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Friday, January 31, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 12: Wing Ability for an Up-B

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, now we know how Ring Fit Adventurer will recover...

Welcome back to KoopaTV's—well, it's really my personal—fitness log series, Fitness Fridays, as we—well, it's just me, but you can pretend to be doing it alongside me—play through Ring Fit Adventure in an effort to be more fit, flexible, and in better shape for all of life's challenges. Oh, and the Olympics.

Near the end, and again at the very end, of last week's (week 11)'s log, I lamented the existence of an in-game achievement (title) for playing the adventure mode for consecutive days in a row. I turned the game on Saturday just to claim it (and I fought the 3 Silver Hoplins—renamed Rare Hoplin, though it's still only based around giving experience points—mentioned at the end of week 10's log in the World 11 portion) and stopped. Except now there's a title not just for playing 7 consecutive days... but 10 consecutive days! This is why games are better off without achievements.

Ring Fit Adventure Titles achievements Adventure Fan Regular Maniac days consecutively
What happened to Ring Fit Adventure encouraging players to take breaks during the week?

Ring Fit Adventure Tipp take some days off is healthy
Ah, here's that tip. There's definitely some dissonance here.
“Rather than trying to train every day, taking some days off can help you maintain your good habit.”
Contradicts giving titles to people for playing 10 days consecutively.

Anyway, we're starting World 12: Wings of Daddalus. On Sunday, because I have to for the damn achievement. Still difficulty level 29, which is one away from the maximum.

The first level is called Clever-Trick Temple, which I'm hoping will wow me with novel level design. Sure enough, it has the push/pull puzzle blocks from World 9's Pushpull Temple that I really liked, with a treasure chest containing Almond Milk recipes that combine them with a variety of fruits. Surely not something you'd ever do with real milk. I can't confirm that Clever-Trick Temple is a palette swap of Pushpull Temple, but there wasn't anything inventive there. Moving on, there's a Sentry in the next level overworld that says I'm trespassing Eureka Village's holy mountain. The only person allowed there, I guess besides the Sentry, is the village leader, Daddalus. ...But since I'm not from the village, he lets me through. It's named Mt. Fearmenot. It's a holy awesome place where there's Milk on trees... and there's SNOW. There's also a massive cliff that we can't cross, so Ring forces us to quit the level and talk to the Sentry, who suggests we go to the next town to talk to Daddalus.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Demo Impressions


After I complimented Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair as “not a mess”, KoopaTV kind of left it at that and moved on. However, today Playtonic and Team17 released a Nintendo Switch demo, so in the interest of backing up my statement from the months-ago released, I decided to play it. For all I know, I'm wrong, and I owe it to the readers (you) to correct that, or at least elaborate.

For whatever reason, Yooka (chameleon) and Laylee (bat) are summoned to the Royal Stingdom (in a book) to take down Capital B, a cool-looking big bee. Queen Phoebee is concerned that Capital B has a “bee mind control device”, the “hive mind!” This will enslave all of the bees in the Royal Stingdom.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair title screen demo
I don't really know why Yooka is involved in this, and if they really wanted to be, why are they swimming against the book's suction-vortex?
I shouldn't need to press L and R to get them to stop unless it's against their will.

The demo takes us through a tutorial for the controls (press B to jump, Y while moving to roll and Y while stationary to do a basic attack... and you can do a roll-jump and a jump-attack) as well as the Beettalion mechanic. (You can take a hit for each bee you got.)

After the tutorial, there was what I assume is a tutorial boss fight against Capital B, but he used his Hivemind to take our Beettalion. I... lost the fight, and quite early, and instead of getting a game over, I triggered the next part of the story in the new overworld mechanic, where Queen Phoebee says each member of the Beettalion is in a chapter accessible in this overworld. Chapter 1 is Capital Causeway, and I must rescue the bee here!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Pokémon HOME Details—Get Ready For The Mortgage

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unlike a real mortgage, you'll never be able to pay it off, and the asset won't appreciate in value.

We learned about Pokémon HOME back in that Pokémon 2019 press conference/snooze-fest 8 months ago. Today (or yesterday), Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International released what Pokémon HOME actually is, and that it's coming to the market sometime in February 2020. Pokémon HOME is their solution for a cross-generation and cross-platform Pokémon storage service, so your Pokémon pals from the past 17 years can continue to be used in generations to come in one capacity or another.

They also revealed the crucial detail that the syntax is “Pokémon HOME”, and it's not italicised. (Compare to Pokémon Bank.)

There is a Nintendo Switch HOME, and then you can get a summer HOME on the mobile app. You can connect these two with a Nintendo Account, and they enable different movements.

To move Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon HOME, you can use either the Nintendo Switch app or the mobile phone app. For Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee!/Pokémon, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield, you must use the Nintendo Switch version of the app. At some point, you will be able to store Pokémon GO Pokémon into Pokémon HOME, likely with the mobile app. All of these movements are uni-directional (source to HOME) with the exception of bi-directional support for Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield.

Beyond just storing Pokémon, there are a few value-added features. There's four kinds of trading. There's a Wonder Box, where your Pokémon disappears and is replaced with someone else's. The GTS, where you can pick the Pokémon you want to receive. There's the Room Trade, where you can trade with specific people. (Think public Battle Arenas?) Lastly, the Friend Trade, where you can trade with friends because Pokémon HOME has its own friend system.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Be the Best Byleth? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open February 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or be the best of any number of buffed, nerfed, or untouched characters in 7.0.0!

Tonight, while I type these words, the world... nay, the universe, is waiting for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to enter Version 7.0.0. All I can do while I wait is write this article and play Ring Fit Adventure. This update promises the addition of Koopaling-wannabe Byleth, some Mii Costumes, and patch notes with balance changes. That last bit is most exciting, ESPECIALLY because we will be able to IMMEDIATELY track how it affects the metagame.

That's right. Returning from November 2019 is the online Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament series that's a collaboration between game publisher Nintendo and eSports platform Battlefy: The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open February 2020! (Register at that link.)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open February 2020 Battlefy logo
Now in a snazzy black-and-yellow logo.
(I like the blue one better.)

The rules are simple, and the same as November 2019 (with the exception of banning those Québec scoundrels). When you come to your region's tournament page (and that's based on where you'll be playing from) on your tournament day (regions 1–4 are February 1 at 10 AM Pacific time, and regions 5–8 are February 2 at 11 AM Eastern time), you'll see a red search for match button. For three hours after the start time, you're in a ladder round. That means you keep playing matches trying to get the best win-lose rate, and as you play more, you'll be matched with people closer to your skill level. You need to be in the top 32 of contestants in terms of win rate (with a minimum of 8 best-of-3 matches played) by the end of the three hours to qualify for the single-elimination bracket round. If you're a top-2 finalist in that, you get to join the other three regions on that tournament day for a top-8 bracket. If you're in the top-2 of that, you get the prize, which is...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Before It's Taken Down: Listen to 2 Sound of Kirby Café Soundtracks

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This article has the potential to become obsolete pretty quick, so be IN THE MOMENT.

I briefly wrote about the Kirby Café in that stupid coffee article back in 2017. This was an actual Kirby-themed establishment with Kirby-themed food and drinks in Japan with Kirby-themed plates that opened in 2016, was ended, reopened temporarily, closed again, and now (as of December 2019) reopened in Tokyo on a permanent basis.

There's a short storyline involved about how this café exists, but it's in Japanese. There's a video that goes with it, which, if nothing else, is precious. There doesn't appear to be characteristic deep Kirby lore involved, however.

Kirby Café King Dedede Rick Kine Coo beanie drinks
King Dedede wearing a beanie? Amazing content. ...Not sure what he's eating though.

However, this article exists to serve an English-speaking audience. You probably can't read Japanese. You probably won't be able to go to a tourist trap in Tokyo. In that case, what's in it for you? Well, the Café has some really great music that goes along with it. There was a CD soundtrack back in its 2016 existence, and now there's a second soundtrack for its 2019 revival. If you have access to buying things from Japan, you can purchase these for a combined 4000 yen (or nearly $40). Otherwise, you can listen to people dumping the soundtrack on YouTube. Try this 49-minute video of the whole first soundtrack, and this 60-minute video of the whole second soundtrack.)

If nothing else, listen to awesome and soothing remixes of songs that span the entire Kirby series, including my precious Kirby Air Ride. And do it before they get mysteriously taken down and swallowed up in a Copy Ability claim.

Ludwig obviously loves the Kirby series music, and this may or may not be why the KoopaTV Best New OST awards every year go to that year's Kirby title, most recently Super Kirby Clash won Best OST of 2019. He obviously listened to the music this article is promoting while composing this article.

This kind of article isn't unprecedented on KoopaTV. Ludwig wrote one similar to it for Paper Mario: Sticker Star's soundtrack being uploaded to YouTube.
Nintendo is also controlling the distribution and listening of their 30-year music fest concert for Kirby.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 11: Three Sucky Friends at the Valley of Wishes

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I have trouble with friends and I wish it was different, so this world is personal!

What is a fitness log and why am I doing it? This article should answer your questions. And the end of last week's Fitness Log, Week 10, should tell you where we are at in our current Ring Fit Adventure quest: World 11: Valley of Wishes.

The first thing I do on Sunday night is try my first Multitask Mode donation. Then, I increased my difficulty level by 1 to 29. Then... there's a Fitness Gym guarding a Treasure Chest in the Adventure overworld. It's the Waist Set gym, involving...

  1. Russian Twist (x58) — I'm not really sure what you need to do to get 100 points every time. Sometimes I get those. Sometimes I get somewhere else in the 90s. I figure it has something to do with what angle the Ring-Con has to be in?
  2. Pendulum Bend (x26) — You should get 100 points every time for this. The game is grading you on the Ring-Con being held perpendicular to the floor, which you'll be able to do regardless of if your form is actually correct or not.
  3. Overhead Hip Shake (x58) — The most fun activity in this game. Easy 100 points for every one of them. Just shake your hips left and right!
  4. Standing Twist (x58) — Same point story with the Russian Twist.
  5. Tree Pose (x24) — All of the above are Abs Fit Skills, except for this one, which is Yoga. You should get 100 points on every repetition. The game is incredibly sympathetic to you for the Tree Pose, suggesting you can hold your leg much lower than they suggest and still be fine. You're graded only on the easy arm movements, after all.
I got an average score of 96 points, or an A-rank. Good enough to earn 500 coins from the Fitness Gym. That Treasure Chest, by the way, has the Chair Pose Lv.2 Yoga Fit Skill (single-range, recharge turns of 2, for 260 base attack). I levelled up to level 91 in the process, and unlocked the Standing Twist Lv.2 Fit Skill from the skill tree (205 base attack, 3 recharge, and all-range). Perhaps I'll learn how to use it properly in the next level...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

I Brought A Drednaw Plushie To My Dentist Appointment

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What kind of response did I get? Plus, a photo!

Six months ago, I wrote about a poor experience I had at my dental cleaning. Well, that's nothing new—dentist visits are always torturous affairs. I absolutely have dental anxiety. The dentists know that, by the way.

That article from six months ago's headline was, “Remind Me To Bring A Plushie To My Next Dentist Appointment”, and I put in the article's footer that today was the day for the appointment. Truthfully, I didn't need a reminder... anxiety means the thought of the appointment consumed my thoughts for this whole week. And last week, too. Though long-time KoopaTV fan Kody B. gave me a reminder anyway.

Speaking of time periods in the past, two relevant things happened a month ago. One, I got an Oral-B Pro 5000 for my birthday, which is a super-powerful, high-tech automatic toothbrush. (To my knowledge, there is no relationship or association between Kody B. and Oral-B.) Two, I got a Drednaw plushie from The Pokémon Center online store, which was offering pre-Christmas free shipping on plushies. I wanted to get a Wooloo plush too, but they were and still are sold out. Still, I do like Drednaw.

And no, there isn't any hypocrisy in me refusing to buy Pokémon Shield and me buying/wanting to buy plushies of Galar Pokémon.

Perhaps you see where this is going. Yes, I brought Drednaw to the dentist appointment. I think it's fitting, given that Drednaw is an expert with teeth, jaws, and biting. Dentists should appreciate that, right? Though the “dread” part might not be the best for soothing anxiety...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What is Multitask Mode in Ring Fit Adventure?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What you do when not playing Ring Fit Adventure.

My playthrough of Ring Fit Adventure on KoopaTV doesn't currently demonstrate this, but Ring Fit Adventure has other main menu options besides the adventure mode. One of those is Multitask Mode, which you don't actually play in-game. Pressing this option for the first time on the main menu will give you this explanation, and then will return you back to the main menu:
“In this mode, you can work out using only the Ring-Con without the need for a screen.
Enabling Multitask Mode records the number of presses and pulls you do with the Ring-Con while you watch television or do other activities.
To enable Multitask Mode, first set the Nintendo Switch system to sleep mode or turn it off. After that, attach the Joy-Con (R) to the Ring-Con and press the Right Stick as shown in the diagram.
While Multitask Mode is enabled, up to 500 reps of presses and pulls you do will be recorded. When you return here afterward, you'll get a bonus in Adventure mode according to how many presses you did. (This bonus is available once per player per day.)
If you're connected to the Internet, you can send the extra press/pull counts you've earned in Multitask Mode to your friends as a present. (Only once per friend per day!)”

Ring Fit Adventure Multitask Mode Controls Ring-Con Joy-Con
You can also wait for 60 seconds to pass while not doing anything with the Joy-Con to turn Multitask Mode off.
It will also automatically turn off once you've gotten 500 reps.
(The Vibration button is B, and the Sounds button is A.)

Once you have more than zero repetitions, you'll be able to gift them to either yourself or to any of your Nintendo Switch friends who have Ring Fit Adventure. That gift gives you a generous (read: worth the effort) amount of coins (equal to the amount of reps you did), experience points (a multiple [3] of the amount of reps you did), ingredients, and drinks, and the quantity of goodies is increased if there are more presses/pulls behind it. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

President Donald Trump's Third Year Reflection

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Technically, it's us reflecting on ourselves when talking about him.

For the past two years, KoopaTV has reflected on our coverage of President Donald John Trump. Why? We committed a long time ago to wanting to be fair & balanced as we discuss the performance of a man that we, representatives of the foreign government of Koopa Kingdom, endorsed and helped elect. We owe it to our Earth readers.

In KoopaTV's first year of coverage, we wrote 19 articles where the main topic was about President Donald John Trump, with 9 articles with positive coverage, 1 article of neutral coverage, and 9 articles containing negative coverage. However, KoopaTV's second year of coverage was not only reduced with only 9 articles in that year, but only 2 of those were positive, 2 were neutral, and 5 were negative

So what happened from January 2019 to January 2020? For this article, I continued what we've done in previous years and I compiled the following list of all of KoopaTV's coverage about President Donald John Trump, and noted for each item the topic, and if our coverage was positive, neutral, or negative. As an easy summary, there's a table at the end.

Articles that mention President Donald John Trump in passing, but aren't about him, are excluded from this. Every Democrat presidential primary debate article is excluded since those aren't about him by definition!

For fun, try guessing what the ratio will be before getting to the end.

All dates in this article are in mm/dd/yyyy format.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Learn in 7 Seconds Why Byleth Isn't An Interesting Choice in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Byleth brings no new mechanics.

There are a whole lot of people out there who took the announcement of Byleth as the fifth Fighters Pass character from last week as, “Oh, great, now Fire Emblem has eight characters or 10% of the entire Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster.” I'm not one of those people.

I do, however, remember things that Masahiro Sakurai has said about characters. One thing he said right after he introduced Byleth is that, “Right from the start, we intended to make the most out of new gameplay mechanics. [...] When we add a new fighter, we don't simply make their attacks or their movements a little different. Instead, we try to offer you a whole new style of play.” He also said with Terry's stream, “Whether or not the character is fun to play as, is more important than whether the character is new or old, or whether the character is recognizable to everyone.”

I asked, in my live reaction log, what new gameplay mechanic was introduced with Byleth? Was Byleth added to be more than being a new recognisable character from the latest hit Nintendo Switch game? Well, according to Byleth fans, it's the whole real-time weapon change. If you press a button and a direction, it'll use a different weapon than if you pressed a button and another direction, or no direction at all!

The Nintendo UK VS Twitter account makes this argument as well, claiming that Byleth is no ordinary sword user:

Friday, January 17, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 10: Game Gyms and Grandminions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm pretty sure grandminions are the equivalent of grandchildren. A minion's minion. They haven't yet learned how to be a good minion.

Fun fact. Before I began this week's Ring Fit Adventure fun time (KoopaTV Fitness Fridays), King Dad wanted me to go vacuum the castle floors (and pick up any banana peels that intruders left behind) because now just seemed like a good time of year. Why me and not a servant? He said it's good exercise, and cited a Ring Fit Adventure tip as justification.

Ring Fit Adventure fitness tip Tipp everyday housework exercise chores
After this tip, he gave Lord Bowser gave me every chore! I'm not the only Koopa who is training for the Olympics!
He is, too!
...Anyway, let's talk about Sunday! What's the difficulty level? Now it's 28 (from 27). What's the world? World 10: Grandminion Gauntlet. Apparently, this country is where children come to play, but Guru Andma, one of the Four Masters and Dragaux's personal balance trainer, has apparently trained a bunch of Grandminions to stand between me and Dragaux.

The Grandminions, who are apparently children, have taken over all of the world's Game Gyms and are challenging me to do better than them. As I foreshadowed last week, this world is full of minigames. First up? Gluting Gallery, which I must complete with a B rank or higher. Hey, that's like all of the Game Gyms from the other 9 preceding worlds. Hmph.

...Actually, no, there's one difference. This is Gluting Gallery (Advanced). All of the minigames up to this point have been at the Novice difficulty level. In Advanced, the game elements move faster. There's far more tokens and bombs. The patterns are much different. And the actual minigame duration lasts for longer as well. It's a huge difficulty jump. Still, I got an A-rank, disappointing the Grandminion named Gutso.

The Grandminion Armie is guarding the Game Gym Robo-Wrecker (Advanced). Something to note here is that all of these Grandminion children are saying that Guru Andma has warned them about my presence, and that I'm a baddie. Unlike Guru Andma, their talking portraits don't have Dragaux's dark influence aura, so these kids are just under the influence of regular propaganda, as opposed to mind control.

Anyway, Robo-Wrecker (Advanced)—which I got an A-rank in—differs from Robo-Wrecker (Novice) in that some of the robots have a protective barrier over them, so you need to mash them twice (one to bash the shield, and one to bash the bot) in order to succeed. They also come in much greater frequency.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ludwig's Live Reactions to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Mr. Sakurai Presents "Byleth"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I got spoiled in the title, and so will you.

This is a live reaction not in the sense that I reacted to it right at 9 AM Eastern. I wasn't available. I have a job. Miraculously, I resisted the temptation to goof off during my job and look at anything gaming-related at all. Totally focused on my work. So I had no idea what was going to happen when I got home.

Because of me being totally absent throughout the whole day, including KoopaTV's Discord server, I couldn't coordinate any multi-staffer viewing of the Direct. Radio silence, you know. So I did it all by myself. But I'm pretty qualified, since I have Fire Emblem: Three Houses and have played through it twice already, as you'll read me repeatedly state that during this log.

Do you think I'll like the information presented by Masahiro Sakurai as he describes the fifth Fighters Pass character/stage/music (paid downloadable content) for the best-selling Nintendo Switch game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Check out my reactions and see if your thoughts are correct.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Impressions on the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Announcement and Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Beautiful graphics and quality-of-life improvements. But is it worth a buy?

Last week, we had the January 2020 Pokémon Direct. While most of the time was spent on the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Passes, the first two minutes was spent on another announcement: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, which is a Nintendo Switch remake of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team from the Game Boy Advance, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team from the Nintendo DS. That makes the source material over 14 years old.

I wrote, around when the last Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game was released (late 2015 with Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon for Nintendo 3DS), about all of my Pokémon Mystery Dungeon history and experience. I like the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spin-offs much more than the mainline RPGs. That means that while those mainline games are disappointing, the Mystery Dungeon titles make the franchise worth it. Though there wasn't one for Generation 7—all there were for spin-offs were stupid made-to-be-mobile titles.

That means I should celebrate Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX's existence, right? Well, before giving thoughts too pre-emptively, I wanted to play the demo. And yes, they released a demo that goes from the very beginning up right before you can enter Mt. Steel...which for those who don't know, is pretty early in. It transfers save data to the full version. Still, from that, I can definitely give you my impressions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

January 14 2020 Democrat Presidential Primary Debate 7 ANALYSIS!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We're about to be done wasting time!

Welcome to KoopaTV's first politics article of 2020! I'm here to analyse, in KoopaTV style, the seventh Democrat Party presidential primary debate that just occurred tonight (or last night, or whenever you read this) conducted by the FAKE NEWS professionals at CNN. On stage and vying to become the next president of the United States of America are Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer. Read about the all of the debates and the candidates here. (It's even updated to reflect that the likes of Marianne Williamson and Cory Booker dropped out very recently!)

The first actual votes in this process occur in a few weeks at the beginning of February in Iowa, and Iowa is where this debate physically takes place. 

But there's only six people in this debate, while much more will be trying to win the Iowa caucus soon. Disappointed? I am, and so should you. My favourites aren't even up there, which leaves me with some difficult decisions. (More on that at the end of the article.)

For now, let's cover the debate that actually happened, not the debate we wished happened. First, debate talking time, as calculated by CNN themselves:

Monday, January 13, 2020

Everyone's Having a Nintendo New Year (2020) Sale

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And all I do is promote Ace Attorney like an automaton.

I am obligated to write an article about Nintendo's tremendous New Year Sale (of the new year 2020) on the Nintendo eShop right now, which ends January 17, 2020 at 2:59 AM Eastern. There's over 900 games on sale, the majority of which are on the Switch. Many other interesting companies, such as XSEED, Inti Creates, SEGA (including ATLUS), and most importantly, CAPCOM, are in this too.

You may remember CAPCOM just had a Winter Sale mere weeks ago, and I was very fortunate to get someone I just met on that sale's last day to buy Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy at 33.33% off. As of today, she's absolutely in love with the game, and is right about to finish the fifth and final case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It was the last good thing I did in 2019. Maybe getting you to buy Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy at 33.33% off (on the Switch; 60% off on the 3DS along with the sixth game in the series, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Spirit of Justice; while the fourth game, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is 50% off; and the fifth game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Dual Destinies is 70% off. All of these are originally $30, except for Apollo Justice, which is originally $20.) will be the first good thing I do in 2020.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a weird 44.33% off to be $33.99, so it can try to masquerade as a handheld game or something. I'm in the game and training hard, but I can't recommend it anyway. ARMS is also on sale. Of course it is.

But in terms of Nintendo games I actually endorse, there's Splatoon 2 and Kirby Star Allies, at 30% off each. I can tell you that Splatoon 2 is still actively played, despite the lack of content updates. In fact, that's where I met that girl whom I convinced to purchase Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy mentioned in the second paragraph.

Take a look at everything on sale over here. Here is a Nintendo Switch link leading directly to purchasing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

If it's not obvious, the best thing you can do if you own Nintendo systems is to stock up on Ace Attorney games. You likely won't get the chance for these to be on sale for another several months. That'd be a shame. Let Ludwig know if you found something else you're interested in, too.

Ludwig actually bought stuff when this New Year Sale happened in 2019; though many of the games on sale then (besides Ace Attorney) are no longer on sale now.
Instead of several months, you only had to wait one month.
Or wait next year for the New Year Sale of 2021.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 9: Double Jumping!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The game is shifting difficulty away from combat.

Welcome to the second KoopaTV Fitness Friday of 2020! Click here for an explanation for what is a fitness log and why I'm doing them. Essentially, I'm doing a playthrough of Ring Fit Adventure as training for my Olympics performance later this year, and I'm documenting much of what happens during the game. That includes story spoilers. (Because I'm really happy the game has a story to spoil.) Let's get into it! (And note, I'm writing these throughout the week as they happen. They always start on Sunday.)

For the first time, I'm not beginning the week with a difficulty level increase. 27 seems high enough right now! Anyway, World 9 is called Flex Dojo. That scares me. I wonder if it'll be filled with gyms.

Apparently, Armando, the arms Master, set up the Flex Dojo and an entire village around it for the purpose of helping people train and become buff. The town has stories of people who were made fun of as children, until they became the envy of their social scene by walking around with massive biceps. He also apparently built No-Brakes Mine, the first level of World 9, and there was a small black boy insulting our hairdo who is working or trespassing at the mine. Child labour, maybe? The whole mine consists of an overhead bend cart and overhead ring pull zipwire. Afterwards, Armando also set up the Flyover Wilds, which is guarded by an old man who also insulted our hairdo. I'm not really sure how he can create a wild area, but the whole thing has wildlife, no enemies, and a bunch of crates lying around for us to Ring Press. Perhaps Armando's contribution to nature is littering?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Pokémon Sword/Shield Expansion Pass: GAME FREAK's Scumbaggery

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Every bad thing they could do, they did!

Today, Nintendo premiered a two-part Pokémon Direct featuring Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori GAME FREAK, and Ishihara from The Pokémon Company. I'll cover the first topic—Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX—next week (which only lasts about two minutes in the Direct), and the rest of the Direct right now. You can watch the whole thing for yourself here, and read Nintendo's press release here:

The big news is they announced the Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass for $30 each. The Expansion Pass will get you two expansions: The Isle of Armor (by the end of June 2020) and The Crown Tundra (in the fall of 2020). This is apparently in place of a third enhanced Galar game or a sequel.

I am vehemently against today's news and absolutely livid that GAME FREAK would do this. Allow me to explain why.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Gaming Industry is Already “Noticed”, Furukawa...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I have a thought about writing “notice me, Google senpai!” but I don't endorse it.

Recently, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa had an interview with prominent Japanese business media outlet Nikkei. Obviously, it occurred in Japanese, so I need to rely on other people's translations to know what it said. A lot of outlets are focusing on bland comments Furukawa made about cloud gaming (basically saying it might be viable in 10 years, but we don't know yet, so dedicated consoles will stick around until then), which you can use your imagination to think of ways that could be written as a clickbait headline. But I haven't seen any outlet—and I looked—comment about this quote (as translated by Japanese Nintendo), prompted by a statement (it doesn't appear to be an actual question ending in a question mark) about the Google Stadia beginning operation:
If large companies like Google join in, the gaming industry will get noticed, and there is also a possibility of bringing new technologies. The breadth of user experiences will also expand. Various companies are applying diligently to liven up the whole gaming industry, and I welcome that.” [Emphasis added]

Now, it's entirely possible that the exchange made sense in the Japanese language, and Japanese Nintendo (the outlet) is just doing them a disservice by providing a terrible translation. I have no way to verify it.

But assuming it's accurate, what the hell is Shuntaru Furukawa babbling about? It's clear he's welcoming more competition (and less market share) for whatever reason. But that's not the most odd thing, given Nintendo's historical (and nonsense) idea that they're above competition and they have no direct gaming competitors.

Why does Furukawa apparently think that it takes Google joining the gaming industry to have it be “noticed”? Noticed by whom? Consumers? It's been bigger than movies, music, TV, etc. for years. Governments? It's been blamed for decades in a bipartisan manner for causing all manner of societal ills, and games affect a lot of foreign relations, too. Companies? Every company is investing in “gamification” to attract Millennials to both join their company, and use their products. That includes KoopaTV itself!

What more does Furukawa want? Or does he believe that unless Google does something, it's not valid? Google fanboys as corporate presidents are dangerous.

KoopaTV is operated using Google blogging software, and gets most of its web traffic through Google search engines, from Google Internet browsers. KoopaTV also places a Google cookie on your computer. With that out of the way, what do you think Furukawa was trying to say? Is he just totally unaware of the size of his industry? Would he like aliens to notice it next?

It's important to also note that the gaming industry itself hasn't noticed the Stadia.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Tribute to Melee? FAKE NEWS Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Event Online Tourney!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Also, Super Smash Bros. Melee is a lot different than I remember.

Over the weekend, Masahiro Sakurai decided to hold a special event tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate called...“A Tribute to Melee”. You can read up on the details and see the event-specific artwork here. (If you've ever seen Super Smash Bros. Melee's character selection screen, you'll appreciate it.) It's described as...
This tourney is just for fighters and stages that appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee! Even the items that appear come from Melee!” 

It's a four-for-all time match. Clearly, this is a tribute to casual Super Smash Bros. Melee, though of an idealised kind that plays time matches instead of stock matches. So, why does the article title mention FAKE NEWS? Well, three reasons...
  1. The fighters are only those that debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee, not appeared
  2. The stages are only those that debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee, not appeared
  3. Not all items in Super Smash Bros. Melee appear, and there's a particularly special item that wasn't in Super Smash Bros. Melee that does appear...
...That special item? The Smash Ball. But that's not all: The Final Smash Meter is also on. Guess what was never in Super Smash Bros. Melee? Final Smashes!

Monday, January 6, 2020

KoopaTV's GOTY 2019 Awards!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Game of THAT Year 2019... and other categories.

You have been eagerly anticipating this all weekend, and it's finally arrived. KoopaTV's 2019 Game of THAT Year awards ceremony, mostly featuring the best KoopaTV articles from 2019! (Plus some obvious, non-surprising game categories.)

I've been anticipating our awards, too, since the KoopaTV staff used up most of our weekend time debating things. Actually, to be honest, not much happened on Saturday, more happened on Sunday, and the majority of decisions were made on Monday right before this article was published. This whole introduction is copy-pasted from last year, and that's because it's still true this year. If it were just up to me, this would be very simple. But it's up to the entire KoopaTV staff to vote based on our nominations—check out the nominations by category here because it's an important reference for the winners—so there's some give-and-take and compromising that results in KoopaTV's signature takes that seem strange and out-of-line compared to the rest of the Internet.

And just so you remember, GOTY stands for “Game of THAT Year”. That's the KoopaTV touch.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 8: Donny's Abs Wall in Solar Plexia

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That title isn't even clickbait. It's connecting the dots!

Welcome to the first KoopaTV Fitness Friday of 2020! I went and did the whole Game of THAT Year nominations YESTERDAY so this can still be published on a Friday. I mean, if I didn't do that, it'd ruin my entire fitness schedule, and that's just not good.

It's a Sunday tradition: Not church, but playing Ring Fit Adventure at some point. Oh, and increasing my difficulty level from 26 to... 27! (The maximum is 30, so soon increasing the difficulty level will no longer be a tradition. Actually, the idea of playing a fitness game at the highest difficulty level is quite frightening.) Without having started yet, I'm going to guess World 8 will be dedicated to Armando?

World 8 is called “Tears of Solar Plexia”. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds really cool. It's also raining constantly, which may have something to do with the tears bit. I started talking to a Village Elder to play the first level, and he was doing a ritual dance and referring to the rain as the Tears of Solar Plexia. GUESS I'M RIGHT. Solar Plexia's shrine (it's apparently a goddess?) is where Dragaux happens to be hanging out, so... guess we gotta fight him to continue our stalking campaign, as well as cease the rain. Starting out with Gutterflow Temple! Four observations:

Thursday, January 2, 2020

KoopaTV's 2019 GOTY Nominations!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And other categories.

These were decided and talked about in our Koopa Keep Discord server. Behold!
The déjà vu from years past is intentional. (To be eligible, those running have to start their existence in the United States of America from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.)

And just so you remember, that stands for “Game of THAT Year”. That's the KoopaTV touch.

But yeah, this isn't just about gaming, but also ourselves. ‘cause we're art to be recognised and applauded, too. Just to make it clear, we have an “each KoopaTV article may only be nominated once, total.” rule that obviously doesn't apply to the gaming half.

KoopaTV Game of THAT Year 2019 nominations
This article is such a rehash of the 2018 one that I just erased part of the 8 to make it a 9!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

KoopaTV's December 2019 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Time is busted, but your KoopaTV experience isn't.

It turns out I don't like December, for personal reasons that I won't get into again. ...I've discussed them in other articles, but basically, I hate my birthday, and the holiday season doesn't make me happy.

Regardless, I hope that KoopaTV's content makes you happy. I like when people come to KoopaTV and are like, “this is great stuff man, keep it up!” (Then I never hear from them again, but that's besides the point.) Makes me happy that you're happy because of me. Alas, it's not my personality to try to be all... touchy with you, or anyone else. Let's get to business and go over this action-packed newsletter, complete with information that has great monetary transfers incorporated into it. I mean, there's a raffle, and if you did anything with KoopaTV in the past two months, there's a chance that you could've won the raffle. Surely, that's worth reading through the newsletter. (It's also an intrinsic pleasure.)

A programming note for the imminent future: KoopaTV's Game of THAT Year nominations (as well as best KoopaTV article nominations... which really make up most of the content) will be published tomorrow, in honour of maintaining KoopaTV's Fitness Friday series on Fridays.

I guess I should mention that this is the first time KoopaTV has existed outside of the 2010s. That's scary. I don't know if the Blog Archive on the right-claw sidebar (on the desktop site) is going to group the 2010s together and have 2020 be its own grouping, or it's just going to treat 2020 like any other year. Guess I'll find out as soon as this is published! (Post-publish note: It's like any other year. I also updated the copyright statement at the bottom of the site from 2019 to 2020. I don't forget those things.)

Top Five Recommended Experiences of December 2019

I liked KoopaTV's December 2019 content! Here's the best from December 2019 that you simply must read, listed in chronological order. I should also note that everything on KoopaTV is worth reading and experiencing:
  1. Super Smash Bros. Speculation is Bad Content — Ludwig discusses the four types of community-based Super Smash Bros. content, and why speculation about future downloadable content based on theories or “leaks” is the least valuable
  2. Hey, Sakurai, I'm From the '80s. Bring Me Back! — Ludwig becomes incredibly upset that he's excluded from Masahiro Sakurai's event tournament about playable fighters that debuted in the 1980s, and proceeds to provide more pieces of evidence that Masahiro Sakurai hates him
  3. The Xbox Series X and Naming — The Xbox Series X was announced in December, and the name confuses many people. Ludwig looks back at its similarly confusing Xbox One predecessors.
  4. Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 6: Darkly Influenced Four Masters  — Mostly covering World 6: The Shrouded Land, Ludwig doesn't see a problem with the country deeming Dragaux to be their lord
  5. Battle Arena Etiquette: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — Believe it or not, Ludwig is a kind gentle-Koopa, and wants everyone participating in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Battle Arenas to be well-behaved

Hm, that's a lot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-related content. All of it is better than speculation, as that first article in the list notes!