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Friday, July 30, 2021

ŌKAMI HD on Sale and Amaterasu Now in Monster Hunter Rise

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, an Amaterasu-like layered armour for Palamute. Not literally the goddess herself. ...Right?

For the record, Monster Hunter Rise exclusively (for now) on the Nintendo Switch is publisher CAPCOM's highest-selling single-console game in their company history at over seven million copies. (You won't see it on that CAPCOM page as of now because it hasn't been updated in four months, and the game came out four months ago.) It won't be single-console forever, since it's releasing on the PC sometime in “early 2022.” And I'm not saying that, for example, the PlayStation version of Monster Hunter: World didn't sell over seven million copies. (Let me know if you don't understand that distinction in the comments.)

One tiny part of Monster Hunter Rise's appeal is the “Capcom Collab” events. This is when other CAPCOM franchises get to cameo in Monster Hunter Rise. There'll be five of these over the course of 2021 (and possibly forever). The first was with fellow Monster Hunter game, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, which released earlier this month. Now the second is available with update 3.2.0 (along with bug fixes), and it's Amaterasu from ŌKAMI:

Thursday, July 29, 2021

What is a Playdate (the handheld gaming system)?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And would we want one? (Probably not.)

Apparently, anyone who is anyone (other gaming sites, jerks on Twitter) already knows what a Playdate is. And I don't mean going to a friend's house and playing games and nomming on nachos. It's an upcoming handheld gaming system from Panic, who you may or may not know from publishing games like Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game. Their whole angle with the Playdate is being weird and whimsical. It's like an off-kilter Game Boy (like, the original one—its main controls are a Directional Pad, an A button, and a B button... and the screen colours are black/white only) that has a hand-crank attached to it (which is an additional control method). Its gimmick is that you buy the system and (free and exclusive) games will appear on it every week via Wi-Fi, at least for “Season One” with no concrete details on what comes in the twelve weeks afterwards. It's being sold for $179 plus shipping, which will probably increase the cost to over $200.

This video explains everything Panic wants you to know if any of this sounds interesting to you:

The big other part of this is the game development side. Panic is making game development free and easy for the Playdate, and even web browser-based. In that video there's something about marginalised communities and whatever, but basically fostering an underground and simple development community is probably Panic's strategy on keeping the Playdate going after Season One.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Everyone Got Sick Already, so Dr. Mario World is Ending

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Sick FROM the Megavitamins.

Remember when I published a special and exclusive KoopaTV investigation into what Dr. Mario hoped to accomplish with Dr. Mario World? Basically, the so-called Viruses are a false flag alien species, and the Megavitamins he's feeding people that have increased in potency despite being medically unnecessary are making people more sick than the disease that the Viruses supposedly pass on. Sort of like what vaccine skeptics think is happening on Earth right now with the Chinese Communist Party Virus, except my article was written before that was allowed to spread on Earth.

To help hook everyone on these Megavitamins with dangerous effects on the body, Dr. Mario has went on a hiring spree to get anybody (even babies) and call them a doctor. Again, there are no requirements on making decisions that would result in a desirable patient outcome. It's just to spread the drugs around the world. They even hired not just myself and Wendy, but over the past couple of years the rest of the Koopalings and even Kamek, despite our obvious intention to sabotage his plans. That's how little thought is going into checking the qualifications of who he's hiring.

Dr. Mario World Doctor Morton Koopa Jr.
I'd rather trust Baby Wario with my health than Morton Koopa Jr.

And then yesterday/today he announced an end-of-service for November 1, 2021. Additionally, currency purchases (diamonds) are no longer allowed with his staff, so he's ending his supply of Megavitamins. But why would this happen?

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles! Now Released!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - TAKE THAT! (And put it in your game console.)

Remember back in June when I wrote that I pre-ordered The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles? Miraculously, I actually have it on launch day. And in physical form.

This is the first time you can get a physical copy of an Ace Attorney game outside of Japan besides Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney since... Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth in 2010. Barring non-future-proofed joke articles to the contrary. Here's what got shipped to me from Best Buy (and this is why it's actually good thing I just got kicked out of Japan, because the shipping address sure wasn't the Olympic Village!):

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles box physical copy Nintendo Switch Hello Fresh meal kit free meals
Yes, all of the items you see in the picture came in my shipment. Let's talk about that...

Monday, July 26, 2021

Ludwig Von Koopa Lost the Men's Épée Individual at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics


Team Koopa had timed our physical entrance to Tokyo's Olympics area so we could be quarantined for 72 hours after our arrival, miss the super-spreader and pretty boring Opening Ceremony, but then have me be able to participate in my big event: yesterday morning's Men's Épée Individual.

Ludwig Von Koopa Makuhari Messe Hall B Individual Men's épée epee Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
It's MY event! I'm destined to win! My face is there, you know.

Long-time KoopaTV readers (over the past...year and a half) know that I've been very publicly documenting my training in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Then the Olympics got postponed to 2021... so I took a long break from my training until it restarted at the start of 2021. I hope I've gotten the many readers of my fitness logs to feel a sense of camaraderie with the Team Koopa cause. So what happened yesterday?

Well, maybe I should explain the sport first. Olympic fencing is divided into twelve events, but there's really three (multiplied by the four factors of men's, women's, individual's, and team's). Those are Sabre, Foil, and Épée. They differ in the weapon you get (those three names are the weapon names) and where you're allowed to hit your opponent.

The sabre is meant to be slashed and/or thrust at people. You get a point when your sabre hits the torso, face-mask, or arms. Sabre fencing is subject to the rules of priority, or what happens when two people seem to hit one another at the same time. There's lots of things relating to parrying and counter-attacks and normal people can't really follow it. This is why the weapons and gear people wear are actually all electronic, to help referees make judgement calls.

The foil is meant to just be thrust to someone's torso (scoring only counts if the foil's tip hits someone). The target area is the opponent's torso. This also follows the complicated priority rules.

The épée is also a thrusting weapon, but the entire body of the opponent is a valid target. Priority rules also aren't a thing; if people hit one another at the same time, they both get points.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

KoopaTV's Live Reactions to Tokyo 2021's Olympic Opening Ceremony

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Watching from the safety of quarantined rooms.

As I wrote earlier in the week, Team Koopa is currently in a quarantined room at the Olympic Village submitting negative COVID-19 tests. The five of us (myself, Wendy O. Koopa, Larry Koopa, Bowser Jr., and King Bowser Koopa) don't have much to do, but we wanted to connect with the KoopaTV staffers not in Tokyo, Japan, so I reached out to the staff and got... just Kamek. Well, he's pretty knowledgeable and with a good eye (enhanced by glasses) for what to watch in big productions. So we're live-reacting to the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. I can't be there due to the quarantine, but I can at least watch my to-be competition.

We have previous experience live-reacting to Olympic Opening Ceremonies, including Rio 2016's and PyeongChang 2018's. We're watching via the United States stream ran by the awful NBC, who will never be able to put on a decent show. Note that the timestamps reflect Tokyo time, but of NBC's “prime time” 19:30 Friday slot. That means the Opening Ceremony had already happened in real-time in Japan way earlier in the day, but NBC wanted to put it on at night for Americans. ...And heavily edited.

[8:28 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: "The Games of the XXXII Olympiad open in Tokyo with coverage of the lighting of the cauldron and the parade of nations from National Stadium. "
[8:29 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: In real-time, the Opening Olympics already happened. ...But we're watching it for the first time now. Including the KoopaTV staffers literally present in Tokyo. It's... complicated how that works. Blame quarantines.
[8:33 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Nothing is actually happening yet.
[8:34 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Even though I'm in Japan we're still watching FAKE NEWS NBC's coverage, so it's America-centric.
[8:36 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: They're acting like the Olympic athletes are going to a war and are very strained away from their families and wotever.
[8:36 AM] Kamek: Woot!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Pay-to-Win or not, Avoid Pokémon UNITE!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Don't even download it.

You may remember that Pokémon UNITE was announced a bit over a year ago. Its introduction was... not well-received, largely because of two factors: MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas) are a bad genre of games and their fans tend to be awful people, and it's developed by Tencent, an agent of the Chinese Communist Party. Since then, Chinese Communist Party apologists have been in full force trying to convince people that Pokémon UNITE is gonna be the best game and it's wonderful that The Pokémon Company is green-lighting and publishing it with Tencent. They've even written a guest-post on KoopaTV with that very angle.

Now it's out on the Nintendo Switch, and will be releasing to mobile devices in September with cross-platform play. You'll need an Internet connection to do anything on the game, but Nintendo Switch Online won't be required. It's free-to-start but with plenty of potential microtransactions that can get you started and progressing much faster than people who won't pay anything, which can get you to a statistical advantage. Yeah, there's in-game currency (which you can acquire at a slow pace), but there's also a lot of performance-enhancing items or held item upgrades you can get by buying the premium currency (Aeos Gems), along with being able to buy access to new characters. Very typical for the genre. This is on top of cosmetics, some of which actually have a performance effect on Pokémon.

There is a complicated thing that I don't understand (which is intentional design) where you use real money to buy currencies which can get gems to buy tickets which get the performance-enhancing items. All those steps is basically the same steps criminal organisations do when money laundering. The metagame will be shaped by people who are spending large amounts of money.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Strict Tokyo 2021 Olympic Regulations for Athletes

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Masks and quarantines and social distancing and no tourism...

You may be wondering when exactly Team Koopa Kingdom is going to Japan to compete in the Olympics. (And if you're wondering about Mario's team or Sonic's team, go to their websites instead. This is KoopaTV. For Koopas.) Well, we've read up on the 70-page Playbook for Athletes published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The gist of the Playbook is that before traveling to Japan, we need to take our temperature every day for 14 days and monitor ourselves for Chinese Communist Party Virus symptoms. In the 96 hours (four days) prior to departing to Japan, we need to pass two COVID-19 tests (pass = negative score). We also need to download an Online Check-in and Health report App (OCHA)—you can see it has low reviews and is glitchy. Then there are many more rules once we get into Japan.

Our point of contact is an IOC-appointed COVID-19 Liaison Officer, which is abbreviated as CLO for the rest of that document. They're supposed to be taking care of this stuff so the athletes can focus on winning games, but they're less of a friendly assistant and more of a nagging jerk. They'll be holding us to an Activity Plan, which each team member has to fill out that includes all of their personal information, where they'll be staying in Japan, and the precise locations they'll be going to (only Olympic Games venues). Public transportation generally isn't allowed. Walking around also is not allowed. Our Activity Plan must be approved by the authorities, and we generally won't be allowed to change it. No one is allowed to go around to different areas in Japan. Olympic areas only. That means I won't be able to visit Nintendo's Uji City plant or Makishima Castle, for example.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Learn from the The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Development Timeline

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I don't mean learn project management lessons, but I mean what to learn as a fan waiting for news.

Reminder: The existence of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles was announced just three months ago. Before then, people were worried about Ace Attorney ever getting anything ever again. In that short amount of time, we watched Ace Attorney publisher CAPCOM dedicate their E3 2021 presence to Ace Attorney—and KoopaTV rated that as the second-best session of all E3 2021.

Ace Attorney is in a pretty good place right now. But how did the fanbase let itself get into such a bleak spot? Well, thanks to some very recent developer blogs at Capcom-Unity published by localisation director Janet Hsu, we have an idea of the timeline. The key one is about the miraculous English dub—which while I still don't know how much of the game is actually voice-acted (less than all of it), it's clear the cutscenes are voice-acted, and between the two games included in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, that might still be substantive.

The agency CAPCOM contracted with was SIDE's United Kingdom studio. Janet Hsu insisted it had to be in the UK because the game takes place in London, and she's all about that authenticity. She even specifically wanted Japanese people living in the United Kingdom, and... I'm not sure how many voice actors there are that qualify as that, but I imagine it's a very small and niche pool. Regardless, SIDE found at least two (Mark Ota and Rina Takasaki) for the two main Japanese characters, Ryunosuke and Susato.

But here's where the timeline comes in, before SIDE was even selected.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Nintendo Directly Addresses FAKE NEWS Bloomberg (OLED model) Hit Piece!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Don't trust FAKE NEWS Bloomberg. Or any media outlet that describes them as a credible source.

Remember last week I wrote about how FAKE NEWS Bloomberg was writing hit pieces against Nintendo because they're pissed at Nintendo for not willing their FAKE NEWS dream of the “Nintendo Switch Pro” into reality and instead announcing the Nintendo Switch (OLED model)? And, unfortunately, many media outlets that spread Bloomberg's original Nintendo Switch Pro FAKE NEWS spread Bloomberg's hit piece, as well.

In a very rare statement, Nintendo's investor relations account directly refuted Bloomberg's hit piece, which means the hit piece wasn't just a distorted and poorly reported attack, but it is also yet another example of FAKE NEWS. Read their statements for yourself, and I'll provide context on how important this is.

Friday, July 16, 2021

With the Steam Deck, will PC Elitists Still Think PC Gaming > Consoles?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What are supposed to be the advantages of the Steam Deck?

Upfront disclaimer: I'm not a PC gamer and I'm biased in favour of console gaming. I've also been around a long time to hear many PC gaming vs. console gaming debates wherever gamers congregate. PC gaming proponents (henceforth called PC Elitists) tend to be very passionate.

Valve has announced the Steam Deck, a “portable” computer that is specialised to play your Steam library on-the-go. You can pre-order it now. It sort of resembles a Nintendo Switch if it got messed up in a car accident, and the comparison isn't lost on the news media.

Here's Bloomberg, who the day or two before published an anti-Switch hit piece because the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) doesn't support 4k graphics output (their intro article when the Switch was announced has the headline, “Nintendo Unveils $350 Switch With Display That Still Lags Rivals” and notes it lags by lack of 4k graphical output), writing very positively when introducing the Steam Deck with the headline, “Nintendo Switch Gets New Rival With Valve’s Portable Steam Console”. (Important note: the Steam Deck also isn't a 4K device, but it can be externally connected to a 4K or even 8K monitor. Unknown how well it actually performs on that.) They just really hate Nintendo. As do plenty of PC Elitists.

Steam Deck Valve hands-on portable gaming computer
Screen-grab from this IGN video where they interview Valve people.
The journalist claims that his hands are comfortable.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

After Bloomberg Was Exposed for Nintendo Switch FAKE NEWS, They're Publishing Hit Pieces

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unfortunately, many other media outlets don't have the capacity to learn from mistakes, so they're parroting the hit piece.

I hope everyone didn't already forget that it was news outlet Bloomberg that published the FAKE NEWS that spread to a massive range of other media outlets that Nintendo would announce a significant Nintendo Switch hardware revision at or before E3 2021. No such announcement occurred. Finally, weeks after E3 2021 ended, Nintendo did announce a Nintendo Switch hardware revision: the Nintendo Switch (OLED model). However, the Bloomberg report and the other media reports made many claims about what the hardware revision was supposed to be, and the (OLED model) did not match their “journalism.” Clearly, their anonymous sources and “insiders” were very wrong.

KoopaTV called for accountability for those conducting journalism about the videogame industry to re-evaluate how they're doing things, given how much they were misleading not just gamers, but also big economic players. Remember, the FAKE NEWS wasn't just among niche gaming websites—some of the most mainstream business publications, like Bloomberg, were reporting on this. Somehow, the fact that Bloomberg's name was behind the false rumours made them seem much more credible. It's like everyone forgot what a widely reviled failure Bloomberg's founder and owner is like.

Unfortunately, it didn't take very long after the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) was announced—the very existence of which is a permanent and obvious black mark on Bloomberg's journalistic integrity  (note that Bloomberg's four values are “Diversity & Inclusion”, “Innovation”, “Philanthropy”, and “Sustainability”. There's nothing about integrity, telling the truth, or even accuracy)—for Bloomberg to lash out against Nintendo with a hit piece.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Luxury Watchmaker TAG Heuer Puts Ugly Red-Hatted Plumber on Limited-Edition Watch

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And people are expected to pay for this?

While this doesn't have a Nintendo press release (not as of publishing, at least), Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer is launching with a Super Mario-branded luxury smartwatch—officially called the TAG Heuer Connected x Super Mario Limited Edition—that'll be sold for £1,800. Only 2,000 watches will be produced, according to watch industry outlet WatchPro. (This same outlet put their headline as “TAG Heuer teams up with Super Mario to get gamers off their sofas”, so they're... clearly not friendly to gamers. Or familiar with Ring Fit Adventure.) According to Roberta Naas, the self-described “first woman watch journalist in America”, TAG Heuer is entering into a “long-term collaboration with Nintendo”.

