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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Deep Cut's Deep Roots (new interview with Shiver, Frye, and Big Man!)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Backstory!

Yeah, it seems like there is a fairly substantial contingent of dedicated Big Man fans. But what do we really know about the Deep Cut crew representing the Splatlands in Splatoon 3? Story Mode didn't really go into as much detail about them as other idols, and their Anarchy Splatcast dialogue is quite limited compared to the newscasts in Splatoon and Splatoon 2 that developed those idols’ personalities. Now that Nintendo is able to recognise which idol is which, it's really time to make each one stand out and develop them.

One way to do that is to hold an interview with all of Deep Cut at once. It's fairly standard for music-based media outlets, like magazines, to try to snag interviews with a whole band, and that's what happened.

Unknown to the interviewer, the three of Shiver, Frye, and Big Man weren't all friends when growing up. They became more close in middle school—or Frye and Shiver, specifically. (This means that, whenever they were in middle school, described as a few years later, Inkling [Frye] and Octoling [Shiver] societies were already integrated.) Frye was a wild child into dancing and eels while Shiver tried to be the more responsible friend. They both loved music and singing, especially the Calamari Inkantation. They decided they wanted to develop that singing and get some music to accompany it, and they had heard Big Man was good with the piano and approached the manta ray. (Though he was scared of the Inkling and Octoling at first.)

Monday, January 30, 2023

E3 2023 Allegedly Won't Have Nintendo or Microsoft (or Sony)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I have some doubts on the truthfulness of the reporting.

If videogame media outlet IGN is to be believed (and I have some justified history of not doing so), none of the big three console manufacturers will be at E3 2023, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo taking place in 2023: No Sony (no surprise), no Nintendo, and no Microsoft. So when I live-reacted last week that Microsoft would show more of The Elder Scrolls Online at E3 2023... guess not.

Let's back up slightly: E3 2023 is being managed by ReedPop after winning a contract from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which is better at lobbying than managing big conferences. E3 2023 is scheduled to occur starting at June 13 and ending June 16, 2023. The first two of those days are for business conferences and meetings, and the second two of those days are for customers to come and try things out on the show floor. ReedPop is best known for running many over conventions, including the PAX series. (Note: Nintendo nor PAX East have announced anything more about the Splatoon 3 North American Championship 2023 tournament.)

While we have the dates down for E3 2023 (and I've cleared my calendar of everything to dedicate my time to it... though I don't plan to physically attend in Los Angeles, given what happened last time I tried that), specific details haven't been revealed, including what'll happen at the event and what companies will be presenting. But according to IGN and their anonymous “multiple knowledgeable sources”, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all will have no “part” or “presence on the Los Angeles Convention Center showfloor.” This is despite Microsoft already confirming that they will have a showcase in Los Angeles in the summer. This is despite Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in an earlier IGN interview just last week saying,

Friday, January 27, 2023

Today, I Played GoldenEye 007 for the First Time Ever

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yeah, this COULD'VE changed my life... 25 years ago.

I had a Nintendo 64 and several games for it. But until today, I've never played GoldenEye 007. GoldenEye 007 and the many millions of people who have played it went on to become fans of other console first-person shooter (FPS) games—before GoldenEye 007 made the genre popular, first-person shooters were the domain of PC gamers. To this day, FPSs are among my least favourite game type. Maybe if I played GoldenEye 007 back then when I was much younger and more impressionable, my current life would be entirely different. Some call that the butterfly effect.

Anyway, the fact remains that I'm playing GoldenEye 007 for the first time not on the Nintendo 64, but on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack emulation that became available today. (It's also available on Xbox Series, though that version lacks online multiplayer for some reason.) I played exclusively on Agent difficulty, the lowest one. I mean, I hardly know what I'm doing. But I figured out the controls, which don't really feel good and I'm not sure what the right-stick (C buttons) really are used for. If I want to move, use the left stick. If I want to move my reticle, hold down the R button and move. Normal first-person shooters nowadays have dual-stick controls (which the right-stick doesn't provide), but on Agent difficulty, you don't need those. You can just use the automatic weapons the Soviets drop and pwn them.

My biggest issue was discovering that if I ever get stuck in a level, use the B button to interact with the environment. (This also reloads the gun you're holding.) This does things like open doors that seem sealed. Some doors are actually sealed but can be opened by doing other things, like interacting with computers or finding a key. ...Or shooting the padlock on a gate. That got me to the second level, Facility, which features this unexpectedly impressive song:

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Emblem Micaiah Now a Nintendo Switch Icon Element

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You have until February 2, 20:00 Eastern to get her!

One very nice thing about both being a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber and Fire Emblem Engage releasing is that Nintendo is releasing icon elements of the characters in Fire Emblem Engage, and that includes the Emblem characters from prior Fire Emblem games that would otherwise never be on a Nintendo Switch profile picture. Behold!

Micaiah Fire Emblem Engage icon element got it January 26 2023
...I'm right that Micaiah looks weird with purple eyes compared to her normal gold eyes.

It's no secret I like Micaiah from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which is in contention to be my favourite Fire Emblem game (versus its prequel, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance) and it's indisputably my favourite game on the Wii. She's the top woman I'd rather have as United States president than Hillary Clinton. I wrote a whole article bemoaning about how Radiant Dawn never gave her any Authority Stars, which is apparently a game mechanic not many people playing the game even knew was there.

...Not everyone in the fanbase shares my liking for Lady Micaiah, and just statistically, the majority of people playing Fire Emblem Engage have never played Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Perhaps people won't appreciate her. But for those that do, you have a week since this is published to get her icon element. Once she's gone, she's gone. Not...forever, since around the new year Nintendo had previous icon elements available throughout 2022 up for a day each, but that's extremely easy to miss. Now is the best time! But you need to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber.

Nintendo Switch Online membership Micaiah Ludwig Von Koopa profile icon element
Yes, I actually switched to Micaiah instead of myself, despite what a struggle it was to get an icon element of me.
I think I'll only do this for a week until she no longer becomes available. GOTTA RAISE AWARENESS.

The more Ludwig looks at Micaiah's Fire Emblem Engage artwork, or any Fire Emblem Engage artwork, the less Fire Emblem engaged he gets and the more Fire Emblem enraged he gets, because all of the faces looking like that is really loathsome. It's still way better than the butchering that Fire Emblem: Awakening did to her artwork, which remains unforgivable to this day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Xbox Developer_Direct January 25, 2023 Live Reaction

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's react about the games, not the (borrowed but effective) format.

From what I've been reading, not many people knew that Microsoft had an Xbox “Developer_Direct” (the underscore is canon and it bothers me) today, which is a brand new format of showcasing upcoming videogames. Unlike, say, their direct competitor that they directly copied this Direct format from, Microsoft actually announced this event two WEEKS in advance, as opposed to something like two days in advance. (And I appreciate that more than what their competitor does because this let me plan to have free, uninterrupted time at the timeslot it premiered. ...Even if I was hungry.)

They're excited for their 2023 and want everyone to know about it. Good for them. But will I be interested in what they have to say? Join me in my live reaction log of the five games they have to show. I have commentary and a screenshot for all five!

[3:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[3:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: XBOX DEVELOPER_DIRECT
[3:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: And I'm just now realising this has the same countdown sequence as those Pokémon Presents YouTube livestreams.
[3:01 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Therefore, I conclude these countdown sequences are created by YouTube, not by the brand.
[3:02 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: The YouTube-developed countdown has now transitioned to an Xbox-developed one-minute countdown.
[3:04 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: The actual thing has a bunch of people.
[3:04 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: "5 Big Games"
[3:04 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Starting with Mojang Studios.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! is a Remake (and released)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's a few changes, but it's mostly to get it on a new platform.

Earlier this month, I wrote an article titled, What's Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!?. (I like how those three forms of ending punctuation are represented there in a row, and it makes grammatical sense.) Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! had just been announced by GAME FREAK then, and it's been released now—exclusive on Apple's subscription-based Apple Arcade service. Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! may very well be the best game available on that platform.

This isn't a review—despite Apple Arcade having a one-month free trial, and the existence of promotions that extend that into several months—I own no devices in Apple's ecosystem, and Apple Arcade is exclusive to those devices. I'm not planning to enter that, either, especially not for a remake of a game that I already have and enjoy on the 3DS. Allegedly, the game's performance on Apple Arcade will determine if GAME FREAK will work on developing Pocket Card Jockey on the Nintendo Switch, so unfortunately, I can't help to make that happen.

There is a whole story about how the mobile versions of the original Pocket Card Jockey (which were a Japan thing) sucked, mostly because they made the game into a free-to-play piece of garbage and Pocket Card Jockey really isn't fun in that format. But with Apple Arcade—and this is one of the good things I noted about it since it was announced in 2019 (and then I never wrote about it again)—developers can release games for mobile without having to compete in a zero-price environment (making revenue through more nefarious means).

Monday, January 23, 2023

My Sephiroth amiibo arrived! Photos inside!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - He's so... cool!

On January 13, 2023, Nintendo released the amiibo for Sephiroth and Kazuya Mishima Wins. I don't care about the latter: It's Sephiroth I'm after. So I ordered his amiibo from Amazon, and even though they said it'd be delivered the first week of February, I just received it over the weekend. I now have a Sephiroth amiibo! He's really cool, and contrary to an image someone showed me to dissuade me from buying a Sephiroth amiibo, his face doesn't look horrible. Looks normal! And just like his official artwork, he has one wing.

Sephiroth amiibo face eyes close-up real photo picture
Sephiroth looks fine. Dazzingly handsome, even.

Not only does Sephiroth ooze cool, he can be used as a Figure Player (or FP) in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! Now, he's not a world-destroyer right away... not for a long time, in fact. Not by publishing this article, either. He's been nothing but humiliated for a while, in fact. I even edge-guarded him with Little Mac (and I don't mean my amiibo Little Mac), which given how Sephiroth's recovery works, I wouldn't recommend doing in a real fight.

Sephiroth Figure Player FP amiibo menu screen Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
I nicknamed my Sephiroth amiibo Sephiroth, because getting him feels like catching a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon, and I never nickname those.
Note Sephiroth's lack of a wing as a Figure Player in this Super Smash Bros. Ultimate screen.

Anyway, I'm happy. If you want your own Sephiroth amiibo, they're sold out in many places. (Kazuya Mishima Wins is in greater stock.) So... maybe that'll change with greater supply in the future. Here's some more pictures in a collage:

Friday, January 20, 2023

Fire Emblem Engage Released (and some hesitation...)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Waiting for the honeymoon to wear off and see what people think.

When I last wrote about Fire Emblem Engage two months ago based on then-recent trailers showing its story and gameplay, my first impressions was that the gameplay could be interesting with the Emblem Rings, but the story and characters were off-putting and low-quality, with the game relying on bringing back the franchise's past successes (and...some failures) to appeal there, rather than develop the game's own cast of characters to be beloved. And based on very initial feedback of its release-day players (and the game is out today exclusively for the Nintendo Switch) and the opinions of unqualified dimwits (so-called professional videogame journalist reviewers), it seems like I was onto something back then.

Here's the release day trailer, which is pretty whatever:

I have more insightful release materials to examine: the three-part Ask the Developer series on Nintendo's website, interviewing key players from Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems. I'll give my thoughts on what they have to say for this article and what makes me... hesitant.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

CAPCOM Lunar New Year Sale 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Rabbits! ...And Rabbids?

Last year, at the end of January 2022, many videogame companies put their videogame catalogues on sale to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year 2022 was dedicated to tigers... and in 2023, it's dedicated to rabbits. Somewhat fittingly for a game somewhat based on rabbits, one of the companies that has put their games on sale is Ubisoft, and you can purchase the normal version of MARIO + RABBIDS SPARKS OF HOPE, which just came out three months ago, for 25% off. This is the same Sparks of Hope that failed Ubisoft's hopes of a strong holiday quarter in 2022, and the game underperformed in sales, as did JUST DANCE 2023—likely why JUST DANCE 2023 was at the top of Nintendo of America's fitness game list for 2023, because perhaps Ubisoft asked them to do that and try to promote the game. (You should instead listen to Nintendo of Europe and get Ring Fit Adventure, even though that is currently at full price while JUST DANCE 2023 is at a whopping 50% off until February 3, 02:59 Eastern.)

Anyway, let's get to CAPCOM:

CAPCOM Lunar New Year Sale 2023 Nintendo eShop Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney games
All of the CAPCOM games cease being on sale on February 2, 2023 at 02:59 Eastern. Note that's a day sooner than Ubisoft's.
Better remember to look at these and not forget amidst your Lunar New Year celebrations.

If you get, say, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles at 37% off (or $25)—or Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection for 41% off (or $35), which includes both The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles AND Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, you can enjoy the subject of the winner of the Best KoopaTV Article of 2022 award. In that write-up, I mentioned that this game is on sale all of the time, and here we are, ten days later and it's on sale.

As for those games on the 3DS, even though you cannot add funds directly from the Nintendo 3DS, you can still add funds through your Nintendo Switch and those funds will be connected to your 3DS wallet, assuming they have the same Nintendo Account. You may also go and download the games from and be able to add funds that way. Each of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice are $5, which is a tremendous bargain.

If it has Ace Attorney in the name, it's great. The highest-quality adventure game franchise available. You'll laugh. You might cry. You'll enjoy great music, great stories, and great characters, all while putting your brain to use trying to solve cases, cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence implicating the true killer. You'll have a great time. That's a KoopaTV guarantee!

Ludwig PROBABLY won't write about rabbits throughout the Year of the Rabbit, so... what are your favourite rabbits in videogames? For the purposes of the Zodiac, do hares and bunnies count as rabbits? Because then Ludwig would pick Hariet Broodal. Bonny de Famme from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice ought to count as an honourable mention, though Ludwig prefers Betty.

The last CAPCOM sale was a month ago for the winter holidays of 2022.
The next CAPCOM sale is in March 2023... the biggest discounts to date, because after the sale ends, there is no more 3DS eShop.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Return of Egg Catcher: Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This seems like a return worth doing.

In about five weeks, Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe will release on the Nintendo Switch for $60. That's $10 more than what Kirby's Return to Dream Land sold at over a decade ago on the Wii, and $40 more than what it normally sold at when Kirby's Return to Dream Land was ported to the Wii U's Nintendo eShop. Yet despite its availability and positive reception, I never got it. That makes this return to the return appealing to me.

For the past month or so, I've secretly been obsessed with the Egg Catcher sub-game from Kirby's Adventure. It was by far the best of the three sub-games there. And I'm pleased that Nintendo has announced that one of the many NEW features to Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe is Merry Magoland, a super-charged collection of sub-games in a park ran by Magolor that features stamps and its own series-referencing souvenir shop. While the original only has two sub-games, the deluxe version has... TEN! And most of these are returning from previous games in the series that I may or may not have played. But among the returning crew is... EGG CATCHER!

How does this compare to Egg Catcher from Kirby's Adventure, which unlike many other sub-games in the series, has never been in another game besides Kirby's Adventure, not even Kirby's Adventure's own remake, Kirby Nightmare in Dream Land? Take a look at my own footage and a way to very quickly play Egg Catcher on your own Nintendo Switch right now:

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

That 15-Minute Sonic Frontiers Demo Sucked

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I came to this conclusion after giving it two chances.

Recently (and there was a sale attached to it that has since expired), Sonic Frontiers has gotten a demo! That's about two months after it released. Given that the game was put on 35% off just two weeks or so after its release, I'm lead to believe that the game has bombed SEGA's sales expectations. Surely, if the game is any good, this new, free demo will put it in a good light?

Sonic Frontiers Demo Time Limit 15 minutes warning
Nope, this is guaranteed to be a bad demo.

I've learned from the online instruction manual that “cyber-Rosalina” is named Sage, which is... quite a generic name. Whatever story contained in the two or so cutscenes at the start of the game is nonsense and doesn't even satisfy being an excuse plot. The game has put a big emphasis on freedom and exploration since it was first revealed.

But fifteen minutes? You can't explore much in that time. The first time I played the demo, it wasn't even done giving me tutorials. The game starts you in a Cyber Space level where you can (and I did) accidentally skip very important tutorial notices just by zooming past them at the speed of sound, like that you can Homing Attack onto environmental objects to interact with them. That's a major part of the gameplay. Having missed that, I tried the demo a second time for another fifteen minutes.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Splatoon 3's Turf War and Anarchy Modes Aren't Luck-Based in a Tournament Setting

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There is a lot of RNG to get to the point of combat, but the actual matches are very skill-based.

While I was moderating the Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown Event 2—a tournament you can learn more about here—I was watching the top four of the event and also reading the live chat as it came in. (I recently got promoted to Community Moderator in the Nintendo of America-sponsored Discord server run by eSports platform Battlefy) While the live chat replay is no longer available on the overall event replay available on Nintendo of America's YouTube channel, I can tell you that there was one comment that stuck with me. It really shouldn't, because it was made by an idiot troll, but nonetheless, this guy claimed that the tournament and Splatoon 3 are entirely luck-based affairs, so there's no point in watching the action.

Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown Event 2 January 2023 Top 4 bracket Crush Soda Sayonara Ascension Last Resort
Splatoon 3, the luck-based game where the same top teams win every time?
(Starburst and Destiny Bond weren't here because they already won Event 1 in December.)
...No, that intuitively doesn't make sense.

This is factually incorrect, but it did get me thinking about how much of Splatoon 3 gameplay in a tournament like the Splatoon 3 Splatsville Showdown was RNG-based. After all, I did recently write that doing very well in December 2022's Big Run event was quite luck-based, and Salmon Run as a whole is substantially more luck-based than Turf War or the Ranked Battle modes. So does that random troll have any validity to his statements?

Friday, January 13, 2023

Trying Nintendo of Europe's Ring Fit Adventure Custom Fitness List

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is way more like it. Let's exercise to that!

Last week, I wrote about the scandals surrounding Nintendo (of America) releasing an article about getting moving and energetic with a certain list of videogames. This list went out of its way to omit Ring Fit Adventure (a prior version of the list in 2021, which served as the first draft of the 2023 list, included Ring Fit Adventure).

I'm very pleased that Nintendo (of Europe) listened to the message of my article that was critical of their American counterpart, and this week, they published this article: “Kick-start the year and get moving with Nintendo Switch Sports and Ring Fit Adventure”. This article went into significantly more depth about getting active with only those two games, Nintendo Switch Sports and Ring Fit Adventure. Nintendo correctly identified Ring Fit Adventure as the “more intensive” and “full-body” option, and also advocated for people to try out the Overhead Press, the Wide Squat, the Leg Raise, and the Mountain Climber exercises.

It's very good that Nintendo (in Europe, anyways) continues to advertise and promote Ring Fit Adventure, which is still a fantastic Japanese roleplaying game controlled with actual, physical fitness exercises and movements. While the game doesn't appear to be on sale at this moment in Europe, it somehow was on sale in select retailers last week while Nintendo (of America) refused to promote it. I managed to convince fellow KoopaTV staffer Witch Princess to buy Ring Fit Adventure at one of those select retailers. She hasn't played it yet because she's had a bad hip, and I know from experience that exercising—and you should consider playing Ring Fit Adventure to be exercise—with a bad hip is a bad idea.

But since she won't, I will. I'll play in Custom Mode with the four exercises, in that order, that Nintendo of Europe suggested in their article!

Thursday, January 12, 2023

BDSP and Legends Arceus Removed From Pokémon HOME Website

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...And it's... publicly unannounced that it's gone? What about the features?

What with The Pokémon Company International obsessing over the fact that with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Scarlet's release, there are now 1,008 Pokémon (which, they note, is over 1,000—and they are particularly enthusiastic to talk about how Gholdengo, the evolution of Gimmighoul, is the 1,000th Pokémon in the National Dex), you may wonder if you're able to get all of those Pokémon in one game. The answer is you cannot, at least not at this time.

Pokémon Poké Ball did you catch 'em all 1008
I have not.

However, you are able to catch every Pokémon across multiple games. If you don't try to connect them, it's fine. But if you do want to do that... you're going to run into issues. Still, The Pokémon Company has recognised the importance of being able to have continuity in your Pokémon journeys, and so they invented Pokémon HOME. With Pokémon HOME (combined with the previous generation's Pokémon Bank), you'll be able to keep transferring Pokémon from every generation up to this point and keep them housed and able to be moved to HOME and then from HOME into the latest mainline titles (if they're coded into the game). But at least HOME can be that central place.

This makes information about Pokémon HOME highly anticipated and also very sensitive among the Pokémon fanbase, which is why KoopaTV is concerned that the very marketed Pokémon HOME compatibility with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, and Pokémon Shining Pearl has been completely hidden from the official Pokémon HOME website. That means the Pokémon HOME website no longer contains a “Shinning Pearl” typo... because you won't find anything referencing a Sinnoh-region (Hisui included) title on that site anymore.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Xbox Full Shutdown versus “carbon-aware” Shutdown (energy saving)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Turn it off! Fully!

Ever the innovator in hardware and operating system design (and having to acquire other companies to cover the software part of a gaming system), Microsoft today has announced that the Xbox is the “first carbon aware console” with an update coming soon to every Xbox Series and Xbox One console connected to the Internet. Microsoft has a goal of becoming a “carbon negative” company by 2030, which isn't very difficult for the company...except for the hardware division that actually has to manufacture stuff. However, it seems like Microsoft wants to claim carbon reductions based on having its users use less electricity (and remember that electricity requires carbon emissions to produce... at varying amounts depending on how the electricity is being produced, which we'll get into later).

The innovation is that, much like the Windows 11 operating system (my computer is ineligible for an upgrade to that, so I wouldn't know from personal experience), your Xbox can now become “carbon aware” when downloading games and updates. That means your Xbox will look up something like Electricity Maps in your area, and if there is data available (unfortunately, data is unavailable in KoopaTV's rented Earth office in Sierra Leone, or most of Africa for that matter), your Xbox will time these energy-intensive downloads for when the carbon intensity is lowest.

For example, since we can't use Sierra Leone, let's use Georgia (of the Southern United States), another place special to KoopaTV.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Kirby Air Ride Game Concept, as explained by Masahiro Sakurai

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Did we learn anything interesting?

At the start of this week, Masahiro Sakurai released his long-awaited Kirby Air Ride Game Concepts video. But the week before, he actually gave a preview of it with his Deconstruct, Analyze, and Rebuild video. Kirby Air Ride is name-dropped starting around 2:22, where he describes the thought process behind Kirby Air Ride as analysing the driving experience in videogames. Masahiro Sakurai wanted to focus on drifting around curves as an inherently fun game mechanic and experience, and wondering how to unlock the game essence in that experience and make drifting even more fun. He came up with charging during a curve and rewarding drifters with a speed burst after they successfully drifted. (And he referenced the one-button experience.)

Masahiro Sakurai briefly reviews the above in his dedicated Kirby Air Ride video, but he also goes into quite a bit of development history as well. (Of course, development history shouldn't be considered “game concept” for the purposes of learning how to be a good game developer and analysing the essence of games!)

Since I found the preceding game concept video on Super Smash Bros. Melee to be disappointing, let's go in-depth on this Kirby Air Ride video.

Monday, January 9, 2023

KoopaTV's GOTY 2022 Awards!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Game of THAT Year 2022...and other categories.

After some debate among the staffers (or me trying to do a mixture of compromising or forcing my way, depending on how strongly I feel about a given category when we get three-way or four-way ties...which was often. It's not a fair process, but I'm hoping no one complains), KoopaTV is proud to present you the winners of our Game of THAT Year 2022 award! ...But not just GOTY, but many other categories as well. Check out the full list of 2022 (year) nominees and categories in this article. Both for videogames, as well as for KoopaTV's own published content. ...And most of the categories are for KoopaTV's content. I likely spent more time writing about games this year than actually playing them, and that ought to be recognised, since both games and KoopaTV articles are ART. (Remember, it takes far more time to write an article than to read one.)

With all of that said, let's get to the winners. Note that for the games, there... COULD be spoilers, depending on how you look at it. And the articles will be spoiled if you haven't read them yet:

Friday, January 6, 2023

KoopaTV's 2022 GOTY Nominations!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And other categories.

The following nominations weren't decided or talked about in our Koopa Keep Discord server, but maybe the actual award winners will be. Behold! (See the bottom of this article for the link to the actual AWARDS once it's late-night Monday, January 9, 2023.)

To be eligible, those running had to have started their existence in the United States of America from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

And just so you remember, GOTY stands for “Game of THAT Year”. That's the KoopaTV touch. Speaking of which, there is a brand-new category time in the gaming awards section. It's the second one.

But yeah, this isn't just about gaming, but also ourselves. ‘cause KoopaTV is art to be recognised and applauded, too. The Best Interview award came back, because there was enough of those published in 2022 to make a category of them again.

KoopaTV Game of THAT Year 2022 nominations
This article is such a rehash of the 2021 one
that I just took the first 20, and copy-pasted the first 2 twice to make a 2022!

Videogame-related Awards for 2022

Best New Character

  • Mio (Xenoblade Chronicles 3)
  • Clawroline (Kirby and the Forgotten Land)
  • The cat (Stray)
  • Frye (Splatoon 3)
  • Lionel Khapita (Triangle Strategy)
  • Larry (Pokémon Scarlet/Pokémon Violet)
  • Lamb (Cult of the Lamb)

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Which Music Plays in Which Alterna Kettle in Splatoon 3

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is important and undocumented information!

It is a common view in the Splatoon fanbase that the music of Splatoon 3 is great—but the music that plays during online multiplayer matches is limited in quantity, which is said to increase in later seasons. However, much of the best music isn't in online multiplayer—it's in Splatoon 3's single-player mode, Alterna.

There are 11 standard pieces of background music across the 63 normal missions (10 + 8 + 7 + 12 + 13 + 12 + 1). This excludes the four Crater missions (which all share the same background music), the Crater's boss, the three boss fights (which all share music), and the final levels leading to the final boss. These missions are divided into gold and silver kettles. Silver kettles require an entrance fee of a certain amount of Power Eggs (earned by completing kettles, slaying enemies, and collecting things in levels), while gold kettles do not. There is one exception, which is the post-story level After Alterna. After Alterna is accessed via a gold kettle, but it also has an entrance fee. (The biggest one by a wide margin!)

Because of how the mode is structured, you do not need to complete every mission to get to the end of the game—simply enough to clear mission-critical paths to the three bosses. Not purposefully doing every kettle means you will miss out on some great game design. You may also miss out on great music!

This article sorts the missions by the background music that plays during them, so you can see which mission you can hear each music in. (The music is also embedded.) This also lets you know how well each track is distributed across all of the missions. I quickly figured out the gold/silver kettle distinction means that songs 1–4 only play in gold kettles, while 5–11 only play in silver kettles. I didn't know that! Only song 4 is named, despite the increased focus on world-building and such in Splatoon 3. Perhaps we'll know the official names of these songs later. Most of the other songs in the game are named, because they're played by bands that want you to know the names.

Update! As of Version 3.0.0, we now know the names of the songs thanks to the lobby's jukebox! Anyway, let's get through the list!

Alterna Music 01: Nine out of Tension (by Octoplush)

  1. Site 1-01 [gold]: Get to Know Alterna, Your Only Choice
  2. Site 2-02 [gold]: Absorbency and You
  3. Site 3-01 [gold]: Climbing the Corporate Splatter
  4. Site 4-02 [gold]: Octohoppers Don't Have a Sense of Humor (and They Hate Puns)!
  5. Site 5-03 [gold]: Uh-Oh! Too Many Snipers!
  6. Site 5-04 [gold]: Barriers! They've Got You Covered
  7. Site 6-03 [gold]: Torture Tour
  8. After Alterna (checkpoint 2)

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Nintendo Omits Ring Fit Adventure From Energetic Switch Game List While It's $25 Off

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Work out with the right game(s). That's Ring Fit Adventure, even if Nintendo won't tell you.

Plenty of people believe that just because the year number on the date goes up by one, that NOW is the time to start working out and having healthy habits. How does that make sense? It doesn't. But Nintendo of America is happy to use this widespread nonsensical trend to their advantage with this article titled, “Get moving with these energetic games” that promises a “New year, new you!” and that these games can help you get “a little more active” and “get moving.” These games include:
  1. Just Dance 2023 Edition
  2. Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
  3. Nintendo Switch Sports
  4. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  5. Jump Rope Challenge
  6. Mario Tennis Aces
  7. Zumba Burn It Up!
  8. ARMS
  9. Knockout Home Fitness
  11. Let's Get Fit

There are actually multiple scandals involved here. One of them is in the article title, but there are actually several more and it goes deeper than just omitting the most worthy game.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

What's Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A sequel? A remaster? I dunno, but here's some ideas.

Today, in unexpected but quite appreciated news, GAME FREAK announced that Pocket Card Jockey, their best game in the past 10 years, will be coming to Apple Arcade in a form called Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!.

What kind of game is this? Well, let's check out the 30-second trailer and the Apple Arcade page for it.

Monday, January 2, 2023

KoopaTV's December 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A quick month in a tiresome year.

I wasn't personally a big fan of 2022, though if I had to live through 2022 all over again to get Phoenix Wright in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I would.

Regardless, this newsletter is about reviewing December 2022, specifically. So far, I've been good at realising it's 2023. But December 2022 was also... mixed, like 2022 as a whole, and today I thought that January was actually an extension of December. With regards to KoopaTV content, however, it was great! But before we get into that, a personal update:

Coronavirus Status

If you missed it, I finally fell victim to the Chinese Communist Party Virus at the end of December. My symptoms have been reduced to coughing fits whenever I speak (and sometimes even if I'm quiet), and low energy and needing to take long naps and sleep. Sleep is good, however, but these coughs are rather disruptive. Now, moving onto the non-personal part of the newsletter:

Top Five Recommended Experiences of December 2022

This difficult-to-make list (because I only have five slots and there's more experiences I'd like to show off than five) is presented in chronological order within the month of December 2022. Check these out:
  1. Butch and Cassidy are Emotionally Insecure, Unlike the Rest of Team Rocket — I look at Butch and Cassidy's few lines of dialogue in Pokémon Puzzle League and how their coworkers, Jessie and James, view them... to come to a conclusion about the duo that not many other people have thought of.
  2. Ring Fit Adventure Game Gym Minigame Tier List — I discussed the twelve minigames in Ring Fit Adventure and ranked them from least to most favourite! First Ring Fit Adventure content since KoopaTV Fitness Friday ended in March 2022.
  3. The Potential of One Button, and the Square Enix Winter Sale 2022 Putting BALAN WONDERWORLD Last — Masahiro Sakurai's video about the potential of one button is just about one button, but it's (always) a good time to bash Yuji Naka's game design of BALAN WONDERWORLD for being one button and the control stick when it should've had more.
  4. Microsoft is Correct and FTC is Wrong on Activision-Blizzard Takeover — KoopaTV read through the formal documents from the Federal Trade Commission and the response from Microsoft as they fight on allowing Microsoft to acquire Activision-Blizzard-King... and comes to the conclusion the proposal is legal and pro-consumer.
  5. The Correct Choice in the Favourite Taste Sensation Splatfest — As of publishing, there's still time for you to choose a Splatfest team in Splatoon 3. This article convinces you that the right taste sensation to like the most is sweet.

You should also check out everything else published on KoopaTV, even if those things aren't on the above list. You won't regret it.