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Friday, February 26, 2021

KoopaTV's Live Reactions to the Pokémon Presents February 2021

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They call it exciting news, but... Half of it was a montage!

I already have recommended to everyone not to get excited over however The Pokémon Company International is going to hype and promote the 25-year anniversary of the Pokémon series. They got some musicians and artwork and merchandise, but how about games?

Well, today TPCi provided a 20-minute Pokémon Presents, and KoopaTV (...actually, it's just me, because everyone else has a day job—I do too, actually...) live-reacted to it with no expectations other than assuming we'll be disappointed. Literally the last time this happened they talked about Pokémon UNITE.

[9:56 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[9:56 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: "Set your alarms now, Trainers. We’ve got some exciting news to share that you won’t want to miss!"
[9:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...Happening...shortly.
[10:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Which should be now.
[10:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Two-minute countdown on-screen. Hmph.
[10:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Oh, it's going now.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 29: The Four Masters’ Pets

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Minibosses for each fitness element!

As we continue to get closer to the Tokyo 2020 2021 Olympic Games, as well as closer to our inevitable deaths, we need to be thinking about getting fit. And then going from thinking to... DOING. That's why every Friday KoopaTV has a Fitness Friday, and because we're a gaming site and think videogames are the best form of entertainment (and can do a lot of societal good), Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch a great platform to do fitness goals in. I get a lot of questions of, “Is it fun?” And the answer is yes. ...This week happens to have the Fitness Friday article on a Thursday because there's a Pokémon production we're doing a live reaction log to on Friday morning.

Last week, I went through and logged my experience in World 28. Starting this week, my left hip and other bodily pain issues are being alleviated due to better sleep posture, thanks to sleeping with a second pillow under/between my legs. This week, I'll be playing on difficulty level 28 in World 29: Extra Fitness Lv. 195. This is based on World 6: The Shrouded Land, which featured little more than four miniboss fights against darkly influenced Four Masters (and a cute town Lady). (World 6 is finished up at the start of Week 7's fitness log.)

While the Town doesn't have the cute Dragaux-worshipping Lady, it does have General Store Number 25. This is only selling the complete outfit for the Spring Dancer II, but you need two Onyx stones to complete the set. Dragaux dropped one at the end of World 28. Where to find another? My first stop is to the warp zone, which has three Game Gyms and three overworld treasure chests.

Ring Fit Adventure Shrouded Land World 6 29 warp overworld map treasure chests game gyms
The next paragraph discusses everything you need to know about the three chests and three Game Gyms.

The upper-left Game Gym is Smack Back (Novice) offering three Ashitaba Smoothies for an A-rank completion. The lower-left Game Gym is Robo-Wrecker (Novice), which offered a 400-coin bonus for an A-rank completion. Neither of these posed an issue, and the overworld Treasure Chest on the left side contained... one Onyx stone! Exactly what I need to complete the Spring Dancer II set (and then not wear it). As for the right side of the warp zone... The Game Gym is Squattery Wheel (Novice), which IS actually difficult to get an A rank (let alone S rank) in for its Defense Drink bonus. I have a tip for it after the jump break, but the two overworld Treasure Chests guarded by the Squattery Wheel Game Gym contain five Peaches (upper-right) and one Dragon Fruit (lower-right).

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What I Think About the Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY Debut Demo (Survey Q&A)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Filling out the feedback survey.

As was mentioned in last week's Nintendo Direct, Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY by SQUARE ENIX exists, and there's a demo available, and now there's a feedback survey available with that. It's a fantasy-setting strategy roleplaying game like Fire Emblem or FINAL FANTASY TACTICS. I decided to give it a try and fill out the survey, so I'm going to tell you what I told SQUARE ENIX. You can access the survey itself here, but the email that Nintendo sent out has coded links in it that you may or may not need in order for SQUARE ENIX not to filter you out.

The first page of the survey opened up with, “Thank you very much for playing the Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY Debut Demo. We’re looking for your input on how the quality of the full game can be improved going forward.”

It then asked for a one- to five-star satisfaction rating. I gave it a 4. It then asked me, “What did you enjoy? Please comment freely using 250 characters or fewer.” It provided me with an open text field. I answered, “I enjoyed the 2D-HD art style a lot. The game was a pleasure to look at. I also liked the world-building that was occurring in-between and during battles, especially the side stories on the world map. I think the voting mechanic has potential!” I couldn't say anymore due to the enforced character limit. Moving on...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bowser's Shulk-Bash Backslash Backlash

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - One-upping basic “M” alliteration with a tongue twisting tale.

One consequence of the Pyra and Mythra newcomer announcement from last week's Nintendo Direct is that there's new artwork associated with their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate existence:

There's a lot of very interesting things going on here. First, pay attention to Mythra's outfit. In a previous KoopaTV article titled “Massive Melee Mythra is a Marvelous Meta Miracle” by ex-KoopaTV staffer RawkHawk2010, he predicted—over two years ago—that Mythra's leggings and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC would result in Mythra appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in more than just a Spirit capacity. By the end, he was rudely warning King Bowser Koopa about Mythra, referencing Shulk's trailer that we saw in an August 2014 Nintendo Direct. What you need to know about that trailer is it began with Bowser innocently wandering the Gaur Plain and watching butterflies, and then this Shulk jerk surprise BACK SLASHES the Koopa King for no reason. That was the first time I had ever heard of Shulk.

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Shulk Back Slash Bowser trailer
Shulk Back Slashed Bowser in his debut trailer for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.
I've personally held a grudge against Shulk ever since.

Now, look back at the embedded artwork at the top of the page by Masatsugu Saito. Notice who is right behind Shulk's back? That's right. It's King Bowser Koopa. And while everyone's Xenoblade Chronicles attention is on Pyra and on Mythra, Lord Bowser, expertly avoiding Pyra's and Mythra's trailer altogether (as did every other Koopa in the game, including myself), is instead using this time for REVENGE on Shulk. Saito happened to catch the moment before the backslash backlash.

Monday, February 22, 2021

JOIN the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open February 2021!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - At the last weekend of February.

Check it: The first Nintendo of America out-of-game online tournament (for prizes) of 2021! And it's for Mario Tennis Aces! Register now over here. Taking place February 27 at 13:00 Eastern.

Mario Tennis Aces North American Open February 2021 logo key art
For the first time, someone other than Mario gets to appear in the tournament key artwork.

If you do ever want to play Mario Tennis Aces during any other time of year, you're never going to find a random person in the free play online section. You may find someone in the in-game online tournament, but if you don't like that ruleset and want to make your own, you're out of luck, unless you look for non-random friends to play with. (And you can find a lot of people—and help/guides resources—in the Mario Tennis Aces Club Discord server.)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 28: Training for an ARMS Race

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring just one of the Four Masters.

The G7—the governments of United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan—have today reiterated their support for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to happen this 2021. This is contrary to reports from anonymous sources from last month. I can confirm that Koopa Kingdom's opinion wasn't consulted, but should the Olympics go on, we'll be there under Team Koopa. And I'm in Team Koopa. ...Which means I gotta be FIGHTIN' FIT FOR FENCIN'. And to be in better shape, I'm playing Ring Fit Adventure every week. In 2020 I completed the normal Adventure Mode, and in 2021 I'm playing Extra Fitness.

At the end of last week's Week 27, I adjusted the Ring-Con vibration setting from Strong to Weak, for the first time. There is a very noticeable difference, and Weak really is... weak. At first, I forgot I made the settings change, and I actually thought my Ring-Con was broken. There should be a setting in-between Strong and Weak (the only other setting is to have no rumble at all), but Weak is much more quiet for things like Back Press, where the Ring-Con will be constantly vibrating (and behind your body).

On Week 28, we're playing World 28: Extra Fitness Lv. 192, which is very lengthy and substantial because it's based on World 5: Dragaux vs. the Four Masters, and that was another world that took me one and a half weeks to complete. I'm trying to do it all in one week.

Armando opens up the world declaring we need to reach his gym first, and there are a lot of levels (16) to get there.

Ring Fit Adventure World 28 Armando dialogue will be opponent world map
We're going to have to do far more than deal with just Armando in this world.

The world first opens up with General Store 24, which offers the Flame Contender II, Volt Contender II, and Atomic Contender II outfits for a LOT of money (and six Citrine stones). These raise red-skill, yellow-skill, and blue-skill attack power by 5%, respectively. I'm actually trying on the Atomic Contender II outfit for the first level, Exertion River, since it recommends to use Leg Fit Skills. It's in my best interest to clear these as fast as I can so I can clear the world in a week, but still doing all the enemy fights so I'm, you know, getting the game's fitness benefits This does let me situationally turn two-round KOs into one-round KOs compared to wearing the Galactic Jogger (which has worse stats, but is my go-to outfit due to its 5% increased experience bonus), which speeds fights up considerably.

The Exertion River—besides several minutes worth of rowing activity—also has an unavoidable squat Treasure Chest containing the recipe for Deep Red Smoothie. For two Strawberries, two Raspberries, and two Fennel, you can concoct a smoothie with 7 hearts of restoration, and ↑↑ to red Fit Skill attack power, AND it turns all your Fit Skills to red. My problem is that I only have one Fennel, and I dunno where to find more. ...It turns out that I picked one up at Exertion River, and Exertion River in World 28 has different ingredient drops than Exertion River in World 5. That's already very interesting.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ludwig Babysits in Mario Kart Tour; Joe Biden Plays the Series Too?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How'd I get stuck with this?

For some reason, it's like every political site, news site, and gaming site wrote something about President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. playing Mario Kart Arcade GP over Presidents Day weekend when he hung out at the Camp David retreat with his family. I'm not sure the fascination behind it. If the arcade machines were at Camp David the whole time, then other presidents (possibly starting with President George Walker Bush?) have probably played it too. We just didn't hear about it because they didn't have 27-year old granddaughters with an active social media life.

Naomi Biden, that aforementioned granddaughter, apparently used a “story” feature on the social media platforms to spread the word (which subsequently deletes it after), but this journalist documented/preserved the one-second clip that caused a media firestorm:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

KoopaTV's LIVE Reactions to the February 17 2021 Nintendo Direct

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...You could skip to the end for the “one last thing”, or you could participate in the journey along the way!

Many Nintendo fans have proclaimed the DEATH of the Nintendo Direct. After all, the last one called NINTENDO DIRECT was in September 2019, and to these people (I'm not included), Nintendo presentations like the Nintendo Direct Mini and the many Partner Showcases throughout 2020 just don't count.

But today, an indisputably direct and grandiose in scale Nintendo Direct has arrived, and KoopaTV's entire five-member staff reacted to it. Follow along with the embedded Direct with our live commentary immediately below:

[4:55 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Five minutes until the Nintendo Direct of February 2021 begins...!
[4:56 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Either I got something broken, or there's no waiting room audio from the Nintendo Direct stream.
[4:57 PM] HeavyLobster: I'm here.
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Do you hear any audio?
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: It's eerie.
[4:58 PM] HeavyLobster: no
[4:58 PM] HeavyLobster: Let's hope this is a good one.
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: They usually have waiting room audio, don't they?
I guess it's been a long time so maybe I don't remember.
[4:59 PM] Witch Princess: hiya
[4:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Witchy! You're...alive!
[4:59 PM] Witch Princess: yeah I survived that blizzard
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: RATING PENDING TO MATURE 17+
[5:00 PM] HeavyLobster: Let's Go!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Take Advantage of the CAPCOM Lunar Sale of 2021!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ending February 19, 02:59 Eastern.

Japanese gaming publisher CAPCOM is holding a limited sale (called the Capcom Lunar Sale) from February 11 to February 19, 2:59 AM Eastern time. ...And KoopaTV didn't tell you for most of the sale because we were busy (and didn't know about it). But now we're telling you! Here are the available games—and these sales are ONLY on the (storefront from fellow Japanese gaming publisher) Nintendo eShop (Nintendo Switch)... and in the American one. This sale isn't in Japan or Europe:
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen—$15, or 50% off
  • ŌKAMI HD—$10, or 50% off
  • Onimusha: Warlords—$8, or 60% off
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy—$15, or 50% off
  • Shinsekai Into the Depths—$15, or 25% off

It's not obvious to me why these games were picked for a sale that's supposedly themed around the Lunar New Year. It makes a lot of sense for Ōkami, because that has all sorts of Zodiac-related content between the Celestial Brush gods and the animals you feed. (And it's totally worth $10...and a lot more.) But I'm not sure that it makes sense for, say, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, which doesn't have Zodiac themes. Sure, there's an occasional dragon and tiger motif, but that doesn't encompass the whole Zodiac.

Okami HD Bull Statue Zodiac Treasure item description catalogue
Ōkami clearly pays tribute to Zodiac themes.
I don't think any of those other games do.

By the way, CAPCOM has recently disclosed that the Ace Attorney series has sold a total of 8.0 million copies, across the whole franchise. The Switch/Steam/Xbox One/PlayStation 4 rendition that released back in 2019 has also sold 1.0 million copies. Back at the start of 2019, the cumulative sum of series sales was at 6.7 million. Perhaps discounting Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy every (other) month is working out. At the very least, none of the other individual games in the franchise are million-sellers.

Ludwig obviously personally recommends Ōkami and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. He hopes to keep raising that 8.0 number to be even higher, and maybe there'll be another official Ace Attorney announcement to come that can contribute to that besides discounting the product? This is the first time CAPCOM has done a Lunar Sale, sort of like how yesterday's article was the first time KoopaTV did a Lunar New Year article.

CAPCOM is used to doing February sales, but just calling them a generic CAPCOM Publisher Sale.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was on sale literally just a month ago, in January 2021.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is on sale literally just a month after, in March 2021.
The CAPCOM Lunar Sale of 2022 takes place a bit before the Lunar New Year begins, and it has much more of the company's catalogue at a discount.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The MOONAR...erm, Lunar New Year 2021 into America-wide Winter Storms

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Happy Moo Year...?!

In many East Asian countries, including South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, they're celebrating the “Lunar New Year”, which also has an associated Zodiac of twelve animals that cycle every year. Over the weekend, the Lunar calendar just switched over to the Year of the Ox, which is probably the best one of them all. (Hard to dispute that when there's no shelled creatures on the Zodiac that'd otherwise be in competition.)

That means leading up to the switch, Japanese games with ongoing events had bovine-themed events, like Pokémon GO featuring Tauros and Miltank (but not New York-exclusive Bouffalant) and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield featuring Tauros, Miltank, and Bouffalant in Max Raid Battles (but not Tapu Bulu who lives in a giant Crown Tundra cave with all the other Legendary Pokémon).

Speaking of tundral environments, it's REALLY cold throughout the United States of America. Like, TEXAS is getting several inches of snow. It's no surprise that those Pokémon events stopped before the snow was falling. Bovine, of which many live in Texas, don't appreciate that winter environment. (And for Tapu Bulu, I guess it's warmer in the cave than the horse-caused cold.)

Dragon Quest XI S Sniflheim frozen solid cow
The cold freezes both a bovine's body, as well as food supply. Stay inside!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 27: Returning to the Nation of Sporta

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Putting smiles on people's faces. Except Ring's.

Welcome to another edition of KoopaTV Fitness Fridays, where I document me playing through Ring Fit Adventure (as well as other fitness-related activities) throughout the week, all for your entertainment/information/whatever. While being fit is its own reward, I also am training to satisfy Team Koopa in the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympics. Last week in Ring Fit Adventure, we cleared World 26 on difficulty level 29. That's one less than the maximum difficulty, but right now, I'm finding 29 a lot more fun than 30, so I'll stick with that.

My fitness began on Sunday, February 7, but not with Ring Fit Adventure. There was more snow, falling throughout the day, and I shovelled it three times over the course of the day. That's much better than shovelling it once after it's already fallen. You push it when it's still a couple of inches and still light, before it becomes unmovable rock-esque snow that you can't push, but must lift.

As a result of my good decision, my back doesn't hurt a bunch on Monday, so I'm able to play Ring Fit Adventure just fine. Now we're on World 27: Extra Fitness Lv. 187! While this one uses the same world design as World 4: The Nation of Sporta, will this Extra Fitness version be as lovable and endearing as the Sportans? ...And will it actually take a second week to complete like it originally did? (Hope not.) Find out in this article!

And immediately, Sportan NPCs are greeting me as a hero for saving Sporta and their way of life, and are welcoming me back and saying I can train here as I wish. Loving the continuity, and so the first place we're going to are the Sportan Waters. Originally, we couldn't clear the level because we didn't have the power-up to let us cross rivers, which set the rest of the world's story in motion because Dragaux Stadium is directly north of Sportan Waters. This time, we've already mastered the secrets of the Abdominal Press & Twist, so nothing is stopping us!

Ring Fit Adventure World 27 hero who saved Kingdom of Sporta Sportan Soldier
I don't actually remember how Sporta was in danger before.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

VIDEO of Nintendo Cloning Human Earth Girls?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not a special effect.

By the time you're reading this, you can purchase Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Nintendo Switch. If you wanted to, you could've purchased Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U for many years now, and at 1/3 of the price of the Switch version. I don't think much of Bowser's Fury, other than that Bowser Jr. is an idiot.

Still, the rest of Nintendo's fiscal year is dependent on Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury being a big financial success, and so Nintendo is making a lot of advertisements for the game. Among them is this ad, which I'll let you watch, and then we really, REALLY need to talk about it here. ...And you can't talk about it on YouTube, because Nintendo shut down the comments section by marking it as for kids.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Winning LEGO Idea: Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone Set Coming!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unlike the plumber LEGO sets, this one appears to be pure in intent. Here's how LEGO Ideas work.

When I first heard that there would be a Sonic the Hedgehog set by LEGO, I was worried. After all, you look at the harm caused by the collaboration between LEGO and Nintendo with LEGO Super Mario (which is summarised from KoopaTV's GOTY 2020 article's Best KoopaTV Series of 2020 award), and the idea that SEGA could be joining in for double mascot trouble is terrifying.

But then I actually read LEGO's press release about the LEGO Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone set, and I thoroughly investigated the backstory of their announcement, instead of relying on incomplete (and bad) gaming media reporting. I'll share what I've found out with you so you can have complete and good reporting, which leads me (and will lead you) to the conclusion that this is nothing like the LEGO Super Mario project.

At the core of understanding this announcement—LEGO and SEGA are working together to develop this design, which currently has no defined price point or release date—is understanding the LEGO Ideas platform. Per some guidelines, creative LEGO fans (and these are an intense and dedicated bunch) can submit LEGO sets for community voting, and it takes very little to join the community and be eligible to vote. The LEGO set, which gets a description and updates akin to a Kickstarter campaign, has a certain number of days to get supporters, in several different stages. (60 days to get 100 supporters, another 365 days to get 1000 supporters, 182 days afterwards to get 5,000 supporters, and finally another 182-day extension to reach a total of 10,000 supporters.) There's the skill of taking photos and having structural LEGO integrity, and then there's the skill of being able to market and promote your campaign.

Then the LEGO company will meet three times a year to consider any project that has met the 10,000 supporter threshold and decide whether your idea should become a real product. In the case of the Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone by Viv Grannell (also known as toastergrl), she opened it up in February 2019. She got to 10,000 supporters as of March 2020, which is a timeline entirely before the LEGO Super Mario announcement ever happened. Then the announcement that it'll be a real product happened February 2021. This is a long-term ordeal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

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

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Stock analysts, like gamers, want to know what the next big first-party game is gonna be. (Spoiler alert: Still unknown.)

You've (maybe) seen Nintendo's recently reported financial results that cover their October to December 2020 performance, which is 3/4s through their fiscal year ending at the end of March 2021. They were PRETTY DANG GOOD, according to my commentary.

But what did Nintendo's investor and analyst community think about it? Well, let's look through their Nine-Month Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending Mar. 2021 (Conference Call) Nintendo Co., Ltd. Question and Answer summary that took place last week, and was very recently made available in English. There's eight questions! I'm gonna commentate on the questions and the answers in this article. ...And I'll try (and succeed) to keep it light and entertaining for you.

Question 1: Why aren't you projecting even MORE profit?

In the first question, the caller thinks that Nintendo's increased projections for the financial performance for the last three months of the fiscal year (January to March 2021) seems “very modest,” while thinking that a global shortage of semiconductors could be the reason. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa dismissed the semiconductor shortage reasoning, and says that the projection seems modest if you're doing a year-over-year comparison... and such a comparison is a bad idea, since March 2020 is when Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out. ...And it seems like Nintendo won't be able to replicate that this year in that specific time period. But Nintendo believes that in absolute terms, the financial projection for the end of March 2021 is actually not that modest, and they'll try to outperform their projection.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Abandon Ship! Not a Projectile? Excluded from the Ballistic Barrage Event Tourney!?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's arbitrary and unfair. ...And I'm not even the biggest victim here.

There was another Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event tourney over the weekend, called Ballistic Barrage. Here's the description:
“Projectiles will be flying every which way in this time-limited tourney, open only to fighters who possess three or more projectile attacks!

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

You think that I'd be included, right? After all, I ride the Koopa Clown Car, and for projectiles, we got the Mechakoopa, the Clown Cannon ball, and Abandon Ship!, where the vehicle itself becomes the projectile.

...Except apparently not. While Mechakoopas and cannonballs are projectiles, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn't define Abandon Ship! as a projectile. ...Even though it clearly is. Just look at it:

Friday, February 5, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 26: The New-riginal General Store

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The General Store can be lame because it's a monopoly. SAD!

I'm back this week, still playing Ring Fit Adventure, since I both want to be in a fighting fit shape for the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympics, and because it's good for me in general. ...Oh, and I legitimately like the game and think you should, too. ...Though I've already spoiled the whole story mode on KoopaTV in weeks (and months) prior. Now I'm in the post-game Extra Fitness mode, and last week I played through World 25.

With this week, we're in World 26: Extra Fitness Lv. 184. Immediately, Ring identifies it as the original location of the General Store (World 3: A Shining Jewel from the Heavens), but Honey, one of the store owners, overheard our conversation and says it's been renovated (with a new roof) and new items. Honey deems it “new-riginal” and says it's the 22nd Store. But to get there, we need to clear the Treasure Pass level. Unlike the original World 3, you can double jump on and over a boulder on the road to get to an empty upper path, as opposed to being forced to break the boulder. (That's because you get the double jump in World 9.) There's a treasure on a path with a Royal Green Smoothie. (We got the recipe to make those in the last world.)

Ring Fit Adventure Honey General Store new-riginal extra fitness dialogue
Yeah, you really think this is clever, huh?

Now to visit Town!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

BALAN WONDERWORLD is how you don't make a 3D Platformer (or any other game)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...And if the full game isn't like that, it's how you don't produce a demo.

Back in mid-September, there was a Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase. It featured Monster Hunter Rise, but there was also a 3D platformer called BALAN WONDERWORLD published by Square Enix. Both Monster Hunter Rise and BALAN WONDERWORLD got January 2021 demos. Both games are releasing on March 26, 2021. I've played both of the demos. For Monster Hunter Rise, I admit I'm not inherently a fan of its genre. Still, I can respect that there are lots of people who are fans of that gameplay, and it's clear that Monster Hunter Rise is well-designed for what it's trying to do.

BALAN WONDERWORLD is different. BALAN WONDERWORLD, based on the demo, doesn't deserve my respect. It's awful. While I'm also not a fan of 3D platformers, I know what good 3D platformers look like. BALAN WONDERWORLD doesn't qualify. I'll explain why.

BALAN WONDERWORLD cutscene logo rainbows magic
This screenshot comes from the cutscene that starts the demo.
That cutscene is probably where the budget went.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

December 31, 2020 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - For Ring Fit Adventure, it's a marathon (of youth), not a sprint.

If you thought Nintendo's lack of a blockbuster holiday game would get in the way of them getting big profits over the holiday season, you don't know Nintendo. Alternatively, you don't know their fans, because millions of them (8.32 million worldwide) will have a fear of missing out and buy something like Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Yes, Nintendo released their third quarter results for the fiscal year ending March 2021. Impressive numbers.

Nintendo Switch million game sellers sales December 31 2020 Ring Fit Adventure Super Mario 3D All Stars
Ring Fit Adventure must have gotten many sales over the holidays.

According to the data, Ring Fit Adventure went and sold 2.84 million copies from October 1 to December 31, 2020, which is the second biggest, most successful slope on the chart—only behind Super Mario 3D All-Stars selling 3.12 million copies. Not there are sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which sold a stupefying 5.14 million copies during that time period. Meanwhile, KoopaTV's Game of THAT Year 2020, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, only found 80,000 people who were interested in buying it, or to put it on the scale of the rest of the paragraph, 0.08 million copies.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is still unwilling to provide updated sales figures for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and the lack of any mention of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is hilarious, because that means it failed to sell a million copies. That means you can dangle Super Mario 3D All-Stars and it'll sell millions because people want it before it disappears March 31, 2021... but no one cares about a terrible Fire Emblem game. I still don't know why they bothered.

Nintendo expects some good results between now and the end of March 2021, forecasting 2.5 million more Switch consoles and 30.5 million more Switch games sold in that time period than originally anticipated. How much will Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition make up of that? ...We'll see. (Or maybe we won't if it's immaterial.)

One last and important note: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a million-seller, and that's problematic. 210,000 copies sold in Japan, and 870,000 copies sold in non-Japan. That's definitely not enough surface area for the Mushroom Kingdom-cardboard coalition to take over the world, but if left unchecked, that might happen. It's still sold sub-Labo numbers, fortunately. Hope it stays that low.

Ludwig is looking forward to the investor question and answer session English translation, because he's going to write a separate article commentating on that. In the meantime, feel free to talk about how Ring Fit Adventure keeps outselling almost everything else, and how good that is for KoopaTV's organic search traffic, thanks to KoopaTV Fitness Fridays, which have now recontinued for 2021.

Here is that question and answer session! Ludwig commented on each question/answer.
The chronologically previous one of these updates, for September 30, 2020, can be found here.
The December 31, 2019 update is over here. Ludwig was still plugging Ring Fit Adventure, even then.
Here are the March 2021 numbers, with more amazing sales from Ring Fit Adventure, and also more Fire Emblem flopping.
Here is the December 31, 2021 update. There are amazing numbers there, though Ring Fit Adventure takes a backseat.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Google Game Studio, Stadia Games & Entertainment, Disbanded

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...I forgot they existed.

I don't know a single person who uses Google's cloud game streaming service, Stadia. But back when it was announced, I did write that Jade Raymond (of Ubisoft fame) “is now the head of the new first party gaming studio that Google has opened to make Stadia exclusives: Stadia Games and Entertainment.”

Here's the full list of games that Stadia Games and Entertainment have released on the platform so far, which has been available to the public since November 2019:

...Well, you know, that's a really short list. Possibly as a result of that, Google has decided to disband Stadia Games & Entertainment, and Jade Raymond will be leaving Google. Google will allegedly still work on and eventually release “any near-termed planned games.” They didn't name any, and I don't think any have actually been announced. That doesn't mean they've been doing nothing this whole time... but it doesn't not mean that, either. The Stadia isn't going away with this announcement—it'll just exist to solely stream third-party games, like it's already been doing to whatever size its audience is.

This week and hopefully next week we'll talk about Nintendo's financial statements (which are out in English) and then their investor question and answer session (which isn't out in English...yet?). I mention that because the last time “Stadia” was mentioned on KoopaTV was over a year ago when Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa tied Google joining the videogame industry as what's needed for “the gaming industry” to “get noticed.” I ridiculed his statement at the time, and it's pretty clear in retrospect that the gaming industry itself hasn't noticed Google's presence. And I'm really fine keeping it that way.

It's possible that the next time the Stadia gets an article on KoopaTV will be when Google discontinues it entirely. Take your bets in the comments section! Do YOU know anyone who has ever used the Stadia? Is that person... you?

Here are those financial results mentioned in the last paragraph.
And here is that question and answer session.
Google acquired a studio called Typhoon Studios, though their one game wasn't exclusive to the Stadia. Typhoon turned into a new studio after Google shut Stadia Games & Entertainment down.

Now the Stadia itself will be over as of January 2023.

Monday, February 1, 2021

KoopaTV's January 2021 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, look at that. 2021 is 1/12 done. (And that rhymes for the first time in 20 years.)

So far, I've had no noticeable trouble writing out “2021.” Usually, when you go from one year to the next, you're so used to writing the previous year (in this case, “2020”) that sometimes you'll slip up, especially during the first month of the new year. Not this time. I've been flawless with my 2021. Does that mean 2020 sucked that much that even my subconscious is done with it? ...Well, some say that 2021 is just 2020, but extended, 'cause it's perceived to still be a crappy year so far.

KoopaTV begs to differ. 2021 so far has been great*. Just take a look at the content on our website so far:

Top Five Recommended Experiences of January 2021

  1. Would You Rather Go Big, or Be Invincible? Super Mushroom vs. Super Star Splatfest! — In what should be the last new Splatfest theme for the next few years, Ludwig explains why the best choice would be to rather have a Super Star than have a Super Mushroom, and how being a Koopa affects his decision-making.
  2. Fact Check: Joe Biden's “We'll have another 200,000 Americans dead by the end of the year” Coronavirus claim — Candidate Joe Biden chose to provide a pessimistic world view/scientific model during an October presidential debate, making a prediction for December 31. Since that time has passed, was his statement accurate?
  3. Welcome to the Fódlan Senate, Raphael Warnock the Warlock — We have an exclusive look at the rise of Raphael Warnock the Warlock (and Jon Ossoff), born into the Commoner class, and now a Senator with the power to make change in Fódlan.
  4. Why I Don't Drink Alcoholic Beverages — Ludwig shares his personal decision-making process for why he doesn't drink alcoholic beverages. You're welcome to agree or disagree with his logic, but do try to understand it.
  5. NEVER AGAIN: Mario's Koopa Genocide in Super Mario Bros. 35's "1st World Count Challenge" — In a news release that was suspiciously timed with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Nintendo celebrated the deaths of almost six million Bowsers. KoopaTV, however, mourns the losses, as well as the hundreds of millions of Goombas, Koopas, and others that were also murdered in the Mario mob's genocide.

Even if an article wasn't on this list, it's still worth reading. Now, let's check out your comments on those articles and more!

*An actual genocide happening early in 2021 isn't great, but the article about it was.