As an aside, I have no idea if the watch journalism industry is as stupid and bad at their jobs as the videogame journalism industry is. I know several gamers who think gaming journalism deserves special scorn, but most journalism, irrespective of niche, is like that. Regardless...

These smartwatches are packed with features thanks to having Google's software suite embedded. That includes music, digital payments, a calendar, Google Translate, wellness monitoring (step-counting, heart rate), and apparently there's an integrated Golf App that would probably be there even if Mario Golf: Super Rush didn't exist. I would imagine navigating all of that on a tiny digital screen with tiny controls would be very undesirable, as someone who has never owned a smartwatch and hopefully never will. It also has five customisable watch faces packed with Super Mario references, including the main one being a likeness of the plumber. Here's a trailer...

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Analysing the ESA's 2021 Essential Facts About the Videogame Industry: Greater Connectivity

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Now political correctness is getting in the way of useful demographic breakdowns.

Today, America's favourite videogame industry lobbyist group, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), released the 2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report (archived version here in case they delete or move it later), the 2021 version of their annual survey series. (As opposed to two-thousand twenty-one essential facts. You might be able to come up with that many facts about the gaming industry, but they won't all be essential!)

In 2020's Essential Facts report, KoopaTV's big takeaway was that gamers were playing longer than before, likely due to the pandemic. 2021's survey was conducted in February 2021 (still pandemic!) with ~4,000 adult Americans. The headline you might read on other sites is “ESA Report: There are nearly 227 million players across all ages in the United States!”

I'd say the big takeaway for this is how much more people are playing together. Multiplayer stuff. Maybe part of that is that the popularity growth of games like Among Us would take place after the 2020 survey, and now many people are playing that together and talking like idiots in a weird coded language.

To be exact, in 2020, 65% of survey respondents said they play videogames with other people. That number jumped to 77% (on a weekly basis). While adult gamers played on average 6.6 hours a week online and 4.3 hours with others in 2020, that's increased to 7.5 online hours and 4.5 in-person hours a week in 2021. (No one's asked how much they play by themselves.) But it's not just quantity of hours. They're making friends, too.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Watching the Olympic Virtual Series (2021) Baseball Finals

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You probably didn't watch any of it. Oh well!

While many people were watching soccer (or European football) yesterday (or were busy drunkingly rioting or something—I don't understand English soccer culture), I was watching the superior sport—baseball. But not just any baseball—the Olympic Virtual Series Baseball Finals. You may remember I wrote about the Olympic Virtual Series of 2021. That's the official International Olympic Committee-sponsored series of baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing, and racing... but done virtually. And for a couple of the sports, that involves actual videogames: Konami's eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020 and Sony's Gran Turismo Sport.

These all already happened and were broadcasted on June 23, live from Konami's Japanese headquarters. I had just missed it because I forgot about it entirely. It doesn't help that I saw literally zero people or media outlets discuss this event or any of the Virtual Series.

The final four players in the baseball event played on PlayStation 4—which you can watch here if you wanted to join me (though I don't recommend it; there's better things you can do with 160 minutes. The commentators are English-speaking, however)—were MesiHARA (representing the USA), TAKU (representing Australia), SHORA (representing Cuba), and antimon (representing Mexico). These nationalities are an in-game only thing and not a real life one, because in fact, you have to be Japanese, South Korean, or Taiwanese to actually have and play the game and participate in this series. (And I think they're all Japanese in practice.) It's not discussed if this constitutes “cultural appropriation” for Team America or Team Australia to be represented by non-Americans and non-Australians. (However, according to Konami's website, “Teams are assigned randomly to players upon participation, and players must use the single assigned National team until the end of the Online Preliminary Rounds.”) Each games are only three innings long, unlike nine-inning baseball. It's a one-game set in a single-elimination bracket, too.

All of these players apparently have their established followings, play styles, and previous appearances in prior eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball games.

eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020 home run Olympic Virtual Series semi-final MesiHARA TAKU
The first homerun of the semi-finals! (And it scored two!)
TAKU is setting himself up to be a force here.

TAKU easily defeated MesiHARA in the first game (2 to 0; MesiHARA couldn't even get one guy on a base). In SHORA vs. antimon, they loved throwing balls more than strikes, with both players facing off against a three-bases-loaded situation as a result. But no scoreboard impact until that third inning when Cuba got a run. Then another run. Mexico wasn't able to score, so SHORA won 2–0.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 46: Finalia, but in EXTRA FITNESS

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The very last world of Ring Fit Adventure's Extra Fitness mode.

When this fitness log is getting published, the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games will begin in about two weeks. It is my duty as a prince of Koopa Kingdom who is also on Team Koopa's Olympic delegation to be as fit as I can so I can perform my very best in these games. I'll be fencing. It's basically set up in a tournament-style bracket. I'm amazing at brackets, as someone who has played in several of them for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. ...Yeah, I rarely win, but this is a different sport.

My training in Ring Fit Adventure's Extra Fitness mode—basically replaying Adventure Mode but with new dialogue, stronger enemies, higher-level Fit Skills, higher gym pass requirements (B rank to A rank) and no Town requests—has brought me once again to Finalia (World 23: Finalia). After beating the Four Masters from Hades last week, this week's world is officially called World 46: Extra Fitness Lv. 284.

Day one of the week began Sunday. Final boss Dragaux told me to get some last-minute training in, as he also needs some minutes to prepare himself for a final boss fight. ...Yeah, except it'll take a whole week to get to fight him. There's 16 courses in this world, so 15 of those are pre-final-boss preparation. That takes time, man. ...And if it isn't obvious, because I'm fighting a final boss, you should expect spoilers.

Ring Fit Adventure World 46 Extra Fitness Lv. 284 Dragaux dialogue Finalia unhinged
Both Dragaux and Ring have said that Dragaux and the Four Masters are at their maximum power.
I better be in that peak condition too. For the Olympics and to get through the final boss.

Not among those courses is the Town, which has no NPCs in it but the General Store Number 42 with patrons Honey and Hubby are there. They're selling the Galactic Jogger II (set bonus: Increases EXP earned by 5%—best bonus in the game) and the Crimson Phoenix II (set bonus: Recovers hearts with repeated knee lifts—among the worst bonuses in the game) for equal prices and they have equal stats. One exception: The Galactic Jogger II requires four Zircon (and that's exactly how many I have) while the Crimson Phoenix II requires two Zircon. Well, I'll be wearing the EXP-bonus outfit and not wearing the fan-service Armored Muscle outfit. Check out last week's log if you want to see the fan service. Even the stats are superior than the Armored Muscle's.

Now for the first course: Stadium Grounds. ...Most of these are named Stadium Grounds, by the way. Despite it being named grounds, the level is just a river rowing course with a lot of squatting required to get under low passageways. The one enemy fight is the Mini Dragaux Statue at the end. It's pretty much a harmless HP sponge, so just bring your favourite single-target Fit Skills of any colour and go through them until it crumbles. Every Mini Dragaux Statue will drop a Dragaux Statue Fragment. Anyway, after destroying the statue, there's now a split path to two different Stadium Barricades, each one marked as a miniboss fight...

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Released!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Trying out the demo and watching the Special Pre-Launch Program.

The Nintendo Switch demo for Monster Hunter Stories 2 released two weeks ago, and the CAPCOM-hosted Special Pre-Launch Program happened one week ago. I haven't really had the opportunity to play through the demo, and I didn't watch that webcast because I was busy waking up and working out. So by the end of tonight right before the game comes out, I've played some (but not all—it's a huge demo and I keep getting diverted by feeling like I must collect every item and enter many Monster Dens) of the demo and watched through the Special Pre-Launch Program from the developers, embedded below. (It's only 40 minutes long and the KoopaTV embed usefully skips the first half hour of nothing.)

If you want to know more about the game, watching the presentation explains the story and gameplay (and how it's improved over the first Monster Hunter Stories on the Nintendo 3DS) better than I can. Prior to this and the demo, CAPCOM pretty much left it up to Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 2021 to explain and show off the gameplay.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Nintendo Question & Answers: 81st Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm so happy someone FINALLY asked these questions. It's a dream come true. But about those answers...

Usually, whenever KoopaTV covers the question and answer (Q&A) sessions between Nintendo and their shareholders or analysts, I like to make fun of them for asking stupid and redundant questions.

However, this time, many of the ten questions published in Nintendo's 81st Annual General Meeting of Shareholders were EXCELLENT. Now it's up to Nintendo to answer them well. I'll review those questions and Nintendo's answers in this article. You won't want to miss question number nine.

Question 1: Why does Nintendo assume 120 yen to the euro when other Japanese companies assume 130 yen to the euro?

Alright, this isn't the most fun question to open up with, but it is interesting if you understand its premise. Nintendo's financial projections for their fiscal year assume it'll cost 120 Japanese yen to get one euro. Right now, the foreign exchange rate is around 130 Japanese yen to one euro, and other Japanese companies seem to assume more adverse rates. Sony, for example, assumes 126 yen per euro (see page 24). Nintendo lists fluctuation in foreign exchange rates as a risk factor for holding Nintendo stock because significant fluctuations when converting currency can have a big impact due to the volume of sales Nintendo does in Europe.

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa gave a complete non-answer as to why Nintendo believes the yen will be stronger instead of its weaker trend.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Here's What the Rumouring Media Got Right and Wrong about the Nintendo Switch (OLED model)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Oh, and today there's a big announcement!

Today, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch (OLED model). It's releasing October 8, 2021 at a MSRP of $350. Here's the trailer:

Quite frankly, it's the same thing as the regular Nintendo Switch, except if you use it portably it has a higher-quality audio output, a higher-quality screen, and a more competent kickstand. Same battery life as it's had since mid-2019. It's also incompatible with the Nintendo Labo due to a very slight size difference, just like the Switch Lite. When docked, there's... pretty much no difference. (Which makes it really weird that Ring Fit Adventure was in the trailer, as a game you'll only want to play while docked.) You can compare the specs on Nintendo's website side-by-side. You can also see there's one less USB port on the dock (but now there is a wired LAN port with LAN cable sold separately), but the docks are interchangeable between Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch (OLED model). The Joy-Cons are exactly the same.

I've read that some folks are disappointed at how... marginal this hardware revision is, because I guess they really wanted to buy another Nintendo Switch. I believe a big contributor to that mindset has been a thick sea of articles written by media outlets that have been telling people for months and years that a big and major Nintendo Switch hardware revision is coming. I recently published an article of my own that is a comprehensive list of all of the media outlets that claimed that there would be an announcement of such a revision made at or before E3 2021—which obviously didn't happen, since E3 2021 ended three weeks ago.

But besides announce a certain date of the announcement, those articles collectively also made many other claims about the substance of the hardware revision. I've summarised those claims and how right or wrong they were below:

Monday, July 5, 2021

The Weakness of those Born in the 2010s

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I guess it took them a year to grow up.

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I bullied a bunch of Zoomer (Generation Z) characters that began existence from 2000 to 2009 in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was an event tourney. For some context, there was also a tournament on the 1980s (which I thought I should've been able to participate in) and a tournament on the 1990s (which I thought I should've been able to participate in if not for the 1980s). Those were all about three to four months apart (December 2019, February 2020, then June 2020).

Last weekend, there was a new event tourney: Born in the 2010s, dedicated to “stages and fighters from between 2010 and 2019!” (AKA super-Zoomers.) This was over a year apart from the previous one. Since the 200Xs tournament, Min Min, Steve, Sephiroth, Pyra and Mythra, and Kazuya have all been added as playable characters for an additional fee. Of those, Min Min, Steve (why is he allowed when Minecraft and its playable character existed in 2009?), and Pyra and Mythra were born in the 2010s, according to the tournament. Fellow DLC characters Joker and Byleth were also born then.

Since I haven't and won't buy any of those five DLC characters, my only character options were Lucina, Chrom, Dark Pit, Greninja, Robin, Shulk, Corrin, Inkling, Isabelle, and Incineroar. (40% of those are terrible Fire Emblem characters, and from bad Fire Emblem games at that! Another 20% are Pokémon.)

Friday, July 2, 2021

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 45: Tropical Smoothies of HADES!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring the SUPER ATTACKS of hell.

When this gets published, it'll already be July 2021—the month that the Tokyo 2021 Olympics is beginning. (Though that's at the end of the month.) I'm competing in those Olympics for Team Koopa, and this week's KoopaTV Fitness Friday will be the hardest test of my fitness of 2021. (And on the maximum difficulty level of 30...)

Let's explain what's going on. First of all, last week and Week 44 are different weeks on the calendar, and there's a good reason for that. For THIS week, I'll be playing Ring Fit Adventure's World 45: Extra Fitness Lv. 276—this is based off World 22: Land of Hades. Back when I originally played World 22, it was over the span of two weeks and it required six calendar days with a lot of time per day to get through the world. Story-wise, we're re-entering Hades, which is where the deceased hang out. We've been killing lots of stuff throughout the playthrough, so there's a lot to explore. Originally in World 22, this was all about the Four Masters receiving character development and exploring their personal flaws, with all four of them carving out their sections of the enormous world map.

Ring Fit Adventure Sweetie Hades Honey will eventually die
Honey's grandma seems really excited about her granddaughter eventually dying!

But in Extra Fitness, they've all already received their character development, so I wonder what they'll all say. When I started on Sunday, I got to eavesdrop a conversation between Sweetie and Snookums (grandparents of General Store owner Honey) talking about how they hope Honey is doing okay... and that they expect to be reunited with her in, uh, death, I guess. Really interesting that Honey's husband looks exactly like her grandfather. Anyway, the first level is the Exercise Paradise, which is the same thing as one of those pink flamingo levels we went through over a month and a half ago. Extremely notable thing—there's a Treasure Chest with the Tropical Smoothie Recipe—this is the final smoothie recipe of the game. The Tropical Smoothie is very overpowered, but right now, I cannot mix it.

Ring Fit Adventure Tropical Smoothie recipe
2 Pineapples + 2 Mandarin Oranges + 2 Papayas = Red, Yellow, Blue, Green Fit Skill attack power ↑↑
This is the only smoothie in Ring Fit Adventure that boosts the attack power of more than one Fit Skill category.
They give you this recipe before Mandarin Oranges begin to exist.

At the General Store Number 41 (you know, the Extra Fitness Hades branch... so how do they reconcile revenue and profits with the non-Hades-based General Stores ran by their granddaughter?), Sweetie and Snookums are selling one new item: the Jungle Gator II, which makes jogging and knee lifts easier. But I need two Zircon and I only got one.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

KoopaTV's June 2021 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - E3 2021 is behind us. There's more to come!

We got a lot to cover in this month's review newsletter, because KoopaTV had a lot of hip and happening things in the month of June 2021.

So much has happened in that month that we gotta dedicate this newsletter to review it. But there's some new things, too! So let's get started. Immediately.

KoopaTV's Email Subscription Moving Providers

As I wrote in the April 2021 newsletter, Google is a jerk and discontinued FeedBurner's email subscription functionality, where you'd put your email address and get KoopaTV articles sent to your inbox. That functionality ended July 1... which is today, so it's gone now and is no longer sending out communications.

I've investigated another service, I've imported the active list of KoopaTV's FeedBurner subscriptions into

You can join the list by filling out this form or clicking this link, which I should go and integrate around the site:

Never miss a new KoopaTV article!

You need to pay the service in order for what I consider basic features (like the email subject line having the article's headline on it instead of just being “KoopaTV - new message” on every email), but... I mean, I'd rather not spend money. Then again, I am spending a fair bit of money on the site already, and it's a couple of United States Dollars a month, so... We'll see. I'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments. I know for the folks who gave me feedback on the KoopaTV Feedback Form Part XXX that they'd recommend not paying anything, but there's actually... quite a bit more names on that list I imported than I expected to the point that I can be argued into believing it's worth it for a more pleasant experience.

July 4 update: I'm still receiving the FeedBurner emails, so I don't know WHEN in July 2021 it's going to end. Hm. But they did say the emails would cease this month.

Top Five Recommended Experiences of June 2021

KoopaTV had INSANELY good content in June 2021. The month was stacked, especially with E3 2021 bringing about more (and dare I say...better?!) content than usual. So the top five is really, really good. Peak KoopaTV: