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Friday, September 30, 2022

Google's Stadia Service Ending; Refunds to be Distributed

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I had to look into why they're offering refunds.

The last time I dedicated an article about Google's Stadia hardware/service (which was in 2021 when they announced they were shutting down Stadia Games and Entertainment, their first-party dedicated development group), I started that off with “I don't know a single person who uses Google's cloud game streaming service, Stadia.” My first instinct in trying to begin THIS article was to begin the same way (because it's still true), but I suppose I should be at least a little more original.

This week, Google announced that the Stadia “hasn't gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.” And interestingly, they “will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions.” Google then claims to “remain deeply committed to gaming” and that the underlying streaming technology of the Stadia won't be going away, though how exactly it'll manifest in the future wasn't specified.

Interestingly, you don't have to (and CAN'T) return any hardware you purchased to get a refund on that hardware. (No refunds on the monthly Stadia Pro subscription fees.) Because of the nature of the Stadia, your hardware will be literally useless after January 2023, because there won't be any games to be streamed. I'm still not sure how that justifies a refund, and it's a frightening precedent for the industry. Google can afford to refund people on their now-useless product, but if a smaller company went bankrupt because their product failed, I'm sure they couldn't afford to refund anyone.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Wiglett the Garden Eel Pokémon (not related to Diglett)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Wiglett wig, Wiglett wig... ??? ??? ???

I personally am not into ecology or anything, so I didn't participate in the World Pokémon Ecological Society. I didn't really know that was a thing, either. But apparently they accidentally discovered a new Pokémon they named Wiglett.

None of these researchers have ever seen Wiglett before, and they believed it to be a Paldean form of Diglett, or perhaps a Diglett evolution. They seem... common enough, so I guess this is an example of Paldea being a third-world country that the world's scientists haven't bothered to visit or document before. They only have one school, after all, and apparently none of Paldea's scientists have gotten into the upper echelon of Pokémon professors.

Anyway, Wiglett, as they named it, isn't in Diglett's evolutionary family. They are both tube-shaped diggers, but that's it. They just coincidentally look similar due to adaptations in Wiglett's environment. Sort of like how lots of people think that Luvdisc and Alomomola must be related because they're both heart-shaped fish, or that Bouffalant is the evolved form of Tauros because there can only be one line of handsome bovine on the planet. (Meanwhile, no one is demanding that Houndour and Growlithe be in the same evolutionary family. I think it's species-ism.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

E3 2023 for June 13–16 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's really cool that we know this now.

A few months ago, you ought to remember that I commentated on the news that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2023 will be managed by an events company called ReedPop, because the sponsor, the Entertainment Software Association, couldn't handle the logistical and creative elements of having E3 2023 be a relevant event that companies and customers would want to participate in.

In what is already a good sign, ReedPop has announced that E3 2023 will be taking place from June 13 to June 16, 2023. June 13 and June 14 (Tuesday and Wednesday) will be for companies to give presentations and hold business meetings, while June 15 and 16 (Thursday and Friday) will have customers descend to the show floors at the Los Angeles Convention Center to try things out and participate. ReedPop also wants attendees to actually have things to do while there, so the digital experience isn't so easily superior to being there physically.

The reason that it's a good sign is that it's a welcome early announcement, compared to the likes of E3 2021 where they announced it would happen just two months in advance. That means you can schedule time right now for then! It speaks to the competence of ReedPop in understanding the fundamental principle that the further out you announce when your big event will be, the easier that people you want to come to your event can actually attend it. (Compare this to companies like Nintendo and Sony announcing events the day before they happen at during-work-hours times.)

Speaking of scheduling, there'll be an E3 app that lets you schedule meetings. ...Yeah, whatever. The article makes that seem like a big deal, but I'm not terribly impressed. I'm also not impressed with them insisting on giving legitimacy to Summer Games Fest (Geoff Keighley's event where he flings crap at you for attention) in order to play nice and be inclusive.

Unless you're a game developer (and chances are, if you're reading this, you're not... but if you ARE one, I'd love to hear from you), chances are you don't care about this stuff and you just want to know if your favourite videogame company will announce cool stuff at E3 2023. And we don't know that yet because companies haven't committed to showing up. ReedPop is just now asking companies to come. So... more to come on that in the future. Either way, I'm sure KoopaTV will have a virtual presence.

What do you think about E3 2023's direction so far? Have you dismissed its potential because you're one of those people who have long since dismissed E3's relevance? Ludwig hasn't ever gotten to that point of cynicism yet and he sees no reason to do that based on prior performance. He's already planning around June 13 through 16 2023, and it feels great to do that in 2022.

Allegedly, none of the big three console manufacturers will have any involvement at E3 2023, severely weakening the event.
E3 2023 got cancelled altogether, since companies did not want to participate in it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Amazing Penguin — The best game you’ve never heard of

By CAPTAIN STITCH - Now I KNOW you haven’t heard of this one!

A Perplexing Puzzler Proudly Props Penguin Protagonist Prince Pendrich? Released in 1990 by Natsume (Harvest Moon, Pocky & Rocky) for the Game Boy. Amazing Penguin is a severely overlooked puzzle game with a playstyle akin to no other. The name might be mistaken for one of the multitude of those silly mascot shovelware titles that pose as games, but nothing could be further from the truth. The protagonist is simply a penguin, and that penguin is simply…Amazing.

Why should you play this game? In a world full of fantastic puzzlers, a lot has been repeated. True classics like Sudoku or Sokoban will always be around, but Amazing Penguin is something that’s never been seen before or since. For better or for worse, you’ll leave entertained.

Amazing Penguin boxart box art Game Boy

Monday, September 26, 2022

Fixing Frye and Shiver in the Play Nintendo Deep Cut Popularity Poll

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It was an off-brand Stroop Test. I got it fixed.

Which of Splatoon 3's new idols, the three members of Deep Cut, do you like the most? That's a hot conversation topic in the Splatoon 3 fanbase right now. So Nintendo of America's site for kids, Play Nintendo, outright asks “Which Deep Cut member would you want to jam with first?” You should consider this an official popularity poll.

Unfortunately, when the poll first went up a few weeks ago—and had already gotten hundreds of votes—it mixed up Frye and Shiver. See the screenshot below.

Play Nintendo Deep Cut popularity poll Frye Shiver Big Man
Shiver is given Frye's photo, while Frye is given Shiver's photo.
Big Man is still Big Man.
See this archived link.

According to someone I asked—I didn't want to vote in the poll myself since I wanted to vote for Frye, but it's unclear which option to pick—as of the evening of September 11, Big Man has about 55% of the vote (177 votes). Frye, with the picture of Shiver, has 30% (96 votes). Shiver, with the picture of Frye, has the remaining 15% (50 votes). However, according to unofficial polling, as well as the World Premiere Splatfest, Shiver is way more popular than Frye is. The explanation is that people voted for Shiver's picture rather than Shiver's name. The mismatch between the picture and the name, and the decision that people take based on that, is called the Stroop effect. You may remember the Brain Age DS's Stroop test (or Quick Brain Age Check), where the words blue, black, yellow, or red would appear, but in a different font colour than what the word means, and you had to say the font colour instead of the word. It tests your prefontal cortex—and who knows if the Play Nintendo base passes or fails that.

I want an accurate poll and not a test, so I tried to contact Nintendo of America to get them to fix it. For that, I used their PR Contact form around midnight of September 12. First time using it. On their “How can we help? (200 word limit) *” question, I said,

Friday, September 23, 2022

Masayoshi Yokoyama: Underground Feeling of Yakuza/Like a Dragon Clashes with Nintendo Switch

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I have some evidence I'd like to PRESENT.

Since it wasn't clear, when Like a Dragon: Ishin! was announced at last week's Sony State of Play, that is a remake of a 2014 spin-off from the Yakuza series... which has been renamed to Like a Dragon. I'm not the expert in why that makes sense or why tossing out all of that brand recognition is a good idea.

Anyway, series producer Masayoshi Yokoyama of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (owned by Sega) sort of explains with GameSpot (in what really should've been written in interview format but isn't) why the Like a Dragon games (the spin-off, whatever Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is, and Like a Dragon 8) are coming not just to PlayStation consoles like they've always historically been, but also PC and Xbox... but specifically not to Nintendo platforms. Again, the GameSpot article is short and presented terribly, but the direct quotes provided are...

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Dragon Quest Treasures Gameplay Overview Trailer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'd much rather play this than a certain other thematically similar RPG that will release in November.

I would like to apologise for not providing consistent coverage on DRAGON QUEST TREASURES. As far as I know, Samantha Lienhard has done a decent job with that on her site, writing about the world and story as well as the gameplay loop. These are based on updates from SQUARE ENIX. Well, a summary is that you can play as either Erik or Mia, and they're the young kids (and siblings) portrayed in the DRAGON QUEST XI flashbacks. They don't want to be with their Viking masters and would instead want to go on their own adventure to get treasure. However—and it's unclear if DRAGON QUEST TREASURES will be a canon game—two magic creatures named Porcus (the pig, who likes Mia) and Purrsula (the cat, who likes Erik) appear to take a dreamy Erik and Mia to Draconia, a treasure-filled world that's separate from Erdrea.

Here's a brand-new trailer that explains gameplay (and some story):

I see it as quite a bit like Pikmin where you need to command local creatures with different exploration and combat abilities for the purpose of finding and collecting treasure and bringing it back to your base (and read fun descriptions of the treasure). It'd be way closer to Pikmin if you could switch between Erik and Mia and they're both existing in the overworld at the same time and you need to use them together to solve puzzles, but that's not part of the gameplay depicted in the trailer or any other information. So I guess I gotta get that off my head—the trailer specifically refers to DRAGON QUEST TREASURES as an RPG, not as a strategy game. What is present is charming and likable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Splatoon's Developers Focused on Player Customisability and Expression in Splatoon 3

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I appreciate the focus, and I think their insights are spot-on.

Have you read the four-part Ask the Developer Vol. 7, Splatoon 3 series published on In my opinion, it doesn't contain spoilers for Splatoon 3, but it does contain significant and interesting insights from Hisashi Nogami (Splatoon producer), Seita Inoue (Splatoon art director), Shintaro Sato (a Splatoon technical director), and Toru Minegishi (head Splatoon sound guy).

One thing that confirmed what I already wrote years ago is that the Splatoon development team waited for the outcome of the Chaos vs. Order Splatfest to determine the theme of Splatoon 3. They outright said in the interview that until they saw the results of the Splatfest, they weren't seriously thinking about the theme of Splatoon 3, so it would've been substantially different if Team Order won. That's why Splatsville is the city of chaos, and many things followed from that, including the different art style, culture, and music. The ethos of the street culture among Inklings and Octolings is that disorder is cool, and that the kids wanted to rebel against the big sophisticated city life from Splatoon 2. That's why the Splatlands are so far away from the very close-together setting of Inkopolis in Splatoon and Splatoon 2.

They start getting into the customisation and expression in Part 2 of the talk, starting with Lockers. These are a first for the series. You can customise a locker with items from the Catalog and the Hotlantis shop, which is a whole shop category that didn't exist in previous games. For example, as an Ace Attorney fan, my locker is simply a Stepladder and The Thinker statue. You can view the Lockers (which are never locked) of some of your Nintendo Switch friends and some random people at any given time. As Nogami said, “The inside of a locker can tell you a lot about the person who owns it.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Facebook/Twitter Log-ins and Wii U/3DS Image Shares Discontinuing October 25 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The image shares aren't good anyway.

Today, in the excitement of Nintendo announcing Nintendo Brazil and Nintendo Latin American Twitter accounts, there is probably a más importante pair of announcements that's lost in that excitement. Both of these are supposed to go into effect on October 25, 2022, and both involve Facebook and Twitter:

Number one, “Discontinuation of the Use of Facebook or Twitter to Sign In to Your Nintendo Account.” There should be zero people who do this, and for a variety of reasons. If you currently do this, you stop immediately and not wait for October 25. Use your Nintendo Account ID and password. Nintendo is important enough that it should have its own log-in information that you use.

Number two, “Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Image Share Service Discontinuation.” This is a real and legitimate feature of the 3DS and Wii U that is the main way to export screenshots from 3DS and Wii U games for other use. Using the Wii U/3DS's built-in Internet Browser to access, you could share screenshots to Facebook or Twitter in a more complicated process compared to how easy it is for the Nintendo Switch Screenshot Capture (and video) sharing.

Monday, September 19, 2022

15+ Years after Nintendo NSider Forums Closed, Reunite HERE!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - NSider was a formative place, and some users are still talking together.

Fifteen years ago, Nintendo of America's Nintendo NSider Forums were abruptly put into a read-only mode (September 17, 2007), and then the entire thing was deleted a week afterward (September 24, 2007). This was devastating to a younger me, and it still discomforts me to think about to this day. I can't understate the influence having a very large and popular Nintendo discussion forum was to my upbringing and development to the person I am today. KoopaTV certainly wouldn't exist—the whole founding team came from that forum. I'm sure folks didn't know that decisions made, say, 18 years ago on an Internet forum would decide their identity now.

Anyway, imagine you're on NSider. September 16, 2007, everything looks fine and normal and highly active. The next day, the front page is replaced with this message that NSider will close indefinitely beginning that day, and you can only look at a read-only version of the forum for a week. Afterwards, the read-only message is gone, and so is the forum that you might have had your childhood on.

Nintendo NSider Forums update Wii DS closed indefinitely notice NOA_Andy September 17 2007
It's not a good look for the Wii and DS to have to be associated with the forum shutting down.
(When NSider first opened, Nintendo's current consoles were the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance,
though the DS and Super Smash Bros. Brawl speculation was huge for the forum.
Just don't let the mods catch you sharing your friend codes.)

Younger people—or anyone else who loved it—who only have experience with when Nintendo ran Miiverse don't quite have the same amount of pain we did. Unlike NSider, Miiverse had over two months notice that it would be closed, which actually provided time for people to go and archive almost the entire platform. NSider is very poorly archived, and 2003–2007 was before people widely understood archival techniques and the importance of it.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Why a Chaotic Genius Brings Gear to a Deserted Island…and for Splatfest, You Should Too!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the obvious choice... and still the choice if you think harder than that.

The most immediate impact of the Nintendo Direct earlier this week was the announcement of a new Splatfest that is starting NEXT WEEK. And new to this Splatfest (as opposed to the previous one) is a SNEAK PEAK period. With the sneak peak, if you pick a side in-game now, you can earn points for your team in the designated sneak peak category for this week before the actual Splatfest begins—which means I really need to write and publish this article now before everyone goes and picks their team in order to influence people. Because there's enormous incentive for people to pick teams as soon as possible.

And the first post-release Splatfest prompt is...

Splatoon 3 Splatfest bring to a deserted island gear grub fun prompt
Team Gear? Team Grub? Team Fun? What would you bring to a deserted island?

Let's get things straight: Deserted island means the island is either desolate, or it had life on it that abandoned it. Nothing in the prompt says that you're stranded on the island. Think of the deserted island as... a hotel stay. So you can get back to civilisation and back to the island as you please.

That should significantly affect your intended purpose of going to the island and what your mission will be. And therefore... what you would bring to the island.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Nintendo eShop Blockbuster Sale (includes Ace Attorney)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Don't complain you have nothing to play.

While I didn't care that much about the Nintendo Direct from earlier in this week, I don't mind that at all. That's because there's still an incredibly healthy backlog of games that are already out on Nintendo systems that I haven't gotten through playing—and you likely haven't, either. While there is enough money in life to buy all of those, there just is not enough time in life to actually play all of those through.

Right now, for whatever reason, there are over 2,200 games on sale on the Nintendo Switch, and several dozen on sale on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Those 3DS titles include fan-favourites like CAPCOM's Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney–Spirit of Justice, all for $5 each. That sale ends September 28. Note that you can't really add money directly to your Nintendo 3DS eShop balance anymore, but there are still ways around that, such as linking it to your Nintendo Switch account and adding money to that.

(By the way, the Ace Attorney titles on the Switch are ALSO on sale.)

This isn't a total me-chosen filler article; CAPCOM literally advertised the sale in their Tokyo Game Show 2022 presentation (which is all I'm gonna write about it, probably):

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

PlayStation State of Play September 13 2022 Live Reactions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Kazuya Mishima Wins.

Want to watch about 20 minutes of Sony providing updates on the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and the PlayStation VR2? Well, they live-streamed that yesterday. Notably, unlike the same-day Nintendo Direct, Sony did not delay anything because of the Queen of the United Kingdom dying.

I DID react to this live as it was being streamed. I just didn't publish it right away. Sorry for the wait. ...Though I don't think there's anything too exciting that you'd really need my thoughts immediately for. But maybe that's something for you to decide for yourself rather than me tell you. I'm the only staffer in this log, by the way. At least that keeps it shorter.

[5:51 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa:
PlayStation State of Play in 10 minutes.
[5:52 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: I just ate a whole large chicken fried rice (that I got while shopping for milk) and now I feel...very sleepy...
[5:52 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: Hoping that PlayStation State of Play won't have me fall asleep altogether.
[6:01 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: THUNDER
[6:01 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: EEK
[6:02 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: EEK
[6:02 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: KAZUYA MISHIMA
[6:02 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: WINS

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

KoopaTV's Live Reaction to the September 13 2022 Nintendo Direct

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Live in the sense that the reactions aren't edited and were a stream.

Once upon a time—on Monday, September 12—Nintendo announced that there would be a Nintendo Direct the next day in 24 hours. That was an obnoxiously inconvenient timing and we all had things locked into our schedules a long time ago. They really should announce these in advance.

Instead, I—by myself—reacted to the Nintendo Direct as early as I could, since it's dangerous to venture to the Internet without watching it first. 'cause that's all anyone's going to talk about, and spoilers (and leakers!) are bad for society and must be cautiously avoided. So if you're on KoopaTV, you either feel the same way and have already watched this embedded Nintendo Direct and want to know how I thought of it (very touching of you, thank you for your interest), or you just don't care the same way I do:

I must note that in the United Kingdom, “[a]s a mark of respect during this period of national mourning” (this refers to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II), Nintendo in the United Kingdom published the video on their social channels one hour after the rest of the world. It's unclear what makes this one hour extra wait period especially respectful, but as a result, British people just went and watched the American stream and no one's really looking at Nintendo UK's. To help their view count, I've embedded the UK video above despite actually reacting to America's version. (It actually has chapters and omits a half hour of nothing going on.) I'm quite sure they're the same content.

[12:57 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa:
[12:57 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: I'm not sure when this transitions from the "tune in for" message to the--... okay, at 29:37.
[12:58 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: RP-M.
[12:58 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: I'll wait for the clock to get to an even number and then I can pretend I watched this from a goofy timezone.
[12:58 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: I'm not allowed on the Internet until I watch this Direct.
[1:00 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: Starting...
[1:00 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: Four realms with a holy land at the centre?
[1:00 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: With a fell dragon.
[1:00 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: ...Fire Emblem?
[1:00 PM]Ludwig Von Koopa: ...yes, it is.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Truth vs. Illiberal Murderers; Salman Rushdie and Jeff German

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They never forget. Why should you?

I don't know what appetite there is on a September 11-related article, but this is actually a sequel to two articles: Never Forget: Muslims around Earth actually rioted and killed over "Innocence of Muslims" (from September 11, 2021); and Humour Under Assault and Battery (my take on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock from earlier this year).

I'm writing about the relatively recent attempted murder of fiction author and speaker Salman Rushdie, as well as the murder of investigative journalist Jeff German. Both men tried to use their powers of free speech to tell the truth... and both were victims of brutal and vicious attempts to silence them.

Splatoon 3 Salmon Rush Run Salmonid employee handbook Grizzco
I knew I was going to write about Salman Rushdie the instant he got stabbed.
The fact that his name sounds similar to the Salmon Rush event in Splatoon is a total coincidence.
Also, this is the only non-text media you're getting in this article.

Some background on Salman Rushdie: He's a fiction writer and a citizen of the United Kingdom, but born in India to a Muslim family. He wrote a 1988 fiction book called The Satanic Verses with several references to Islamic lore. As usual, many Muslims got upset over it. However, this extended to the highest levels of the Iranian revolutionary government, and their leadership and many followers called for the murder of Salman Rushdie on the basis of blasphemy, and have extended millions of dollars in a bounty that continues to this day. As you... might expect, that's a powerful incentive, and for the past several decades, Salman has had a rather secluded life. (Though sales of The Satanic Verses skyrocket whenever angry Muslims raise their voice against him.)

Friday, September 9, 2022

Splatoon 3 has Launched—and I Regret Not Transferring My Splatoon 2 Data

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - 2022's most anticipated game. Speaking for myself.

Ever since the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere, I've been super-hyped about Splatoon 3 coming out. And now it has! Today!

For the first time in slightly over three years, I physically went to my local Best Buy and it looks completely different. It's a good thing that I pre-ordered Splatoon 3... the day before (Thursday), because with their post-pandemic store floor redesign, there's way less space for merchandise and way more space dedicated to storage/warehouse/fulfillment. Almost everything in the games section says to go to the cashier to actually get something. One of the very few things available right on the shelf was a copy of... BALAN WONDERWORLD. Yikes. (There was also physical copies of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle... and a couple of boxes of Ring Fit Adventure! Y'all should what I just mentioned... well, only the things in these parenthesis.) Splatoon 2 was also there, but not its sequel. Fortunately, when I went to the pick-up area, they handed me Splatoon 3, and now I'm a proud owner of it.

When I booted up Splatoon 3, I got this message:

Splatoon 2 Splatoon 3 save data found import bonuses
There are several benefits to importing Splatoon 2 save data, especially if you want to get right into some competitive aspects.

I was in decision paralysis for a while here. Should I transfer my Splatoon 2 save data? I figured that I'm not in a rush to unlock other weapons—Splattershot Jr. was actually my main weapon in Splatoon 2, and it's the starter weapon for everyone in Splatoon 3. Anarchy Battles (ranked modes) aren't something I'm especially itching to start playing—I think Turf War is more fun anyway. As for facing opponents closer to my skill level, I have the impression that my player vs. player skills in Splatoon are rusty at best and fraudulent at worst. Sure, I'm Ranked X in every rank mode in Splatoon 2, but that's from being carried by other people and from me no longer playing the ranked modes after getting to X, which means I never had the opportunity to be ranked downward.

And so I decided NOT to import my data. This was my first Turf War experience:

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Unofficial Statement on Death of Queen Elizabeth II

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm only speaking for myself, not for Koopa Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth realms has peacefully passed away today at the age of 96. Her son, Charles III (73 years young), is now King of the United Kingdom and those realms, and is currently the shortest-reigning monarch on Earth.

This comes exactly two months after the very non-peaceful (or “mostly peaceful” if you're FAKE NEWS CNN) assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, which KoopaTV published an official statement about on behalf of Koopa Kingdom due to our involved relationship with him.

Our history with Queen Elizabeth is more contentious and less relevant, so you get the following unofficial statement instead.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Mega Man and Monster Hunter Influencing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yes, THAT'S my takeaway.

In the August 2022 Pokémon Presents, The Pokémon Company International told us that Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet not only has a somewhat-traditional gym leader quest (though you can tackle them in any order, which is dangerous game design if handled poorly), but two other stories as well that you can swap between as a “special independent study project.” The path to champion is called Victory Road, while the other two stories are called Path of Legends and ★ Starfall Street ★. This new trailer has some of the new information:

★ Starfall Street ★ pits you against Team Star, who are described as “rebellious students” across the whole region of Paldea that are all actually from the one school you attend. The fact that one educational institution has such a wide and centralising sphere of influence over a whole region gives strong Garreg Mach Monastery vibes, so that makes Team Star the equivalent of, uh, Edelgard, I guess. Anyway, Team Star, despite being school-children, have grunts, bases, and crews (and crew bosses, such as Mela, the woman with the giant boots, Torkoal, and a giant mecha car that takes me back as far as yesterday when I was talking about No More Heroes 3 having a minigame where you destroy one of those mecha cars).

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Ranking the No More Heroes 3 Volunteer Mission Minigames

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The minigames this time around are... pretty weak overall.

While No More Heroes 3 (alternatively titled No More Heroes III) released on the Switch a year ago, it's releasing on other platforms in a month. I wouldn't recommend it as a must-have purchase, but I liked my experience overall.

One of the many charms of the mainline No More Heroes games are its minigames, mostly in the form of volunteer missions. These are odd-jobs that Travis Touchdown will do to get some cash. No More Heroes 3 continues the trend of having minigames, and they vary wildly in quality. I'd say overall, they're worse than the minigames from the first two games. But regardless, this article presents the missions in a tier list in order of best (favourite) to worst (least favourite) based on my opinion (so you're welcome to disagree in the comments section), simply because I believe the quality of the minigame is the inverse of how entertaining it'll be for you to read me write about it. So saving the worst for last is funnier.

Do keep in mind that this article technically spoils some of the content of No More Heroes 3, including the presence of some secret minigames or missions. If you want to avoid that because you plan to get No More Heroes 3 for the first time starting next month on a console it wasn't originally released on, you may want to come back to this article later. With that out of the way...

Bike Missions

The people living in this world have a lot of issues with thugs that harass innocent grandmothers. Gangs in cars. It's up to Travis Touchdown in his motorbike, the Demzamtiger, to bash the head of the gang enough times until they explode as they loop in a course with other gangsters and actually innocent truckers. You're graded on how fast you are, how much damage you sustain, and the enemies you get to destroy besides just the boss. It feels a lot like the Michael Chain chapter of F-Zero GX, which I'm conceptually a fan of.

No More Heroes III 3 Bike Missions Neo Brazil hit boss car
A normal Bike Mission. Travis's Demzantiger gets two Beam Katanas sticking out, one per side, to do damage to other vehicles.
Note the boss HP bar at the top, your own health at the top left, and your boost power at the top right.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games YouTube Channel

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Do you want me to write about these?

Approximately two weeks ago, Super Smash Bros. series director (and Kirby series director up to Kirby Air Ride) Masahiro Sakurai stopped posting daily Super Smash Bros. Ultimate screenshots (with an occasional cat photo) on his Twitter account (here's an example of the type of thing he'd tweet). However, he has a new project: The Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games YouTube channels. One in Japanese, and the other with English sub-titles.

He has several high-quality, concise videos already, releasing about three to four a week. That might slow down, since he's obviously recorded these well before they're being uploaded and he's uploading faster than he's making them, so he's going to run out at some point and have to slow the upload schedule down. Sakurai, in his first video, also discussed that Nintendo is not involved in his channel, that it's a personal project, and that he's not trying to profit off of it, so he is actively trying not to have ads appear. He also has to pay the video editors and translators. That combination means Sakurai will end up losing money as a result of his channel (like how Koopa Kingdom loses money by having KoopaTV exist without any revenue method besides a never-advertised donation method), but... I'm sure he has enough to sustain the channel and his well-being. (He drives cars for fun, so...)

Sakurai's audience are (aspiring) game designers and people interested in that, and his videos have a mix of him talking, animation, and real game footage. He's already had videos on categories he is establishing, which so far are Game Concepts (dark blue on his thumbnails), Design Specifics (green on his thumbnails), Planning & Game Design (yellow thumbnails), Game Essence (light blue thumbnails), Work Ethic (red thumbnails), and Grab Bag (pink thumbnails). I figure that he has to be surprised by how many people are interested in what he has to say, given this line from his first video:

Friday, September 2, 2022

Gross Grifter Grafaiai

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ew. You're telling me people like this thing?

Yesterday, a photographer published his findings of a new Paldean Pokémon named Grafaiai. It eats berries and then uses its middle finger covered in its own poisonous saliva to paint graffiti on trees (and this is how it claims territory), with the colour of the graffiti being based on the berries it just ate. There is then another, more traditional video showing Grafaiai. I suggest watching this video with the audio muted, because Grafaiai's cry is ear-splitting and uncomfortable.

Grafaiai is the Toxic Monkey Pokémon that is a Poison/Normal type—a new type combination, though it's basically a worse Poison type that trades a Fighting resistance for a Ghost immunity, which I don't think is a good trade. It has the Unburden ability, or it could have the Poison Touch ability. It's allegedly nocturnal, though the video above is clearly in daylight and it's not sleeping. Also in that video, when it spits out poison, it can turn invisible mid-air before harming its victim. (Alternatively, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet have bad move animations.) It's apparently based on the aye-aye, an animal native to Madagascar that has a threatened conservation status that I've never heard of. While the aye-aye is an ugly creature, it's not as ugly as Grafaiai is:

Thursday, September 1, 2022

KoopaTV's August 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the beginning of the end of the year.

Summer isn't actually my favourite season, but I always like the idea of a portion of my friends and readers no longer being bound to daily schooling duties. (Doesn't affect employed people... unless they're teachers or something.) I know that a lot of people (LIKE IN EUROPE) go on vacation for massive amounts of the summer. Is keeping up with KoopaTV part of that vacation routine? Maybe, maybe not. ...I think it's mostly not. But, hey, that's a reason why we have these monthly newsletters reviewing the previous month. Maybe you'll get inspired to catch up in more detail than what's covered here.

I do have several stories in this newsletter, so let's dive into it and remember the last full month of summer. (Though it's still summer for several more weeks in September.)

FeedBurner email subscriptions FINALLY stopped

Despite Google's declaration that the FeedBurner email subscription service would be discontinued after July 2021, anyone who has subscribed to receive KoopaTV articles directly to their email inbox through that kept getting emails. I'd know, since I'm on my own list. After several months of emails continued to be sent, I concluded that Google just forgot to turn it off and ended it at that.

The last automated email I ever got from them was July 24, 2022, featuring my article about the LIVE A LIVE demo and its release. And that's it. So I guess it's finally over.

KoopaTV's new official email subscription method is with subscribe by clicking here. I'm using the free version of it, so it's a bit inferior than what FeedBurner provided. But I asked y'all if it's worth paying for additional and customisable features, and the answer I got was no.

Top Four Recommended Experiences of August 2022

What's that? Four? Well, it's only fair. There was a whole vacation break week in the second week of August 2022, so going from five featured articles to four featured articles when there were 20 to 25% less articles is proportionate. Though this was a tough list to make, so I could easily fit five articles here: