleo, and two of those come from North America and somehow were able to show up to Japan. ...How's that work? Well, I don't have an answer to that. I also don't know how Team Europe managed to fly to Japan.

The Dream Team managed to defeat Japan's chosen ones (Europe failed, obviously, and the American team was replaced by question marks), and were rewarded with a photo opportunity with Super Smash Bros. series producer, Masahiro Sakurai. I did write in my August Online Open article, “Super Smash Bros. series producer Masahiro Sakurai is also known to attend that tournament in the past, so players may meet him.” I was criticised for getting people's hopes up, but... Sakurai was there. He watched the whole thing. You can watch it too, here, if you really want.

Nintendo Live 2019 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nairo Dream Team Brinstar Palutena vs Japan
Well I hope no one expected a super-substantial prize in a tournament with...
Squad Strike, Final Smash Meter, Smash Balls, Assist Trophy, Stage Morph, and Brinstar.
And this was the final stock of the entire tournament. Nairo won by breaking open that Smash Ball.
(He later said in his victory interview that he loves items, and he made no mention of Hong Kong.)

But America's hopes did get up for nothing... but not because of me. It's because of that typhoon, and Nintendo apparently learning from their mistake a year ago to not postpone or cancel pre-scheduled events due to natural disasters.

I don't think that's the lesson Nintendo was supposed to learn, though. It was not to discriminate between the lives of Americans vs. Japanese people. Not airing a pre-made Nintendo Direct during a Japanese disaster but airing it during an American disaster that causes massive power outages and destruction instead is discrimination.

Having a live tournament occur in Japan during a typhoon ravaging Japan is just stupid and a safety risk. The act of airing a Nintendo Direct isn't putting anyone in physical danger. The act of hosting a tournament is putting people in physical danger.

Sort of a substantial difference and that's the line I'm drawing.

Do you think Ludwig has a point here, or is he trying to have it both ways? By the way, a typhoon is just a Japanese hurricane. He should note that the hurricane didn't really go after Kyoto but instead it ravaged Tokyo—though the tournament organisers didn't know that was going to happen and they were constantly sharing that they were keeping an eye out on the typhoon until the last moment up until the event actually began. Do you feel bad for the winners of the North American Online Open that their prize was essentially negated?