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Sunday, February 27, 2022

KoopaTV's Live Reaction to the Pokémon Presents February 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It certainly got more interesting as time went on.

Today, February 27, is Pokémon Day! The Pokémon Company last week announced that there would be a Pokémon Presents occurring today at 9:00 Eastern... and the international branch, TPCi, was quite quiet about announcing this until half an hour before the Presents. But, hey, I woke up in time for it. ...And I was the only KoopaTV staffer to do so. Chumps.

Anyway, this was promised to only be around 14 minutes... and so it was. Follow along with my live reactions, and as a spoiler alert, the flow goes from “mobile games we don't care about” to “console games that affect the future of the series.”

[8:51 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[8:51 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: I dunno if I'm even gonna publish this!
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Oh, I forgot how when it gets to actually be time there's still another countdown.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: There is an easy to believe universe where this intro graphics and music are the most interesting part.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Hello everyone, I'm Ishihara, from The Pokémon Company.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: (Well, I'M not. That's what he said.)
[9:03 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: February 27, but 26 years ago, is when the first games in the franchise released.
[9:03 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: wtf the Pkachu at the background talked

Friday, February 25, 2022

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 65: Biceps like Boulders... or Everest?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Fifth-to-last world of this game!

Welcome to another KoopaTV Fitness Friday, where I'm supposed to be giving off positive wellness vibes but I'm kind of mostly complaining about how Ring Fit Adventure's Fitness Master mode is less than barebones. You can see a lot of that in the last world/week's Fitness Log.

Anyway, this week we'll be going to World 65: Fitness Master Lv. 364. It's supposed to be based on World 42: Extra Fitness Lv. 257, which takes place in the Robot Kingdom. It's inhabited by just robots. ...And monsters. By all the NPCs are robots. They used to only speak Binarese (and dealing with their language used to be a plot point with gameplay-story integration), but have since learned English (meaning there's no gameplay-story integration... or story at all). I'm expecting this world of robots to be... devoid of emotion and excitement.

I started Ring Fit Adventure late Sunday night, after doing pretty much nothing throughout Sunday besides... taking a nap after having a long sleep. Saturday night I was in a lengthy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament (stream replay here) that went well past midnight and the hour after. I ended up losing the Grand Finals after resetting the bracket (meaning I came from the loser's bracket and then won 3–0 vs. the winner's bracket winner, meaning it's another best-of-five that I couldn't pull off). Ring said another variation of “try Fit Skills you haven't used before!” and that's all the dialogue I'll get, I guess. Ohohwan River was our first course. It immediately opened up with a river rowing segment... and there's also water coming from the sky, too. (Y'know, rain. As a preview for what's to come in real life this week.) It also ended with a river rowing segment and an unmissable Treasure Chest featuring one Rose Quartz stone. And with the river behind us, we're... 1/15th done with this world.

World 65: Fitness Master Lv. 364 Ring Fit Adventure dialogue slight changes stance movement new muscles
If I use new Fit Skills (what new Fit Skills?) I can work those newly invented muscles!
How exciting! (Watch this never happen.)

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Differences Between Splatoon 2 Turf War February 2022 and Splatoon 2 North American Open March 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Hope this helps you distinguish them.

On February 17, 2022, the Nintendo of America NintendoVS brand announced the Splatoon 2 Turf War February 2022.
Days later, on February 21, 2022, the NintendoVS brand also announced the Splatoon 2 North American Open March 2022.

Why is Nintendo announcing two Splatoon 2 tournaments at the same time? (The second one before the first one even happened!) This article will go into the details and summarise them for your understanding. Both tournaments are in collaboration with eSports platform Battlefy, which Nintendo has worked with for many other NintendoVS events.

Splatoon 2 Turf War February North American Open March 2022 NintendoVS
The following is a table comparing the two events, with registration links.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Square Enix Desires Even More HD-2D Games

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - More than fine with me.

Of the... many unsettling developments going on in Earth right now, there's a positive point: SQUARE ENIX's President Yosuke Matsuda has directed Tomoya Asano's team to continue HD-2D titles. That's the style you see from Octopath Traveler, as well as the coming-very-soon Triangle Strategy and the farther out Live A Live remake and Dragon Quest III remake, which is described as SNES-like sprites but with high-definition effects.

It seems like they had a meeting and had to come up with a list of SNES titles that should be remade. At the top of the list was Live A Live, and then there was ActRaiser. Well, we saw that ActRaiser Renaissance was a remake that released last year, though not in this art style. We gave it zero attention.

Though we did have some attention to Live A Live before this month. The game has massive potential for improvement in graphics from what it was like on the Super Famicom. But I think we'll continue to see both older and brand-new games in this style if Square's president is this interested and people buy these, and I see that as a very good thing.

Triangle Strategy Dragan enough to drink Frederica
Dragan has had enough to drink, but we haven't had enough HD-2D.

I've actually read people say that they're already sick of HD-2D and it's already over-saturated, even though the only game with it right now that's released is Octopath Traveler. I wrote two weeks ago that, say, normal 8-bit games in NES-style are overdone. Game Boy Color-style 8-bit is pretty unexplored. HD-2D is very unexplored and really ought to be what standard modern sprite-based games should be by default, though probably made brighter. I mean, there's thousands of “realistic” 3D titles released every year now, but that's considered a standard. HD-2D is pretty much as good as sprites can get, and as a fan of sprites over polygons, that means unless someone innovates with even better stuff, new 2D sprite games won't be as good as these look.

I'd wager that if AlphaDream could advance their pixel art like this, they wouldn't be bankrupt. (Because AlphaDream literally lacked the capability of doing this kind of pseudo-3D high-definition work, which left them behind on working for non-HD systems.) Something to think about.

Something really important to mention: Gameplay is still way more important than what the graphics look like, and even if these HD-2D games are quite pretty, they still need to play well! And they also should have great stories if they're RPGs. That's a little problem that Octopath Traveler ran into. If you feel like Ludwig is totally wrong and HD-2D is bad stuff, feel free to explain in the comments section.

LIVE A LIVE does look pretty nice in this style.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Thoughts about Nintendo Switch Sports Online Play Test without violating the GAG ORDER

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's see if I can do this without breaking an agreement.

Last weekend was the Nintendo Switch Sports Online Play Test... happening at very select and brief times during that weekend. As advertised in the February 9, 2022 Nintendo Direct. I played it for a brief sliver of one of those times. However, as part of being able to participate, I read this important note:
“The Online Play Test software is under development and might not be reflective of the full version of Nintendo Switch Sports. You may experience unexpected behaviors or errors while playing.
By downloading and participating in the Nintendo Switch Sports Online Play Test, you agree not to publicly share any details from this online play test, including on your social media channels.”

I thought it was odd that, during the Online Play Test, I could save screenshots with the Switch's Screenshot Capture button. I know that Nintendo can force-disable the Screenshot Capture button on select games and I figured they'd want to block saving images to prevent people posting about Nintendo Switch Sports. But to my surprise, Nintendo is blocking the later point in the path of publicly sharing details to social media: posting images to social media channels.

Nintendo Switch Error Code 2801-6005 screenshots videos cannot be posted to social media
I've never seen Error Code 2801-6005 before. It's not on Nintendo's error code look-up.
I don't see Nintendo Switch Error Code 2801-6005 as an “error”...
In fact, Error Code 2801-6005 is very intentional by Nintendo.
Saving images is okay. Sharing those images ain't.

Monday, February 21, 2022

The Capcom Countdown → Capcom Fighting Collection and Street Fighter 6

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - One of my least favourite kind of tricks.

At the start of last week, game publisher CAPCOM put out this Capcom Countdown website, which was just a dark screen with a big days and hours countdown. We were meant to hype ourselves up silly about what'd be revealed. As soon as someone mentioned that the end of the countdown would coincide with the end of the CAPCOM Pro Tour 2021, I knew that it'd be an announcement that'd likely be Street Fighter VI. No need to delude myself into thinking it'd be the seventh mainline Ace Attorney or anything. CAPCOM is doing this all intentionally. And that became clear late last night when someone said to STOP THE COUNT and the countdown was stuck at one hour, waiting for the last match in the tour of Kawano vs. Daigo to end. And only after that did CAPCOM's stream go into announcements, and all of the commentators on the stream started flailing their arms while muted and faking physical reactions, I guess. And only a while after that did CAPCOM remember to update their countdown website with the news, too. And now it just redirects altogether. So here's what was shown:

First of all, about Street Fighter 6—the predecessor is called Street Fighter V, but this is Street Fighter 6. Arabic numeral, not Roman numeral. They really wanted you to understand that with their logo for the game, which some people believe is way too reminiscent of the number of notifications you might find on an app icon (along with looking like a stock image). If they made it a VI, that wouldn't be a thing—so perhaps it was entirely intentional. And second of all (and probably more importantly), this was an announcement of an announcement of an announcement. They announced the countdown would be a thing, and then we had to wait a week, and then at the end they said that Street Fighter 6 will formally be introduced in the summer of 2022. All we know about it is that Ryu (who appears unshaved) and Luke are in it—and Luke is a very recent addition to the franchise (from not base Street Fighter V, but only starting after Street Fighter V: Champion Edition), so I had no idea who he was.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 64: A Trainer is like a Tailor

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They both make you fit.

Welcome to this week in KoopaTV Fitness Friday, where I'll try to spare you snow-related rants. I guess snow is better than fog. Unfortunately, the world we'll play in today, World 64: Fitness Master Lv. 358, is a snow world—different than the green fields of World 63 last week. Fortunately, we don't have to shovel it. Unfortunately, we went from the world that World 64 is based on, World 41: Extra Fitness Lv. 251 and its “Field Day” of a bunch of returning NPCs with unique dialogue hosting events (which actually have gameplay implications), to... Ring saying this generic stuff and no other dialogue until the boss at the end of the world.

Ring Fit Adventure World 64 Fitness Master Lv. 358 worked really hard appreciate improvement
Ring's other dialogue here was “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single rep!” (The quotation marks were included.)
No other dialogue until the boss fight, so the other screenshots will be...uh...sparse.

With the idea of amusing dialogue but a memory (or I could go play the Triangle Strategy demo?) I went to the first course, Shivering Valley. Cold indeed. Mostly a flight level, with ground segments just to have monster fights (there's no aerial fighting in this game). The second monster group dropped a Garnet stone, which is good, because back in Extra Fitness once the bosses and gyms started dropping Rose Quartz, I was missing the Garnet I needed all the way until Fitness Master began. Case in point: There's an unmissable Treasure Chest after that monster fight and before the last (and fourth) flight segment containing... a Rose Quartz!

The next course is the Wintry Watchtower, which really does involve a tower (and climbing it). Midway through the trek was a Treasure Chest containing one Dragon Fruit. I completed the course and got access to Town and General Store Number 58, and it turns out that that last Garnet I just picked up randomly is the last Garnet I'll ever need! And now I'm 98% done with both my Tops and Shoes clothing Catalog, but only 95% done with my Bottoms clothing Catalog. That difference is from me needing Rose Quartz (and Zircon). I'm sure I'll collect a lot of the former in this world. Let's continue south towards some overworld Treasure Chests. The first contained stones... but they were two Amethysts, which are unnecessary. And now I gotta do an Aerochute (Advanced) Game Gym. At least it's only night-time there and not foggy, and the reward is five Black Tea Leaves, good for some money-doubling Black Tea. Also, somehow I got a new record of 4,850 points, up from 4,800. I guess the maximum is 4,900, but they're all S ranks.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

What I Think About the TRIANGLE STRATEGY Prologue Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I really liked it.

A year ago, I wrote an article about the first (“debut”) demo for what was then known as “Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY”. SQUARE ENIX had debut demoers fill out a survey with feedback, and I included my feedback for what I thought ought to change. Fast forward to February 2022 (as announced last week), and Triangle Strategy, as it's now called, has a prologue demo representing the final(?) game build. While the debut demo put you into the early-mid game, the prologue demo starts you from the beginning chapters, and there's no content overlap. The full game releases next month and will be published by Nintendo of America, so don't expect regular discounts on its $60 asking price.

It turns out that almost all of my feedback was incorporated. Character stat screens now have tool tips on everything, including the stats themselves, and stat buffs like by Benedict are also displayed there now. Dialogue has auto-text. How damage is calculated is more clear and there's a “simulation” feature to know how your damage will be dealt before trying to battle. Turn order is much easier to keep track of because of a unit info toggle during battles.

Triangle Strategy Benedict auto guide skip fast forward profile
Yes, options like auto-progressing text and a text log are HERE after all!
Still no portraits, but you can press the X button like before for a profile if you wish.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

2023's Demise of the Wii U and 3DS Nintendo eShops (Explained!)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Plus, my very skewed Memories.

Today Nintendo of America announced their end-of-life timeline for the Wii U and 3DS eShops. (This also applies to the rest of the world.) Let's break that down together. It's sort of reminiscent of the Wii Shop Channel closing after 12 years... which will be around the same amount of time that the 3DS's eShop will have been open, actually.

About the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShops closing and timelines

According to the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop Discontinuation support article, as of May 23 2022, you won't be able to use a credit card to add funds to your Wii U or 3DS eShop account. As of August 29 2022, you won't be able to use a Nintendo eShop card—these include the prizes that KoopaTV gives away as part of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program that currently say on the back side: “For use with these systems:” with logos of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U. I guess they'll need to reprint those.

Those deadlines aren't terribly frightening, because if you have a Nintendo Switch (and you likely do own a Switch if you own a Wii U and/or 3DS, since more Switch consoles have been sold than Wii Us and the 3DS family combined... and if you don't, what are you waiting for?), you can just merge your eShop account balances. That way, if you add money via credit card or eShop card to your Switch, the funds will be accessible on the Wii U/3DS. But the real problem is that in “late March 2023” (update: March 27, 2023) you will not be able to purchase anything on the Wii U or 3DS eShops, even if you have the money to do so. This includes new games, retailers selling download codes for games (if they still do that), paid 3DS themes, and free demos, but does not include redownloading games you've already purchased.

That's a problem in that there are many games that will be inaccessible for new purchases across any platform by April 2023. When Nintendo first released their support article (and when I first read it), there was a question about Nintendo's “obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase” that has since been deleted. However, unlike these 3DS and Wii U games, the original version of the support article was preserved and archived here. Basically, Nintendo said you should use Nintendo Switch Online's emulators on the Switch, which they claim is “an effective way to make classic content easily available” with no current plans to provide content in other ways. Somehow I don't think we'll see the likes of Paper Mario: Sticker Star on Nintendo Switch Online, ever. (And I guess it's up to third-party publishers to port their older titles to the Switch.) Feel free to wonder if it's more confusing or crazy that Nintendo published this statement to begin with versus their decision to delete it. But here's where I'll talk personally:

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Ace Attorney Franchise Sale (on Steam... missing on Nintendo?)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - No matter where you experience it (so long as it's not on mobile) it's good.

At the very end of last week, the official Ace Attorney social accounts put out this message about an “Ace Attorney Franchise Sale” on Nintendo platforms:

But if you look for any CAPCOM deals on the Nintendo eShop right now (or if you looked over the weekend), you'll find that almost nothing is on sale besides... Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle, Ultra Street Fighter® II: The Final Challengers, and Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. And, sorry, we don't care about those. I guess that Ace Attorney sale ended pretty quickly. I'd think I'd get notified by the eShop because the games are on my watch list, but no. I'm sure it happened. Very briefly.

Instead, there is an unadvertised (by the very same social accounts, at least) sale going on until February 21, 2022 on Steam for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (50% off, or $30→$15), The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (25% off, or $40→$30), and Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection (25% off, or $60→$45). You gain nothing for buying Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection instead of buying Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and technically you save one cent. Oh, and in a Steam-exclusive, there are Ace Attorney soundtracks that are also on sale.

If CAPCOM won't advertise it, then I will. I don't care if you play the Ace Attorney games on PC or a Nintendo platform; they're must-plays for you to have a better life. ...Or at least a more enjoyable one. You'll appreciate this website more, too.

Alternatively you could just buy and play the Ace Attorney titles at full price, because they are most certainly worth it. That includes the games that are on the 3DS right now, which is... a situation that I'll cover tomorrow. (But may also be rectified soon after with how much CAPCOM likes compiling games on other systems.)

If you want Ludwig to wax poetically to you in the comments section about more specific reasons to buy the Ace Attorney titles, go ahead and start that conversation and he'd be happy to oblige.

Maybe you can compare to the Ace Attorney 20th anniversary sale.
The next Ace Attorney sale article is next month on the eShop.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day to Incineroar and Clawroline

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV* wishes them well.

While Incineroar's American football team failed to win Super Bowl LVI (that's fifty-six) last night, he does have two things going for him. Number one, it's still his Zodiac Year (of the Tiger). And number two, it's Valentine's Day and he did well enough for himself that he's impressed a new babe to be his girlfriend: Clawroline.

Who is Clawroline? You might remember her from the Kirby and the Forgotten Land trailer shown at the February 9 Nintendo Direct. I called her a “furrybait boss” but have later learned her name. Clawroline. Lovely.

Anyway, here's my commemoration to Incineroar and Clawroline for Valentine's Day 2022:

Friday, February 11, 2022

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 63: One WEIRD Trick to Stick With Your Training

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's only 69 of these worlds. Why is goal-setting the theme of World 63?

My goal with these weekly KoopaTV Fitness Friday entries is to inspire myself (and you as well) to have a more active lifestyle in order for a better sense of wellness. That's important! Even if, like last week's Week 62, I'm not go-getting into every difficult opportunity I possibly can.

I'm achieving this by playing Ring Fit Adventure, a great JRPG on the Nintendo Switch where your actions are performed by real-life physical exercises. I happen to be on World 63: Fitness Master Lv. 354 this week—which means it's actually my third playthrough. (Because World 63 is based off World 40: Extra Fitness Lv. 247.) So it opens up with my companion Ring asking me what my current goals are:

Ring Fit Adventure World 63 Fitness Master Lv 354 goals working toward smoothie gear
I already have every smoothie.
But yes, I do want to collect every single piece of gear.
(And if I didn't want to do that, I wouldn't still be playing this.)

I have a gamer's eye for completion, so I will complete every course in this world before moving to the next one. First course? Hamstring Marsh. Not to be confused with ham the meat type that I won't eat. This world as a whole re-reintroduces new enemy types based on dark-influenced animals and robots, such as the Dark Blue Hart. Normally you see animals roaming around the levels like deer, fish, eagles, foxes, etc. But back when Ring Fit Adventure had a plot, World 17 was significant for the dark influence causing random animals to go feral. There's nothing really different about these new foes in terms of game mechanics than normal monsters (which still appear, though aesthetically, monsters poof in while these animals are already standing there when a battle loads), but they're just... variety. For example, Dark Blue Hart is weak to Legs Fit Skills like other blue enemies, and is weak enough to still be ORKO'd by a one-range Legs Fit Skill, as well as ORKO'd by a super-effective three-range Legs Fit Skill too (but just barely with my 2323 Attack stat). And just as importantly (at least at my level, 417, which is much higher than recommended), they can be 2RKO'd by normally effective spread-range Fit Skills of any colour.

The course after was called Sweat Street (at least it doesn't claim to be a road), featuring the Red Dark Eagle. (I should mention that these animals only come in one colour, so no green eagles or yellow harts.) There's also a chest with a Garnet stone. After the course I finished the Squattery Wheel (Advanced) Game Gym (in only two tries to get an A rank!) and won a Persimmon Smoothie, which doubles EXP gain for one battle (or for an entire Battle Gym). Then I went to Hangon Bridge and fought a Green Dark Flamingo—normally these should be... pink. It also introduced the scrappy Yellow Dark Fox. I think Flamingo and Fox got robbed, since Hart and Eagle each got their own intro courses while Flamingo and Fox gotta share.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Nintendo's Nine-Month Financial Results Q&A Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending Mar. 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I comment on Nintendo-analyst exchanges.

For some reason, when Nintendo and investors/analysts exchanged questions and answers after Nintendo's third-quarter-ended financial results revealed last week, it got a lot of attention? More attention than usual. But that attention was based off unofficial transcripts (and translations) and hearsay. As a result, I didn't put any attention to it because I know that around tonight Nintendo would release the official English translation of the Q&A session. And so they did, accessible here.

I intend to comment on each of the EIGHT exchanges. Everything is paraphrased unless I put it in quotation marks. I might bring up points that Nintendo didn't based on my years of industry analysis, so please read the transcript for yourself. Note that this took place before yesterday's Nintendo Direct.

Question 1: Please talk to us about evergreen software titles!

Evergreen titles refer to games that released years ago but still have decent software sales, such as Ring Fit Adventure and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. A lot of other games otherwise release and have 90% of their sales occur in their opening month, but there are just many first-party Nintendo games that are strong performers forever.

As for Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa's answer, he connected first-time recent Switch owners with purchasing evergreen titles (as opposed to titles that just released) as their second or third game—so someone might've just bought a Nintendo Switch specifically to play Metroid Dread in October or November because they were waiting for that to make their purchase, and then the next game they might buy could be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate despite it releasing several years ago. So if there are less new Switch owners (who presumably have purchased the evergreen titles by now if they've wanted them!), then evergreen sales will fall.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

KoopaTV's LIVE Reactions to the February 9 2022 Nintendo Direct

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - For Nintendo Switch games coming out in 2022.

Yesterday, Nintendo announced a new Nintendo Direct for today, which sort of happily upended my content plans for this week. Because I was going to write about Triangle Strategy, but now I'll have a lot MORE to write about Triangle Strategy after waiting. ...And if it isn't obvious, Triangle Strategy is in this Nintendo Direct. As are many other games.

Join myself and Heavy Lobster as we live react (and remember that silence is a reaction, too) to the February 9, 2022 Nintendo Direct:

[4:53 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[4:57 PM] HeavyLobster: Let's go!!!
[4:58 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: The biggest thing I'm looking forward to is seeing if Nintendo's "various initiatives" around Ring Fit Adventure are real, as President Furukawa mentioned in the 81st Annual Shareholder Meeting.
[4:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...Seeing more Splatoon 3 is a more realistic expectation.
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: RP - M
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: So I guess Bayonetta 3 is here.
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...Or there's some other M-rated title!
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Fire Emblem?
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: That's Fire Emblem.
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...Warriors.
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...
[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Oh.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Yacht Club's "Mina the Hollower" Kickstarter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It presses my two Oracle buttons!

Game developer Yacht Club Games has revealed their new non-Shovel Knight project, though they want your money via Kickstarter to help fund it on top of their already accumulated Shovel Knight profits. Meet Mina the Hollower (nothing to do with Hollow Knight):

That video has at least over 9,600 Likes on YouTube (I dunno how many Dislikes it has!) but currently 13,135 backers pledging $746,081, which is far more than the $311,503 goal. And there's about 3/4s of the campaign left to go. I find it impressive that more people are financially backing the project than decided to give it a Like (which is free).

So why am I writing about Mina the Hollower and bringing it to your attention? Mainly because of its art style, which is purposefully reminiscent of Game Boy Color games like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. ...Yeah, a lot of the comments are saying it's Link's Awakening and Castlevania (because the game is...spooky and themed around gothic horror, though it's apparently linear in design). And, hey, I get that Link's Awakening did it first before the Oracle games. But the Oracle games did it better.

Monday, February 7, 2022

(Don't join the) NintendoVS Challenge Cup February 2022!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Guaranteed to be a bad experience... based off previous experience.

This Saturday (February 12 2022), from 18:00 to 21:00 Eastern time, Nintendo of America is holding an in-game competition for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The NintendoVS Challenge Cup February 2022. In terms of ruleset and process, it's exactly the same as the NintendoVS US Challenge Cup Fall 2021, with the exception of Canada and Mexico being allowed to participate. Unlike then, this Challenge Cup will only be one event instead of two events on different weekends. The top eight contestants with the highest Tourney Score—a terrible system with no transparency or way to know how well you're doing until the event is over—will win a prize.

NintendoVS Challenge Cup February 2022
Stay away!

The prizes are the same as last time, except there are no Super Smash Bros. Ultimate pin sets, NintendoVS lanyards, or NintendoVS badges. The number one grand prize winner will still get paid out in 10,000 MyNintendo Gold Points and get a backpack, trophy, jacket, and Nintendo Switch carrying case, while places 2–4 will only get 7,500 Gold Points and the carrying case. Places 5–8 will only get 5,000 Gold Points and a carrying case.

I played the Challenge Cup Fall 2021 on both of its weekends and regret doing so. The combination of overpowered items plus Final Smash Meter plus having just two stocks to work with makes matches often have unfair and extremely frustrating endings. Perhaps worst of all, all matches played in the Challenge Cup have the option to save the match as a Replay disabled, so I can't share my frustrating moments to the world. (So please take my word for it that things like exploding Party Balls that spawn on top of me made it so I lost a match just as my opponent was about to lose their last stock off the size blast zone actually do happen.)

The randomness and variability isn't enough to make, say, a relative newbie or casual player end up as a winner. It just might make it so the top 500 players in North America all have a shot at getting a prize, but not, say, the top 500,000 players. Top Professional Nairo literally got second place in the last Challenge Cup. The ending standings are dominated by professional players who'd do very well in a competitive tournament anyway, but the journey to get there is way less fun.

Since you're already on this website, you for sure have better ways to spend your Saturday. You can read KoopaTV articles! Or, you can play other videogames. You can even play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but in more fun conditions. Last Saturday night I played in a small GameFAQs (Board 8, or the GameFAQs Contest Discussion board) tournament and actually won it. That was very fun! Way more fun than playing the slog of the Challenge Cup, which has been frustrating and awful every single time I've ever done it. And that isn't going to change.

I'm still eagerly waiting for what Nintendo plans to do in 2022 with competitive Super Smash Bros., however! Hopefully Canada and Mexico will be able to play there as well since they're re-allowed into these events.

Ludwig has a long list of games he'd rather play than participate in Saturday's NintendoVS Challenge Cup, and unlike previous instances where Ludwig warned people not to play it but he plays it himself, he actually will follow his own advice this time. Will you?

Real officially sponsored competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for North America continues with the NintendoVS North American Open April 2022!
Nintendo brings back the Challenge Cups for May 2022, where it has the exact same ruleset as February's.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Log Week 62: The Three Shrieking Squat Sisters

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Sisters being three Fit Skills. Not actual characters. I WISH there were characters in this mode.

Today (as of when this is published on KoopaTV Fitness Friday), the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games has begun. Rather than being in China like I was in Japan for its 2021 Olympics, I'm at home working out in Ring Fit Adventure for no particular purpose other than that being fit is a good thing itself. Beijing is awful, and I don't want anything going up me.

This week, we're playing Ring Fit Adventure's World 62: Fitness Master Lv. 349, a continuation of last week's World 61: Fitness Master Lv. 344. World 62 is the Fitness Master version of Extra Fitness's World 39: Extra Fitness Lv. 243, which was notably boring in terms of dialogue and quite torturous in terms of physical activity. That's guaranteed to happen again in World 62, so let's get into it...

The week began on Sunday, January 30. Ring asked me in the opening which part of the body I'm most focused on, and to avoid the temptations of taking shortcuts and avoid testing my weaknesses. ...Wotever. Anyway, there are a LOT of courses in this world—and they are biased towards having Leg-Fit-Skill-weak enemies. I've maxed out the Titles (achievements) for every Legs offensive Fit Skill besides Overhead Squat and Wide Squat... and I have no intention of maxing those out. The first course is Wingflap Falls. The first enemy group is of five enemies, four of them Blue or Cobalt-coloured. Do I go for the five-range super-effective Overhead Squat? Nope. Two rounds of neutral-effective Standing Twists will clear them out. And faster (in-game-time and real life time) and without breaking a sweat. ...Alright, I acknowledge that I'm fully leaning into my temptation to take shortcuts and avoid testing my squat-based weaknesses. But you should be happy I'm doing the monster fights at all instead of just jumping over them.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

December 31, 2021 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Congratulations on the milestone!

The big headline in Nintendo's financial disclosure for their third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2022—this is the big one that covers the holiday season (the important one, not the Lunar one)—is that total cumulative Nintendo Switch sales have not only passed 100 million consoles, but they've also passed the Wii's high of 101.63 million units. Yes, the Switch family (including the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite, and the Nintendo Switch (OLED model)) has sold 103.54 million units as of December 31, 2021! That is the most of any Nintendo console ever. If you consider the Switch a handheld system, then it's still behind the Nintendo DS and the Game Boy, but it's weird to consider it that because it's priced as a console.

However, a bit more Wii software titles (921.85 million) have been sold than Switch software titles (766.41 million), meaning that individual Switch owners, on average, own less games than Wii owners. (This doesn't include download-only software...and that's probably a massive factor, since in any given quarter, that's very roughly a under half and over... something... of total digital sales.) But I highly doubt that situation will remain. Speaking of software sales, here's my super-biased selective chart of “below top tier” software sales:

Nintendo Switch million sellers December 31 2021 sales chart software games
There are several titles I excluded from this chart!
I mean, it's hard to even look at this thing anyway.
But shout-out to Metroid Dread.

There's a significant shake-up in the Nintendo Switch top ten software titles: Splatoon 2 is off the list, at somewhere around 13 million. Ring Fit Adventure is still on the top ten, having sold another 1.32 million copies. But what moved the list is that the combined Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl have sold a whopping 13.97 million copies. So it's likely over 14 million by now, as I'm sure we'll find out in the next financial release. But Nintendo also doesn't want to wait to talk about how much Pokémon Legends: Arceus has already sold after only a week on sale (and it's not in the financial disclosure because it released on January 28, and the disclosure only goes up to December 31 2021):

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Official Pokémon DP Sound Library (and thinking about The Wonderful 1237)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well this brings back memories... of 2016.

Amidst upsetting stories of mass music takedowns on YouTube of prominent Nintendo soundtracks, The Pokémon Company has decided to publish the music and sound effects for the Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version games... and they made the sound available for download, calling it the Pokémon DP Sound Library.

They tried to do some additional value addition besides just being a dump for music to listen to (stream) and download by putting the music in curated playlists, along with offering some new and custom samples that sound kinda... iffy. You can also make your own playlist of up to six songs, which doesn't sound like a lot (and it's not), but hey, it's three more than the music player in Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, and that was a paid product. My top six are the Game Corner, the Team Galactic Eterna Building, the Team Galactic HQ, Route 216 (Day), Trainers’ Eyes Meet (Sailor), and Trainers’ Eyes Meet (Black Belt), but there are several songs that I think are exquisite that aren't in that. Like, what the heck, why didn't I put Route 210 (Day) on there?

Anyway, it's very important to note that this is the soundtrack for the original Nintendo DS games, not for the remasters that were just recently released on the Nintendo Switch. And Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have very good remasters of this music. (Hopefully you know that and didn't permanently fall for the pre-release misinformation campaign about the music quality.) That said, the original music is fantastic and has a lot of meaning for me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

KoopaTV's January 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What happened in round one of 2022?

You know what feels like a zillion years ago? Christmas 2021. January 2022 was just a very long month (and start of the new year, unless you believe in the supremacy of the Lunar New Year... in which case, now's the time!) that put a lot of distance between now and the end of 2021. So does that mean a lot happened in that time? That's what KoopaTV's January 2022 newsletter will attempt to review!

Top Five Recommended Experiences of January 2022

Of course, since this is KoopaTV, we look at what happened in a time period based on its KoopaTV articles. What do we do for eras before KoopaTV was founded? Uh... that depends! But anyway, here is a chronologically ordered list of the top five KoopaTV experiences published in January 2022:
  1. KoopaTV's GOTY 2021 Awards! — If you wanted to review what happened in 2021 as a whole, this is the place. ...And there's some good writing on my part behind these awards as well!
  2. Applying to Capcom Creators, and their unique terms and definitions — It seems like game publisher CAPCOM has gotten above and beyond in being inclusive in who they want in their new Creators programme... but they've excluded a key demographic that, of course, Ludwig is a part of...
  3. No new Spirit Events in Smash Bros? Evil Ryu calls that FAKE NEWS! — If there's an article that you ought to read, it's this one, because it's a rare KoopaTV apology article. We got this very wrong.
  4. Joe Biden Lifts Weight Restrictions from Bridges; Mario and Wario in bridge collapse "accident" — This crucial infrastructure-related article examines what fate is likely to come in the United States of America thanks to federal policy by looking at what's happened when those policies have been enacted in the world of Mario and Wario. It's a disaster. Literally.
  5. China's Surprise at Beijing 2022 Olympics Diplomatic Boycotts when they Anally Swab Diplomats — I certainly don't enjoy writing the word “anally” in KoopaTV articles (or anywhere else), but this is important information. You might lose social credit for reading this or enjoying the accompanying custom meme, however.

By the way, I never applied to Capcom Creators, but I have seen many “content creators” (all of which are streamers and none of which are writers like me) celebrate that they got accepted into it. I haven't seen anything about what happens AFTER they get in. Also, within days of publishing that bridges article, a bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh hours before President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was scheduled to give a speech there about infrastructure.

Anyway, all KoopaTV articles are worth reading, even if they didn't make it on this list!

Best Three Comments and One Worst Comment of January 2022

If you just read KoopaTV's articles... well, you're well ahead of the majority of your species. But the full KoopaTV experience involves your own commentary on our commentary! (And maybe even comment on one another's commentary.) So we're happy to highlight the best comments made in each month... and less happy to lowlight the worst comment as well: