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Friday, December 30, 2022

The Correct Choice in the Favourite Taste Sensation Splatfest

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That tooth in my byline pic is a sweet tooth.

Thanks for the concern from folks in my article earlier this week about testing positive for the CCP Virus, otherwise known as COVID-19. One of the concerns there, among many, was that I might lose my sense of taste. Fortunately, I still have a sense of taste (though it might be weaker than a week ago), and therefore, I am able to participate and commentate on the Splatfest happening next week. (And even if I didn't, I extensively documented my preferences on KoopaTV.)

Splatoon 3 Splatfest what's your favorite taste sensation sweet spicy sour splatcast
My favourite taste sensation between sweet, spicy, or sour? Fairly obvious if you know me.
(Though Shiver doesn't name the teams in the same order as presented.)
The screenshot may write “favorite”, but I'm going to sneak a “u” in there anyway.

In the last Splatfest article—which was basically two months ago because Splatoon 3 had a Big Run break during December—I described how my favourite partner Pokémon type is Grass. (Unfortunately, Team Water won.) Team Grass covers all of the spicy, sweet, and sour options, though I don't think Team Sour is actually directly represented as a Pokémon. (The closest is Alcremie's Lemon Cream form, but she's a Fairy type.) Capsakid and Scovillain (if those names aren't familiar to you, they're native to the Paldea region) are Spicy Pepper Pokémon, while there are many fruity Grass types that are sweeties, like Cherubi, Tropius, and Bounsweet. I'm going to talk more about Pokémon to explain my thought process.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

About Mario Kart 7 Multiplayer and How “Sweaty” It Is

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This wasn't my idea. But there is a reason to care in 2022.

Before 2022 ends, I wanted to take something off KoopaTV's public list of article requests. Let's see, how about...
“Maybe you could take a look at mariokart 7 multiplayer and how sweaty it is? And let's not talk about the snaking in DS” by Okipullup

I've never played Mario Kart 7, and no one is a big Mario Kart 7 person on the KoopaTV staff. Well, not anymore. It's seen as very inferior to Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Every Mario Kart has a time trials scene where they try to get the fastest times on each course through whatever means necessary, but later Mario Kart games have online multiplayer as well. The best players take advantage of whatever techniques they can to get the best speed (Mario Kart 7 and other recent games also allow for kart parts customisation), and tend to go for higher-speed lower-acceleration custom builds. As far as I can tell, Metal Mario is the meta. Lame.

Metal Mario Mario Kart 7 character selection screen
My understanding is that
Metal Mario in a B-Dasher and Gold/Slick/Red Monster Wheels is the meta.
(The glider doesn't matter.)

And until a few weeks ago, you were able to take over (control) the 3DSs of people you played Mario Kart 7 online with (or vice-versa), so you better make sure you download that fresh new (security) patch from Nintendo (Mario Kart 7 Version 1.2) to disable that. Yes, that's why Mario Kart 7 got a new update a decade later.

As for normal Mario Kart 7 multiplayer, I asked my brother, Larry Koopa, to let me know what Mario Kart 7 is like in 2022. Here was his unedited (as in, it's laced with profanities) response to me:

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The First Positive Case of COVID-19 on a Koopa!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That's... me! ...Oops and oof.

All I really need to do is present this photo and that's the whole article:

Ludwig Von Koopa positive covid-19 coronavirus ihealth rapid test two lines surgical mask plushwig plushie
Unlike the “Ludwig tested negative!” article linked below, I'm wearing a mask here because I tested positive.
...Though this mask likely isn't useful for protecting other people from me. Makes for a good photo, though.

COVID-19—also known as the Chinese Communist Party Virus, or CCP Virus—has been around for three years now. I'm not sure who gets to decide when it's mutated enough to become COVID-23 or whatever. Perhaps that's the coronavirus family's collective new years resolution.

I've managed to avoid it all this time, as has all of Koopa kind (though maybe some Koopas have gotten it and haven't reported it to any Koopa Kingdom government officials), even after trying out the coronavirus tests. I've gotten a negative result earlier this year! But this time, this is the exact opposite kind of article. My symptoms include chills (Monday night into Tuesday morning involved me being unable to sleep as a result) and high fevers (not hyperbole, but the medical use of the term high fever), along with some coughs, sneezes, stuffy/runny noses, and decreased mental performance. Not that I've had to actually use it, but my fire breath isn't working as it should, either.

Acetaminophen at least helps with the fever, which is the most serious symptom besides the chill (which is caused by the high fever, so there you go). I also acknowledge that I've been drinking a lot of water. The Koopa Kingdom doctors don't have any supply of Paxlovid (a drug by Pfizer that allegedly treats COVID-19), nor do they think that's necessary because I'm not at a high risk for severe (deathly) COVID-19 (though no one knows what Koopa-specific risk factors are). Their recommendation is to keep taking acetaminophen and see if things get better or worse. Of course, Paxlovid hasn't been tested on Koopas. (And it hasn't been tested extensively in humans, for that matter.) And it's been linked to worse outcomes than if you haven't taken it. Sort of like the vaccine itself, in some people's view.

Ludwig feels quite chilly as he's writing this footer, so he's going to take some medication and go to bed. He still hopes to write some quality content for the few remaining days of 2022, but he might not be able to due to being plagued by this virus. Please understand. Also, please refrain from speculating why or how Ludwig got the virus. He has behaved quite responsibly, but even those precautions can't stop a bioweapon invasion. He will stay away from others to avoid infecting them until he tests negative.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Microsoft is Correct and FTC is Wrong on Activision-Blizzard Takeover

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Am I under-estimating the impact? Nah, they're over-estimating it.

One of the hottest events of 2022 in the videogame industry was Microsoft announcing their intent to acquire Activision-Blizzard-King for almost $69 billion. Microsoft has previously said a lot of the reasoning for that comes in strengthening their position in the mobile games market and having more content to offer on their Xbox Cloud Gaming service—not to make Call of Duty, a flagship Activision franchise, an Xbox-exclusive. For at least ten years, they'll even let Call of Duty back on Nintendo platforms again, which the currently independent Activision-Blizzard hasn't been doing! (No word on if the quality of that Nintendo console Call of Duty will be the equivalent of what Electronic Arts does for FIFA.) Microsoft also wishes to make this commitment for Sony, but Sony hasn't accepted it.

The Democrat-run villains at the Federal Trade Commission, as well as their European counterparts, desire to block this deal, citing a likely outcome of severely reduced competition and a tendency towards monopolisation if the acquisition goes through. In other words, if Microsoft buys Activision-Blizzard, they'll win the videogame industry in a landslide. You can read the FTC's full 23-page complaint here. It has some funny redacts.

Brad Smith, Vice Chair and a President at Microsoft (promoted from their legal department) penned a short opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal here denying that the acquisition would harm the industry, instead portraying Microsoft as in the dead last position behind Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft then released a significantly more detailed response (37 pages!) to the FTC's complaint here that goes paragraph-by-paragraph and tries to refute them. So who do I view in the right? Let's go through the documents!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Incomplete: No More Heroes III Digital Soundtrack and Official Soundtrack

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Why do they insist on not doing it all?

For the interest of closure (or lack thereof), I want to continue to discuss the OST of No More Heroes III (alternatively referred to as No More Heroes 3) once again.

You may remember the (incomplete, twenty-song) soundtrack's approximately four-month stint as a publicly accessible video uploaded by publisher Marvelous when the game was released in 2021. Eventually, No More Heroes III was released on the PlayStation 4/5, Steam, and the Xbox One/Series this year, in both normal edition and the “No More Heroes 3 Digital Deluxe Edition” that features the game, a 70-page digital artbook, and a digital soundtrack of...twenty-two songs. (Note that no such edition or bonus existed or exists for people who purchased the original Nintendo Switch release.) As you should be able to tell, that's still way less songs than there actually are in the game! Everything is curated rather than complete.

All of a sudden this week, developer Grasshopper Manufacture said that the No More Heroes 3 Original Soundtrack is now available on your favourite music streaming platform, featuring works by (the main composer) Nobuaki Kaneko (of Japanese band RED ORCA) & Jun Fukuda! This includes... well, I'll let the tweet speak for itself. (And then I'll speak for it.)

Friday, December 23, 2022

Spend on the Capcom Holiday Sale 2022, ends January 4, 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Take that!

As is tradition, CAPCOM has put their digital game catalogue on sale on the Nintendo eShop starting right before Christmas and a few days after New Years Day. This gives you flexibility to buy last-minute game gifts for other people (or for yourself), or to spend gift cards/cash you might've received after the holidays, including from the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, which will distribute such gifts around January 2, 2023 for Round 47.

CAPCOM Holiday Sale 2022 banner arcade collection resident evil monster hunter rise ace attorney ryunosuke
Ryunosuke, stop pointing off the page. We want people's eyes looking down to the rest of the article, not right.

Of course, these include the great Ace Attorney titles on the 3DS for $5 each—Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Spirit of Justice. On the Switch, please get Ace Attorney: Turnabout Collection for $35, which is a bundle of the also-individually-on-sale The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles ($25) and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy ($15).

If you're into Monster Hunter or think you would be (and there are demos of these), Monster Hunter Rise is 50% off ($20) and Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a super-worth-it 66% off ($20). If you just want the Sunbreak expansion for Monster Hunter Rise, that's 25% off ($30). Meanwhile, all numbered Resident Evil titles are 50% off ($10 each), as are Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2. Somehow, Devil May Cry 3 is still at full price ($20). ŌKAMI HD was already just on sale for The Game Awards a few weeks ago. It was never explained why, though my then-idea is that it was referencing the reveal of Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.

If you're looking to get the Mega Man games specifically, those are on sale until January 2, 2023. (Note the different date.) The Mega Man and Mega Man X Legacy Collections are each $8, while the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is $15. Mega Man 11 is $10.

Of course, there are many other game sales going on right now, but I like to think that the games I've mentioned in this article (especially Ace Attorney) are way better than 70% off BALAN WONDERWORLD.

Ludwig was going to write some actual content today, but then his nap lasted too long, so you get this instead. Come back next week for the last week of KoopaTV articles published in 2022!

Click here for info on CAPCOM's Holiday Sale of 2021.
CAPCOM's games were more broadly on sale a month ago during late November 2022.
The next sale began at the last third of January 2023.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Super Nintendo World Opens February 17, 2023 in Hollywood

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Think about the Japan theme park... but in the United States!

This Nintendo of America news release about SUPER NINTENDO WORLD Hollywood was a week ago, but I didn't jump on it because it's not really a big deal. I have some proof of that courtesy of this Universal Studios Hollywood video that Nintendo of America described as a “sneak peek.”

At the very beginning of the video, you see a disturbing message that says, “JUMP INTO THE WORLD OF SUPER MARIO.” Even though it's called Super Nintendo World. But that criticism is old and tired. But I have new criticism to share!

You see that disclaimer around 0:54? “Some imagery courtesy of Universal Studios Japan.” And they can do that because most of the attractions are the same as when we did a virtual tour of the area over a year ago when it opened in Japan.

Of course, you're going to go from Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge to Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, and Kinopio's Cafe is now Toadstool Cafe, still featuring Chef Toad. But the Power-Up Band with its key challenges are the same... well, they went from five key challenges to four, because Bob-omb lost a challenge and the Bob-omb Kaboom Room hasn't been ported over. Maybe America is more uptight about bombs than Japan is. There's also no mention of Yoshi's Adventure, which is a loss of an entire attraction. That basically makes Bowser's Castle the bulk of the fun. Which it always was. But when the media had reported that the attractions would be different... there's nothing in America that Japan didn't get. America only has less stuff, according to Nintendo and Universal Studios Hollywood's read-out.

Mario Kart Bowser's Challenge AR augmented reality Universal Studios Hollywood Iggy Koopa Peach Toad
Well, Iggy Koopa is in Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge as a member of Team Bowser.
But did you know that Iggy is also in Universal Studios Japan?
Did you know that I'm there, too? ...Because I didn't. ...Does that obligate me to have to physically visit?
Are the other tourists going to think I'm an augmented reality attraction or the real Koopa deal?

It shouldn't have taken Ludwig two years to figure out that he's part of the theme park's notion of “Team Koopa” or “Team Bowser”, and yet here he is. His lack of speed on this issue is the only thing that makes it possible for Team Mario to win. Regardless, if you were ever interested in Super Nintendo World but didn't want to have to go to Japan for it, soon you'll be able to go to Hollywood instead. (Which may or may not be more affordable, but at least it's in an English-speaking country.) Let KoopaTV know in the comments how that makes you feel!

Here's the article for the park's opening press event.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Fourth Night of the Tera Type Fire Chanukkah

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is before the coming Paldean Inquisition.

This is the only night I can publish this article with this premise...ever, I think. It's the fourth night (December 21, 2022) of Chanukkah (some people spell it Hanukkah, while others spell it Chanukah... but only I seem to spell it Chanukkah. Is there an eight-character limit that the Jewish people follow that I'm not aware of? ...Is it a reference to there being eight nights of the holiday? But I get ahead of myself.) tonight into the day of December 22. If you don't remember what a Chanukkah Menorah looks like, it has nine prongs, with the centre prong being the biggest one among the rest.

The way that one is supposed to light the Menorah is you stick a candle in the centre big prong first, and then for "n" number of nights, put in one candle from the right-most prong to the left. So on night four, there are four candles plus the centre candle. You light the centre candle on fire, and then use that fire to light the other candles on the other prongs (from left to right, or newest candle first). That means over the course of the holiday, you're using up 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 candles, or 44 candles. Be sure not to buy from crafty vendors who will sell you boxes of 43 candles to make you buy two boxes.

Anyway, here's how they're celebrating Chanukkah tonight in the Paldea region:

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Tera Type Fire crown hat five candles
Four smaller candles powered by the big centre candle!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Potential of One Button, and the Square Enix Winter Sale 2022 Putting BALAN WONDERWORLD Last

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The potential is there. But that doesn't mean the execution will follow.

When I saw the title of Masahiro Sakurai's video, The Potential of One Button [Planning & Game Design], I thought it'd be a BALAN WONDERWORLD reference. Watching it (and reading his post-upload note in the description), it's clear that by one button, that's all he means. Just the button. No direction pad or control stick. Here's the video:

Masahiro Sakurai's point is that you can have some pretty fun game interactions with just the A button. While button-mashing (or rapid timing) isn't all... he gives examples of more fun interactions based on timing, reaction, and holding down or letting go (alternating) of the A button. My favourite minigame of Kirby's Adventure happens to be Egg Catcher, where you hold down the button to open Kirby's mouth to eggs, but let go of the button to shut Kirby's mouth with incoming bombs. ...Really good music, too.

Monday, December 19, 2022

NintendoVS's Splatoon 3 Turf War December 2022 Competition!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring a fanny pack.

I didn't expect this, but Nintendo of America and Battlefy are adding yet another event to the Splatoon 3 competition calendar: The Splatoon 3 Turf War December 2022! Register here with three to four friends or strangers united in common cause.

Nintendo NintendoVS Splatoon 3 Turf War December 2022 tournament competition Battlefy key art Inklings
Some hooligan put a sticker with the phrase “Turf War” over text that also says “Turf War”...

The officially sponsored competition's flavour text advertises:

Put the ‘win’ in ‘winter’ and heat up the Splatoon™ 3 Turf War December 2022 tournament!
Eligible players in the US, Canada, and Mexico can splat, swim, and compete for prizes like My Nintendo Gold Points to redeem on Nintendo eShop and a Splatoon 3 hip pack. Each member of the first-place team will also get a trophy for their ink-chievement.
The action starts December 30 at 10AM PT. Register now and get ready for some colorful competition.”

So, what stands out to me about that?

Friday, December 16, 2022

Twerp Ash Ketchum Getting Cancelled in 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And that rodent Pikachu is coming with him, too! ...Right? ...And Goh.

Here is something to look forward to in 2023:

Twerp and world champion Ash Ketchum is fighting his cancellation for another eleven episodes for “the final chapter in Ash and Pikachu's story.” And THEN... a new Pokémon animated series featuring two brand-new protagonists (a girl and a boy) surrounding by the Paldean starter Pokémon, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. However, these protagonists might not necessarily be limited to just the Paldea region, since they are, according to The Pokémon Company International's news release, “set[ting] off on action-packed adventures across the Pokémon world.” The world is a bigger place than just Paldea, after all.

Those eleven episodes featuring the twerp, whose master Jewish Sirfetch'd helped him defeat Leon in the Pokémon World Championships to become the strongest Pokémon trainer ever, will apparently also have his gaslighting companions, Misty and Brock, reappear in some capacity. So will at least some of Team Rocket's members. The news release further alleges these episodes will “celebrate” Ash Ketchum's victory and status, as well as existing as “an expression of gratitude” for his fanbase.

I'm not a fan of Ash Ketchum. If it was up to me, his Pokémon would be in a Team Rocket dungeon many times over by now. If it was up to me, he'd be blown up to smithereens by island-destroying bombs.

If only Arceus hasn't favoured him so much in his life. I remember they even declared September 15 to be National Ash Ketchum Day. He's had impossibly lucky and fortunate things happen to him, despite being a stupid pre-teenage impulsive ignoramus. But at least it seems like in later 2023 he'll be off the air!

Ash Ketchum Pokémon Ultimate Journeys animated series final special episodes Team Rocket Jessie James Meowth Wobbuffet
A dream that never ends means it's an infinite path, not just a long one. But what more is there to do?
More importantly, what will happen to Team Rocket?! We don't want them disbanded or lost!

This new series won't be of much cheer to Ludwig if these new kids are as twerpy and dumb as Ash Ketchum was. He is certainly not needed. The anime has been trying to prove it can be good without Team Rocket or similar antagonists, and that mostly has not been a successful endeavour.

Another reason to dislike Ash Ketchum? He treats his turtles poorly!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

SEGA Genesis December 2022 Updates on NSO... and a funny thing about SEGA Genesis Classics...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Someone should get in trouble!

A year ago, I wrote an article headlined, “Don't forget Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack has SEGA Genesis games, too!” And you know what happened? People forgot. Heck, even I—a not-so-proud subscriber to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (turns out Mario Party and Mario Party 2 are significantly worse than I remember them, but I'm pretty sure Mario Party 3 will still hold up when it's available in 2023)—haven't actually installed the SEGA Genesis emulator onto my Nintendo Switch. (I might've if Zero Wing wasn't FAKE NEWS.) However, the updates keep coming:

Are you excited about Golden Axe II, Alien Storm, Columns, and/or Virtua Fighter 2? ...Well, I'm not... Especially not Columns—how many of these matching puzzle games are we getting?

SEGA GENESIS COLUMNS title screen angels
Well, this title screen looks pretty interesting.

It's recently (as in...tonight) come to my attention that something called SEGA Genesis Classics exists (and has existed since 2018) for a one-time purchase (not a reoccurring subscription!) of $30. This is a digital compilation of over 50 SEGA Genesis titles, including those four described in the video above. Funny enough, if you go to the listing for SEGA Genesis Classics and click the Explore this game's official website button, the once-existed (say, in 2021) now redirects to the collection's Steam page. As in, is linking to one of their competition's websites. That's...not a good thing!

Feel free to try to convince Ludwig to get the SEGA Genesis app on the Nintendo Switch with a specific recommendation. He is playing some of the games on the Nintendo 64 application, and besides the one Pokémon Puzzle League article you're ever going to get, there's another Nintendo 64 article with a brilliant observation that everyone else has already known for over twenty years by now that should be written and published before the end of 2022!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Is Cash Really Out of Favour Among Kids These Days?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What I wrote five years ago remains true today.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, “Kids Don’t Want Cash Anymore–They Want ‘Robux’”, my advice from my Need a Present for Teenagers? The Ultimate Holiday and Birthday Gift Guide article published five years ago is out of date. Having just reread my article, it's as spot-on today as it was then. I advocated for giving cash as a gift, especially for tweens and teens. I also said to not give gift cards as a gift unless they are cash-equivalent Amazon gift cards or prepaid Visa/MasterCard debit cards.

(Round 47 of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, which ends when 2022 does, gives a prepaid Visa debit card as the top prize for the first time ever. You should try to win that.)

According to the Wall Street Journal article, which only interviewed one child and the rest were parents and marketing executives from various companies trying to financially exploit children, the only thing that teens want to spend money on are useless virtual trinkets in the game platform Roblox, which functions as an Internet minor-containment zone. In other words, without Roblox, tens of millions of stupid, annoying children would instead spend their time infesting areas of the Internet you enjoy today—it's really important that these exist. Anyway, Roblox is free-to-play but also lets world-builders offer micro-transactions that you'd buy with "Robux", their virtual currency. You can load up on Robux with gift cards, which you can purchase in stores (see photo below) or online with PayPal or a credit/debit card.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Ring Fit Adventure Game Gym Minigame Tier List

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ring Fit Adventure's Game Gym minigames have a wide range of bad to fun!

The Game Gyms are a very key feature to the main Ring Fit Adventure adventure mode experience. They broke up sometimes lengthy running and combat segments with sometimes creative and fun fitness applications in a very videogame-y environment. Game Gyms got the most attention in World 10: Grandminion Gauntlet (and later World 33: Extra Fitness Lv. 211 and then World 56: Fitness Master Lv. 316), but they also played that important diversion role in most of the other worlds, often with a cash or item prize for completing them well enough.

Ring Fit Adventure has twelve of these Game Gym minigames, and they each have two difficulties: Novice and Advanced. The Adventure mode occasionally has another variety where they put fog into the game, but we're going to ignore that for this article because anything with fog universally makes the gameplay experience much worse with no added fitness benefit. For this article specifically, I played through each of the minigames on each difficulty via Custom Mode, and fog isn't available in those. (No one sane person would willingly set that on, anyway.) I also have QUITE a lot of experience with the Game Gyms before today, since I've beaten and 100%ed Ring Fit Adventure (except for getting all of the Titles), documenting this experience on KoopaTV's other Fitness Logs.

Unlike when I made a minigame tier list three months ago for No More Heroes 3, for Ring Fit Adventure I'm going to go from worst to best. I am judging these minigames mostly based on their entertainment value, but a minigame's fitness value might also be taken into account if the workout itself physically felt fun... or if it physically felt awful. But this isn't based off what will get your body the most fit.

Monday, December 12, 2022

I Was In Top 5% of Big Runners—It's Heavily Reliant on Luck

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You can overcome the RNG with time... if you have that.

Last weekend was Big Run—the much-hyped Salmonid takeover of the Splatlands. Much like how Splatfests result in Splatsville being aesthetically redesigned and the Lobby only allowing Splatfest matches, Big Run also results in Splatsville having new aesthetics and Salmon Run activity also is all Big Run (and with new music). The Wahoo World, normally an amusement area where Inklings go to play (or participate in matches), has been taken over by Salmonid invaders, seeking to take over everything else. Grizzco Industries was hiring anyone who could hold a weapon and throw eggs to defend Splatsville. Most notably, they offered prizes to everyone, but the best prizes were reserved for the best performers.

Splatoon 3 Big Run Results December 2022 Top 5% 137 and up golden eggs gold
These were the results.
...However, no one knew while the Big Run was happening where the top 5%, 20%, and 50% cut-offs would be.

You might've noticed the number at the top right corner: 147. That was my score...after many hours of working the Big Run. Part of it was hard work. A great deal was...luck.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Dragon Quest Treasures Should Get a Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I could be totally convinced with one! (Or... repulsed.)

I spent much of the pre-release period of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet making comparisons to Monster Hunter Stories, though my comparison to Pokémon Legends Arceus and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is actually...accurate.

I didn't make that comparison in my article about the first DRAGON QUEST TREASURES Gameplay Overview video, and now... there's another gameplay overview video, also called the DRAGON QUEST TREASURES Gameplay Overview video. Like, these co-exist with the same name.

This isn't narrated... it's just 14 minutes of gameplay. What was narrated was a SQUARE ENIX livestream with a couple of marketing people on Wednesday, which also featured code giveaways. Unfortunately, I didn't win one.

But from my impression watching the above video and somewhat paying attention to that livestream, I think DRAGON QUEST TREASURES is supposed to hit the same core gameplay loop and appeal as Monster Hunter Stories 2, but without the latter's genetics/egg-hatching mechanics.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

KoopaTV's Live Reactions to The Game Awards 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - With a Bill Clinton cameo, was this as bad as we expected it to be?

If it won't be obvious enough from the reaction log, I hate The Game Awards and I have a very low opinion of Geoff Keighley. I don't subscribe to the idea that The Game Awards ought to be considered the canon, official ceremony for what is definitively the best game of the year. Still, KoopaTV does a masochistic thing every year and watches The Game Awards anyway. Well, this year it's just me. I'm the only actual masochist on the staff. Everyone else is normally adjusted. Let's get right into things.

The Game Awards 2022 ESRB The following program may contain content that some viewers find offensive. Viewer Discretion is advised.
You can read this reaction log in a small fraction of the time versus watching the three and a half hours of The Game Awards.

[7:18 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[7:20 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I don't wanna do this... I could use the time to do something fun. Like play Triangle Strategy.
[7:21 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: That said, people do actually read these.
[7:22 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Like, for The Game Awards specifically. Must mean that people value me watching the event for them so they don't have to. My suffering absolves those of others.
[7:22 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: This must be how Jesus felt.
[7:22 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: (...Or so the legends say.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Disgraced Game Developer Yuji Naka Arrested for Suspicions of Insider Trading... AGAIN!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I couldn't possibly pass this up. And he's even dumber than we thought!

Hopefully you remember last month's brilliant article, Disgraced Game Developer Yuji Naka Arrested for Suspicions of Insider Trading. I had a LOT of fun creating it, and you'd have a lot of fun experiencing it. I didn't expect a sequel, especially not so soon, but here we are.

According to this Japanese defence attorney's site, the maximum amount of time you'll be held in detention in Japan is about 23 days until the prosecutor's office decides whether to indict you or not. It seems like between getting some time on the outside and... today, BALAN WONDERWORLD director Yuji Naka was arrested yet again. (So was Taisuke Sazaki.) You (or Lheticus specifically) might think that Butch and Cassidy are bad at not getting caught by the police, but Yuji Naka is (back) behind bars, making this a twice-occurring event in less than a month—this makes him even more inept than emotionally insecure cartoon criminals. And for the same crime as before: insider trading. I find this absolutely hysterical.

Now, he didn't go and commit a brand-new as-of-late-2022 insider trading crime (that we know of), but rather Japanese authorities have uncovered an instance they didn't know about regarding the development of FINAL FANTASY VII: The First Soldier. This was still while Yuji Naka was employed at SQUARE ENIX.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

All Online Game Servers in China Shutdown For Communist Dictator's Memorial Service

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They're fine with this. Hopefully, you wouldn't be.

Remember how mainland China implemented scary bans on minors (under 18) playing online videogames, enforced by dystopian privacy-violating surveillance on game-playing devices? And, reportedly, parents within mainland China thought this was a great idea because now they don't have to parent their own children, but the Chinese Communist Party can do that for them? Must be very boring being locked in your house without access to videogames during the government's totalitarian zero-COVID policy. But, hey, adults can play, at least.

Well, not anymore. According to reports, all of the online game servers residing in mainland China were shut down today in “honour” of former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin, who died last week. Earth is a better place without this very bad guy around, between his sweeping away of the Tiananmen Square incident, his very antagonistic posture towards Hong Kong and Taiwan, and his absolutely brutal, genocidal treatment of the religious minority group Falun Gong.

But with regards to the gaming, that means no one in mainland China—adult or minor—could play online games on December 6. Now, I myself wasn't planning to play online games today either, between my work as a prince of Koopa Kingdom and following the Georgia run-off election results. (Looks like Raphael Warnock the Warlock won, just as I advocated for!) But I made sure to play—I mean, work—at least a few shifts of Salmon Run in Splatoon 3 upon reading about this news. You know, just to express my freedom to choose whether I want to play videogames on a given day or not. I don't want a government forcing me to not be able to do that!

And this isn't equivalent to Queen Elizabeth II dying and a lot of things shutting down in the United Kingdom as a result. A lot of businesses gave a day or more off for their workers out of choice—often the wrong choice, but their choice nonetheless. The Chinese Communist Party just flipped a switch on their game operators (which are really agents of the Party) by force. The United Kingdom didn't turn off access to their citizen's personal leisure products. Nintendo chose to release their Nintendo Direct an hour late. Sony delayed nothing. They chose their responses and it wasn't forced.

You may think it's inappropriate for people to play games instead of respecting the death of a horrible and repressive dictator like Jiang Zemin. But that should be left to each individual's own judgment. Their own free will. Besides, what's the point of a social credit system if you don't give people the opportunity to lose it?

Ludwig would never want to live under the Chinese Communist Party, and neither would you. He sees absolutely no contradiction between that statement and then supporting the re-election of Democrat Party Senator Raphael Warnock the Warlock on the exact same day, and you're probably dumb and lack critical reasoning skills if you do think there's a contradiction there. (That's not a strawman. These kinds of imbeciles exist.)

Monday, December 5, 2022

Run-off Rematch 2022: Walker versus Warnock!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or, why you should vote for Raphael Warnock the Warlock.

One of only two things different between Election Day (November 8, 2022) and Run-Off Election Day (December 6, 2022) is that the only state with a run-off is Georgia. The only election going on is for senator: Herschel Walker versus Raphael Warnock the Warlock. Blame Georgia laws on what happens when people don't get 50%+1 on Election Day.

There wasn't any additional debate (the only one that happened should be more than enough to make a decision) that has happened in the month since the main Election Day, so what's that other different thing? Well, back in Election Day, it was believed that the Republican Party, if Herschel Walker won the Georgia Senate seat, would be able to control the Senate by having a majority. However, Republicans underperformed so much that now even if Herschel Walker wins, the Democrat Party will still control the Senate—which means that Herschel Walker's biggest argument for voting for him is irrelevant.

So that just leaves Herschel Walker running as Herschel Walker, not as a potential Republican country-wide saviour. And Herschel Walker as a person is... very stupid, and Georgia can do much, much better. Raphael Warnock the Warlock ain't a perfect politician (though he has a very interesting backstory), but he isn't a national embarrassment.

Even Republicans should be cautious about voting for Herschel Walker. (Maybe just stay home and listen to former President Donald John Trump's rants about how elections are rife with fraud and it'll be stolen regardless of your vote, so why bother voting at all?) The fact that the United States Senate does not have term limits should be an incentive for political parties to nominate capable, competent, and electable (young) people to office. Once they get into office and get an imcumbency advantage, they can stay in the office for many decades by easily staving off challengers. Herschel Walker, if he wins but then runs again in 2028... will not have such a powerful incumbency advantage. Assuming he's actually able to win in a primary election, he'll be one of the weakest incumbents in your country. He's a liability with no principles, no intelligence, no values. He's not running based on any issues. He doesn't even understand them. He's a pawn for a class of elite people—or one specific person, a former president of the United States—who don't have Georgia's best interests at heart.

Georgians who are registered to vote should find their polling place here, and make the right (or left-of-centre, in this case) decision!

Ludwig usually stumps for Republican Party candidates, but Herschel Walker is such a problem that he can't bring himself to do it. He also is a fan of Raphael Warnock the Warlock as a memetic figure. Come back to this article's comments section for a discussion of the results of this run-off election!

Looks like the correct guy won!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Butch and Cassidy are Emotionally Insecure, Unlike the Rest of Team Rocket

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Self-worth must come from within.

So far, the Nintendo 64 game I've put the most time into with my Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack has been Pokémon Puzzle League, since I've never actually played it before. (First (and probably final) time it's talked about in any capacity on KoopaTV, too.) Yeah, I've played Panel de Pon-style games before. And I know I'm...terrible at them, so it's not the most fun use of my time. Still, the first thing I did was go to the Spa Service to encounter Team Rocket members Jessie, James, and Meowth. Pokémon Puzzle League's window dressing is based on the first two seasons (including the Orange Islands) of the Pokémon anime, so as a fan, I wanted to see it.

It's quite obvious that Nintendo Software Technology was quite affected by the semi-frequent cross-dressing that went on between Jessie and James in the anime, since the lovable criminals cross-dress disproportionately more in the Spa Service levels than they do in the anime. This is an important point for Jessie and James's...relationship and personalities, and how they choose to express themselves and their identities. See this compilation I put together and mentally note it, because it contrasts greatly with another duo (sorry, Meowth, you're not important for this article):

Thursday, December 1, 2022

KoopaTV's November 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ew, we're in December.

I am not a big fan of the month of December, so before I have to fully commit to thinking about that, let's review November 2022. That's what this newsletter is dedicated to! Except the very last section of it. That one is looking forward.

November was great. Here's some evidence:

Top Five Recommended Experiences of November 2022

Here are my personal top five recommended KoopaTV experiences listed in chronological order, published in November 2022:
  1. HARVESTELLA: From a Farm Sim Fan's Perspective — Witch Princess is finally back to penning articles and wrote about the HARVESTELLA demo from her perspective. She isn't on-board with it.
  2. Team Grass-type in the Pokémon Partner Splatfest — Why KoopaTV was on Team Grass in the recent November Splatfest.
  3. My Panda Cup Online Qualifiers 2022 Experience — Ludwig played in four Panda Cup Online Qualifiers and the regional qualifier finale. How well did he represent KoopaTV in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
  4. Farm Sim Mechanics (and Gender) Degraded HARVESTELLA — Ludwig joined in to write KoopaTV's third article with impressions from the HARVESTELLA demo. He was quite critical of its mechanics.
  5. Disgraced Game Developer Yuji Naka Arrested for Suspicions of Insider Trading — Yuji Naka is not only a bad guy, but also dumb, and got arrested for insider trading. Ludwig makes fun of him.

Well... it might be unpopular to talk about the Panda Cup at the moment given recent controversy, but it was still a really good article. Pretty much every other article on KoopaTV is also worth experiencing, even if it didn't make this list! Tough list, too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Nintendo Switch Sports—Now With Golf! (And Sanitary Celebration)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Golfer Gramps raisin' the rascals right.

As Nintendo promised in the most recent Nintendo Direct, they have added Golf to Nintendo Switch Sports, bringing the sport count to seven. Here's an important trailer/commercial:

There are online and offline modes, including the online-only Survival Golf (where up to eight golfers play at once and those with the most strokes are eliminated). 21 holes from Wii Sports are included, and the press release seems to portray those 21 holes as all of the holes, meaning there are no new holes after 16 years. That seems disappointing. So let's get off-topic from the actual golf and go into the advertisement. Behold the reason I'm writing about this at all:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Super Mario Bros. Movie Direct November 2022 Trailer | KoopaTV's Live Reactions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'd classify this as yikes.

For whatever reason, people are super-hyped about The Super Mario Bros. Movie, so it's a major event when Nintendo is showing the second-ever trailer of it (embedded below). For the record, I wasn't a big fan of the first-ever trailer.

Join myself, Kamek, and Witch Princess as we share our reactions to this very quick trailer and opening and ending scenes featuring the ever-deranged Shigeru Miyamoto. It's also important to watch this in the context of Shigeru Miyamoto's stated goal of The Super Mario Bros. Movie brainwashing the general population in order to enhance Nintendo's power.

[4:55 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[4:55 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: "Watch the latest Nintendo Direct presentation to see the world premiere of The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s second trailer! No game information will be included in this Nintendo Direct."

Monday, November 28, 2022

Join the Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdowns (Dec 2022 and Jan 2023)!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - First NoA-sponsored non-invitational Splatoon 3 competitive event!

As 2022 is ending and 2023 will begin, I'm happy to discuss the newest collaboration between Nintendo of America and eSports platform Battlefy: the Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown! It'll happen on December 2–3, 2022 for Event 1, and then there is Event 2 on January 13–14, 2023. It takes place online. The events have the same ruleset and prizes, so you should see there being two events as two opportunities to win. (One Grand Prize per person.)

NintendoVS Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown 2022 2023 key art banner December January
Official NintendoVS banners for the two Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdowns.

What can be won this time? Well, the Grand Prize (given to first and second place) involves a Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown Trophy, 10,000 My Nintendo Gold Points, a Splatoon 3 jacket, a Splatoon 3 backpack, a Splatoon 3 pin set, and Splatoon 3 tech decals. The First Prize (AKA third/fourth place) is the same, sans trophy and only 7,500 My Nintendo Gold Points, while Second Prize (AKA fifth/sixth/seventh/eighth place) gets First Prize but 5,000 My Nintendo Gold Points.

But I didn't mention Grand Prize's real gift, which skyrockets the ARV (approximate retail value) for the whole tournament into the tens of thousands of dollars: Each member of the Grand Prize-winning teams get one round-trip airline ticket to Boston, Massachusetts... or two tickets, if the winner is a minor and needs their legal parent or guardian to accompany them. They (and if a minor, their legal parent or guardian) also get three nights lodging in Boston at a nearby hotel.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Masahiro Sakurai's Super Smash Bros. Melee Game Concepts Video Was Disappointing

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Especially when compared to his Super Smash Bros. Game Concepts video.

Even a short-term KoopaTV reader can remember me asking at the start of September (over two months ago) asking if I should write articles about the concepts discussed on Masahiro Sakurai's YouTube channel, Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games. You said yes. And then I never followed up (even though I've watched every video on his channel, and he's talked about many interesting topics thus far). ...Until now!

My issue was that after that first video about Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, I had high expectations for the discussion topics that Masahiro Sakurai would bring for Super Smash Bros. Melee. Of course, the Super Smash Bros. video is twice as long as the Super Smash Bros. Melee video, so just by how short the Melee video is, there's bound to be disappointment. It turns out the video wasn't just being very to-the-point, but it omitted a lot of information.

Let me explain why!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Disgraced Game Developer Yuji Naka Arrested for Suspicions of Insider Trading

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Two other guys, too, but no one cares about them.

One of the best videogame industry stories of the whole year broke while I was out of the office last week! Imagine my shock when I heard that Yuji Naka, director of BALAN WONDERWORLD and leader of a cult of disturbed losers, got arrested for insider trading. ...Actually, my first thought was that it wasn't Yuji Naka but Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest series. That's because the insider trading related to the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, and it'd make more sense. (Fortunately, Yuji Horii doesn't appear stupid enough to do that, so Yuji Naka it is.) But even if SQUARE ENIX wants the public to forget that they ever made the massive mistake of hiring Yuji Naka and giving him a chance, it's a fact that Yuji Naka also worked at SQUARE ENIX for years to make BALAN WONDERWORLD an unfortunate and awful reality.

Here's the story, as reported by the media. Back around November 2019, it became known within SQUARE ENIX that they were working on Dragon Quest Tact, a mobile gacha game, to be released July 2020. But SQUARE ENIX would have a partner in this: Aiming Inc., which has a history of developing mobile games operated by other Japanese developers that seem successful enough. This partnership was likely to be a slam-dunk. Both SQUARE ENIX and Aiming are publicly traded companies, so a now-former SQUARE ENIX employee, Taisuke Sazaki, is accused of purchasing about 72,000 shares of Aiming Inc. between December 2019 and February 2020, as did his buddy, Fumiaki Suzuki (who bought 90,000 shares). The game was announced to the public (Aiming's involvement as well) on February 2020, meaning that stock trades made before February 2020 based on predicting the success of Dragon Quest Tact would be insider trading, since only SQUARE ENIX and Aiming would know about it. Yuji Naka, while still employed at SQUARE ENIX during January 2020, allegedly became aware of news going on in his company and also allegedly purchased 10,000 shares of Aiming. Here is an illustration of Aiming's stock price during the relevant time periods:

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Maybe I Shouldn't Dismiss Fire Emblem Engage So Fast!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, the gameplay looks interesting as usual.

The very first thing that Nintendo showcased in their September 2022 Nintendo Direct was Fire Emblem Engage. My live reaction to that was that it features “a weirdo with weird blue and red hair.” (Still true.) But also the (non-compliment) “This looks like something from Xenoblade than Fire Emblem.” I even questioned the game's legitimacy as a mainline Fire Emblem game, asking, “ this a mainline FE or some kind of FE Heroes-esque get-together gimmick?” By the very end of the log, I was asking myself, “I still think the weirdest thing is that Fire Emblem Engage. I might have to go back to being an anti-Fire Emblem person?” And then I haven't made any public statements about Fire Emblem Engage ever since.

That was two months ago. Fire Emblem Engage releases two months from now. There have been several tidbits of information slowly being revealed on Nintendo's social media accounts that I don't care to go into, mainly since I haven't really followed it. I have, however, watched these two recent trailers. The first is based on story, and the second is gameplay:

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Nintendo eShop Black Friday 2022 Deals (featuring Ace Attorney and Danganronpa)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Sell me on the sale.

Perhaps I should publish this article on Friday, but if videogame companies are going to be putting games on a Black Friday sale starting on a non-Friday day of the week, why should I wait to tell you about that?

Did you know that the Ace Attorney series is on sale, again, on the 3DS and Switch? Well, there are over 2,500 games on sale on the Nintendo eShop right now, of course Ace Attorney will be involved—just like it was on sale last month, too. I'll especially plug the Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection at 41% off (35 USD), which includes five games, including Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (three games) and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (two games).

But right now I'm looking at another trilogy that is on sale on the Switch for the lowest amount they've ever been. And I think they're on sale starting today (and ending on December 4—same end-date for those Ace Attorney games), because someone I know bought one of these yesterday at full price on the Switch: