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Monday, September 30, 2019

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Characters Used The MOST and the LEAST In September 2019!


Earlier this month, Nintendo and Battlefy announced and then held the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open September 2019. I participated in it, and you can read the tragic story of how I actually performed in the comments section of that announcement article.

(But congratulations to Epic Gabriel [for winning two of these in a row...Region 6, Florida, R.O.B.], Tearbear [Region 2, California, Banjo & Kazooie], King Chris [Region 8, Manitoba, Zero Suit Samus], and Grayson [Region 3, Texas, R.O.B.] for getting a flight, hotel stay, gift card, and ticket to The Big House 9 tournament taking place this weekend in Detroit.)

One of the things I was most looking forward to was the usage statistics of the fighter characters in September vs. August, particularly how the Version 5.0 update at the start of September that added Banjo & Kazooie and some new Mii costumes (the fighter adjustments aren't worth discussing) would affect people's behaviour. I published the usage statistics from the Online Open August 2019 over here, so how did they change in September?

First, some caveats. One, the September tournament had significantly less entrants and players than the August one, so the sample size is much less and the capability of outliers affecting the total is greater. There were only 3,509 people who registered across all of North America, and only 1,953 actually played at least one set. There were 26,114 games played by those people. That's around a 71% overall decrease in activity month-to-month no matter what stat you look at. There's several reasons for why that is. Two common ones are that people would rather go to Japan (August's prize) than Detroit (September's prize), and Nintendo didn't promote this tournament through the Switch News application.

Second, the Battlefy character-selector (which exists for statistics purposes) didn't have Banjo & Kazooie as an option until a little over two hours into the event, for a four-hour event. They apparently forgot. This dramatically under-represents Banjo & Kazooie's usage. If it's double the amount than what's shown under Banjo & Kazooie's names, that would actually change the results quite a bit. Banjo & Kazooie players still had to pick someone, so that inflates other fighters’ numbers.

See for yourself in pie chart format, and then text format:

Friday, September 27, 2019

Little Town Hero Has A Town With Things To Do

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You're fighting monsters in the town. ...Which we've known already.

Yes, I wrote yesterday's article title on Ring Fit Adventure to prepare for today's article title on Little Town Hero. Of course, let me be clear: a town-based game shouldn't be measured on the number of towns you get to explore, but what you get to do in those towns.

As far as I can tell, the only concrete thing we've learned about Little Town Hero since its initial announcement a year ago (besides that it'll be $25 and digital only) is that Toby Fox (of Undertale fame) is composing the soundtrack. GAME FREAK really, really, really wants us to know that. Here's a new trailer from them:

Nothing about that supposedly “amazing soundtrack” really stood out to me and makes me want to listen to it again. I will, however, venture out of the town and to GAME FREAK's slow-loading website for Little Town Hero in hopes of finding some useful morsels of information there...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Ring Fit Adventure Has Towns With Things To Do

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And, for the safety of the users, isn't compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Two weeks ago, I published a rather popular article (among readers and among my personal opinion) about Nintendo's new announcement, Ring Fit Adventure. The headline gave away the main thrust of the article: the concept is brilliant, but it could easily be screwed up by design decisions that so many other games of its genre have made.

Namely, I really want Ring Fit Adventure's Adventure mode to be legitimately interesting, with an existing story that makes me care about the game world and incentivise me to continue playing.

Today, Nintendo released a gameplay overview trailer with some things to say about the Adventure mode:

There is a lot of information in this trailer that we already knew from the reveal two weeks ago. Fortunately, the entire video is overall much easier to watch because the creepy pair of presenters have been cut out of it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

REVERSE Away From Mario Kart Tour

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Wait, there's no reverse gear? THAT'S why it's auto-acceleration...

Unlike the previous Mario-sponsored Nintendo mobile game, Dr. Mario World, Mario Kart Tour doesn't have a deep, disturbing conspiracy under the hood. (I don't count Toad labour as deep, disturbing, or a conspiracy.)

It's just standard mobile fare of a subpar, diluted game experience combined with predatory pricing models.

Not that I follow the mobile space, but it certainly seems abnormal that Mario Kart Tour not only has gacha mechanics (a lottery funded by limited in-app currency or unlimited real currency where you hope to get new characters, gliders, and karts but are more likely to get ones you already have), but ALSO a monthly $5 subscription—the Gold Pass, which nobody even knew about before the game was released last night—that doesn't actually lessen the game's gacha. The Gold Pass just enhances the rewards from it. Oh, and there's the whole 200CC mode locked behind it, but why would you want to drive at an even higher speed with wonky touch controls?

Mario Kart Tour control scheme one hand slide steer items

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Playing for the Planet Alliance—and Nintendo's Absence?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm not complaining. Far from it.

I may need to explain yesterday's article about KoopaTV trying to appeal to climate change protesters. ...Well, I won't give a full explanation, but just know that I didn't talk about my own political views on climate change in that article. At any point. I just wanted to compare the ideal KoopaTV participant to the characteristics that one can deduce are present in a climate change activist.

Characteristics on an abstractable level. Not actual personal politics. Though it's absolutely fine if you disagree with my politics! That's arguably more exciting for me. You can have people who disagree with one another but otherwise have similar characteristics—like high attention to detail, interest in reading, et cetera. You're also probably not a horrible person for disagreeing.

With that out of the way, I'm not done talking about climate, because this time, there's videogame-related stuff to talk about. The United Nations Environment Programme at this week's UN Climate Action Summit got a bunch (21) of gaming-related companies together to join a “Playing for the Planet Alliance” and published a press release, “Video games industry levels up in fight against climate change”. With the force of so many gaming companies, including Microsoft and Sony, that's the best headline they could come up with? Correct me if I'm wrong (and this'd be considered a Corrections Corner contribution), but as someone that runs and writes for a gaming website, I've never written a headline saying “[noun] levels up to [do whatever]”. It's the most degenerate form of headline for a gaming-related topic, written by someone who wants to sound clever about games but doesn't actually play them.

What's this alliance actually do? They're all pledging to do something to reduce their carbon footprint. For less information (but not intended to be of no value by its creators, I'm sure), check out this trailer:

Monday, September 23, 2019

Why You, a Climate Change Striker, Would Enjoy KoopaTV

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We're your Internet home for your psychographic.

This whole week (starting the previous Friday) there is a whole inter-generational climate change strike. Schoolchildren aren't going to school (and are thus just normal children). Working-class people aren't attending their jobs. If there's something normal that you do, you're not doing it anymore. Strike!

The reason is to draw attention to the failure of political leaders to collectivise their countries’ economies, stop economic growth, and drastically reduce carbon emissions in order to save the planet Earth, which is under siege by human-caused industrial activities.

As I'll explore extensively in this article, it takes a special type of person to go on strike for climate-related causes. It also takes a special type of person to enjoy and get the most out of, the website you're currently reading. It's a similar kind of person.

Global climate change strike protestors KoopaTV protect sign
...I, at least, enjoy this imagery.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Not a Dream: Link's Awakening (Switch) and Nintendo Switch Lite Out

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I wouldn't mind if it was a dream, though.

My first look and thoughts article on the Nintendo Switch Lite, out in stores today in Yellow, Grey, and Turquoise, is still my current impression. It's clearly not for me, so I don't care about it. I think it's obviously inferior to the normal Nintendo Switch (with new battery). The only personal benefit to me is that it's most likely responsible for the destruction of the Nintendo Labo, which has been a KoopaTV goal for a long time now. Of course, if after I publish this article there's a fifth Labo kit, then that benefit won't apply.

Meanwhile, the The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake is also releasing on the Nintendo Switch today—and it supports handheld mode, so you can play it on the Nintendo Switch Lite. It better support handheld mode, because it was originally a Game Boy title. Then it was a Game Boy Color title in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. That's how I played and beat the game—though in a non-handheld form, by using my GameCube's Game Boy Player. I think I played it in the early 2010s, sometime between 2010 and 2012.

My impression of Link's Awakening is that it was nothing special. Nintendo's press release deems it “one of the most beloved games in the Legend of Zelda series” and I don't know how anyone can really have that opinion. It's an average game in an above-average franchise. I think one of the issues is that it lacks a gameplay-defining gimmick, unlike most other The Legend of Zelda games with their oceans, time travel, season-changing, Kinstones, or whatever. All The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has are those secret seashells (which I didn't know were optional when I was playing the game, and trying to get all of those without a guide or a way to keep track of where you found them already is horrible game design) and a bunch of cameos from other game franchises, since it's all a dream.

The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening Nintendo Switch secret seashell treasure

The Switch remake does include some differences, mostly quality-of-life changes to the controls. Instead of only having two face buttons on the Game Boy, Link will always have his Sword, Shield, Pegasus Boots, and Power Bracelet equipped, plus two more items set to X and Y. The in-game map has also gotten an overhaul. There's also a Chamber Dungeon where you can build your own dungeon, room-by-room, and get some chambers with amiibo or collecting them in-game. ...No one cares about that, though.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is $200, while The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is $60. You can also buy The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX ported to the Nintendo 3DS for $6. Just figured you'd want to know you can save $54 on the game if you want to save $100 on a console.

Ludwig's immediate attention is on tomorrow's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Online Open September 2019, so... whatever, give your thoughts on the Switch Lite (again?) and on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. In terms of portable The Legend of Zelda games, he'd rather endorse Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, and The Minish Cap.

The Nintendo Switch Lite and Link's Awakening are being purchased together, frequently.
While Ludwig was mean to Link's Awakening, will he be consistent and therefore mean to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon for having the exact same buffs that Link's Awakening's remake brought?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Nintendo Switch Online Perception: One Year Later

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's not a time for celebration.

I don't care for or appreciate anniversaries. I wouldn't have noticed that Nintendo Switch Online has turned one year old today if Nintendo didn't send me an e-mail last week with the subject line, “It’s almost the 1-year anniversary of Nintendo Switch Online!” The call to action was “Check out all of the membership plans.”

Excuse me? You already know I know the membership plans, since I already have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription—I administer a whole Family Group. I even recently renewed it

And they sure seem to know that I'm using the online functionality. What, do they want me to just abandon my Family Group:

Nintendo Switch Online one year anniversary Mario e-mail message
It's Mario with a party popper. He's the face of Nintendo Switch Online.
...Told you he's evil.
It's interesting that Nintendo is seeing this as a celebratory moment—bringing out a Mario party for it. For the whole year Nintendo Switch Online has been around, and the long build-up to it, it's been seen as a reviled monstrosity with massive dislikes on any YouTube video Nintendo uploads dedicated to it. A year ago, KoopaTV published a widely-circulated article documenting that, as well as methods to convince Nintendo to change Nintendo Switch Online to something of more value.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Meet Sirfetch’d in Pokémon Sword!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Hi Sirfetch'd. I'm Ludwig. Are you okay in the head?

Earlier this week, The Pokémon Company International (TPCI) was hacked by a Rotom. Here's what their website looked like while the hack was going on. It appears Rotom went into the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS—used to make websites stylish) and added a “data-scramble” element. While data breaches should sink any company's reputation and invite a class-action lawsuit, The Pokémon Company International dismissed the concern and went on to reveal a new Pokémon exclusive to Pokémon Sword.

...Seriously, they didn't even say if anyone's information got taken. What kind of transparency is that? Unacceptable. The CSS element has since been removed from the .css file, which I guess means they really did purge Rotom completely. ...Oh, right, reveal:

Meet Sirfetch'd, the evolved form of Farfetch'd that reside in the Galar region—no Galarian-specific look to Farfetch'd has been identified. That video thumbnail is as smug as TPCI's reaction to being hacked. Sirfetch'd is all about surviving many battles, being an honourable and noble knight, and using its leek as a lance. ...Which isn't a sword.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

GameStop, Gaming Cultural Hubs, and Love

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That headline is strictly hypothetical. (For now.)

Physical gaming retailer GameStop has been in big trouble. Their stock price is a disaster—it's fallen over 70% in the past year. They've cancelled their famously-generous dividend. Sales are declining year-over-year, as the gaming industry is embracing trends like streaming and digital purchases, which leaves GameStop, which derives most of their profit from selling (used) physical games, out. (Their collectibles business is doing well and I'm helping to contribute, and more on the importance of that in a moment.)

GameStop, looking to reverse their downturn, is seeking alternatives. Their GameTrust publishing unit is obviously a disaster. They haven't published anything since 2017, and the one remaining game they have, Star Child, hasn't had an update from their developer, Playful Studios, since 2018 where they apologised for accidentally cancelling people's pre-orders but promised the game is still being worked on. Not a good sign.

GameStop has presented these strategic pillars in their recent investors call, and I'd like to focus on the second one for the rest of this article:
“Our strategic plan is anchored on 4 key tenets: one, optimize core business by improving efficiency and effectiveness in everything we do; two, create a social and cultural hub of gaming within each GameStop store and online; three, build compelling digital capability to reach our customers wherever they want to do business and give them the full spectrum of content and access to the products they're looking for; and four, transform our vendor and partner relationships, unlocking additional high-margin revenue streams and optimizing the lifetime value of every customer.” [Emphasis added]

Monday, September 16, 2019

Rawk's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice Experience

By RAWKHAWK2010 - Enjoy my hawk swan song.

decided early on in the year that this would be my final article on KoopaTV. I've also chosen to compile this days before Tokyo Game Show 2019 so that it can be published following one of two scenarios: One being the announcement of a new Ace Attorney in which case hey, perfect timing! The other (aka the one which will actually happen) being a Capcom TGS showing that was even more missable than their last, where thereafter I will resign to the fact that the next non-port Ace Attorney will release long after we're all dead. And what's that you say? That I might should stick around at least until after it's confirmed Phoenix Wright won't round off the five Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Challenger Pack fighters? Well, I don't think that'll be happening. Even when we start getting into the additional (presumably still third-party) DLC fighters who weren't originally promised, it's being made clearer by the day that one's importance to Nintendo's history really, really doesn't matter. If you're more likely to get onto Ultimate's roster just by being an ambassador for a company who had their own console, despite the fact that your name is "Terry Bogard" which the vast majority of Nintendo fans had never heard uttered in their lives, then Ys's Adol Christin (who would represent one of the oldest Action JRPG developers/publishers still in existence today) may have less obstacles to overcome than I originally thought. (Hell, after the last Direct I'll be surprised if Phoenix makes it into Ultimate before Deadly Premonition's Agent Francis York Morgan. And it says a lot when I'm only slightly kidding.)

I suppose Capcom could be planning an anime adaptation of the second trilogy to precede a second port collection, but for all we know they've scheduled it with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney's seven-year timeskip in mind so that in-universe game and real-world anime dates can once again approximately overlap. Well I'm not waiting for that shit!

As for why I'd choose this to be my parting article as opposed to something else, it's simultaneously the conclusion and crescendo of my Ace Attorney Experience, spanning across 200 Miiverse posts (while the first three entries included 38, 32, and 87 respectively), meaning there's pretty much a nonexistent chance that anything both this ambitious and relevant to the site's interests would ever be published by me again. As a bonus, I'm also uploading my Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Experience -- technically both my first and last time documenting an Ace Attorney game on Miiverse, due to me starting and abandoning the game earlier in the decade and then later salvaging my playthrough following 2017's mainline marathon. (I was probably motivated both by the fact that I actually cared about Maya Fey unlike before and because Miiverse was set to go offline in a little over a month.) Think of it as both a prelude and a postscript.

Now then...let the finale commence.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice title screen
Ed: There's obviously spoilers for both Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Spirit of Justice and Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ahead. You've been warned.
Click here to jump to the
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney bonus section.

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 12 2019 Democrat Presidential Primary Debate 3 ANALYSIS!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Her presence is missed...

Last night from 8 PM Eastern to almost 11 PM, ten Democrat candidates for President of the United States debated their positions on ABC (with some idiot from Univision thrown in for bad measure), vying to be the last person standing to get the opportunity to take down incumbent President Donald John Trump. The Democratic National Committee imposed arbitrary rules (that everyone DID agree to beforehand, though) that ended up excluding the best candidate that Democrats have to offer. (And that hyperlink is meant to point to the second paragraph that is about Tulsi Gabbard, not the rest of the article about John Delaney.) She's still running, so we might see her in the October debate.

But for now, we saw (in order of their stage podiums) Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Beto O'Rourke, and Julián Castro. I'm choosing not to give a section to each candidate this time like in the second debate (part one and part two) or the first debate (part one and part two). (You can see the whole index of who these people are over here.)

You can watch the entire debate for yourself here (ABC won't let me embed it to this article page) but I don't recommend that, out of respect for your time and sanity.

Speaking of time, here were the talking times for all the candidates as compiled by NPR:

No one is surprised that Andrew Yang got the least speaking time for the third debate in a row, right?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ring Fit Adventure Is Conceptually BRILLIANT—Hope It Doesn't Screw Up...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Vintage Nintendo creativity.

I am pretty proud to be a Nintendo fan right now. After last week's Nintendo Direct that I found quite despairing—with great fear that everything Nintendo puts out will just be overshadowed by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (even if it doesn't deserve that)—I wasn't anticipating today's announcement to be anything more than a filler article. You know, the one teased last week about the Hoop peripheral with people moving ridiculously on a global scale.

Then you look at the thumbnail for today's announcement, and there's really nothing encouraging about...this:

But then you watch it, and you ignore the creepy presenters, and just focus on the game and the ideas presented in there, and if you're like me, you'll quickly come to the conclusion that Nintendo is onto something brilliant and their teaser was just doing a tremendous disservice. (Actually, if you rewatch the trailer from last week given what we know now, some of that STILL don't make sense. It never will.)

The hoop and the leg strap are called the Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories, and you insert your Joy-Con in them to control your character in Ring Fit Adventure, a new adventure game (of the RPG variety, not of the visual novel variety—though some confuse the two) releasing to the Nintendo Switch on October 18.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Pokémon Sword/Shield: Ghost Tea and Non-Miltank Sausage Rice

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - #NeverForget the Vegetarian option.

During last week's Nintendo Direct, there was a section dedicated to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which makes sense, since they promised news on those games for that Direct prior to it happening. Here's the trailer they showed, featuring some upbeat music:

The total news release included many tidbits of information, including “Surprise Trading”, Pokémon camping, Alcremie whipped cream flavours, custom business cards called League Cards, two new Pokémon, and shelling out in-game cash for even more trainer customisation than previous generations, including the ability to see what haircuts will look like before getting them.

I'll write about two of these topics, because they're the two that I can make topical tangents to:

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pocket Card Jockey Staff Credits

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - No one else is doing it...

Once upon a time, GAME FREAK released a quirky, small game (and a free demo that's still available and transfers your progress to the full game) on the Nintendo 3DS eShop called Pocket Card Jockey. Quite frankly, KoopaTV has been the best place to get information on Pocket Card Jockey because it's just been ignored in most other places. See KoopaTV's article on Pocket Card Jockey's game mechanics here and an article on Pocket Card Jockey's time-attack records here.

As for those other places, even something as basic as the Pocket Card Jockey staff credits is... currently not posted anywhere on the Internet. It's not on Giant Bomb. It's not on the Internet Gaming Database. It's not on Metacritic/GameFAQs. MobyGames doesn't have the credits either. Those sites (besides MobyGames) all have designated pages on their sites for where the credits would go... but those pages have no content on them. (Metacritic and Giant Bomb do still have advertisements, however.)

There's a current controversy going on now with GAME FREAK and how they staff their projects, with some misguided armchair game producers believing that GAME FREAK is somehow prioritising (from a resource standpoint) the team that works on non-Pokémon projects over the Pokémon team. That's just wrong, but since no one's posted the credits for games that team has made, like Pocket Card Jockey, no one really knows what's right. Just look at the dislike bar on Little Town Hero's September Nintendo Direct trailer. (And all the negative comments due to Pokémon fans.)

KoopaTV is going to change that. Here are the full credits to Pocket Card Jockey:

Monday, September 9, 2019

Sign-up for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open September 2019!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Now featuring Québec.

In a very surprise announcement—even to me, and I'm an insider—Nintendo and Battlefy are teaming up once again, this time with the esteemed The Big House super major based in Michigan. The four top placers in the newly-announced Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open September 2019—taking place September 21—will get free tickets to Detroit to participate in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate singles bracket at The Big House 9—taking place the weekend of October 4.

You can register for the event here.

KoopaTV readers know that less than a month ago, I wrote about the August version of the Battlefy-Nintendo tournament series (featuring many useful tips and information that is still applicable and relevant), which featured the prize of going to the October Nintendo Live tournament in Japan. What's different about the tournament this time?
  1. Nintendo's lawyers finally are allowing players in Québec to participate (as part of Region 7)
    1. Puerto Rico and other US territories still excluded
  2. The prize for going to Detroit is valued much less than going to Kyoto. Plane tickets are cheaper and the lodging is for less days, but more importantly, you only win a $350 Visa gift card and not a $450 gift card
  3. There is no Grand Finals round this time to determine the order of the top 4; all 4 top-placers are going to Detroit
  4. Battlefy as a platform is substantially more stable and robust with its server redundancy than in August, though note that's not the same as the stability of your own personal Internet connection (or your would-be opponents’)
How should you practice for the tournament? I wrote an article compiling all of the fighter usage stats from the August tournament here, and that article has a spreadsheet breaking down fighter usage stats per your specific region—and yes, there are substantial regional differences besides Joker being #1 everywhere. Since it's the same player base, you should expect very similar usage. One note: given recent events, you should anticipate adding Banjo and Mii Gunner to the list of most-used characters (Joker, Hero, Link) and train in those match-ups.

You should also try practicing playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for four hours in a row, because unless you get a very good win record early on (such as winning your first eleven games), you're going to have to play the ladder round the whole time to get a chance of getting into your region's top 32. Specific tips on doing that are back in that August article.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open September 2019 character mural
At least it's generic Mii Gunner in the mural and not... him...

Ludwig, of course, will be participating once again, as the member of the media in residence for this series of tournaments. He wants to gain confidence in winning with his other characters that aren't his father, since for someone who mains four characters, he relied mostly on Lord Bowser for his matches. Ludwig is glad he wrote the August article so comprehensively, because it means this article is pretty easy to write.

Here are the tournament results, as well as the character usage stats from it!
The next tournament is in... November! And there's some changes.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Nintendo Teases a Hoop-esque “new experience for Nintendo Switch”

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I guess we'll find out whether it's something to be afraid of in a week.

I might still be obligated to talk about information from that Nintendo Direct earlier this week, but I'd actually like to move on from that for now. (I'm still in a bad mood.)

As a jerk has repeated many, many times, “let it go, and move on.” 

Nintendo already wants to move on... to as far as next week. In what is unprecedented, at least in my memory, they made a teaser video to tease an announcement of a new product anouncement... WITHOUT giving it a name or describing what it is. Nintendo usually is quick to announce what something is, instead of teasing a mystery ahead of time with a whole video. The closest thing that I can think of is them announcing Metroid Prime 4 with only a 4 in artwork, but even there, they announced (and then indefinitely delayed) that it's Metroid Prime 4. That's all Nintendo fans needed to know, and that's way more information than what we got for...this...thing.

Take a watch, if you dare:

I don't know what Nintendo wants me to feel from this announcement besides “cringe,” and that's the wrong direction my feelings are supposed to go in per the “let's move on from the bad-mood Direct” thought. The video made me feel stupid because I didn't realise they were talking in non-English languages for a while, and I thought I just had bad listening comprehension.

The product itself is two sizes of bendy exercise hoops that you insert Joy-Cons into—a wise decision, as opposed to the Nintendo Labo that is invalidated by the Nintendo Switch Lite's smaller size but still requires a Nintendo Switch inserted into it. I figure it's some kind of Joy-Con peripheral. (Note the distinction there: the Nintendo Switch Lite is compatible with Joy-Con, which are the same size regardless of what your Switch model is.)

None of the people in the video were actually playing with one another, indicating a single-player experience. It was one person with the strange hoop, and a bunch of other people in the background babbling their respective languages in weird poses with fake excitement, much akin to this. One guy yelled about doing a backflip, which could range from an exercise game to a 3D The Legend of Zelda game where you hold down on your control stick and press the A button while also pressing the Z-target button.

Nintendo Switch exercise hoop Rome guy on floor Joy-Cons
When in Rome, don't do what the Romans do.
...Or you'll end up on the floor with some kind of torture device fastened on you.

The video spans Paris, Madrid, Rome, San Francisco, Kyoto, and Dallas. I'm not sure what the purpose of that is other than to demonstrate (brag?) that Nintendo is in a lot of places around the world... at least, Europe, the United States, and Japan. Guess that means this thing will be sold worldwide.

Maybe I'm being too polite or indirect here. I haven't denounced the video in outraged terminology. ...I already let all of that out on Wednesday, though. And some of Thursday. I just can't be shocked or disappointed anymore. For now, I have no reason to be.

Not until next week when we figure out what this torture hoop is. I'll be judging it along the lines of, “Will it be as evil as the Nintendo Labo?” How about you? What are you expecting out of this thing?

Ludwig didn't know how to write the title of the article so it'd appear in search engines, because he has no idea what people would search for with a product with no name. Nintendo's video only has the keywords, “nintendo, video game, nintendo switch” which isn't helpful.

The new experience is called Ring Fit Adventure, and the teaser about it did a tremendous disservice to how great the concept is.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Diminishing Marginal Returns of Super Smash Bros. DLC

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I have an unpopular position here, but it's the right one.

Out of all the news that came from yesterday's Nintendo Direct, what's gotten everyone's attention? The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stuff. Terry Bogard as the fourth Challenger Pack. Banjo & Kazooie released. Sans (uggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh) as a Mii Costume, along with wonderful Team Rocket Grunts, and returning Super Smash Bros. 4 costumes Zero and Proto Man. (And there's Goemon but no one cares.) But possibly the most enduring news is that there's more fighter DLC to come after the five from the Fighters Pass, and they're sold separately from that Fighters Pass. How many characters? Unspecified, but enough to make it plural. Will there be more stages and music with it? Unknown.

Masahiro Sakurai said...
 “Finally, it was announced that we will be working on even more DLC fighters. To me, it feels like the finish line is sliding farther away. You may wonder, ‘How much longer can he be involved in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?’ But I'm also excited. Adding more characters to the game means that more game worlds will be added to the series, and ultimately that means there will be an even greater opportunity to delight the fans. At the same time, I feel that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now representing so many characters and game worlds, that it's become an enormous game. Even if the Super Smash Bros. series continues moving forward, I doubt there will be an opportunity to bring this many characters together again. And so, I want to keep improving on this record as much as possible, and I will continue to work hard at developing the game. I appreciate your support.”
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate even more additional DLC fighters wave 2 newcomer letter envelope
“Even More DLC Fighters will Join the Battle!”
(There doesn't seem to be a grammatical style where “will” isn't supposed to be capitalised.)

According to polls among the users of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate board on GameFAQs, the community and fanbase is largely psyched about this additional wave of fighters. 

I'm not. I'm really, really not. I'm not just fatigued by Super Smash Bros. constantly being the day's biggest news story whenever there's a Nintendo Direct (seriously, there was other stuff in that Direct, though I must admit nothing in particular from that resonated with me), but I think this has a net-negative effect on the whole Switch ecosystem. And the game itself.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

KoopaTV's September 4, 2019 Nintendo Direct LIVE REACTIONS!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Poor soul.

Apparently unlike the rest of the world, I didn't like today's Nintendo Direct. And that's not contrarian nonsense. You can see my reactions to everything, as it happens, in the reaction log below.

They promised to show lots of Nintendo Switch games, including Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, and Luigi's Mansion 3. ...Those games ended up being pretty unimportant, though.

Here's the video on demand that I'll probably need to replace soon because it's the live stream:

I'm all alone because I'm more of a poor soul than anyone from Banjo-Kazooie.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

FINAL FANTASY VIII Released and Deemed Remastered... But Why?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Trying to get attention and it's not working?

Today, Square Enix released the once-thought unportable FINAL FANTASY VIII, as promised from their E3 2019 conference. It's $20 on PC, Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

It's sold as FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered.

There are no press releases for the game. Only Square Enix (instead of the console manufacturers joining in the fanfare) released a half-minute trailer on the FINAL FANTASY YouTube channel:

You'll notice this trailer doesn't focus on any actual gameplay. Just quick cutscene shots and close-ups of character renders. That's because the only thing that got “remastered” were those character renders. Everything else, like the backgrounds and textures and music, were kept the same as they were in 1999, which subjectively makes everything look more ugly because of how contrasting the HD models against the muddy backgrounds are. (I personally like it for gameplay reasons since it distinguishes things like up-resolutioned treasure chests.) This is very similar to the Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX ports earlier this year, but those didn't go around with “Remastered” in the title. 

Actually, for some reason, the game has two title screens:

Monday, September 2, 2019

KoopaTV's August 2019 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - “Back to school” shouldn't affect anyone, right?

Personally, I'd rather be in school than using my time writing this newsletter. ...Only if the school in question is Garreg Mach Monastery. I've spent my weekend starting and playing a lot of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. You might've spent your weekend agonising going to a real (non-videogame) school or college.

But if you spent your weekend reading KoopaTV articles or something, hey, that's the best way to spend your free time. (Writing them is several hundred times more difficult than reading them, believe me.) And if you're now going to school, let that not impact your KoopaTV consumption. (We have an article on time management as it relates to that.)

Regardless of your consumption and/or schooling habits, this newsletter has a bunch of NEW information to share. But let's start with the look-back:

KoopaTV's Top Four Experiences of August 2019

...Hm, something about the number here doesn't look consistent. Well, if you noticed that, keep reading to a later section. Anyway, here are the top four most recommended experiences from KoopaTV, presented in chronological order:
  1. Reggie Fils-Aime Gets POLITICAL About GUNS and GAMES! — With increased media coverage of gun violence, and some political leaders tying videogames into it, former Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime tweets about the ill-informed. ...Reggie himself, however, is ill-informed.
  2. Cadence of Hyrule Free Demo Available! Impressions Inside... — Ludwig writes fairly comprehensive impressions on the free Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda demo on the Nintendo eShop. He insists the key to enjoying it is the fixed-beat mode.
  3. Tips, Tricks, and Insider Information to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open August 2019 — Ludwig explains the latest Nintendo-sponsored official tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though the tournament already happened by now. It was a good article for its time!
  4. Class President Bowser Versus Recess — Bowser is running for class president on a CANCEL RECESS platform, and Ludwig explains why this is beneficial for him and others. 

All of KoopaTV's content is worth experiencing, even if it's not on this list—and you'll never know if an article will get prominently referenced later on in a future work. Case in point: