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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. I'll edit in a screenshot of the tip here if I ever see it again. Ugh. This game has some mindset downsides for sure...

...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.

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?

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!