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Friday, July 29, 2022

Content-packed epic Xenoblade Chronicles 3 available now

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The Xenoblade fan is busy playing for 10 hours or more in the span of one day to write this, so you get me.

I asked Heavy Lobster earlier this week if it would like to write something to be published today for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, since it published a puff piece article for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Heavy Lobster said it wasn't opposed, but that it'd rather be playing the game than writing about it. And that's why I asked earlier... you know, to pre-write. It didn't happen, and as of my Nintendo Switch friend list's Trending tab, Heavy Lobster has played 10 or more hours of the game even though it's only been out for 22 hours or so. At least it recharged its batteries? But I haven't seen it around.

I did get Heavy Lobster to tell me that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is potentially the “Greatest Game of All Time” and that it's going to correct any issues it could have had with the first two Xenoblade Chronicles games. Heavy Lobster is into the “darker and grittier feel” that's reminiscent of Xenogears, and the darker tone should set up nicely for “maximum emotional impact.” At least Heavy Lobster is no longer shocked into silence as it was back in the February 2022 Nintendo Direct when Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was announced.

I asked a totally unrelated person who I haven't talked to since 2018 about Xenoblade Chronicles 3, since they are on my friends list, and they basically said the same thing regarding the darker tone being like MONOLITHSOFT's older games and that the gameplay is complex but incredible. I think Xenoblade Chronicles fans, at least the ones I've interacted with, have a kind of hivemind-ish thought process that also makes them out to feel like a persecuted victim class. In a “Nintendo doesn't love us!” sense. But I guess the games they love really are that great? Here's an overview trailer:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Investigate with Lord Winklebottom—starting today!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Took years, but it's available now.

Back in 2019, KoopaTV reader ShinyGirafarig wrote a guest post asking everyone to support Lord Winklebottom Investigates, an adventure starring the great British giraffe detective Winklebottom and his hippo sidekick, Dr Frumple.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates has been through a journey of a development history with two crowd-funded attempts (the first one didn't work out) by developer Cave Monsters (founded by Charlotte Sutherland) and years of waiting. Nintendo Life, in the article ShinyGirafarig recommended people look at, once said it'd release in mid-2020. In reality, the game entered Alpha stage in June 2021, and was deemed officially complete by March 2022. It's taken quite some time for console certification, but it's now released on the Switch, Xbox One and Series, and Steam for $19.

I have no idea if the game is actually good (ShinyGirafarig is playing it right now), but giraffes are fine and adventure games are a genre we like. Heck, just yesterday I wrote about an adventure game featuring another great British detective, Herlock Sholmes, who predates Lord Winklebottom by about thirty years. But he was involved in bending time and space in that incident by impossibly getting a morning edition of a newspaper on a ship already in the seas as of that morning reporting on events that happened at midnight. Perhaps that space and time distortion in the 1890s is what allowed for Detective Winklebottom's existence. You know, talking giraffes and such. Voice-acted, too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

How did the Russian newspaper get on the SS Burya on Jan 9, 189X?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the biggest plot hole. Or... is it possible, somehow?

Since I played through The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles one year ago now, there's been a few questions on my mind. The first question that popped up, and which never got answered, is about the January 9, 189X (we don't know the exact year) morning Russian newspaper on the SS Burya. How did it get there?

(I have other questions, too, but they're farther along and are actually much more relevant to the plot of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. ...Warning that the rest of this article covers the second case of the game, The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band, in some level of detail. Which isn't that much of a spoiler but it's something.)

If YOU want to play through The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for yourself so you can follow along with this article better, it's on sale right now as of publishing for a few more hours. It might also be on sale while you read this in the future, since it does go on sale rather... often.

Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band January 9 morning Russian paper Great Ace Attorney Chronicles examine
The January 9 morning newspaper in question.
Multiple articles, images, Russian text. All printed to the pages and laid out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Who would want a LEGO Atari 2600 set?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Crash your wallet like it's 1983 all over again.

Building off the alleged success of the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System set (MSRP: $230), LEGO on July 19 (just one day after I published another LEGO article!) announced a LEGO Atari 2600 set, featuring 2,532 pieces that build a console, LEGO cartridges of Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede, a joystick, LEGO recreations of scenes of those three games, and a “surprise open mechanism.” (Reminder that it's not a real game console.) As well as an MSRP of $240. It's releasing on August 1, the same date many LEGO Super Mario products are releasing.

Apparently, this is to celebrate Atari (the company)'s 50th anniversary, though the Atari 2600 itself was released in 1977 (45 years ago). It's meant for... elderly people who have fond memories of the Atari 2600 system. Strangely, the announcement was NOT done in cooperation with the company that's going around calling itself Atari today. You won't find a press release from Atari... just a tweet. The present Atari is a really weird company that has the Atari brand and the ability to cash in on that (and released a modern console in 2021 called the Atari VCS that has a library of ancient Atari games plus cloud-streaming with stuff like Stadia, Luna, and Xbox Game Pass), as well as other projects like a sketchy blockchain business. They also made a gay pride parade simulator in the previous decade. (And that seemed to have been a flop to the point where Atari deleted references to it from their site and social media.)

Anyway, I struggle with the idea that there are real people out there who would pay $240 to fulfill some kind of super-dormant Atari nostalgia. When I think of the Atari today, I think of laughably primitive graphics on low-quality copycat shovelware titles that literally caused the videogame industry to crash in 1983. (Same Atari 2600.)

LEGO Atari 2600 surprise open mechanism coffin
It turns out the surprise open mechanism is a built-in coffin,
which is fitting for the console that killed the videogame industry in the United States and had its excess games buried in a landfill.

But hey, do what you want with your money. I probably could talk you out of your delusions, but if you've been clinging to them for over four decades, you're probably off the deep end already, and for longer than I've been around. At least THE MIGHTY BOWSER never stopped being cool.

What would you do with $240 to spare? Get a LEGO Atari 2600? Or buy something else? Let KoopaTV know the ways you can creatively use that money, and help contribute to you earning a $10 Nintendo eShop gift card code from the site as part of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program! Sure, it's not $240, but you'll also probably get more out of that $10 than the $240 that'd go to a homage to a terrible industry-crushing product with poor software that has its modern brand managed by suspicious bad guys.

Monday, July 25, 2022

About Pokémon Smile Version 2.0.0

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Johto! Hundred more! (Approximately.)

I REALLY feel bad for not writing about this before, but on the other claw... no one really cares about this. But on the week of June 1 2022, while everyone was talking about that new Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet trailer revealing the game's theme, multiplayer, cover legendaries, and Smoliv, Lechonk, and Pawmi, there was other news that I was more looking forward to: Version 2.0.0 of Pokémon Smile.

Understand: Pokémon Smile isn't a great experience. It's not even all that good at building habits, per my in-depth review of Pokémon Smile's habit-forming mechanisms.

Pokémon Smile cute Girafarig sprite caught version 2
I was waiting until I got a Miltank to publish this,
but I know someone who'll be happy I settled for Girafarig.

Still, the version is a big update, especially notable because the question on The Pokémon Company International's support site asking “Will more Pokémon be added to Pokémon Smile in the future?” has been given the answer “There are no plans for updates to add more Pokémon to the app.” since the start of the app, including to this day. They added all of the Johto Pokémon (though Smeargle was already in it as of November 2021), added new medals, stickers, caps, frames, given you the choice to pick Chikorita, Totodile, or Cyndaquil as your partner Pokémon (side note: I think I've recently decided that Chikorita is my favourite Johto starter, though actually using her in-game is a frustrating idea), given you the option to change your partner Pokémon (so I could actually see the animations of the other Pokémon and not only watch Squirtle use Bubble for all eternity), and probably most important of all, totally changed the app's soundtrack. The opening/menu theme went from this quirky bombastic score to a much more calm and subdued waiting room feel, which is much more appropriate for, say, brushing your teeth before going to bed.

But it's not just the opening. The music is all different. The visiting the Pokémon in their friend areas music is different. The music while battling plaque is different than version 1, and keep in mind that different environments have different music from one another. (Which is all wasted if you do what you shouldn't and cheat with an electric toothbrush, meaning you can't appreciably hear the phone's audio anyway.)

Anyway, I'll keep using this until I get all of the new Pokémon in it. Maybe they'll do Hoenn next. Maybe not. I like the character designs a lot, though.

Ludwig needs to keep using this until he gets Miltank, at the very least. He has a dentist appointment on August 5. He probably has a cavity that he needs to tell them about. It's not going to be a fun time. Pokémon Smile isn't fun, either, but dentists are a whole other level of terror, to the point that he brings plushies to his appointments.

Friday, July 22, 2022

LIVE A LIVE Relives on the Nintendo Switch; Out Now

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Surely you've heard about it by now.

Once upon a time, in a not-so-distant past (2021, to be exact), KoopaTV reader Captain Stitch wrote a guest article titled, “Live A Live — The best game you’ve never heard of”. A mere half a year after that was published, Nintendo and SQUARE ENIX announced a LIVE A LIVE HD-2D remake on the Nintendo Switch. Clearly, Captain Stitch thought very highly of LIVE A LIVE (though some aspects of its game design were notably outdated or frustrating). Now it's out on the Nintendo Switch for $50.

Before I go and sink in any such cash, I figured I'd try out the LIVE A LIVE free demo and share my thoughts. Captain Stitch shared that the full game has seven storylines plus two additional ones. The demo states that it consists of “portions” of three chapters: Imperial China (presumably the “Kung Fu Chapter”), Twilight of Edo Japan (I assume this is what he called the “Ninja Chapter”), and The Distant Future (Captain Stitch called this the “Space Chapter” if I'm not mistaken).

I started with the China chapter. I might be trying to boycott China nowadays, but I don't have anything against virtual ancient China. This featured an old man (I guess playing as an old man is actually unique in JRPGs), Earthen Heart Shifu. But he knows he's old, and he needs to find a worthy successor to his kung fu art before his years run out. I like that his level is maxed at 10 and he can't gain anymore experience points, but his disciples can.

LIVE A LIVE Voracious Thief Hong Hakka no skills trade job
In this economic environment, employers will hire any living person who'll show up to work on time and not steal company property.
...Unfortunately for Hong Hakka, he's at least failing that last qualification.

There is a toggle-able (read: optional) radar in the corner of the screen that has icons to lead you to where you need to go next to advance the story. I would have liked for there to be an actual map of the area. I also would've liked a party talk feature or at least some way to get dialogue from your fellow party members. Especially for that Imperial China chapter, where I guess you need to choose an ultimate disciple among the three party members you recruit. Though the demo for that chapter ends almost right after collecting all three and then... beating them all up for the Shifu's amusement.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles One-Year Anniversary Sale

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yeah, it's not officially called that, but I'm observing it.

You may recall that The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles released on July 27, 2021. It's almost been a full year, and to celebrate, CAPCOM has put all of the Ace Attorney games on sale on the eShop, with the sale ending upon the anniversary date. (The games are also on sale at the PlayStation store... though there are way less Ace Attorney games available there.)

Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection Nintendo Switch eShop sale July 27 2022
Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection is 34% off (includes both Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, which are individually 50% and 38% off, respectively. Best to get them together, though, in the collection).
Also, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Spirit of Justice, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Dual Destinies are all $5 each on the 3DS eShop. Get them before it's too late.

CAPCOM is advertising a “Resident Evil ‘Tales of Terror’ Sale” right now; and I guess Ace Attorney comes along for the ride? All of these games were on sale just three weeks ago. But if you didn't pick anything up about... now?

I know several people who are currently in progress playing through Th Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and they're having a blast with it. You should be one of those people if you aren't already. It was Game of THAT Year 2021, after all. As I said, it released last year in 2021... and beat out everything else that released in 2021. Now it's going to be one year old. You should consider yourself fortunate if you haven't had the story spoiled yet—but don't continue to test your luck. Get all of the Ace Attorney games you haven't played through on sale now and play through them!

It's probably just a coincidence that the game/compilation with the game that released on July 27, 2021 is on sale until July 27, 2022. Still, you should maximise your advantage whenever a fortunate opportunity occurs, regardless of why it's around. The series has Ludwig's highest possible endorsement.

With a year passed, Ludwig is now writing detailed plot-related articles about The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Here's one about the second case of the game and how a central piece of evidence shouldn't be able to exist.
About three weeks later and these games were on sale again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Nintendo Question & Answers: 82nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Telling you ahead of time... it's a mound of stupid and boring questions and answers.

My apologies for being over two weeks late on analysing the question and answer session at Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s 82nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. But there weren't much headlines out of it since it's kind of boring. (Also, I totally forgot it happened and to look for it, despite Nintendo scheduling these things long in advance. If I was an actual shareholder, they would've sent me a notification. But I'm not, so I didn't.) I'll try to at least write something brisk and interesting about each of the eleven questions so you won't fall asleep by the end of the article.

Question 1: How will these meetings happen going forward?

When you don't have anything interesting to ask at a meeting, ask about the mechanics of the meeting itself. Sheesh. Nintendo President Furukawa said that, due to the coronavirus and the increasing number of Nintendo shareholders, they might hold meetings virtually or with livestreams like other companies are doing. Nintendo might follow those other companies. Or they might not. Typical non-committal pointless answer. The actual meeting took place at Nintendo's Development Center in Kyoto, Japan (in the seventh floor conference room). Moving on...

Question 2: What's Nintendo's Business Continuity Plan?

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is basically its own discipline, and an important one... that's usually overlooked and not discussed. Basically, how will the company continue to function after some kind of disastrous event? Like, what if a typhoon goes and destroys Nintendo's development headquarters? What does Nintendo do? It's a good question and I appreciate that someone's thinking about it.

Furukawa said that Nintendo does have one of these plans in the event of something like an earthquake or a highly contagious and dangerous disease. Furukawa (or whomever the current president will be) will make a committee and... then decide what to do. Well, that's not much of a pre-planned response. Still, Nintendo regularly backs up data for their in-development games (and presumably data of games already made) and stores that data in dispersed locations, so if one gets wrecked, others might be around and they can get back and running. Nintendo also has multiple contract manufacturers in case one manufacturer's facility is wrecked.

I'd like to hear more about Nintendo de-tangling itself from relying on China for its supply chain, in case of the plausible disastrous event of a war against China. Would Nintendo still be able to manufacture goods? But he didn't go into that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

New Donker and these Koopalings get a Switch Icon Element Before Me

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There are some representation factors at play.

Since Nintendo introduced icon elements earlier this year (only to active Nintendo Switch Online subscribers), many people have been customising their Nintendo Switch profile icons with a range of characters that aren't represented in the middling default selection. A default selection that has not and very likely will not ever expand. If you want more, you better subscribe.

I myself have gone and changed my icon from Lord Bowser to a Blue Spiny Shell. Because... that could be me inside the shell.

But some of my brothers don't have to rationalise what might be inside a shell because they're featured outright:

Nintendo Switch icon element Morton Koopa Jr. Larry Mario Kart 8
Morton Koopa Jr. is featured here, but Larry Koopa is also in the background.

Monday, July 18, 2022

LEGO Super Mario: Character Pack 5, Iggy Koopa, and THE MIGHTY BOWSER

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Catching up on... pretty cool Koopa stuff, actually.

It's been a month or less (...I think?) since these three pieces of Koopa-related content were revealed, though none have been released yet. So I'm not totally late, right? Anyway, I'm talking about more collaborations between Nintendo and LEGO, all in the LEGO Super Mario series.

Character Pack Series 5, featuring Toady and Hammer Bro

Character Pack Series 5 was announced at LEGO Con 2022, featuring fantastic additions such as Hammer Bro. and Toady (Kamek's minion from Yoshi's Island—very nice to see him here); middling additions such as Nabbit, Blue Shy Guy, and Purple Toad; and uninspiring additions like Red Yoshi, Baby Yoshi (yellow), and Waddlewing.

For whatever reason, Purple Toad insists on winking. Purple Toad isn't a notable Toad figure. One of them runs the purple half of the Crazy Cap store in the Mushroom Kingdom. It's the Toad with the best throwing arm (not saying much) in the outfield of Mario Superstar Baseball, but he's also the slowest of the Toad variations. He does have the pop fly Star Swing like Red Toad, though.

Purple Toad Mailtoad RGB colour color values Super Mario Odyssey Superstar Baseball LEGO
The colour evolution of Purple Toad, from Mario Superstar Baseball (top right) to Super Mario Odyssey (Mailtoad) (top left) to LEGO Purple Toad.
I promise the rest of the media in this article will only consist of Koopas!
By the way, Mario Superstar Baseball's Purple Toad is the closest to actual “purple”,
which is the colour in the bottom corners (RGB 128, 0, 128).
Though when I tell people purple is my favourite colour, I'm thinking of the shade of purple that LEGO Purple Toad has.

You'll be able to get a character pack for $6 per character starting August 1, and you will hope to get Hammer Bro. or Toady. That's one dollar more than the price of Series 4's character packs. As an Anonymous commenter pointed out to me last month, LEGO has gone from packaging the Character Packs in baggies to packaging them in boxes. With baggies, you could presumably try to feel which character was inside before purchasing. With boxes, you can't do that.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Dynamo Pictures Acquired; to be Nintendo Pictures

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What is (or was) Dynamo Pictures?

Announced via their investor relations section (and... I totally missed a shareholder meeting, so I need to do a write-up on that soon), Nintendo will fully acquire Dynamo Pictures, Inc, a Japanese visual content company of about 100 people specialising in computer-generated animation. They'll be renamed to Nintendo Pictures and instead of making content for a wide range of companies, they'll obviously be making content just for Nintendo stuff.

What have they done? Well, let's look at their website before it might disappear. Among the works includes a 20-year anniversary Ace Attorney case released last year in... VIRTUAL REALITY (逆転裁判 VR20号事件, or Ace Attorney VR20 Case?). And it's a multiplayer (1 to 2 players) game. That's not their only CAPCOM project; they did a Mega Man Virtual Reality game too a year before that where you enter the virtual world and shoot things to stop Dr. Wily, along with a Resident Evil “Valiant Raid” game at CAPCOM Plaza.

Gyakuten Saiban VR Gaspen Payne 検事  宇武砂 典界 ウブスナ テソカイ
Is this... Gaspen Payne? What's up with his hair now?
How come the Japanese text here (検事 宇武砂 典界 ウブスナ テソカイ) doesn't correspond to Gaspen's Japanese name (亜内文武)?

Besides a long list of work (mostly CG) unrecognisable anime-looking stuff, Dynamo Pictures also did motion capture work for Death Stranding, Monster Hunter World, the first Monster Hunter Stories. As for their previous work specifically with Nintendo, they worked with Shigeru Miyamoto doing full CG animation for those Pikmin short movies. And back in 2016 it was reported that Nintendo would look into filmmaking as a standalone business. That didn't actually happen. Maybe it will now. Or maybe Nintendo will just not be outsourcing as much work for making detailed game cutscenes or cinematic trailers and they'll be taking that visual content more in-house.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Bayonetta 3 To Release October 28 2022...Really!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring some newbie with dislikable character design.

For some reason, fate decided that this week there needs to be more Nintendo news this week than I have time to cover. Hopefully the news drops stop so I can catch up.

We've known for about ten months that Bayonetta 3 would come out sometime in 2022. Unlike many other Nintendo games that still haven't come out yet, 2022 does NOT represent a delay for Bayonetta 3, since it never had any other release timing.

And now... we have a time in 2022. It's October 28. I was pretty concerned with that Nintendo news release since it said October 28 but declined to provide the year, but according to my fact-checking (and making it to the end of this non-embeddable age-restricted Bayonetta 3 trailer), it's October 28 of 2022. Since evidence is everything, I'll embed this image and hope that this should pass for appropriate-for-all-ages content:

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Prime Day 2022 Buys (and wanted-to-buy)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Normally, no one should care. But maybe you can offer feedback.

I apparently skipped writing about Amazon Prime Day 2021 last year; the last I wrote about it was Prime Day 2020, which took place in October. Now Prime Day(s) is July 12 and 13, 2022. (Maybe Prime Day 2021 didn't happen? Or I just totally missed it given how much the date fluctuates year to year?)

This year, Nintendo wants me to know that “Hot deals coming to Amazon Prime Day”...featuring things like the spyware-ridden Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for $60 (as opposed to $100). There are also several goofy deals where they're bundling first-party Mario-based games with a 12-month individual membership of Nintendo Switch Online.

In what does not appear to be marked as a “Prime Day Deal” but is still a discount, is a physical copy of Triangle Strategy at 17% off ($49.94 from $59.99). Meanwhile, a digital code from Amazon is still $59.99. ...Sure, I'll buy Triangle Strategy (I really liked the last demo and I've already vowed elsewhere to get it). On Prime Day. Does that still count as a Prime Day 2022 buy? I think so. I titled the article as buys, not deals.

I put in a real effort to research wireless extenders and/or wireless mesh network products. Some of them are on sale for Prime Day... many are not. My castle is in dire need of one, since the router is in the first floor and the bedrooms are far above that. That's a major reason why I moved my Nintendo Switch to the same room as my router (where it shares one of the monitors with my desktop computer). I used to do online play just fine from my bedroom with the Wii U and Wii, but the Switch for some reason is a lot weaker in picking up wireless signals. So I'd like to do something about that (and for all of the other devices up there).

But as of publishing this article, I didn't purchase anything. It's difficult to research and know what's right to do. A lot of reviewers, like the New York Times Wirecutter, obsess over giving high marks to whatever is compatible with the Wi-Fi 6 protocol, which right now basically nothing uses but they want to future-proof your investment. (The Switch, for example, only goes up to Wi-Fi 5.)

And then there are fly-by-nighter companies like Luma Home, which are lying scumbags and (not coincidentally) are also out of business. Some companies are (allegedly) in the business just to collect all of the data that passes through your network it. (Such as Google and Eero... or so I've read. Dunno if it's true!) So it's hard to know who to trust and make an important purchase decision in the span of how long Prime Day lasts. Maybe next year (or, I dunno, Black Friday).

Ludwig no doubt made a good choice getting (a physical copy of) Triangle Strategy, but do you have any thoughts about his Internet problems and how to resolve them? Any brand/product recommendations? He'd really like to hear them! He also asked other staffers if they got anything for Prime Day. The answer was no.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Kirby's Dream Buffet—Kirby's Land Roll?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Someone already asked me to get it and play it with her when it's out. Too bad it's not online.

In a surprise trailer drop today (but in-line with Nintendo stating they'll put effort into having lots of ways to celebrate Kirby's 30th anniversary), Nintendo Switch owners can download Kirby's Dream Buffet this summer from the Nintendo eShop:

It seems like the premise of the game is to roll through courses—such as giant cakes (I ate ice cream today in protest)—while eating strawberries and growing big from them. These must be special strawberries, since ordinary food in the Kirby series tends to not make Kirby grow in size. What appear to be Master Hand and Crazy Hand (from Kirby and the Amazing Mirror) snap their fingers in a countdown for Kirby, Kirby, Kirby, and Kirby to start rolling and nomming.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Watching the Three Episodes of Pokémon: Hisuian Snow

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not sure I should be watching this now, but...

A friend of mine just asked what I think of Hisuian Zoroark. And, I mean, I dunno, it's a Normal and Ghost type. Cool typing offensively, and interesting immunities to its own typing defensively. Too bad it's super frail, so its defensive typing doesn't matter much... and since it's only in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we don't have a good idea of what its actual movepool would be in a real Pokémon game.

Still, since I haven't played Pokémon Legends: Arceus (yet), I don't really know much about it.

Onto the Icy Blue ❄️

The first half of the episode is quite slow, but ultimately a father and kid are talking about a malicious Zoroark that was bullied and mistreated by humans. The father thinks that humans and Pokémon can't co-exist, and it's obvious that disproving that notion will be a theme of the series.

The kid goes into a forest all by himself and encounters a grunting Hisuian Zorua, who uses creepy ghost powers to make the kid laugh out loud before mauling him. I gotta say, the child deserves it. Somehow, the Zorua is so incompetent at mauling the child (I believe his name is Alec) that they end up rolling off a cliff together to end the episode. Pretty bad so far.

Pokémon Hisuian Snow Icy Blue Alec Zorua fall off cliff screaming close-up
It'd be cool if this was a single-episode affair and this was how it ended.
Unfortunately, there are two more episodes, so they're probably not dead. Let's keep watching, then.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Koopa Kingdom Statement on Assassination of Shinzō Abe

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...We didn't do it! And it's sad that someone did!

In extremely upsetting and disturbing news, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe was assassinated last night by fatal gunshots while trying to hold a rally/speech for fellow Liberal Democratic Party member Kei Satō's re-election campaign for the House of Councillors seat from Nara Prefecture. While Shinzō Abe wasn't the Prime Minister anymore and didn't have the best health, you can figure that he's still quite popular among many of his countrymen, and certainly moreso than his successor (who also left), Yoshihide Suga. When Shinzō Abe speaks... people listen. The suspect, who is currently a guy named Tetsuya Yamagami, allegedly had an homemade double-barreled shotgun and shot and killed Shinzō Abe with it due to disliking the former Prime Minister.

I oughta note that the suspect's name is Tetsuya Yamagami, not Hideo Kojima (and certainly not any Koopas), like some FAKE NEWS claimed. (While that links to Kotaku, Kotaku is reporting on FAKE NEWS by others. ...Though it is still Kotaku, so there are many things wrong with that article, like the laughably shameless last paragraph where piracy-promoter Zack Zwiezen asks the media not to use 4chan or Twitter trolls as sources, while he's using disreputable forum ResetEra as a source in that same sentence.)

Anyway, speaking on behalf of all of Koopa Kingdom and the Royal Koopa Family, we are in mourning at the loss of Shinzō Abe. He was a great patriot for the nation of Japan, and Koopa Kingdom and the former Prime Minister had similar desires and goals to rid the universe of Cappy, who had captured the Prime Minister and permanently changed the course of history. Shinzō Abe was really the first sign that Mario's hat is big trouble. He wanted help. We wanted to help him. I've always wanted to meet him, but I didn't have the opportunity to while I was in Japan (despite the former Prime Minister's alleged influence over that trip). Ultimately he fell to non-Cappy forces (well... I guess we can't rule out what the suspect's motivations really were) and the universe is still threatened. Big shame. Shinzō Abe also was a foe of the Chinese Communist Party, which we (and everyone else) share an animosity with.

We're very saddened and wish the best for his widow, Akie Abe, and for all of Japan! And we wish the worst for his assassin.

Rest in peace, Shinzō Abe. Feel free to share your own condolences in the comments section below.

Exactly two months later, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom died. Naturally.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

E3's 2023 Incarnation to be Managed by ReedPop

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm cautiously pessimistic about the direction this is going in.

When telling the media (but not to anyone directly—even after this news, the E3 website still claims “E3 2022 See you next year”) about E3 2022 not existing, the Entertainment Software Association (the ESA—the American gaming industry's trade and lobbying group) also claimed they were putting their efforts into making E3 2023 really awesome. Apparently this involves having ReedPop—known for organising PAX and New York Comic Con—manage and figure out everything, because the ESA can't do that.

ReedPop is also known for being behind media outlets such as Digital Foundry, Eurogamer,, Nintendo Life, Pure Xbox, Rock Paper Shotgun, and VG247. Perhaps ironically, some of those sites have reported FAKE NEWS about E3 in the past, like which companies would and would not be a part of E3 2021. (As well as publishing FAKE NEWS in general.)

E3 2023 will continue to be in the Los Angeles Convention Center “during the second week of June.” June 11 is the second Sunday of June, though June 1 is on a Thursday, so I don't know if they count that as the first week of June or it's the first full week of June. There will also be a digital part, but if you do show up to E3, there will be in-person things for normal non-industry people. (I've traditionally recommended against that since it involves being stuck in line for hours, though maybe things will change?)

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Splatoon 3 to have a Nintendo Switch (OLED model)—not a new hardware revision, FAKE NEWS media!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The hardware looks FRESH.

I very recently wrote an article admonishing the FAKE NEWS media (and clickbait addicts) for “leaking” “insider” information about an upcoming Nintendo Direct—they got it wrong twice in one month. In that article, I slipped this line...
“Thankfully, unlike last year's long list of disgraceful media outlets and personalities that promoted FAKE NEWS, I didn't come across anyone saying there'd be a new Nintendo Switch hardware revision revealed.”

But just one week later (July 5), we get this stupid video titled “Is a Switch Pro Reveal Imminent?! Nintendo Privates Switch Lite & OLED YouTube Trailers” from the insufferable folks at GameXplain. (Specifically Joey Ferris.) I'm not embedding it because it's a shameful piece of garbage, and I don't recommend you actually click that link and give them a view. It's pretty funny they start the video with:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Took Me Over 21 Years to Learn Zero Wing's Voice-Acting is Fan-Made

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US” is real... the voice isn't.

Upon hearing that Zero Wing was coming to the Nintendo Switch's Sega Genesis emulator, I thought that maybe I should finally bite and upgrade the KoopaTV Family Group subscription of Nintendo Switch Online to the Expansion Pack.

And the compilation video immediately starts with the Zero Wing introduction. The most important part is first! (And while it's interesting that MEGA MAN: THE WILY WARS is available, you're better off playing the original NES games on Mega Man Legacy Collection, which is on sale for one more day.) But wait... why isn't there voice-acting? I remember this having voice-acting, and that's a large part of the meme appeal of Zero Wing! Nintendo must've edited the video!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Fireworks over at Tama's House!


I don't actually like fireworks. They're loud and frightening and I always wonder what happens on the way down. That said, it's either that, or talk about the meaning of INDEPENDENCE, which is in a pretty bad Earth state, at least. I mean, Hong Kong is in a completely pwned state (and its opposition leaders are in prison) compared to the active protests before. Ukraine is Ukrekt, or on its way towards that (don't ask me how to actually pronounce Ukrekt).

So fireworks it is. Who is hosting this year's party?

OKAMI HD Tama concept art pyrotechnist
It's Tama, Nippon's one and only Pyrotechnist!

We just gotta head over to Shinshu Field. Only at night. It's a big field, but you go up some hills and then down some steps and you'll reach his house. You'll know it when you see it based on its design. There's also a sign marking that it's the house of Tama the Pyrotechnist:

OKAMI HD Tama's house sign for fireworks kinda exciting Issun dialogue
Well, yes.

While I'd rarely characterise any of the music in ŌKAMI as a “bop”, the music in Tama's house is a bop. Don't get me wrong, the music in the game is great. Just not the boppy style. That's why I muted the sound effects for this clip of the fireworks party (featuring the Cherry Bomb) inside Tama's house. Oh, and, um, don't be worried about him:

ŌKAMI HD is currently 50% off on the Nintendo eShop, as part of the Big Ol' Super Sale that ends July 6. (It's also on sale on Steam.) I highly recommend it not just for the fireworks, but for everything else.

Did you enjoy Independence Day? Or was it just a normal Fourth of July to you? Why not discuss this in the comments section?

Friday, July 1, 2022

KoopaTV's June 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We've lived through insignificance!

That June 2022 sure was a month, wasn't it? Normally we'd be coming out of June with great energy from the month's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, but that wasn't a thing this year. And there was a lack of significant central events in its place (with the exception of the event that'll be mentioned in the top five recommended experiences section of this newsletter).

Ah, th-that's not to say that KoopaTV now is a low-energy publication publishing crap content. In fact, I have five pieces of evidence to the contrary:

Top Five Recommended Experiences of June 2022

Take a look (and click on them if the hyperlinks are blue instead of grey) at these great works published on KoopaTV in June, listed in chronological order:
  1. SLEEP 2022: The Most Important Conference This Week! — The most important central event of June 2022 was the SLEEP 2022 conference, which Ludwig covered in this article, including reactions to several of the research abstracts presented.
  2. Simultaneous Remove and Replace: The Case of the Dollar Discrepancy for Ace Attorney Trilogy Mobile — Ludwig investigated a curious discrepancy in the prices of the brand-new mobile re-ports of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. (This remains to this day.)
  3. Star Wars: KOTOR2 Gamebreaking Bug Exposes Professional Game Reviewers as Frauds — If there's one article out there with definitive proof that professional reviewers and Metacritic is a fraudulent exercise, it's this.
  4. I'd probably get Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes if it wasn't a "Warriors" game — Someone just can't get a committed interest in Musou games, even if it's been rather heavily Fire Emblem-ised. Has really fun screenshots.
  5. Don't forget about those fake "insiders" and "leakers" for the June 2022 Nintendo Direct — It's not just game reviews that is fraudulent—media outlets in the gaming industry also recklessly publish FAKE NEWS but try to trick you into believing it's credible. (And then you keep trusting them after?)

I ought to mention, regarding STAR WARS: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords for the Switch, they released a hotfix yesterday (June 30) resolving the issue. Moving on to the next story...