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Monday, November 30, 2020

Super Nintendo World Set to Open February 4, 2021

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Besides a date, we also have a preview.

Four years ago to the day, Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts (of which Universal Studios is a part) announced their collaboration for a Nintendo theme park, which we now know is Super Nintendo World. We haven't heard much official news ever since. To get an idea of how long ago that was, the first reader comment on the KoopaTV article from November 2016 was,
“I sure hope the Zika vaccine will be made and widely available by the time the Florida branch opens up.”

Of course, in 2020 and 2021, the concern is, “I hope the COVID-19 vaccine will be made and widely available by the time the Florida branch opens up.” Not that we know when the Florida branch will open up, but we do know the Osaka branch in Japan will open up February 4, 2021. The vaccine will be made and approved by then and even distributed to a few million people thanks to the historic medical and regulatory breakthroughs of Operation Warp Speed (as successfully coordinated by the President Donald John Trump administration... though much of the media isn't reporting about that because they wanted him to lose his re-election), though whether it's widely available or not depends on when the Florida branch will be built. The Florida branch in Orlando probably won't be done until after 2021, in which case you'll have the vaccine by then, though there may be another worldwide plague by then if the Chinese Communist Party lets it happen!

But just to answer the question, there is still no approved and widely available Zika vaccine after over four years, which makes the pace of Operation Warp Speed that much more phenomenal.

My opening paragraphs in an article that's supposed to be about this theme park are actually about pandemics and vaccines, and that's intentional. The first reaction anyone would have to the news is, “But what about the Chinese Communist Party Virus?” That coronavirus is why the theme park is coming out in 2021 and isn't out already (it was supposed to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which itself was delayed to 2021 because of the Chinese Communist Party Virus). People not only don't want to attend a public theme park during a pandemic, but construction workers also don't want to build during one, or at least not at full efficiency. That's why the non-Japan theme parks are unknown. Anyway, obviously, Universal and Nintendo have thought about the pandemic, and they promise everything will be cleaned. But what'll be there? Take a look:

Friday, November 27, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Event Tourney: Heading for Battle! Biased Hat Standards

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I can wear a hat! Lemme in!

Starting today, and going through the weekend, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is holding the “Heading for Battle!” event tourney, which is a punny name, and limits your playable fighter selection to “[o]nly fighters with hats, helmets, or other headwear” to fight in Timer-mode free-for-alls with items and Final Smash metre.

Heading for Battle Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event tourney artwork
Here is the official artwork for the tournament. There are a lot of things to note here...
...Including the presence of that rascal, Cappy.
Fortunately, everyone wearing a hat should be protected from Cappy's capturing.

There are a lot of excluded characters due to certain circumstances. Since Link no longer normally wears a hat in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, he's not playable. (Yet his hat—though you can claim it's Toon Link's or Young Link's, both playable—is in the banner.) Samus is playable due to wearing a helmet, yet Dark Samus is not playable despite also wearing a helmet. Well, unless you argue that Dark Samus's “helmet” is actually part of her head, and therefore, she's not wearing any headwear.

Still, what about Meta Knight? We just had a Spirit Event earlier in the month about wearing masks, and Meta Knight's mask should definitely count as headwear:

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Oh, great: Now we can speculate how The Pokémon Company will screw up Pokémon's 25th Anniversary

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I recommend you don't get excited.

At the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade of 2020 (by the way, does anyone still shop at Macy's, or are they just known for their annual parades?), The Pokémon Company International (or TPCi, or TPC for their Japanese counterpart) put on a weird show with a snowrodent Pikachu being carried by a much larger Pikachu, coupled with several dancing Pikachu. The point is that they made it clear that there will definitely be a “Pokémon 25th Anniversary celebration coming in 2021.” They claim there is “exciting news” to come. As an aside, it'll be 25 years based on the Japanese release timing of the first games in the series. Back in the day, non-Japan parts of Earth had to wait years to get localised games. Nowadays it's a few months or weeks or even the same day. (Or in some instances, three decades.)

In terms of news, that's it. That's all that happened. Anything else is speculation, which I'm not a fan of. I'm also not a fan of anniversary stuff to begin with.

Pikachu 25th Pokémon Anniversary Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade snow balloon
SO MANY PIKACHU...! Note the defective Pikachu with the red cheeks shaped like 2 and 5 instead of being circles.
With all of these Pikachu... Where's Team Rocket? ...I'll address that in tomorrow's article, so stay tuned.
(But I won't have an actual answer.)

But let's review what we may see in 2021:
  1. New Pokémon Snap
  2. Pokémon UNITE
  3. Pokémon Sleep
  4. Mainline RPG (probably a remake)?

By comparison, the 20th anniversary (2016) was Pokkén Tournament, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. I mean, depending how much you value those games, that's either a big deal and validates people thinking arbitrary five-year incremental anniversaries are worth being excited about, or it's a year featuring a mediocre spin-off, a franchise-quality-killing mobile title, and mediocre mainline RPGs. (I'm not mentioning that the Nintendo 3DS/Wii U Virtual Console had some pretty great stuff, mainly the Wii U porting over Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles that I will rescue you in if you ever need it.)

As for the mainline RPG remake, the last two times we've had those were 2018's post-Pokémon GO-era remakes of Pokémon Yellow (from Generation 1), Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!; and 2014's pre-Pokémon GO-era remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire (from Generation 3), Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. (The preceding sentence was obnoxious to type and I want you all to know that.)

I'm bringing that up because it's entirely possible that Pokémon GO might have reset which Pokémon generation is “next in line” to get a remake. It could be Generation 4 (Sinnoh), or it could be a Let's Go version of Generation 2 (Johto). Or maybe they'll mix-and-match styles, and we'll get a “Pokémon: Let's Go, Riolu!” and “Pokémon: Let's Go, Munchlax!” (If you think there'll be two different featured Pokémon, let me know in the comments section.)

Again, I'm adverse to speculation, so that's not the point of me bringing it up. My point is that nothing is a “slam dunk”, including that there will even be a mainline RPG to begin with. Maybe they'll think selling out to Tencent and Chinese communists is enough to make a big marketing event for the year. That'd be out of touch, but... you kind of expect TPCi to be that, by now. (They're doing that project to begin with, so...)

Feel free to speculate in the form of your “hopes” in the comments section. By the way, did you enjoy your Thanksgiving, assuming you're in the United States of America?

Ludwig is scared that Sinnoh remakes would turn out awful, given the direction the franchise has been going.
Here is tomorrow's article featuring Team Rocket. They were excluded from participating in a tournament, so...
Here's the first 25-year anniversary activity. A chain reaction video and some art.
2021 is bringing Sinnoh remakes, and they're not Let's Go!
As a 25-year tribute, The Pokémon Company created an animated series called Pokémon Evolutions. Watch the first four episodes here.
Then watch the last four episodes here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Very, Very Limited Time Mario-Branded Amazon Cardboard Box

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - While supplies lasted, which was a very chronologically short period of time. Stay safe this holiday.

Good news: KoopaTV staffer Witch Princess got a new computer! She should be able to actually contribute on KoopaTV again, since lacking capable hardware has been her excuse up until now. It's somewhat of a miracle it reached her in one try, given that UPS was the designated shipper chosen by Amazon, and UPS has a bad history of Thanksgiving-period shipments with KoopaTV staffers.

New Dell laptop shipped from Amazon cardboard box Cyber Monday 2020
I dunno why she got a laptop and not a desktop, but it's better than using a smartphone.

Even better news? The box it was shipped in did NOT look like this:

Super Mario Bros. Amazon cardboard shipment box 35th Anniversary November 2020
...We're gonna talk more about this... monstrosity... for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Is Using Game Elements Provided to Every Player Problematic “Cultural Appropriation”?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That article title asks two questions, really. Is it cultural appropriation, and is it problematic?

There is a recent and raging culture war among the Animal Crossing fanbase on Twitter and beyond. (This, by the way, absolutely reverses all my notions that the Animal Crossing fanbase is worth being friends with.) Nintendo just updated Animal Crossing: New Horizons last week to include six new hairstyle options, among other updates, and those new styles (including an Afro and bald) have been heavily requested by players. One player, Fifi (a self-professed Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley fan), caused significant controversy with this Twitter post:

You see, some of those hair styles are associated with black people, and if you try to zoom in really close, you can sort of see “nappy” textures that other races of people don't naturally/stereotypically have (including other cultures that also figured out how to make their hair in that shape). The argument is that Fifi, a white person with a white character, is culturally appropriating African-derived culture by using the hair style, as well as by referring to “afro puffs” as “space buns.” (Opinions seem to vary based on whether it's also bad if a white person has a darker-skinned character—the team behind The Wagadu Chronicles that we profiled last month would say that is not a problem; some upset Twitter posters would say it is a problem for “grown white women” to “appropriate hairstyles”; as well as stating that “most of the in game hair styles are for white people” and they're apologising for the suffering that non-white people have to go through that white people are using the new game feature.)

Fifi is retweeting some particular displays of upset behaviour directed at her, which include attempts to shut down and/or hack her Twitter account. It's unclear how shutting Fifi down is supposed to solve the purported problem, and it's reminiscent of the counterproductive riots/pandemic-superspreaders that have been occurring in American cities over perceived systemic racism. Still, other than providing a clear contrast to when people claim they're being harassed on Twitter by certain gaming fanbases but provided no evidence of such harassment (but there was evidence of the media picking up on that to push their narratives), I'm not really interested in writing about whether or not Fifi being harassed is right or not. (Obviously not.) I'm more interested in the central questions about cultural appropriation. I thought I had a clear position, but then I looked in the mirror and remembered something that complicates my thinking...

Monday, November 23, 2020

Nintendo Digital Cyber Deals Sale: Ends December 3, 2:59 AM Eastern!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Buy, buy, buy?!

If there is one thing Nintendo wants your mind on right now, it's, uh, not anything related to the Super Smash Bros. series or its freedom, but it's their big Cyber Deals sale, featuring huge discounts on over 1400 games, mostly on Nintendo Switch! This ends December 3 at 2:59 AM Eastern. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't included (because they don't want your mind on it), several other Nintendo-published titles are discounted, including Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country (at 33% off, or $26.79), Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (at 33.33% off, or $39.99) and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (at 33.33% off, or $39.99, which is probably still too high of a cost).

Perhaps more significantly, Murder by Numbers is on sale (33% off, or $10.04), and I promised you all that I'd buy the game next time it's on sale. I did so. Haven't started it yet, but I bought it.

Nintendo Switch home menu icons Murder by Numbers Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Trilogy Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
(...Sorry, it still feels like the beginning of November. In fact, the month is almost over already.)

As the picture above should imply, the majority of CAPCOM's portfolio is also on sale (they call it the Nintendo Autumn Sale), including Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (I've made very good progress in Mega Man ZX Advent and beaten Mega Man ZX; first time playing either) for 34% off, or $19.79. Of arguably greater importance, another compilation is on sale for Nintendo Switch: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy at 50% off, or $14.99. This is also on sale on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though with slightly different end-dates.

By the way, the Ace Attorney titles on the 3DS (with the exception of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which is never on sale, despite publisher LEVEL-5 putting LAYTON’S MYSTERY JOURNEY: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy - Deluxe Edition on the front page of Nintendo's sales at 40% off, or $23.99) are also on sale, at their usual discounted prices. The fourth game, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, is 50% off or $10. The fifth game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, is 70% off, or $9. The sixth game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice is 60% off, or $12. ...We're still waiting for the seventh game to ever exist. Maybe if you buy the games, even if they're on sale, that'll help bring an announcement closer.

It's a better investment than the other 1400+ games on sale. You can get into the entire mainline Ace Attorney series (15 [you may also get Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for $12 on the Nintendo 3DS] + 10 + 9 + 12 = $46) for less than the cost of one LEGO Super Mario set that Nintendo is currently promoting. Same goes for the just-released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and I guarantee you that you'll enjoy Ace Attorney at over nine-thousand times the rate as that... experience.

Of course Ludwig is going to turn any broad sale, with so many angles to choose from, into an Ace Attorney promotion. You should expect that out of KoopaTV. If you need more Nintendo eShop spending money, you should participate around KoopaTV and you may win some gift cards. Read up on the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program for more information.

For the Black Friday deals 2019 article, Ludwig also focused that on Ace Attorney. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for Switch was $5 more then.
Actually, the last recorded time that CAPCOM had everything on sale was at the start of September 2020. That was a while ago, by CAPCOM standards.
Ludwig wrote a full review of Murder by Numbers here.
The next sale is next month at the end of December 2020.
Check out the Cyber Deals of 2021. Murder by Numbers dropped even further in price.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Launched!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Why would you buy this, I don't know.

Today, Nintendo and KOEI TECMO GAMES have released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on the Nintendo Switch for $60, after it was first revealed just two and a half months ago. Based on the announcement trailer plus developer commentary, KoopaTV said it would be a “real prequel” that was “canon.” We expected it to focus on storyline as it focused on the vast lore of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, pretty much at the expense of that game having a compelling story. This was based on The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma stating that the game takes place in the crucial 100-year period prior to the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and players will be able to experience the events of The Great Calamity for themselves, “first-hand.”

Without spoiling the game, I can say that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity does not do what one's first impression of it would indicate it would do. Or, put another way, the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild don't spoil the events of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

Anyway, note how Nintendo is marketing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity in its launch trailer. If you don't note how, I will note that for you:

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Nintendo “News” Outlets Proclaim Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a 3-Million Seller Because Random ResetEra Guy Said So

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Sad display of “journalism” on their part.

While KoopaTV was going off official information straight from Nintendo in our September 30, 2020 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update article at the start of this month, other media outlets were choosing other, unofficial sources of information.

For background, you need to know that Fire Emblem: Three Houses for Nintendo Switch officially has sold 2.87 million copies as of March 31, 2020. Nintendo hasn't updated that number for half a year, and they tend not to update game sales numbers unless a game has sold another million copies in a given quarter/two quarters, or if they're a top ten system seller, in which case those sales numbers get updated every quarter. That basically means we'll know how much a given first-party game will sell in its debut (if it's over a million copies sold), but we probably won't get information for many quarters afterwards unless many, many consumers decide to buy it over Christmas or something.

Anyway, in the absence of official sources but still wanting to write some kind of story, other media outlets were citing this random guy (named DarkDetective Nathan) on gaming forum ResetEra who has no sources or anything backing up his post. His Twitter account doesn't provide any credentials—he just really likes posting about videogame industry sales data. Note to journalists: Just because a guy's dedicated gimmick is talking about gaming sales, still doesn't mean that, by basic journalism standards, you take that guy's word as the truth without verifying it for yourself. However, without verifying it, this guy on this forum just dumped numbers and the gaming media went with it.

I should note that it's incredibly likely, just on a mathematical basis, that Fire Emblem: Three Houses has sold over three million copies by now. I'm not disputing that. (It would be incredible for the game NOT to have cleared that milestone, though I guess it's possible.) I'm just upset with the bad journalism used to reach that conclusion. Here's an incomplete list of outlets that took it as their only source and wrote a whole article about it, with me deconstructing their articles afterwards:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Apple Halves App Store Fees for Tiny Developers... Introduces Economic Disincentives

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's a parallel lesson here...

I hope you remember this summer (good times) when Epic Games sued Apple and Google over their anti-competitive application markets on smartphones, started by Fortnite's reduced prices if people paid Epic Games via a direct payment. We focused on Apple because that was the blatantly more nefarious monopoly, and I made it clear in my summer article that Apple has no real justification for their actions. Apple rejected Epic's payment method and Fortnite has been off the App Store ever since. You can only use Apple's App Store on an iPhone, and you can only use Apple's payment method (which Apple takes a 30% cut on every in-app purchase) for any application on an iPhone.

However, Apple has now made an announcement: They will only take a 15% cut—half of their normal 30%—from app developers that have under $1 million in revenue (aggregating all of the apps they have) per year. They call it the App Store Small Business Program. Under one million describes almost 98% of developers, according to media outlets citing app analyst Sensor Tower. According to that same analysis, the 2% or so of developers with over $1 million in app revenue provide 95% of the revenues from the App Store that Apple gets, which is even more lopsided than the generic Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. In other words, Apple's move is more for public relations (publicly the reason was because “hey, 2020 was a rough year, our small businesses need some help”) to try to influence the lawsuits against them than anything else.

Epic Games, or at least their CEO, Tim Sweeney, is less than impressed with Apple's symbolic gesture, since for the majority of business that's going on (including Epic's), nothing is impacted. I'm much less impressed with the economic implications.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

LEGO Super Mario Announces: Master Your Adventure Maker Set... with LARRY KOOPA?!!?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Larry, don't associate yourself with this or you'll get...hurt. Not by me, but by HIM and his coerced Earth children!

I recognise, both from KoopaTV page views/search traffic and Nintendo's holiday 2020 gift finder page, that a lot of people are interested in the Nintendo and LEGO collaboration products that released August 1, 2020. I'm personally very concerned about the LEGO Super Mario series in terms of their effects on children, and I'll get into that a bit more in this article. Here's a LEGO-Nintendo trailer that just went out, though, announcing new LEGO Super Mario products to come for January 1, 2021:

Let's review exactly what's announced and their suggested retail prices, and then I'll give my signature analysis and thoughts:

  1. Master Your Adventure Maker Set (60 USD/EUR)
  2. Three Expansion Sets
    1. Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter Expansion Set (20 USD/EUR)
    2. Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge Expansion Set (30 USD/EUR)
    3. Wiggler's Poison Swamp Expansion Set (40 USD/EUR)
  3. Two Power-Up Packs
    1. Penguin Mario Power-Up Pack (10 USD/EUR)
    2. Tanooki Mario Power-Up Pack (10 USD/EUR)
  4. Series 2 of the LEGO Super Mario Character Packs (5 USD/4 EUR for a pack; content of pack is random)
    1. Huckit Crab
    2. Spiny Cheep Cheep
    3. Ninji
    4. Foo
    5. Parachute Goomba
    6. Fly Guy
    7. Poison Mushroom
    8. Para-Beetle
    9. Thwimp
    10. Bone Goomba

Monday, November 16, 2020

CAPCOM Got Hacked, and Sensitive Info Was Taken

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV also isn't going to repeat what leaks of that information are.

A couple of weeks ago, CAPCOM put out a press release stating that an unauthorised third party got access to CAPCOM's network and systems and apparently locked CAPCOM employees out of it. They claimed customer information was not affected, and that they were in consultation with the police. That scenario sounded a lot like ransomware (an intruder gets access to your stuff and blocks you out of it unless you pay them), and today CAPCOM published another release confirming that. Unlike before, CAPCOM is now saying that “potentially” hundreds of thousands of items of personal customer and employee data may have been taken (but not credit cards used in the CAPCOM Store), along with “confidential corporate data” such as development documents. CAPCOM disclosed this was “from a criminal organization that calls itself Ragnar Locker,” which appears to be a type of ransomware virus. Very scary stuff.

Fortunately, it appears that your online CAPCOM game-playing experience won't change, unlike what happened when 160,000 Nintendo Accounts got breached.

Not coincidentally, there are documents swirling around the Internet right now of some of those development documents that the cybercriminals have taken. The videogames media, apparently considering this a legitimate scoop of information (though one of the other times this happened, it was a games journalist who was the perpetrator), is starting to report on the contents, which seems to include development practices and coming game announcements. KoopaTV isn't going to report on the documents (some of which may seem like great news, other may seem bad) obtained by this illegal and criminal breach of CAPCOM's information systems, both because that's morally gross, and because it's inherently untrustworthy.

Consider that the information source is a group of obviously bad people who likely don't have much regard for truth or integrity (like those people who played a hacked version of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield pre-release to make it look bad, on top of its leaking issues). It doesn't seem like CAPCOM has paid the ransom, so the criminals have lots of motivation to make their victim look bad. Perhaps the crooks are releasing incomplete information—out-of-context. Perhaps information in the development documents are no longer relevant to CAPCOM's development plans, and it's out-of-date.

Regardless, CAPCOM has whatever its marketing plans are (even if they're sometimes disappointing), so I'm going to just go off of those when they come and not reward the unnamed malicious actors by treating them like a legitimate source of information. Consider that KoopaTV policy.

Ludwig hasn't gone off and willingly searched for whatever the leaked documents contain, although some (bad) friends and social media accounts have reposted some of that information that is very relevant to his (and perhaps your) interests. All of this corporate espionage seems to be an increasingly common trend, and you should take your own cybersecurity seriously and not click on suspicious e-mails or websites that are the most common gateway for malware—and some of this leaked information is probably hosted on suspicious websites. (KoopaTV isn't a suspicious website, by the way.)

How can you keep yourself safe from ransomware attacks? A cybersecurity expert guest-posting on KoopaTV weighs in!
CAPCOM revealed the IT flaw in their security that allowed the ransomware to take place.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Nintendo's Six-Month Financial Results Q&A Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending Mar. 2021

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You Animal Crossers better buy more games!

If you want to know what big Nintendo investor folks are thinking as a result of last week's financial dislosure for their second quarter of fiscal year 2021, Nintendo has provided an English-language question and answer summary located here. There are ten questions, and they mostly fall along the lines of, “Wow, you increased your forecasted amount of Nintendo Switch sales for the second half of your fiscal year? Why is that?” and “How will you get Animal Crossing: New Horizons players to buy other games? Is there still demand for that, and how is COVID-19 factoring in?”

(The answers to those, provided by Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, is because the Nintendo Switch sold better than expected and Nintendo thinks based off that, Nintendo Switch systems will sell even better during the holiday season—October through November tend to pwn all of the other quarters in performance, so they expect the whole year will be better than initially planned. Additionally, they think Animal Crossing fans will enjoy titles like Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Ring Fit Adventure.)

One guy asked about how China sales are doing, and Tencent apparently reports that Ring Fit Adventure, released on September 3 2020 in China, is off to a great start. By the way, Nintendo's supply issues for that game and the whole Switch console are all fixed by now. Also, while Tencent and The Pokémon Company are fine with Pokémon UNITE being cross-platform play, Nintendo has no intention of allowing that for Nintendo titles. (Note that Pokémon isn't a first-party Nintendo title.)

Furukawa also said that the Nintendo Switch is “just now entering the middle of its life cycle.” That's interesting, as competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft released this week. It's been a bit over three and a half years since the Switch came out. The Wii U was around for four years and three months until the Nintendo Switch released. If the Switch would last as long as the Wii U, there would be a new Nintendo console in June 2021. (Surprise E3 2021?) Obviously, the Switch will be lasting much, much longer than the Wii U did, well into 2024, if November 2020 is the halfway point.

By the way, while the investors wanted to know about Chinese sales trends, they didn't ask about why Nintendo thinks it's okay to profit off forced human labour in China from ethnic minorities.

Do you have another interpretation of any of the questions or answers asked of Nintendo's top executive and would like to share it? Go ahead and do so in the comments section, then.

Check out the previous question and answer session from Nintendo executives back a couple of months ago.
The next one is three months later, for the nine-month version. Ludwig goes over each question.
Eight months later, Nintendo finally got a question on the Uyghur forced labour.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 now available...!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The PlayStation 5 is not actually available in Europe yet, but whatever.

I had a thought to title this article, “Reasons why you should buy an Xbox Series X|S and/or PlayStation 5 at launch” and then just have a blank article. However, another KoopaTV staffer (Kamek, returning from his honeymoon) said I'm actually obligated to talk about the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5 instead of publish a gag article. Besides, scalping (buying and then reselling a product to someone else at a higher price because there is more demand than there is supply) is a good reason to buy them at launch, so the truth is that it shouldn't be totally blank.

I've already declared that I'm not buying into either of these. But that's not very interesting to talk about.

Neither the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series have compelling launch titles, so there's no reason to get them at launch. What does exist is also available on consoles from the previous generation.

For Microsoft, I have the impression that they don't really care if you get their new console(s), which is why trying to figure out the differences between them is so confusing, especially on naming. They just want you to have a subscription to the Xbox Game Pass with whatever platform you choose. (And you can have that on an Xbox One as well as an Xbox Series, with Microsoft making no distinction on their website besides “Xbox Console” vs. PC vs. mobile.) Xbox's presentation for the Xbox Series gave a very “stick to your Xbox One” impression. The Xbox Series X is $500 and the Xbox Series S is $300.

For Sony, they wanted to make a big distinction between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, deeming the difference to be a seismic generational shift. This was laughable and mocked. They tried again a few months later, which made it very obvious that there is no compelling game at launch that would make you want to get a PlayStation 5... well, certainly not in 2020 and probably not for most of 2021, either.

Both consoles have a bias against owning physical games. The whole Xbox Game Pass strategy is digital distribution. The PlayStation 5 has a Digital model at $100 less ($400) that retains the same power as the full-priced PlayStation 5 ($500) with a disc drive. That's just the way all the console manufacturers are doing it nowadays.

This article could've gone by a lot faster and provide approximately the same message if it was just a blank gag article. That's truth and levity, folks, besides the scalping point. Still, you can comment in the comments section if you agree or disagree with the logic presented in this article, or if you're disturbed by Ludwig's increasingly vocal pro-scalping stance. By the way, KoopaTV is probably more friendly towards Microsoft than Sony, for a variety of reasons. Ludwig doesn't care about the graphical performance differences between the consoles.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Nintendo Hasn't Paid Out Gold Points to Online Open October 2020 Prize Winners Yet

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I consider this to be a scandal. You should care.

Remember when I was introducing the (complicated, at least to most participants I've talked with) prize structure of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 a month ago? That was the major Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online tournament that Nintendo was sponsoring, meaning they'd pay out the prize money (and trophies). 48 people across North America are supposed to get 2500 My Nintendo Gold Points, equivalent to $25 in spending money on the Nintendo eShop. 16 are supposed to get some form of trophy (gold trophies for the people name-dropped in paragraph two). No one has gotten any prize yet.

While I might cut some slack on the trophy bit (I imagine shipping trophies around the continent to be a slightly difficult task, though we don't know the actual size or designs of these things), the Gold Points not being distributed is unacceptable. Here's Nintendo's own terms and conditions on prize distribution:
Winner Notification for Tournament prize: The potential winners will be notified via email approximately ten (10) days following Tournament using the contact information provided upon registration. To claim a prize, a potential winner (or if a Minor, his or her parent or legal guardian) must follow the instructions contained in the notification and respond within ten (10) days. If a potential prize winner does not claim the prize or return the Release Forms specified below within such period of time, such winner’s prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner (e.g., the Tournament player with the next highest score), at Sponsor’s discretion, provided sufficient time remains to verify an alternate winner; otherwise, prize will not be awarded.”

Half of the prize winners had their tournament end on October 25, while the other half had their tournament end on November 1. Let's give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt and say that the tournament is defined as one big event ending November 1. According to people who are supposed to win the Gold Points (I cannot personally verify this since, alas, I wasn't good enough to win a prize), they have received no notification from Nintendo from the contact information provided upon registration. It has been ten days (November 11) since the afternoon of November 1 when the tournament ended.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Republicans Need to Get Rid of MIKE LINDELL

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The disastrous CEO of MyPillow.

You may know him as the MyPillow guy whom starts off his many advertisements with a friendly introduction: “Hello, I'm Mike Lindell, inventor of MyPillow!” KoopaTV was even “sponsored” by MyPillow back in 2018, and we also memed with Mike Lindell for a Splatfest. But by 2019, I was declaring that MyPillow is “a scam” and “their product sucks.” As of this year, I despise the Minnesotan CEO's commercials and think they make Fox News Channel nearly unwatchable—though he only sponsors their opinion content and not their news portions.

It's the Fox News opinion shows that President Donald John Trump is a fan of and watches often, and it turns out that Mike Lindell is a huge Trump supporter. In a display of nepotism, the President put Mike Lindell in charge of his re-election campaign for the state of Minnesota as of June 11, 2020. Does Mike Lindell have any political experience? No, but he keeps the President's favourite television shows on the air (after many other sponsors have left) and loves to speak his praises, so that's good enough. In return, Mike Lindell promised a landslide and had 100% confidence that the President would win Minnesota in 2020. After all, this was doable. Candidate Trump, after all, came within 1.5% (or around 45,000 votes) of Hillary Clinton in 2016, which is big for a state that hasn't voted for a Republican since 1972. This was also way closer than the 8 to 11 point loss that 2016's polls were projecting.

Of course, Mike Lindell's campaign management blew it, and the President lost Minnesota in 2020 by 7.2%, or over 230,000 votes. The President also lost several counties that he had won in 2016. While the President did get more raw votes in Minnesota than he did in 2016, his opponent, Joe Biden, did a much better job turning out the vote than Hillary Clinton did, which was what Mike Lindell was supposed to be doing. He actually lost by MORE points than what the polls were projecting (a Biden 3 to 6 percentage point victory)—and in almost every OTHER state, the polls were WRONG in how much they were projecting the President would lose by. (In other words, the polls were wrong everywhere, but only in Minnesota did Trump do worse than what the polls suggested, as opposed to do better than what the polls suggested.) You gotta be a special kind of screw up for that to happen. But it gets worse.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Are the "Hiding Your True Self" Spirits Wearing Masks Properly?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - “Properly” meaning within CDC guidelines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every able-bodied person over the age of two years old who is unable to socially distance and isn't in a hazardous setting or activity (like swimming or marathon running) should be wearing a mask or other face covering to prevent yourself from spreading the Chinese Communist Party Virus to other people. That mask should be covering your mouth and nose (or snout) and fit against the sides of your face and shouldn't have valves or openings.

In (long overdue) recognition of this, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate held a Spirit Event—Hiding Your True Self—over the weekend using already-existing Spirits that wear masks or otherwise hide their face. That's the traditional usage for wearing a mask—not to protect others’ health from you, but to protect your own identity from being discovered by others.

Still, it's worth looking at the eligible Spirits and categorising them. I went and classified each of the twenty-two Spirits and their mask usage against the CDC guidelines. Text explanations follow below the chart:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Hiding Your True Self masks spirit event COVID-19 Centers Disease Control recommendations face coverings
Read the rest of the article for explanations. I recommend opening this chart in another tab so you can follow along.
It's pretty clear there is a LOT of educating to do on proper mask wearing...

Friday, November 6, 2020

Glastrier and Spectrier: The Dangerous Tundran Horses!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Spectrier is problematic, and in a familiar equine way.

You may remember KoopaTV's write-up on the Pokémon Sword-exclusive Pokémon Galarian Ponyta. We raised attention to the fact that Galarian Ponyta absorbs surrounding life energy for its own beautification, which basically makes Galarian Ponyta a destructive and vain monster. Unfortunately, Galar is a very cursed place, and there are more life-destroying horses around... Legendary ones, too. And they're above ground and wreaking havoc. (Unlike the other Legendary Pokémon that are stuck in cavernous dens.)

There is an area of Galar called the Crown Tundra. Why is it a tundra? Because a ruffian Pokémon called Spectrier—the Swift Horse Pokémon—went around and “absorb[ed] ambient life-force emitted by other creatures.” Sounds very similar to Galarian Ponyta, except a lot more intense. The Crown Tundra used to be an area called the Crown Plains, with lots of forestry and greens and grass and wildlife and ruled by the King Pokémon, Calyrex. That is obviously no longer the case.

Pokémon Sword Shield Spectrier appears Crown Tundra life force energy background
Spectrier is responsible for absorbing all of the life energy in Freezington!
Everything is dead. (It must've been named Freezington after this happened.)

There is also another horse, Glastrier, but other than it being wild and chilling, it doesn't seem particularly malicious. Just very cold. ...It's probably responsible for freezing much of the tundra, although perhaps inadvertently. Still, all of these horses aren't very good mates to have around, except Mudsdale. I may like Pocket Card Jockey, but it's pretty clear that the horses like Galarian Ponyta and Spectrier are destructive monsters and should be locked up somewhere. Not getting new plushies, that's for sure.

Compare these Legendary life-wrecking horses to some other Legendary Pokémon, like to the wonderful vegetation-growing Tapu Bulu, whom is a perfect bovine and should probably be worshiped and revered. Bovine are much better friends than horses. Comment in the comments section if you (dis)agree.

The cold climate is harming cows, even freezing them!
Gen 9 has life-force-absorbing dogs.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

September 30, 2020 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Big bucks. (Or yen.)

We (to the extent we're on this journey) are halfway through Nintendo's fiscal year, which they're calling Fiscal Year 2021 Quarter 2. The big top-line number is that their net sales are up 73.3% compared to Fiscal Year 2020 Quarter 2, which was itself deemed glowingly positive. In other words, big improvement driven by the likes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. They're even increasing their projected forecast for the end of March 2021 (the end of Fiscal Year 2021 Quarter 4) by 16.7% more revenue, and plan to sell 5 million more Nintendo Switch units than what they promised six months ago.

There's no questions and answers (yet?) associated with this financial disclosure or the explanatory material, and it's pretty boring overall. So here's some individual sales numbers for games that aren't the highest-most sellers that we still get data for (because they're million-plus sellers):

Nintendo Switch million game sellers sales September 30 2020 Ring Fit Adventures Xenoblade Chronicles Clubhouse Games Paper Mario The Origami King
I kicked out New Super Mario Bros. U from the chart because it ruins the scaling.
See the Fiscal Year 2021 Quarter 1 end (or June 30, 2020) for where it last was.
But it has sold 8.32 million copies now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 2020 Fighter Usage Stats!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring the debut of Steve, and the way overdue debut of Min Min.

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 formally concluded on Sunday. I participated in it (and did pretty well—check out the comments section in that article for details on my performance), as did thousands of other people. 4028 registrants across the entire North America (split into eight regions), with 2244 players actually showing up and playing at least one match (55.71%). That's a pretty average participation rate for these tournaments, though it's the second-lowest number of raw participants that have registered/played on record, only beating out the September 2019 Online Open and dramatically trailing (by double) the previous Online Open results that occurred right before Min Min's existence, despite better prizes.

Speaking of prizes, congratulations to the four people who are receiving gold trophies from Nintendo: 9superpie (Wii Fit Trainer from the Northeast United States), MarkTheSDKing (R.O.B. player from Montana), The Mighty Dialga (Bayonetta player from the Southeast United States... he also won the last tournament in his region, too), and Whisky (Robin player from Jalisco, Mexico). They performed quite well on Nintendo's stream. You can watch the videos on demand here. Quite frankly, the most exciting sets were Region 7 and 8's.

As for this article, I've taken the time to aggregate the fighter usage stats across every region of the tournament. You should consider it a snapshot of the state of the online metagame a few weeks after the release of Steve and the 9.0.0 version update. It's also the first of these tournaments that has happened after the 8.0.0 update as well. Both of these updates have brought a number of buffs to a number of characters, and big metagame shifts.

Here's a pie chart that answers the biggest question you may have (whom is the most used character of them all?) but below that is a text-list of all of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters and where their usage in the October 2020 online metagame has changed versus June 2020. I believe using the official Nintendo-sponsored online tournament is a valid representation of the state of the overall online metagame, due to its inclusive nature.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online metagame fighter usage choice stats October 2020 Min Min Steve

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

(If you haven't already) Go Vote, Election 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not that you'll listen to me, but here's why you should.

You already know that KoopaTV supports the re-election of President Donald John Trump versus his main opponents Joe Biden and Jo Jorgensen. The reasons are there and they're good, valid, policy-based reasons. If you're a citizen of the United States of America and you haven't yet voted, today is your last opportunity to do so. Traditionally, the big majority of votes would come on Election Day, but this year, due to expanded early and mail-in voting, it'll probably be a minority of them. Make sure you're already registered.

If you don't know where to cast your ballot and what the valid hours of the day are, this is a non-partisan site where you put in your address and it tells you where to go, with an embedded map. You cannot vote online.

I've had several people over the years (including non-election years, and most years aren't election years) tell me that they feel uncomfortable reading KoopaTV because it's “too political” or something. Allegedly, politics doesn't affect them, and they don't care about it. (Yet they care enough to try to avoid a website that overtly discusses it only a few times a year... on average.) These people are most likely too stupid to “get” KoopaTV in the first place, but on the off-chance you're smart but genuinely misinformed, here's a list off the top of my head of what politics (through regulations, taxes, and legislation) affects and you can tell me if your own life is impacted:

Monday, November 2, 2020

KoopaTV's October 2020 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm more than spooked. I'm anxious!

I gotta tell myself this is supposed to be a newsletter focusing on what happened during the previous month of October 2020, but so much of October 2020 existed to set up for November 2020... And it's hard to take things one step at a time.

But skipping ahead would actually be a disservice to you and to KoopaTV, so let's focus on October 2020. We had great, fresh, new content again this month. Let's just... go right into that.

KoopaTV's Top Five Recommended Experiences of October 2020

All of our content is considered to be works of art, and they build upon one another. The vast majority of other sites you'll encounter don't have that philosophy. The caveat to that is that you'll want to go through, well, everything on the site. It's worth it. With that said, we've put together this top five list for the pieces published during October 2020, in chronological order:
  1. The Deductive Thrill of Ace Attorney, Sudoku, and Picross — This article already starts with a rarity: Me apologising for something. Specifically, I've been down on Picross in my past, but now I'm way up on it. In the article, I present a new videogame idea that, to my knowledge, hasn't been done before.
  2. How Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit works, and the SPYWARE threat! — Here's a unique game idea that we're not supportive of. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is an insidious plot, in the tradition of the Labo, to collect intelligence on the interiors of your Earth homes for a later world domination plot. Koopa Kingdom wants to stop it, obviously.
  3. The Wagadu Chronicles: Afrofantasy MMO on Kickstarter — I'm not normally the kind to promote Kickstarter projects—and I didn't say go invest in this—but I do find The Wagadu Chronicles to be an extremely interesting project because of how it challenges our fantasy expectations and biases.
  4. What Makes One Super? The Predators and the Mario Bros. — There has been confusion on the definitions of predators and superpredators, but in dealing with the (Super) Mario Bros., we know first-claw the differences.
  5. An Analysis of Michael "Colin Blue Moon" Bloomberg's Presidential Failure — KoopaTV analyses the failed 2020 presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg by comparing him to his Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising counterpart, Colin of Blue Moon. Colin is top tier, while Bloomberg was a disaster. What did they do so differently?

There are a lot of KoopaTV experiences not included in that top five that are very important, like the ones covering the state of the 2020 presidential election on its own terms (and not on game design ones), as well as personal staff life updates, and even things that are actually plot threads for later. I suggest you catch up on everything published in October 2020 yourself. Now, moving on...

Best Three Comments and One Worst Comment of October 2020