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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.

On what is likely a smaller scale, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has a similar subscription service now.

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?

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Mid-October China Tariff Cease-Fire Helps Farmers, Not Gamers

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I suppose gamers like eating, but...

A reminder that you should care about United States-China trade issues—a topic that there's news on—because of the August 2019 KoopaTV article about the tariffs that the Administration is waging against electronics manufactured in China, including videogame consoles.

Do understand that it's a serious enough concern that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all co-wrote/signed a letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative proclaiming that prices on consoles will go up with the tariffs in place, and it will have tremendous ripple effects on the whole gaming industry—beyond the console makers and to software developers (and indies), retailers of all sizes, accessories-makers, etc. The article gave a very temporary and contingent congratulations to President Donald John Trump for delaying those tariffs to December 15, 2019 to avoid a big negative impact on the industry in its most important quarter, the winter holidays quarter. (All the retail inventory is already accumulated by December 15, even if you're doing irresponsible Christmas Eve shopping.)

But the tariffs are still there... as negotiation leverage. That's reasoning that even the dishonest Democrats realise and will use for their own benefit even though they decry their existence. But this is a Gaming Commentary article, and not a politics rant.

Anyway, as I was saying, over the weekend there's new developments. The Wall Street Journal reports it as a “trade truce.” The stock market went up. Business Insider reports that nothing is actually written or has happened and any action is still far off, though President Donald John Trump has tweeted that this is “the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country.” He then tweeted, in old-school passionate message board posting style, “CHINA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AGRICULTURAL PURCHASES FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS & RANCHERS!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Attention Ring Fit Adventure Marketing: His Name is DRAGAUX

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - He has a name, dammit.

Alright, I don't like how Nintendo is marketing Ring Fit Adventure, so I have to type out about it because I'm cautiously optimistic about the game.

His name isn't “this bodybuilding dragon in Ring Fit Adventure.” His name is Dragaux. The closed captions on Nintendo's reveal trailer already misnamed him as Drago and he hasn't been name-dropped in the marketing ever since.

Nintendo's website for Ring Fit Adventure refers to Dragaux as “a bodybuilding dragon” and features a .gif of said bodybuilding. The file name on that? “character.gif

Dragaux bodybuilding dragon lifting weights barbells Ring Fit Adventure
How about my file name for it,

If the story is going to matter in Ring Fit Adventure like I'm hoping it does, Nintendo better start calling Dragaux by his name. Spelled correctly. You don't see them treating Mario like that, though I'll gladly call him “fat red-hatted plumber” instead of his name.

According to André Segers of GameXplain, Dragaux is fought throughout Ring Fit Adventure, which explains why his boss fight appears in this commercial for Ring Fit Adventure that labels him in the description as, you guessed it, just “a bodybuilding dragon”.

Ring Fit Adventure Dragaux Mountain Climber boss fight leg muscles
At least his HP bar is labeled “Dragaux” and not “A Bodybuilding Dragon”.
(Note Dragaux's different colouration than the .gif. I wonder if that means something.)

I'm personally pleased that Dragaux is acting in-character and is actually going to be ACTIVE during the adventure, unlike some big bad bosses that just sit in their end-game castle and get out-of-shape.

(Note that Lord Bowser is similar to Dragaux in that he's often encountered by Mario throughout his adventures instead of just the end.)

Ring Fit Adventure releases next week on the Nintendo Switch for $80. Ludwig still hasn't figured out if he's actually going to buy it, and if he will, how he'll get the space for it. More on that next week, then? In the meantime, do take care to call Dragaux by his name. Ludwig will note that nothing else in Ring Fit Adventure appears to be named.

Next week, Ring Fit Adventure releases, and Dragaux is totally showing off.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Activision Blizzard and the Hearthstone Hong Kong Liberation Controversy

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They knew exactly what they were doing.

Around Sunday October 6, Activision Blizzard's Blizzard half (in Taiwan) was hosting a Hearthstone competition—at the Grandmasters level, which is apparently a big deal. Blizzard says it's the highest level of Hearthstone eSports, and it's invitation-only. Personally, it's not something I know about, since I've been boycotting Activision for 18 years. More on that later.

A fellow from Hong Kong, named Ng Wai Chung (gamer name Blitzchung), declared in his victory interview on Blizzard's Taiwan stream, “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.” (Except in Chinese.) The interviewing casters (named Mr. Yee and Virtual, which sound like auto-generated computer player names) hid under the table like weirdo cowards, and Blizzard cut the stream. Then they announced the banishment of Blitzchung for one year from Grandmasters tournaments, as well as forfeiting the cash he's won up to that point, under the basis of this rule in their rulebook:
“Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.”
Update October 11: Blizzard has put out a statement from their president, J. Allen Brack, apparently announcing that the casters will be reinstated after six months, Blitzchung's ban will be reduced to six months, and he'll get his prize money. That doesn't substantively change the jive of the rest of the article, however. /end update

I suppose the mainland Chinese, whom Hong Kong wants liberation from, would be offended, yes. The big question is whether or not Blizzard would make the same decision if someone went on stream and took the opposite position against Hong Kong's freedom. I think they would make the same basic decision, but they went extra for this. For a reason.

Let me go into some... background about China and Hong Kong, in case you're just really unaware of this stuff. (Even I, all the way from Koopa Kingdom, know about it, but maybe you're not so well-read.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Pokémon Shield: Meet Galarian Ponyta! The EVIL Ponyta!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Bonus question: What's the deal with Impidimp?

My claws and body are cold because I didn't eat or really move much between last night and this night. I could use some FIRE. (And nourishment. ...Curry excluded.)

Today, The Pokémon Company International formally announced Galarian Ponyta, after it was unclearly seen during a few very brief moments in their 24-hour Glimwood Tangle livestream.

Unfortunately for me, it's not a Fire type like the regular (Kantonian) Fire Horse Ponyta. 

No, Galarian Ponyta is the Unique Horn Pokémon, and is a Psychic type. 

Galarian Ponyta is exclusive to Pokémon Shield, to contrast with Sirfetch'd being exclusive to Pokémon Sword. Despite me being a Shield kind of fellow in terms of personality and walking around with a shell on my back, I'd say Sword wins out on having the better exclusive. Galarian Ponyta is clearly FAKE NEWS.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Brave New World in Subnautica

By KAMEK - It's A Brave New World.

Open world games have quickly become the most iconic AAA games released. Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, Far Cry, and even my once personal favorite Horizon Zero Dawn. This isn't surprising, but what if a comprehensive open world experience came from an indie developer? Subnautica is such a game (from Unknown Worlds Entertainment) and this Koopa will tell you it's a wild ride!

We've seen this happen before. Other smaller projects such as Minecraft took an open world experience and ran all the way to a completely different dimension with it. Subnautica though, it's something special. The audio design is pleasingly plump with bits and bobs that give you a real sense of what you're doing or picking up. The visual design is beautiful in its gorgeous biomes and desolate shipwrecks. The gameplay and controls are odd, but I chalk that up to my inexperience in Keyboard/Mouse, and open world games in general. Subnautica, through the richness of the game, makes you feel something. It engages you. It engages your imagination. Maybe it's these things that we've been wanting and searching for all along.

Subnautica green warp .gif
Clear your mind...What is it that you truly desire?... KoopaTV of course!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fortnite Is Addictive So Sue Epic Games? Not This Again...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - More trial lawyers out to make a name for themselves.

I may dislike Fortnite, but even so, most of the world still keeps playing it once they get past the Fortnite end-user license agreement that bars a class-action lawsuit. That includes the Canadians, where newbie (founded 2017) law firm Calex Legal (alternatively spelled CaLex Legal or Calex Légal) has filed a lawsuit in Québec on behalf of these two kids and their parents against Epic Games because they purposefully made Fortnite addictive but didn't warn that, which allegedly “ruined” the kids’ lives. They compare it to tobacco companies not warning that tobacco products are dangerous.

Normally, I'd go through the 38-page complaint and tear it apart piece-by-piece, but it's in French. Screw that. 

My opinions haven't changed since the end of 2015 when a 28-year old Russian dude sued Bethesda for Fallout 4 being too addictive, which allegedly was the cause of him getting divorced and losing his job. Seeing as how the Unified Defense Center (which wasn't defending anyone by putting Bethesda on the defence) hasn't said a word about Fallout 4 since their lawsuit was filed, I'm going to guess that lawsuit went absolutely nowhere.

However, Quebec is a messed up place with stupid laws (which is why fun online competitions exclude people from Quebec) that may have an entirely different outcome than Russia. And what makes this slightly different is that we now have Gaming Disorder as a recognised addiction.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Pokémon Sword/Shield Translation Fake News, and the Glimwood Tangle Live Camera

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Get over your disappointment because it's based off stupidity.

There are two new fan-generated disappointments related to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield from the past week. The chronologically second is the one happening “live” right now, this 24-hour live camera in “Glimwood Tangle”, which is apparently some forest in the Galar region. The Pokémon Company International advertised that “we will broadcast live footage for 24 hours from a camera set up in Glimwood Tangle—a strange forest located deep within the Galar region. This is your chance to get to know the various Pokémon that make their home in this forest! You may notice things that surprise you!”

So they apparently stuffed a Rotom in a camera and it's been looking like this:

This is actually an action shot. Normally there's no Morelull or any other Pokémon on screen.

Here's what I wrote in KoopaTV's Discord server on September 29th in “anticipation” for this:
[9:21 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I'm not watching this shit.
[9:21 AM] Rawk: Why?
[9:21 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: It's a 24-hour livestream of nothing.
[9:21 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: You wouldn't sit down in front of your copy of Sword/Shield and stare at the screen for 24 hours doing nothing, would you?
[9:22 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: So why would I do that if it's GAME FREAK controlling it?
[9:24 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: If there's any news from it they'll do that separately.
It turns out that this isn't even in-game footage, according to the website's “Not Actual Game Footage.” disclaimer. I don't really know what it is then, other than a pointless troll that's a publicity stunt that someone came up with as a “hey let's experiment with this new, unconventional idea to promote the game.” But I knew it would be pointless ahead of time. You should've, too.

And the first source of folks’ sadness?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair ISN'T a Mess?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They learned a lesson, I guess. You can learn one, too.

KoopaTV tries to be FAIR & BALANCED in applying our core values of truth & levity. So this article will serve as a parallel to the release article for Banjo-Kazooie-styled 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee back in 2017, which decried it as a Kickstarter-funded mess that was negatively reviewed.

Check out these review scores collated by Metacritic for Playtonic's Donkey Kong Country-styled 2D platformer Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, and have the other article open on another tab and compare:

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Metacritic scores release day
Hey, they're ten points higher than the 3D one!

The game isn't actually released yet (October 8, 2019), and for all I know, Playtonic is paying all the professional reviewers to give decent scores. That's likely not plausible, however, since Playtonic isn't being bankrolled by a super-duper successful Kickstarter campaign this time. And that's actually a good reason for why the game is better.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Bankruptcy For Pixel Art Craftsmen AlphaDream

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Hope they find jobs elsewhere in the industry.

You're aware of Japanese game developer AlphaDream, right? They've developed all of the Mario & Luigi games from the Game Boy Advance to the 3DS. Well, Yahoo! Japan is reporting that AlphaDream is bankrupt now, because their debts are too high for their revenues. Game development is expensive, you know. They most recently worked on Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam in 2015, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions in 2017 (which I didn't buy because why would I buy a remake of a game I already have?), and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey (which I also never bought, but I did tell YOU to buy it) this year in 2019. All of those on the 3DS and published by Nintendo

The problem is that the majority of people out there are questioning why the 3DS still exists. Nintendo has an answer, but it's not satisfactory.

Can't AlphaDream just do something on the Switch? Well, here's the problem. In the past three new Mario & Luigi games that aren't remakes (so Bowser's Inside Story, Dream Team, Paper Jam), they each had a unique 3D-ish mechanic to them, being Giant Battles, Dreamy Luigi fights, and giant Papercraft wars. All of those sections were subcontracted out to different companies (Arzest, Good-Feel, and Will Co., Inc respectively) because AlphaDream doesn't have the resources to handle it themselves. How do I know? They say as much in their Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Iwata Asks interview. Read this quote carefully from their vice president, Yoshihiko Maekawa:

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

KoopaTV's September 2019 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, that went by quick.

The fact that I'm taking the time to review the past month of September is really good, at least on a personal note. Like, KASWOOSH! It just went by so quickly. You school kiddies forgot all about summer by now, right? It's FALL/AUTUMN now!

Not that seasons affect KoopaTV that much. We're headquartered pretty close to the Equator on Earth. The seasons at our HQ are “dry” and “wet.” It's hot the whole time. Otherwise, we're in Koopa Kingdom, where it's also just hot the whole time. Mostly dry, too. Lots and lots of lava.

Anyway, this article is supposed to be about what happened with KoopaTV in September, so let's get into that.

KoopaTV's Top Five Experiences of September 2019

Check out these five KoopaTV experiences from September 2019, presented in chronological order. There are many (every) articles that aren't on this list because it only gets to be the top five, and you might miss out on some important things if you only check out these five and not the rest in the month.

But I particularly like these five, so let's go:
  1. Diminishing Marginal Returns of Super Smash Bros. DLC — With the announcement that there will be an open-ended number of downloadable content characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ludwig discusses that things will just get worse and worse over time.
  2. Pocket Card Jockey Staff Credits  — KoopaTV is the first and only website to write the names of the Pocket Card Jockey staff members from the credits, even if it's a 2016 game.
  3. Ring Fit Adventure Is Conceptually BRILLIANT—Hope It Doesn't Screw Up... — Ludwig (and Wendy) get very excited over the Ring Fit Adventure announcement, especially with the potential for it to be a successful “serious game.”
  4. Rawk's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice Experience — More KoopaTV coverage of 2016 games! Rawk reproduces his extremely-extensive coverage of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Spirit of Justice from Miiverse... onto KoopaTV!
  5. Playing for the Planet Alliance—and Nintendo's Absence? — Some of the biggest names in the videogame industry team up with the United Nations to inject environmental messaging into all of their games in the future... Ludwig does the in-depth reporting on what that means to you.