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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Nintendo Question & Answers: 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Didn't they just ask these questions?

Back in May 2020, for Nintendo's annual report, president Shuntaro Furukawa answered several questions from investors and shareholders about the state of the business, mostly about COVID-19 and its implications.

Then a few days ago (around June 26, 2020), Nintendo held THE 80TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS. They took more questions and delivered more answers, many of which continue to be about COVID-19 and its implications, or about mundane things that you should already know about if you're investing in Nintendo. Like, if those guys read KoopaTV (and knew English), they wouldn't waste time asking these. 

Here were the 11 questions, of which few are worth me commenting on.
  1. Since it currently costs nearly 5 million yen to purchase one minimum trading unit of Nintendo's stock, making it difficult to invest, we would like you to consider splitting your stock. In addition, what is your stance on the fact that Nintendo is not yet included in the Nikkei225 Index?
  2. Nintendo Switch is in short supply due to the huge success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I feel that Nintendo was not able to support this sudden increase in demand, which led to a major opportunity loss. Please tell us about your future plans for handling the production system, sales methods, and predictions for demand.
  3. What kind of measures are you currently taking to protect your employees and continue doing business in the face of COVID-19? Has Nintendo implemented a remote work initiative as well? If so, what kind of work are you allowing to be performed remotely?
  4. With regard to Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics released in June, please tell us about how you are using playing cards, karuta, and other products that were a starting point for Nintendo. In addition, there was talk that an IR (integrated resort) would be built in Japan in the future. Is there a possibility of using Nintendo's cards in the casino that will be built along with it?
  5. My understanding is that you are responding to the shortage of Nintendo Switch consoles by increasing production and holding raffle sales through the My Nintendo Store and at other retailers. However, Nintendo Switch continues to be resold at inflated prices, and I believe that merely increasing production or holding raffle sales is insufficient for supply to catch up to the sudden increase in demand. Specifically, please let us know whether you are discussing measures.
  6. I heard reports of a class-action lawsuit filed in the US with regards to malfunctioning Joy-Con controllers. I've also heard people point out that the servers used for Nintendo Switch network services go down easily. Isn't this a concern from a product security and reliability perspective?
  7. Could you tell us about the outlook for your next game system? Game hardware has always displayed an image on a TV or other kind of screen while you do something, and I think that's where the limits for this format are. Would the hardware you're thinking about go beyond those limits?
  8. I'd like to hear about Nintendo's meticulous focus on game development. Compared to other entertainment like watching movies or tapping on smartphone screens, I feel that dedicated video game platforms have a unique appeal, in that you can enjoy operating the characters via controller and the result of each button press. I'd like to know about your particular detailed focus on enriching the game experience through the use of a controller.
  9. I want to ask about operations at SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at Universal Studios Japan, which is scheduled to open ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. In light of COVID-19, have any measures been devised regarding the number of visitors, ways to shorten wait times, and the like?
  10. There are no Nintendo Direct announcements usually held together with E3 because the event has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19. In addition, I am concerned as an investor that, at present, there are few software titles with set release dates. I was relieved to hear Director Takahashi say that software titles planned for release this fiscal year have currently not been affected, but I'd like to see some titles announced via a Nintendo Direct soon. Also, as time have changed, I feel it might be a good idea to review the whole process of making announcements using Nintendo Direct.
  11. What are your thoughts on the current position of the mobile business? Has your conception of it changed from when the mobile business first started? Also, could you touch on the current partnership with DeNA?

Nintendo's answers were basically, “Sorry, we're working on it. We appreciate your patience. Please understand.” (Questions 1, 2, 5.) Or, “We can't talk about it.” (Questions 4, 6, 9.)

Other media outlets (working off their own translation and not the new official one) somehow got a bunch of people to think that Nintendo will never do Nintendo Directs again because this is how they answered question #10: 
“We  think  the  Nintendo  Direct  format  is  very  effective for  us  to  directly  and  clearly  convey  information about games to consumers. On the other hand, as the times change, the most effective ways of conveying information can also change, so I think we should always be looking for the best ways of communicating.”
Does that sound like “We're done with Nintendo Directs!” to you? No? Because it sounds like a bland non-answer to me, like everything else from this annual general meeting. Nintendo has also pointed out they're perfectly capable of non-Direct video presentations, like the Min Min presentation and the two presentations from The Pokémon Company.

Masahiro Sakurai home house couch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate production
Pretty comfy arrangement.
And Nintendo obviously has video editor(s) perfectly capable of working remotely.
As well as all of the approval processes that content has to go through.

Nintendo has also mentioned that, even though Japan's state of emergency has ended, they are still encouraging their employees to work from home. They also mentioned Jump Rope Challenge as an example that Nintendo employees can be productive while working from home, but, uh, I don't recommend trotting that example around since Jump Rope Challenge isn't appealing.

Then there's the questions (#7 and #8) that amounted to “what is your philosophy on how games are a unique medium?” I dunno why those were asked, but as you might expect, there was nothing to learn from that. Well, actually, they did say that the Nintendo Switch would have an extended life cycle, so hopefully it'll keep going for several years to come.

Blame the investors for the dull questions. I'm not one of them. We could have real questions like “When is Shigeru Miyamoto going to retire already?”

Try to brainstorm other real questions that you'd like to hear Nintendo executives answer in KoopaTV's comments section below! It could be fun. Just be careful to avoid asking questions that'd be answered with non-answers. ...Though pretty much anything could be answered that way. Ludwig also wonders if the first annual general meeting of shareholders happened in 1940, because that seems like a bad time for shareholders to meet in Japan.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Fortnite's Black Lives Matter Event Experiment

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They were doing it for clout, but it's also an interesting social experiment.

Did you have a nice Independence Day? Here at KoopaTV, we wanted to focus our independence energies towards Hong Kong. Epic Games, the developer of the uber-popular Fortnite, put their just-as-valid independence energies towards a We The People event in Fortnite's Party Royale mode, hosted by CNN FAKE NEWS contributor Van Jones, along with Jemele Hill, Elaine Welteroth, Killer Mike, and Lil Baby. They wanted to talk about systemic racism in media, culture, and entertainment, and unfortunately, Fortnite is a big player in all of those.

Just for a little background, Party Royale is a pretty new Fortnite mode that's being used to feature live shows/broadcast content, such as concerts and movie showings. Players get to sit back and watch, stripped of distractions like weapons and goals. Creative people have a big interest in wanting to showcase their work in front of the massive audience that Fortnite can bring. Previous showcased things include deadmau5, Diplo, Inception, and Batman Begins.

Videogame academics and researchers interested in games as social spaces will be very interested in how the Party Royale develops, if it continues to. It's definitely still an experiment, and I'd consider this specific We The People event to be... a failed experiment. You can watch the whole thing for yourself here if you want—I did to prepare for this article—but you can also skip it and just keep reading my thoughts and a complication the event faced. Warning: Contains some really awful (but safe-for-work) rap music:

Friday, July 3, 2020

KoopaTV Advocates for Hong Kong Independence (香港独立)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV supports 香港独立!

You are supposed to pronounce the Chinese letters as “Xiānggǎng dúlì.” It means Hong Kong Independence. How did “Xiānggǎng” get romanticised to Hong Kong, I dunno, but what I do know is that the Chinese Communist Party is severely mistreating the Hong Kong region and the millions of people that live and work there. The only way to resolve this is for Hong Kong to have independence.

To be clear, when we covered the Hong Kong Liberation controversy back in October with Activision-Blizzard and Hearthstone (and the broader reasons why Hong Kongers wanted liberation and what that meant), there were tons of protests over an awful extradition treaty that'd violate Hong Kong's autonomy. It wasn't for people wanting Hong Kong to actually be an independent country.

Then the Chinese Communist Party Virus was inflicted upon the world, including Hong Kong, and the protests were stopped. During that time, China was plotting measures that would further deteriorate Hong Kong's autonomy, to the point that now United States policy is to no longer consider Hong Kong and China separate entities. Those measures include banning treason and subversion, which is code-word for “you will be arrested for protesting.” And many examples of arrests and police brutality have taken place over there.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Tencent and Nintendo Announce a New Pokémon Game

By OLI KANG - Finally, a MOBA for Pokémon fans!

Tencent, a multi-billion dollar Chinese conglomerate, has been partnering with successful gaming companies for years and is now planning a move with Nintendo. Tencent entered the console gaming sector by collaborating with PlatinumGames and Marvelous. This turned out to be a wise strategy as it helped Tencent create games based on popular game franchises.

On June 24th, 2020, Nintendo announced that it would partner with Tencent Holdings to create a new Pokémon game. The partnership is Tencent Holdings' latest attempt to enter the console market and consolidate its partnerships with Japanese firms. This new Pokémon game is a real-time, 5-on-5 multiplayer game (or MOBA to be exact) called Pokémon UNITE.

Photo by Jay on Unsplash

Pokémon UNITE Features

For the most part, Pokémon UNITE looks a lot like Tencent's other well-designed multiplayer games, especially League of Legends. The new game will have a familiar screen arrangement and will feature popular Pokémon characters. Pokémon UNITE will allow mobile and Nintendo Switch players to work with teammates to take down their opponents.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

KoopaTV's June 2020 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring progress!

In normal times, the KoopaTV June 2020 newsletter would be reviewing the month of June with a heavy focus on the events of that year's Electronic Entertainments Expo (E3). Unfortunately, there was no such conference this year—not a legitimate central one—so June was more like any other month of the year.

That said, in terms of KoopaTV, that still makes for an excellent experience, so let's talk about it. There's a brand-new opportunity starting today, as well.

KoopaTV's Top Five Recommended Experiences of June 2020

Core to KoopaTV is our published content that you get to interact with (and get rewarded for). Every month, we highlight the top five. That said, there are other pieces of content—they are all works of art, really—that doesn't get to be in the top five, and they're still absolutely things you should check out.

  1. Not All Cops Are Bad. This One Stomped on Mario! — It's super-important to note the relationship between us Koopas and your Earth cops. It's bad. We therefore generally support measures to take the police down at least one notch... but this one guy on footage did a good thing. We think it's worth checking out.
  2. A Closer Look at Paper Mario: The Origami King — We learned a lot more in June about the battle system and characters in Paper Mario: The Origami King, and Ludwig has some thoughts and analysis on it.
  3. What or Who is a BOOMER BILL? — A KoopaTV exclusive investigation into what or who a Boomer Bill is, after the rest of the Internet is confused by the LEGO-Nintendo partnership.
  4. Pokémon Smile's “Let the camera see your face!” Made Me Pokémon Frown — Ludwig initially complained that Pokémon Smile doesn't even work and the camera feature is a fail, but it got updated, so now read his thoughts on it as an experience! (Further elaborated on later in this newsletter in the next section after the page break.)
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate June 2020 Fighter Usage Stats: Last Before the Min Min Era! — As Super Smash Bros. Ultimate enters a new day in its metagame, Ludwig caps off version 7.0.0 with the final usage stats, as well as a data-driven rant about Nintendo's foolish politically correct (and detrimental) decisions around delaying their own tournament out of respect for Black Lives Matter.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 8.0.0 Impressions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's a hero I'm excited for, and it sure isn't Min Min.

Most people will associate Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version 8.0.0—revealed in a presentation last week and released as of last night—as the version update that added Min Min and a bunch of ARMS music to the game, within the new Spring Stadium stage. Some speculators will be excited about the prospect of base game Spirits no longer deconfirming future downloadable content character selections. Speaking of spirits, a few high score nerds will seek to maximise their scores in the new spirit battle rematches feature.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Min Min tourney mode June 29 2020 bracket
This looks like a Min Minfiltration.

I think I've made it clear that I'm most hyped for the updates to the fighters that come with the new update. Here are the patch notes details. (I'll note that Kirby and Captain Falcon featured in Min Min's trailer and were big beneficiaries of updates, and it was pretty much just buffs without nerfs.) If that comes across as gibberish to you, perhaps this before and after video from Beefy Smash Dudes will help:

What am I most interested in? Well:

Monday, June 29, 2020

The CAPCOM Greatest Hits Sale of June 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's also around for the first two days of July 2020.

Did you miss the massive FakE3 2020 games sale from two weeks ago? Well, it's a new week, and at the very least, that means CAPCOM is putting (some of) their games on sale again. Really:

Capcom Greatest Hits Sale June 2020 Nintendo eshop
CAPCOM Greatest Hits Sale, from June 25 to July 2 (or July 3 at 2:59 AM on Eastern Time).
If you're able to remember the history of all of these sales (and it's hard, since they all morph together in your head), you'd remember that we also got a CAPCOM Greatest Hits Sale three months ago in March 2020. That one had seven games, while this one had eight games. Here's a comparison table:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate June 2020 Fighter Usage Stats: Last Before the Min Min Era!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The state of the online metagame before Min Min.

As revealed at the start of this week, Min Min from ARMS is going to be a part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at the start of next week. That will not only introduce Min Min, but there will also be balance changes. I'm looking forward to those, especially after the concern that patches wouldn't be implemented anytime soon due to the Chinese Communist Party Virus making it difficult for developers to work.

All of that means that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate metagame—especially online—will change forever beginning on June 29–30, 2020. You should recall the existence of the official Nintendo-sponsored Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020, with the majority of it taking place in June 2020. Right after that concluded, Min Min got presented. That makes it one of the last Super Smash Bros. Ultimate events before Min Min, and since there are a ton of available stats with a large sample size, it's interesting to see the last snapshot of the metagame.

Congratulations, by the way, to Sumgai (Pichu player from the Northeast USA/Region 7, and perpetual pwner/eliminator of me in these tournaments), The Mighty Dialga (Bayonetta player from Southeast-ish USA/Region 6), Nerysacio (Isabelle player from Mexico/Region 4), and Nessboy12 (Ness player from California/Region 2). Also, congrats to me for being appointed as the only non-tournament-staff moderator in the Discord server for the tournament series. That's a far cry from being banned from every other official Nintendo location ever made.

I'll talk more about my thoughts on the tournament later on in this article, but first, USAGE STATS. Who is being used the most of the cast? Who is being used the least? And how have those numbers changed since we last looked at them in March 2020? Take a look:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Why Cybersecurity is an Important Issue for the eSports Industry

By JACK WARNER - Beware of the cybersecurity risks you are exposed to.

ESports, the center of entertainment for gamers everywhere. Whether you’re into watching a Smash player eradicate the will of their opponent or witnessing a professional Counter-Strike player clutch a match, eSports has it all.

And while I could go on about the intrinsic nature of the eSports industry, I’d talk about the issues plaguing it. I speak of the cybersecurity issues that haunt fans and professional players alike.

The first cybersecurity issue haunting the industry is that of cheats. There are just so many cheats in competitive games. You don’t have to look too hard to find videos of wallhacks in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or aimbots in Call of Duty.

Them being everywhere ruins the sanctity of the concept of eSports. I’m sure professionals have used them before. As a matter of fact, according to Polygon, a Counter-Strike pro did get caught using cheats, causing his entire team to be barred from future games, killing the team entirely.

But there are far more problems in the eSports industry than just cheats. Let’s take a moment to talk about the act of stealing/selling accounts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Pokémon Presents: Pokémon UNITE Live Reactions!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yeaaaaaah this is laughably bad.

Last week, The Pokémon Company had a presentation covering several new Pokémon projects. The Pokémon Company asked us to tune in this week for “more news” to “please look forward to”.

And so, myself and Heavy Lobster are tuning in today to...this. Warning, as of publishing, the Like:Dislike ratio is 39K:55K.

[8:51 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[8:52 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Well, it's set to YouTube "for kids".
[8:52 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: So it's probably not something like Pokkén.
[8:55 AM] HeavyLobster: Sounds lame. Pokken 2 would be amazing.
[8:55 AM] HeavyLobster: Please no Let's Go Johto garbage.
[8:55 AM] HeavyLobster: Dumbing down Gen 1 was bad enough.
[8:58 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...uggh.
[8:58 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I'm more worried about Let's Go Sinnoh.
[8:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Johto can afford to get ruined!
[8:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: It already got a fantastic remake.
[8:59 AM] HeavyLobster: Any spinoff outsourced to a quality studio is hype, any annualized release made by Gamefreak is not.
[8:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: inb4 spinoff outsourced to a poor studio
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: BEGIN

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Was Billy Mitchell Vindicated? Guinness Records Turnabout!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Most everyone else disagrees.

Back in early 2018, KoopaTV reported that Arcade-era record-obtaining legend and hot sauce mogul Billy Mitchell was accused by members of the Donkey Kong Arcade forum of lying and cheating with his records and using a MAME emulator as opposed to an authentic Arcade machine of Donkey Kong. Shortly after that was published, all of Billy Mitchell's records were stripped from the Guinness World Records and gaming leaderboard organisation Twin Galaxies. (Even the ones not directly related to the instance in question, due to him being banned entirely.)

Billy Mitchell failed to provide public counter-evidence in the allotted time span, but instead threatened defamation lawsuits. (Billy Mitchell being seen as a cheater would harm his personal brand and hot sauce business.) Last week, all of a sudden, Guinness reversed their decision and reinstated Billy Mitchell's PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong scores.

According to Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records Editor in Chief, in a video statement,
“Billy Mitchell has made various appearances in the Guinness World Records books since the 1980s, but in 2018, some questions were raised about the technical aspects of his gameplay, and we therefore took the decision to disqualify his records. Mitchell then appealed that decision, and we subsequently reopened his case and re-examined the evidence. This involved reviewing both the existing evidence, and newly-sourced eyewitness testimony, plus some new expert gameplay analyses and hardware verification. In the end, we found that there just wasn't sufficient evidence to support the disqualification across the board. In cases such as this where there is debate, we would typically defer to the original contemporaneous adjudication, and this is the case here. So the result is that the records management team has decided to reverse the decisions made, and reinstate all of Mr. Mitchell's records for PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong.”

Twin Galaxies, however, maintains their ban, and Billy Mitchell is going to take them to court soon (there is a hearing on July 6 at 9 AM, apparently). Many forum posters on the Donkey Kong forum and Twin Galaxies board believe that Guinness World Records is corrupt or paid off somehow, and at no point was this new evidence/analyses/testimony actually presented to the public, which makes things seem very suspicious.

There's two tangential points I want to discuss that don't involve my personal admiration of Billy Mitchell's character and charisma, relating to eSports and my personal experience with Guinness World Records:

Monday, June 22, 2020

KoopaTV Live Reacts to Mr. Sakurai Presenting Min Min from ARMS

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Fair and balanced LIVE coverage.

The public has known for three months now that the next downloadable character to be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be a fighter from Nintendo's 2017 Nintendo Switch title, ARMS. However, they didn't specify WHO from ARMS would be featured, leaving Super Smash Bros. fans in yet another agonising several months of speculation.

Joining KoopaTV's live reaction log are Heavy Lobster—who actually really likes ARMS and is happy that it's getting attention—and myself, who despises ARMS and has been writing prophetic articles about how it's unfortunate that the Super Smash Bros. development team keeps making characters with ever-longer attack ranges, as well as lamenting the fact that the ARMS stage will have significantly more music than the Punch-Out!! stage.

Watch the reveal presentation with us here to follow along:

Friday, June 19, 2020

Jump Rope Challenge for Nintendo Switch Review

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Is this even worth reviewing? Well...

Today, The Last of Us Part II came out. If I wrote to you how I felt about it, Sony will submit a DMCA request and try to shut KoopaTV down. Quite frankly, they don't deserve the attention, so let's talk about Nintendo once again. At the start of this week, they released the free download-only game, Jump Rope Challenge, which is supposed to let you “jump rope” with your Joy-Cons while the software keeps track of how many you've done. You know, so you can stay somewhat physically active while you're unable to buy Ring Fit Adventure due to supply shortages.

I guess I'll review it. There's not much to it, so this should be sort of easy.

Fast Facts

Jump Rope Challenge
Nintendo Switch (incompatible with Nintendo Switch Lite)
Space Required
Approximately 78 MB
ESRB rating
E for Everyone
Number of Players
One to Two
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
None, but it's free

I suppose since the game is quite barebones, it doesn't make sense to go section-by-section. There's only one gameplay input: Waggling your Joy-Cons (or one Joy-Con if you're doing multiplayer mode with another person, which isn't a co-op mode but more two rabbits sharing the same screen). You're supposed to be jumping, but the actual input is that the Joy-Con senses any kind of movement. Therefore, it doesn't matter if you're leaping, or bending your knees, or doing anything at all with your body. Personally, I'm just sitting on my chair and drumming the Joy-Cons like that Wii Music drummer from Nintendo's E3 2008:

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pokémon Smile's “Let the camera see your face!” Made Me Pokémon Frown

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Can you help? ...And would my dentist even approve?

The announcement that I found to be the most hype from yesterday's Pokémon Presents was Pokémon Smile. Why? Because I already am on the record (and photographed it) as a supporter and practitioner of integrating Pokémon and oral care. Pokémon Smile was made for me. (Well, besides the whole “it's for little kids assisted by their parents” bit.) Even better, it's full of cute artwork, which is another thing I really appreciate.

Pokémon Smile starters Bulbasaur Charmander Squirtle Pikachu Eevee
Here are the Starter Pokémon you can choose from.
I, of course, went with Squirtle.
Pokémon Smile artwork Pikachu Snorlax Slowpoke Pidgey Lapras Vulpix Onix Exeggutor Psyduck Jigglypuff Mewoth Scyther Dewgong Gengar Charizard Electabuzz Metapod Poliwag Aerodactyl Sandshrew
Do you think little kids only care about the first generation?
(From left-to-right row-by-row:
Pikachu, Snorlax, Slowpoke, Pidgey, Lapras.
Vulpix, Onix, Exeggutor, Psyduck, Jigglypuff.
Meowth, Scyther, Dewgong, Gengar, Charizard.
Electabuzz, Metapod, Poliwag, Aerodactyl, Sandshrew.)

Here's the downside. The game didn't even work. (Scroll to the bottom of the article for an update.) I get stuck at this screen:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pokémon Presents (June 17, 2020) Live Reactions!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ludwig versus his dentist.

The President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, has almost 11 minutes of Pokémon information to share!

And KoopaTV is here to react to it. Well, just me. No one else bothered to show up. No one else ever shows up to these Pokémon Directs (branded as Pokémon Presents). Oh well, I can handle it. Here we go:

[8:47 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I'm not sure if I'm even supposed to live react to this or I should just do a write-up of it.
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Depends how long this'll go.
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: It's started. With a two-minute countdown.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: BLACK PIKACHU
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Ishihara from The Pokémon Company.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: "I hope the titles shown today"
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: PLURAL
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: what
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: excuse me
[9:03 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Pokémon Smile?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

What or Who is a BOOMER BILL?


Yesterday, I wrote about Zoomers. Today, I'm going to write about Boomers. (Though unlike the Generation Z demographic, Baby Boomers are a minuscule fraction of KoopaTV's audience, so I'll end up offending much less of my audience today.)

Specifically, I'm here to question the existence of the Boomer Bill. What's a Boomer Bill? Well, at first glance, it's a made-up variant of the Bullet Bill, only seen in the troubling collaboration between Nintendo and LEGO that KoopaTV has been covering for months. Indeed, today they announced, on top of the costume packs from last month, there will be ten total expansion packs. Note that the base product still isn't even out yet. Here's the full expansion set list, per LEGO press release: 
  1. LEGO® Super Mario™ Guarded Fortress Expansion Set (49.99 USD/EUR) 
  2. LEGO® Super Mario™ Desert Pokey Expansion Set (19.99 USD/EUR) 
  3. LEGO® Super Mario™ Whomp’s Lava Trouble Expansion Set (19.99 USD/EUR) 
  4. LEGO® Super Mario™ Piranha Plant Power Slide Expansion Set (29.99 USD/EUR) 
  5. LEGO® Super Mario™ Boomer Bill Barrage Expansion Set (29.99 USD/EUR) 
  6. LEGO® Super Mario™ Mario’s House & Yoshi Expansion Set (29.99 USD EUR) 
  7. LEGO® Super Mario™ Toad’s Treasure Hunt Expansion Set (69.99 USD/EUR) 
  8. LEGO® Super Mario™ Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set (99.99 USD/EUR) 
  9. LEGO® Super Mario™ Thwomp Drop Expansion Set (39.99 USD/EUR, available only with select retailers) 
  10. LEGO® Super Mario™ King Boo and the Haunted Yard Expansion Set (49.99 USD/EUR, available only with select retailers) 
On top of all of that, there's a gacha-esque set of character packs (or “blind bags”), where you don't know what's inside of them, but one 4.99 USD/EUR pack can contain one of:

Monday, June 15, 2020

The Year is 200X: Ludwig Von Koopa Versus ZOOMERS!


Alright, you may remember Bringing Back the '80s. You may also remember Hailing from the '90s. These were so-called Event Tourneys in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that restricted character usage (and stages) and were playable online for a limited time. Unfortunately, a major theme of those was that I, Ludwig Von Koopa, was not available as a playable character, despite me being around back in those days. (Look up Super Mario Bros. 3.)

Well, over the weekend, Nintendo held yet another Event Tourney: The Year is 200X tournament. And... strangely enough, I'm somehow available in this one. It's described as:
“This time-limited tourney is for fighters and stages created between 2000 and 2009!

The further you advance, the better the spirit you'll win!”

But before we get to talking about myself, let's note that the Mii Fighters are also available, and that results in witnessing (and fighting against) disasters such as: 

Friday, June 12, 2020

A Closer Look at Paper Mario: The Origami King

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Do I like what I see?

Just how does Nintendo react to Sony claiming the future of gaming?

With this video:


Hopefully, you remember our first look at Paper Mario: The Origami King from last month. Today, it's time to take a second, closer look, which hopefully answers several questions. And, I mean, look at that thumbnail. LOOKS PARTNER-Y, and the trailer even asks what kind of adventure it would be without companions to share it with. ...But this article is about a closer look, not just your first look. And Paper Mario: The Origami King is worth inspecting closely, since Paper Mario games have a documented history of having untrustworthy trailers.

Said partners include the amnesiac Bobby the Bob-omb, the curious Professor Toad the Toad, and KoopaTV staffer Kamek the Magikoopa.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

KoopaTV Live Reacts to PlayStation 5's The Future of Gaming Conference

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Remember throughout that they are promising the biggest generational transition in the history of the videogame industry.

Unfortunately, we are living in an era known as FakE3 2020, where the week(s)-long succession of intense gaming news drops and coverage... doesn't exist.

However, one company, Sony, dares to have a legitimate conference (or Direct) during what would have been E3 2020. That's quite interesting, since they swore off participating at the real E3 2020 if it was going to actually happen, but they're also the only ones who are getting into FakE3 2020.

Sony promises to reveal many games and details about the PlayStation 5, of which we only really know it's coming out later in 2020 and it has a weird and offensive (to some) controller, the DualSense.

Join me and Heavy Lobster (and... Kamek...who flew in on his broom very late and then had his own set of reactions at the end of the log, which take a more optimistic tone) as we watched Sony's conference, which you can also watch a video-on-demand of here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Toyko Out of Emergency. Implications? Where's PEGASUS DREAM TOUR?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV has an exclusive scoop.

My apologies for not initially bringing this up (mostly because how little media coverage it was getting so I didn't know about it): At the same time the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo were announced to be delayed, the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo were also delayed.

The reason why the Paralympic Games are of interest is that last year, we brought up a game called The Pegasus Dream Tour. It's a very stylised sports role-playing game around the Paralympics, brought to you by a former director of Square Enix, Hajime Tobata, at his new company JP GAMES. Seems very interesting. But we've heard no news on it since it was announced. Well, until now.

...But, first, let's briefly talk about the state of affairs on Japan in general. Japan has ended their nationwide state of emergency. This has some profound implications, including that Japanese companies like Nintendo can fully go back to work on things like fixing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's metagame. And, uh, making new games. Like a new Ace Attorney.

OR, like The Pegasus Dream Tour. I actually reached out to JP GAMES, the developer:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Nintendo Summer Game Sale of 2020... aka FakE3 Digital Game Sale

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's not even summer, but Nintendo won't let facts get in the way.

While Nintendo of America remains absolutely silent (so are their European counterparts, though this article applies to them as well), the Nintendo eShop is bustling with activity: over 1300 games have a discount deal right now, starting June 9 and ending June 16. Nintendo deems it the Summer Game Sale, despite summer beginning June 20, 2020. Of course, this is the same company that names a tournament after Spring even though Spring had not started yet, and then named a tournament after May despite it mostly taking place in June. At least, as initially scheduled.

Anyway, Summer Game Sale. Tons and tons of games are on sale, which you can see for yourself here. Even first-party Nintendo games that very rarely get discounted like Kirby Star Allies (which I strongly endorse), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (for $42, just slightly below the Wii U original price!), Mario Tennis Aces, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. (But not, say, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or Splatoon 2, or Fire Emblem: Three Houses, or even ARMS.)

Dragon Quest XI S is $42, too, and that's Game of THAT Year 2019. So many games I could name-drop that have been covered on KoopaTV are on sale right now! Even games like Murder by Numbers, which... I won't get because the icky Picross is quite prominent.

Since this is KoopaTV, I'm obligated to point out that the Ace Attorney games are on sale for Nintendo 3DS and Switch.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is also 50% off on the Xbox One, but as of writing, not Steam or PlayStation 4.
(So are many/all of CAPCOM's other games, including Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection if you missed that two weeks ago.)

Let's be frank. It's no coincidence this sale exists now, and today. After all, today is when E3 2020 would have started, and Nintendo would have had a huge presentation. They usually do have giant sales (with first-party games) following E3. It's a hype-generator. The question for us now is... Will Nintendo actually do anything hype-worthy during this time period, or is this sale just a vestige of old times before the Chinese Communist Party screwed up Earth with its virus?

Let Ludwig know about the sales you picked up and found... if you want. Or don't buy anything. He doesn't plan to himself. He was gonna have to write about this either way since there's Ace Attorney, which he doesn't expect any news about in the FakE3 2020 time period, though he wishes there was. By the way, Ludwig finished Mega Man 11. He still loathes Yellow Devil.

The last time all of the Ace Attorney games were on sale was the April 2020 CAPCOM Spring Sale, which actually was during Spring.
CAPCOM put eight of their games on sale by the end of June 2020, including two Ace Attorney titles.

Monday, June 8, 2020

It Would've Been E3 2020 Now... But Here's FakE3 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What a sorry state.

In previous years on KoopaTV, we would already have our Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) schedule up for the year and have covered multiple company conferences with live reaction logs that would've taken place on Sunday and Monday. We would even have a temporary and unique logo for the occasion.

E3 2020 is cancelled, however, thanks to coronavirus concerns. Same ones that cancel everything else, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Well, almost everything. Riots/protests still happen.)

Does that mean the videogame companies that were going to show up to E3 2020 and make announcements there, will just make the announcements around this timeframe anyway, but for FakE3 2020? (Or IGN's FakE3 2020.) Well... that's unclear. Some companies are. Some haven't announced it. There's no Nintendo on any FakE3 2020 schedule. Meanwhile, Sony is doing their own thing on Thursday. I guess we'll cover it here. But it wasn't even supposed to be during this week. What a mess.

I guess you could argue if the videogame industry is going to move on and do well regardless, then E3 isn't even needed and should stay dead. Just have The Game Awards in December.

Oh, what a nasty fate that'd be, for that awful event to be THE annual event for the gaming industry.

Let's just make the Tokyo Game Show the new E3. And hope they actually announce USEFUL stuff there.

By the way, every E3 has a pre-E3 tragedy. This year's tragedy was obviously the killing of George Floyd. No one contests that! The tradition is apparently so strong or scheduled so far in advance by destiny, it happens even when E3 gets cancelled.

KoopaTV covered E3 2019 atypically, but here was its schedule article.
Here is Sony's presentation, the only one during the would-be E3 2020 time period, featuring the PlayStation 5.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics released today

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...But you wouldn't know it if you relied on official social media for your information. Fortunately, you have KoopaTV.

Today, a game that immediately piqued my interest back in the March 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics, released on the Nintendo Switch. It's a sequel to a version on the Nintendo DS with different classics on it that I never had, so I'm looking at Clubhouse Games with independent interest.

But Nintendo's social media has gone radio silent. Nothing on Twitter or Facebook. Nothing even on YouTube, which means that Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics lacks a launch trailer. Rest assured, the game is out. You can buy it right now on the Nintendo eShop for $40. It also has a press release and an in-console Switch News article. 

Apparently, no one is allowed to have fun while there are dangerous protests going on. Human life is more important than 51 clubhouse games that are reproduced beautifully on the Switch, with surprisingly satisfying sound effects and production values.

Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics power corrupts President Nintendo Switch Black Lives Matter
Nintendo should've posted this image on social media to acknowledge Black Lives Matter, as opposed to what they actually did.
It's a perfect topical message with perfect delivery, and it has a dual purpose of promoting a game that needs promoting!

However, if you do believe that you're allowed to have some fun in your life (whether that's an innate moral value or you're just exercising your “privilege”), check out the free demo, Clubhouse Games Guest Pass. Not only can you use that to play local multiplayer with someone who owns the full version of the game, but it also has four games you can play by yourself for free: Four-in-a-Row, Dominoes, President, and Slot Cars. Don't know how to play? The Guest Pass also includes the full set of instructions for all 51 games, along with the amusing fully voice-acted introductions between the NPCs that give the game immense flavour. That's a whole bunch of value all on its own, even if you don't intend to buy the game, and it's free.

Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics Sliding Puzzle no turtle problems Nintendo Switch
You're turning a blind eye to the systemic anti-turtle behaviours in your society.
KoopaTV has covered these repeatedly on World Turtle Day, most recently a few weeks ago.

Ludwig figures that the game will be better with friends you know will get it (as opposed to a single player experience versus computer players), so he's going to poll around the KoopaTV staff and others to see if they'd be interested in buying the game. He does want to get the game physically, so either way he'll wait until game stores are open for everyone (without relying on curbside pickup or something). He does need to go refill his stash of eShop cards for future KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program rounds, after all. Waiting a bit before buying Clubhouse Games will also indicate if the game's appeal is a flash in the pan, or if it has staying power.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Did Social Distancing Stop Being a Priority?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Sure seems that way.

Some of you humans seem to enjoy killing each other. Then the rest of you humans burn your own communities down since you're upset. Several years ago, I wrote an “unbelievably offensive” article combining the concepts of Super Smash Bros. For Wii U being released during the Ferguson, Missouri riots. I reread it just before starting to write this article, and I noticed I spent the entire time being cheeky about the situation, rather than actually giving much of an opinion on the issue.

I'll put my opinion up front on the newest set of riots, around the killing of George Floyd by what appears to be the very long, lingering frames of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's Knee of Injustice. (I can't get the word “chauvinism” out of my mind while reading his name.) Well, riots and indiscriminately burning stuff with torches are often bad, sure. Protests against overbearing corrupt authority (and this is what I think of the police) are fine. I mean, they have to be. I support the protests in Hong Kong against the overreach and evils of the Communist Chinese Party. To the extent in Hong Kong the protests were violent, and I'm fine with those, well... I think that's justifiable.

I prefer movements that have actual goals. Derek Chauvin got arrested and charged with a degree of murder and manslaughter. Yet people are still protesting. Why? I guess to prevent more people from getting killed, unnecessarily, by cops. How will protesting prevent that? It won't. I mean, murder—even by cops—is already illegal.

But nevermind that. There's another issue I'm MUCH more bothered with, and I have a personal stake in it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Not All Cops Are Bad. This One Stomped on Mario!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Well, he might be bad in any other instance of his job that we don't get to see on camera.

Here is a Koopa's first experience with the police force on an Earth country, specifically the United States of America. It's not pleasant:

Super Mario Bros. Super Show Flatbush Koopa Troopa cops police chase bridge
Three Koopa Troopas being chased by four (WHITE) cops, just for being green-skinned.
(Or at least, that's what it seems like. No one asked them why. Too busy running.)

We're definitely not friends of your brutal police force. I'm of the opinion that you Americans have a strong Second Amendment to protect yourselves from your police, which otherwise have a monopoly on force, which tends to be quite corrupting for humans. (That doesn't apply to the benevolent monarchy of Koopa Kingdom, which has no documented cases of law enforcement brutality on its own citizens.)

The police, after all, have no obligation to actually protect you or your property. That's up to you.

With the police being of little use to anyone but themselves (and they get to survive by the force of corrupt unions and their donations to Democrats), it was astonishing to see, on footage, at least one cop do a good thing:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tauros and Bouffalant are back... See them at the Isle of Armor!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's also Galarian Articuno, and it shoots laser beams from its eyes. That's cool!

Displacing some non-videogame-related news today is The Pokémon Company International with a news drop on the upcoming downloadable content expansion packs for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield's Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, first announced at the start of 2020. I called the existence of the expansion packs scumbaggy, but I won't let that colour my reactions to the news:

Two quick notes: One, don't let the length of the video fool you. There's even more information about everything on the official Pokémon website. Two, even though the thumbnail is of humans, I don't care about them, and I won't be commenting about the humans in this article.

Monday, June 1, 2020

KoopaTV's May 2020 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - May was hardly a month, but boy did KoopaTV go hard!

Does anyone want to read a newsletter going over May 2020 from KoopaTV right now? Well, at least a few dozen of you should want to. It'll be good, possibly uplifting stuff. Promise. Koopa's honour.

Let's start with great content: 

KoopaTV's Top Five Recommended Experiences of May 2020

Everything on KoopaTV is worth reading, and there were SO MANY GOOD CANDIDATES for this, but you should super-check these out (in chronological order...which makes my recency bias obvious):
  1. KoopaTV's Seven-Year Anniversary: Seven Star Stamps for SUPERSTAR!  — KoopaTV's fantastic seven-year anniversary article, which you'll want to read if you're interested in either Mario Party 3, or me bragging about myself/this site.
  2. World Turtle Day: Rescuing Fire-Attacked Turtles (from MARIO!) — This month's Enlightenment Movement article, from the important topic of World Turtle Day 2020 and Mario's impact on a cold case (involving a hot fire!) in 2016.
  3. Memorial to the Fallen Robotic Operating Buddies — The tragedy of the underappreciated robots, last seen in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary story. They're wiped out now.
  4. Team Ketchup WON the Splatfest? What timeline are we in?! — While I dislike Squidwig taking over my account and publishing an unauthorised article, I suppose he does raise a good point that I'm seeing discussed in other places about how the chaos of his world is causing things to be undone. Though he's quite rude towards me.
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles: A Modern Classic — Heavy Lobster makes the case that Xenoblade Chronicles has a lasting legacy, despite its unlikely initial release situation. Now Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is out.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Xenoblade Chronicles: A Modern Classic

By HEAVY LOBSTER - The Legacy of Xenoblade Chronicles, 10 Years Later.

Ten years ago, on June 10th, 2010, an obscure JRPG called Xenoblade Chronicles was released in Japan, and while the game garnered critical praise, there were no plans for the game to release in North America. The game was localized for Europe in 2011, but it took until 2012 after a fan campaign for it and 2 other JRPGs known as Operation Rainfall gained traction for it to finally release in the US, though it did so as a limited run GameStop exclusive that was notoriously hard to find. While the game sold through its limited run, it still languished in obscurity as the Wii had long been forgotten by that time. But over time, the game gradually got more attention via word-of-mouth, was spotlighted by Chuggaconroy's Let's Play, culminating eventually in Shulk appearing in Smash, followed soon after by a New 3DS-exclusive port of the game, and was later followed by Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The game is now considered by many to be the best JRPG of the 7th generation.

So what is it about this game that allowed it to leave such a lasting impact in spite of its inauspicious beginnings? In part it's because of when the game came out, as at the time many Japanese developers were moving away from home consoles towards handhelds, and Final Fantasy 13 was notorious for its excessive linearity, which gave Xenoblade a chance to stand out with its vast open areas to explore. In spite of the Wii's graphical limitations, the game's art direction and unique setting allowed for some awe-inspiring vistas. The game's memorable cast of characters and gripping story likewise captured players, and the unique battle system served to blend elements of action and turn-based RPGs. It set a standard for modern JRPGs and in many respects it represents a transition between early 3D JRPGs and more recent entries in the genre. The world manages to balance openness and exploration with traditional linear storytelling, as while you travel through each new area in a linear progression, these areas are so vast and open and rich with content that it has a distinct open-world feel while still retaining a strong narrative and sense of direction. It manages to balance so many elements so well to create an unforgettable package.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Oh. Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Is Getting a Sequel

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Who could've seen this coming? Well...

Let's quote what I wrote in February about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie:
“Both of the last scenes set up for a sequel hook, and I'm not sure that it's a good thing for a movie that the most-discussed thing is the possibility of a future movie. Like, is the first one not good enough to stand on its own?”

Turns out I'm probably right. Well, the possibility of a future movie is a surety now, since Paramount Pictures confirmed today that “they have commenced development on a sequel” but “decisions have not been made yet regarding casting or a production start date.” (I suppose it's not a surety that it won't get cancelled or something.)

And that's pretty much all we know. Well, we know who is producing, directing, and executive producing, but since I don't know who these people are, what do I care to repeat their names to you?

I'll now dedicate the rest of this article to a short rant about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Mega Man Franchise Sale...and Zero's a constantly dying robot

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Zero's death-defying privilege, seen in games with big discounts now.

Alright, I'm not quite over the whole robots died en masse thing I wrote about for Memorial Day. And I finally have my KoopaTV account back, as you can see. Sorry that you all had to go through that ridiculous mocking squid jerk yesterday.

I don't think I'll be able to write a “go buy Ace Attorney on sale” article this month (...well, I already did, but I mean on Nintendo eShop and not Steam). Instead, CAPCOM is granting us a Mega Man Franchise Sale on Nintendo eShop and... apparently on the Xbox store, too. It features Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2; as well as Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2; plus Mega Man 11. Those are all 50% off except for Mega Man Legacy Collection, which is weirdly only 34% off.

But there's one more thing. For the first time ever, Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is discounted by 25% off, for a total price of $22.49. (You may remember I wrote a review of Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection's... Music Player.)

These sales last until May 31 at 11:59 PM Pacific, or 2:59 AM Eastern on June 1.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Team Ketchup WON the Splatfest? What timeline are we in?!

Squidwig KoopaTV avatar By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Oh no... Inkopolis is doomed.

Hey. Ludwig's busy crying over some dead robots from 12 years ago. Whatever. It gives me an opportunity to take over this blog. Squidwig here. 

Last weekend in Inkopolis Square, there was a huge event. For the first time ever, Inkopolis Square had a Splatfest! Between Team Mayonnaise (supported by Off the Hook superstar Pearl) and Team Ketchup (supported by the Off the Hook member, Marina). After a close 48-hour bout, Team Ketchup came up on top. Ketchup dominated the Popularity (55.25% to 44.75%) ranking, and closely won the Splatfest Battle Pro category (50.38% to 49.62%). Mayonnaise prevailed in the friend-involving Splatfest Battle Normal category (51.71% to 48.29%).

Ketchup is now legally superior to Mayonnaise within Inkopolis Square. All of the condiment stands—such as Crusty Sean's popular Crust Bucket food truck—are having mostly ketchup options now, with a much smaller supply of mayonnaise than before. That's the will of the people.

But if I look at KoopaTV (which I don't do often since it's full of irrelevant and boring nonsense)... something about this Splatfest is really strange.

That sobbing Koopa wrote last week that this is an “encore” Splatfest and that it already happened. The first time, Team Mayonnaise won, and the condiment baskets were filled with mayonnaise packets and the ketchup disappeared. But... how can that be?

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Team Ketchup wins mayo playing catch-up whole time Marina
But if Team Mayo already won... how could it be playing “catch-up” the whole time?
It's Team Ketchup that was playing catch-up!