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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Impressions of the Yoku's Island Express Demo; 50% Off

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The 50% off is news. The demo is not, but I finally played it.

I hope you remember Yoku's Island Express. It's the fairly well-received 2D pinball-platformer adventure game developed by Villa Gorilla and published by Team 17 that released last year in May. It stars the post-beetle (a beetle that delivers packages) Yoku, who won KoopaTV's Best New Character of 2018 award against staunch competition. He's super-cute.

His game is also 50% off until July 24. That was the same scenario at the end of March 2019, which I called out because the sale advertised indie games up to 30% off, yet here was Yoku's Island Express at only $10 instead of $20. But at the time, I let it pass by and I took no action.

But unlike the United States Postal Service and the Mokumana Island postal express, and like the Paratroopas that run our kingdom's mail service, I won't be lazy this time. I've learned (almost a year later) that Yoku's Island Express has a demo, and so I played through it. Behold my thoughts... and by the end, read if I've bought the game. (You may or may not care about the same things I do, so you may or may not also buy the game based on what I write and show.)


Yoku's Island Express Posterodactyl don't feel like sticking around Nintendo Switch demo
The former island express postmaster, Posterodactyl, is a lazy loser who flies away and doesn't want to stick around for a big job.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The So-Called Nintendo Switch Pro (New Battery)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Wait, doesn't this invalidate the Switch Lite?

There are way too many gaming media outlets out there. Besides making it hard for the really good ones to stand out (like KoopaTV), that also has the side-effect that there is approximately a 1:1 (or maybe even a 2:1) relationship between gaming outlets and pages one can stalk for information. Some outlets stalk ESRB or other ratings board filings. Other outlets spend their days refreshing various patent and trademark office applications around the world. (See the bottom of the reaction log for that—it's the closest thing on KoopaTV to referencing that phenomenon because I've done a good job not doing that.)

Personally, I spend my days checking out when Ace Attorney games are on sale. (On Nintendo systems, that stops tomorrow.) 

Today's article, however, is brought to you by the people who apparently stalk the Nintendo Switch Technical Specs nintendo.com page. There's no dramatic change to the page... Until you notice this bit describing the Nintendo Switch's battery life:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Remind Me To Bring A Plushie To My Next Dentist Appointment

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I need something to hold tight.

Sometimes when I write for KoopaTV, I discuss some of my... vulnerabilities. One of those vulnerabilities is my fear of dentists. I've written that dentists are terrifying and have torture tools. It's like being on the receiving end of my forward-smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate... for an hour. They have drills. Painful stuff. Plus, there's the water gun, the really bright light right in your eye, and the bizarrely-reclined chair.

What am I supposed to do with my limbs during this? I'm not chained down or anything. But giving into my instincts and slashing the face off my oppressor—that I (through my insurance) am paying—doesn't make sense. (Though since I'm paying them, maybe they shouldn't be so scary to their client.)

What if I get to hold something with my claws? Tightly? At present, I just interlock my right and left claws and hold on for dear life, sometimes to my own scales. What if I brought a plushie with me instead?

Speaking of plushies, I just got these in the mail from the official Nintendo online store, delivered by UPS. I think UPS has redeemed themselves by now, by the way, from the last time I ordered merchandise from there.


Toon Zelda Bowser Koopa official plush plushies
Left: Toon Princess Zelda plushie, based on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
(Not in picture: My Toon Link plushie from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which I've had for years.)
Right: Lord Bowser plushie.

Of those two plushies, I'd bring Princess Zelda. She's quite cuddly and could calm me down considerably during the dental cleaning and cavity search. (Currently cavity-free, by the way.)

Lord Bowser, although an amazing man and it being long past time that I owned non-amiibo merchandise of him (it was a huge gap made obvious in my Team Tortoise article), is difficult to actually hug. He's tough and not snuggly, just like the real King Koopa has been with me ever since Bowser Jr. was born.

...



Ludwig had a dental appointment the day of this article being written, so his next one is Thursday, January 23, 2020. Please remind him before that to bring a plushie, though he may bring one not pictured here because of the risk of bodily and oral fluids from the dental procedures possibly getting on the accompanying plush. Best the plush not be part of any royal family out there, in that case. If you have any better ways of coping with dental appointments, please do share them in the comments section.


This article appears to suggest that Ludwig would like the dentist more if he WAS chained to the chair...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Prime Day 2019 (and Associated Sales at Competing Sites)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Big shrug. But there's a positive at the end.

You may remember that last year, Amazon was just littered in dog pictures because the site kept crashing during Prime Day 2018, and for whatever reason they associated mutts with error messages. I suppose both of those are things I like to avoid.

Anyway, once again, Amazon is hosting Prime Day, now Prime Day 2019, I guess out of obligation to do this annually. Does anyone really care about it anymore? Well, several competing retailers have their own deals right now, as if it's a summer Black Friday. Quite frankly, they're all kind of bleh (at least for gaming), with the usual bulk of the deals going to headsets and accessories. ...Well, I am in the market for a new headset, I guess... I still don't think I'm going to buy anything.

I got a big chuckle out of Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee! being 50% off, however. (Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! is a mere 25% off.) 

Amazon Prime Day 2019 Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu Eevee 50% off deal sale
I wouldn't recommend either game, by the way.
But just funny that they're treated differently.
 
Moving out of Amazon and to GameStop, here's something I'd recommend even less:

Friday, July 12, 2019

Final Decision in the Chaos vs. Order Final Splatocalypse

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Possibly affecting the world in Splatoon 3?

You may remember the Splatoon 2 World Championship 2019 that Nintendo hosted as one of their pre-E3 2019 tournament events.

You may then remember by the end of that tournament, Nintendo announced the final Splatfest that takes place next week starting Thursday July 18 (coupled with the last content updates), referred to as the Splatocalypse. Scary name... with a familiar theme to long-time KoopaTV readers. Check out the question:


Splatoon 2 Splatfest Splatocalypse question world of chaos or order to live in Pearl Marina
“What kind of world do you wanna live in?
A world of chaos? Or a world of order?”

I already wrote about this exact topic over five years ago in an article entitled, /v/ Vs. NeoGAF: Chaos Vs. Order. It is just as relevant today, but just replace NeoGAF with ResetEra for a contemporary point of view. (Given NeoGAF's demise from relevance.) If you want to fully understand my opinion on chaos vs. order, and why I'm on Team Chaos, read that article. Truly, my thoughts haven't budged a bit. If I were to write that article today, I'd use the exact same Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn comparison that I did back then.

If you still doubt the validity of that article to this Splatfest, check out this Splatoon 2 accessory:

Thursday, July 11, 2019

First Look (and Thoughts on) Nintendo Switch Lite

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Letting past Lite versions down. (It also can't switch.)

Once upon a time in mid-2006, Nintendo released and announced the Nintendo DS Lite, a hardware revision to the 2004-released Nintendo DS, around the international release of Brain Age. According to Nintendo,
The Nintendo DS Lite offers a smaller, sleeker package with a brighter screen, larger stylus, and a longer-lasting rechargeable battery than the original Nintendo DS. The unique game play features and wireless connectivity remain intact.”

Put another way, the DS Lite was a great improvement over the original, offering basically everything in the DS but better.

Skip 13 years later. Nintendo has just announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, releasing this September around the release of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Here's the first look trailer, with my thoughts to follow:

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Perilous Pill Popping: A KoopaTV-Exclusive Investigation Into Dr. Mario

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We went deep into his practice and found startling things.

One of the most sympathetic lines of reasoning we Koopas have used since the beginning of our multi-decade quest to convince the universe of the diabolical and evil nature of Mario is to ask people to think through his medical profession. To all but his most unreasonable supporters, Dr. Mario makes no sense. Exactly how does a lazy dimwit plumber suddenly invent the Megavitamin and become a doctor overnight and start treating people without a medical education or training? Some have tried to rationalise Dr. Mario by claiming he's actually a different person entirely from Mario. That's... entirely false.

What's more, this whole narrative that Dr. Mario is curing diseases and is a hero for doing so by inventing the Megavitamins to subdue flu-causing Viruses is... also false. It's a fiction. In fact, the truth is significantly more sinister, and proves that Mario, no matter what profession he's pretending to be, is a villain of destructive ends.

Today (well, apparently it was actually yesterday despite official announcements indicating otherwise) Dr. Mario World released to the world of mobile devices on the Apple Store and Google Play. Many eyes are on it, including Koopa Kingdom's. In anticipation, King Bowser instructed the two Koopalings assigned to working on KoopaTV—myself and Wendy O. Koopa—to infiltrate Dr.  Mario's medical practice and find out what we could.

And so we did, as publicly shown by Wendy and Ludwig being the only Koopalings who appear as doctors in Dr. Mario World:

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Bowser vs. Mario Archery, Karate, Skateboarding in Tokyo 2020

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - At least... it could happen.

Let's recall that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, or “Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games” as it may be called by someone who knows how English word-order works (it's unclear if Nintendo or SEGA are aware), is coming out in November 2019. (According to Nintendo's official website, the official title is the version where they don't know grammar.)

Courtesy of GameSpot, there's nearly five minutes of gameplay footage, and a lot of it shows off Lord Bowser versus that awful Mario. I'd like to share it to my readers, since you guys depend on KoopaTV for Olympics coverage.


Once you get past the part with Sonic and Dr. Eggman, you get to Lord Bowser displaying superior archery skills. Quite frankly, the controls for that remind me of the Wii all over again, and there's no way I'm getting the game if I had to use the Joy-Cons like that. (Well, I'm pretty sure there's no way I'm getting the game anyway, but...)

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 does have local multiplayer (up to 4 players) and online multiplayer (up to 8 players), so you and your whole Family Group can play these awful minigames together around the world. Not just in Tokyo... and not just in 2020. (Or 2019 when it releases.)

Maybe that's too harsh. Let me know if you can identify anything interesting from a purchase perspective in that GameSpot clip. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing inspiring about the sporting events’ gameplay, sound design (or music), and especially not the graphics.


Bowser character model Mario & Sonic Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 skateboarding eyes wide open
There's something... off about this character model.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Bowser archery supershot karate skateboarding tricks
Still, let's appreciate Lord Bowser displaying his superior talents in archery, karate, and skateboarding.
He's expanded his repertoire far past boxing and golfing.



While Lord Bowser is beating up plumbers in karate, his children are doing a deep investigation into the plumber's medical practice. Stick around for tomorrow for the report.


For an article of how Koopas of all kinds dominate sports, read this!
Here's the plumber's medical practice investigation.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Drednaw Likely Won't Evolve, But Will Be GIGANTAMAX!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - (Let's hope the first four words of this headline won't be fake news.)

Consider this possibility: The Pokémon Company wasn't going to do constant news drops of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield to avoid what happened to the Generation 7 main games. But then, all of the GAME FREAK bashing with the no-National Dex news made them adjust all of their plans, and now they're going to regularly putting out trailers with news like this until the mid-November launch:
 

The video title might say the game is being changed all they want with Gigantamaxing, but I don't think that's going to change the negative perception. Just look at the notable strength of that dislike bar. (Compare to the widely-positive reception of the sure-to-be-a-disgrace Pokémon Masters.)

Wait, Gigantamaxing? I know we discussed Dynamaxing a month ago, but what's Gigantamaxing? Well, while every Pokémon found in Galar (which is to say, every Pokémon coded in the game) can become huge with Dynamax and get access to stat buffs and special Z-like moves, only certain Pokémon species (likely Galar-introduced final-evolution-stage Pokémon... and maybe Charizard) can Gigantamax. In fact, you gotta be a special snowflake within that species to Gigantamax. Gigantamax Pokémon have access to a special species-unique “G-Max Move”, which is basically a species-exclusive Z-Move. (Which is already a concept that existed with moves like Mimikyu's Let's Snuggle Forever.) They also change forms, instead of just becoming resized. (Which is already a concept that existed with Mega Evolution.)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Koopa Kingdom Immigration Family Relocation Services

By KAMEK - Sharing our expertise to the people who need it.

Now, I've been carefully monitoring the border situation for some time. Having provided family and child relocation services ourselves, we've decided it's time to share our best practices for border relocating!

We at KoopaTV understand the value of family. I include extended family in that definition as well. This is especially true in our organization. Rawk and I may have our differences of opinion, but we still take time to share an amicable nod in the hallways of our Sierra Leone office building.

Rawk Hawk huh Glitz Pit dialogue cross arms
Relationships are all about communication you see.

The Koopa family relocation services are here to help the Trump administration and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez come together in a brand-new harmonious approach. The United States' current situation of child and family detention is simply unacceptable. If you're going to be taking in children, you absolutely cannot overextend yourself. I've compiled a small set of rules that we take into account with the placement of children and families in regards to our borders.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Samsung Conspiracy Against Dot-Organisations

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Down with dot-com advocacy!

Four years ago I bought and continually renewed the KoopaTV.org domain name, after we were on the unseemly koopatv.blogspot.com name. We became independent of the free domain and to a paid one. It's one of the best decisions I ever made for this website. We had a lovely music video to go with it too.

Unfortunately, not everyone has been supportive of the change. Take the smartphone industry, for example. I have a running theme of demeaning smartphones and their associated products as “mobile trash” or related terms on KoopaTV, as recently as yesterday.

Makes sense that they'd strike back on KoopaTV... by trying to prevent people from coming here. How do they do that? Manipulating the very input methods that billions of consumers use to get to websites. Observe, from the Samsung smartphone under my control:

Samsung Galaxy virtual keyboards .com button Swype Android smartphone mobile phone
Notice the .com buttons on the default Samsung keyboard, and the Swype keyboard.

The Samsung smartphone comes pre-installed with two keyboards. One is Samsung's, and one is Swype's. They both have an automatic .com button when inputting an address. (As opposed to the .com being an auto-fill or auto-correct function... and clearly, those functions have very strange suggestions for KoopaTV. Painkillers?)

The problem with an automatic .com button is that KoopaTV's domain is KoopaTV.org. That's obviously incompatible with a .com button. And while this impacts many other existing organisations (as opposed to commercial enterprises), it of course impacts KoopaTV. If you're wondering, KoopaTV.com is under the control of domain trolls for stupidly high amounts of money that's way outside our already-strained budget.

I wasn't able to test other smartphone manufacturers’ keyboard set-ups—I asked some Apple users and one of them said their default iPhone virtual keyboard doesn't do this—but KoopaTV's resident tech expert Kamek told me that this kind of .com button is “common practice.” Let's take his word for it, because that best plays into the KoopaTV-is-a-victim narrative I'm trying to portray here.

Independence... is hard. 


KoopaTV doesn't have to be independent all alone (despite that being what the word implies)... the site has you, readers, to help it survive and fight back against these dot-com tech giants! Spread the dot-org word to your friends and advocate the better top-level domain! (Advocating for KoopaTV.org itself and not just the .org part would be great, too.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I'll Be a Pokémon Master Without Pokémon Masters

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm passing on Pasio.

Gee, what filler article can I toss out there the night before Independence Day? Oh, while we were covering the Democrat presidential primary debates, The Pokémon Company International (TPCI) released this animated trailer (with a few snippets of actual game information at the end) about Pokémon Masters, which you may recall is the mobile-only game revealed at the end of that bad-in-hindsight Pokémon Direct in May. They also put out a news release.



Obviously the first...six minutes or so of this trailer (including Ishihara from The Pokémon Company) is “not actual gameplay” so there's really nothing to discuss about it. At the end, Yu Sasaki from DeNA discusses the artificial island of Pasio where Pokémon Trainers across the world come to fight each other. Each trainer only gets one Pokémon, and the trainer-Pokémon combination is called a Sync Pair. You participate in 3v3 Sync Pair battles with some version of the Active Time Battle system. There are also Sync Moves (presented as unique Z-moves), and supportive Trainer Moves akin to Warrior Skills in Pokémon Conquest—though the official site news release describes this as a franchise first.

Pokémon Masters is designed to be a free-to-play, casual experience with in-app purchases. I think it's a safe bet that all of those Sync Pair combinations are going to be purchasable, directly or through random distribution packs. There's allegedly a story and lots of instances of dialogue, though I'm going to guess it's underwhelming and stupid.

Pokémon Masters animated trailer Hugh Silver Wally rivals
What conversation did Hugh, Silver, and Wally have with one another that'd get them to pose together?
It's not like Rival is an officially-recognised title like Pokémon Professors, Gym Leaders, Team Rocket members, family members, or Frontier Brains.

Pokémon Masters is releasing in the summer of 2019, which could be any day from now to September.

According to the official website FAQ, “the app is not compatible with offline play.” Yeah, screw that. Last I checked, that's supposed to be a deal-breaker.


Pokémon Masters is like the opposite of Pokémon GO in terms of focus. Masters is all about battling with Pokémon your team already has and there is no evidence of catching new Pokémon. Pokémon GO was all about captures, and only later were trainer battles added. (At least, that's what I've read.) But as far as I can tell, they have a striking similarity: they're both appalling mobile games that dumb down what the franchise is supposed to represent.


Disclaimer: Even if Pokémon Masters was a perfectly wonderful and traditional (or even innovative—both are accepted) Pokémon title, just the fact that it's a smartphone game would cause Ludwig to ostracise and criticise it. Are you a sucker easily taken in by animated trailers playing to nostalgia, or are you smarter than that and know to be cautious of any free-to-play mobile game with in-app purchases? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Wright Anything Competition; and Ace Attorney Trilogy Steam Sale

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Take that?

Way back, a week after my write-up of my encounter with Phoenix Wright and then CAPCOM at E3 2019 (but not at the same time), CAPCOM launched the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy “Wright Anything” Competition, henceforce known as the Wright Anything Competition. It's one of the few competitions that people from Quebec can enter. If you submit an original (made specifically for the contest, which invalidates the massive wealth of Ace Attorney content already existing on KoopaTV.org) artwork, cosplay, or video to Twitter with #AATWrightAnything, a “panel of CAPCOM judges” will pick their favourites and get Ace Attorney merchandise. You have until July 5, 2019, 23:59 Pacific Time.

In the morning of June 23, I sent an e-mail to contests@capcom.com, which the contest's official rules state...
“20   Contact. If you have any questions regarding the Competition Rules, you may contact us in writing at contest@capcom.com.”
Here's the e-mail:

Monday, July 1, 2019

KoopaTV's June 2019 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Big seismic tonal shifts.

Let's look, overall, at what happened during June 2019 here on KoopaTV. The first half of the month was us planning this big field trip as a staff to Los Angeles, California, during E3 2019. By the end of the month, we totally shifted focus and now we're covering presidential politics. (...Well, not a total shift of focus... you won't get more of that until the end of July. I think.)

Anyway, observe how that plays out over June 2019 with the top recommended experiences:

The Top 5 Recommended KoopaTV Experiences of June 2019


Behold the chronologically-ordered recommended KoopaTV experiences from the month—though everything on the site is worth reading.
  1. Government Regulation of Pay-to-Win and Loot Boxes: Good Idea Or No? — Ludwig reads through and breaks down Senator Josh Hawley's lootbox bill section-by-section, and analyses if it's a good idea or not for the industry... and America.
  2. Your Majesty and My Majesty: Unicorns vs. Narwhals Splatfest! — Ludwig ranks the majestic qualities of these two mythical (to him) creatures, the unicorn and the narwhal.
  3. Phoenix Wright vs. E3 2019: Drugs, Detainment, and Discounts —What exactly was Ludwig (and the other staffers) doing during E3 2019 if not covering every moment? Read the epic tale of Ludwig's encounter with Phoenix Wright and the gaming companies at E3 2019.
  4. You're Invited to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 Tournament! — During E3 Weeks 2019, Nintendo announced a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online tournament hosted by Battlefy. Ludwig writes about what participants could expect at this tournament.
  5. Gaming Disorder Official in ICD-11. Good! — Contrary to many gamers who don't think things through, and the Entertainment Software Association who knows what they're doing, Ludwig is supportive of gaming addiction being officially recognised.
I suppose I should disclaim that my choice of that tournament article was influenced by Battlefy themselves endorsing it and sending me gifts, which you can see yourself here. ...The actual contents of the article was completely my opinion and uncoordinated with them, though.