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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Splatoon 3 v. 4.0.0 & the Sizzle Season 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think it's overall underwhelming, but we'll see what Challenges are like.

Three months ago, Splatoon 3 entered version 3.0.0 and the Fresh Season 2023. It's now time for a new version and a new season:

Anarchy Splatcast New Sizzle Season 2023 May 31 to August 31
Between now and the end of August, there's a new season!

Up-front, the best update are the three songs from Yoko and the Gold Bazookas: Ska-Blam!, Three-Horn Circus, and Rockagilly Blues.

I think my favourite is Rockagilly Blues, but it's hard to say. I really like the genre! Anyway, the highlights in the 4.0.0 patch notes is that there is a new catalog, a new stage (Barnacle & Dime—which is awful and suffers from the problems that most of the new Splatoon 3 maps do about linearity and lack of flanking), a returning stage (Humpback Pump Track, which I've always liked), new weapons (including alternate versions and two totally new weapons, the S-Blast '92 and the Painbrush; the Painbrush is a pain to fight against), a new Salmon Run stage (Jammin' Salmon Junction), and new Tableturf Battle cards to go along with the new weapons.

I've tried to use the Tenta Sorella Brella which I'm thinking should be an upgrade from the normal Tenta Brella (Ink Mine over Squid Beakon and Trizooka over Ink Vac), but I haven't won a single match with it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Pokémon HOME 3.0.0—Connectivity with Scarlet and Violet is Here, BUT...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...The company seems rather quiet about it. Is Mudsdale blocking them?

After straining the definition of early 2023 and spring 2023, The Pokémon Company International announced on May 18 that connectivity between Pokémon HOME and Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet would finally be a thing on May 23. ...And then a day later, they reversed that to be sometime in the future. That's not just a social media goof-up, either: a whole article also reflected that. That same article at least acknowledged connectivity with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which TPCi had earlier wiped all mentions of from the Pokémon HOME website approximately around November 2022.

However, as of publishing, the connectivity is here (May 30, 2023), with many trainers all over connecting Pokémon HOME with the Paldean games, including Pokémon from the Hisui or Sinnoh-based games. Not every Pokémon is allowed to be transferred into Paldea at this moment, however. Consult a website like for the list.

But...there is something very strange about this situation, given how this article opened.

Monday, May 29, 2023

If Toadsworth IS Dead, Good Riddance to the Anti-Koopa Bigot

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is my idea of a Memorial Day article?

When was the last time you thought about Toadsworth? Toadsworth is (or was) Princess Peach's attendant, a very old chap who was first seen flying with Princess Peach (and that awful red-hatted plumber) to Isle Delfino.

Some people out there believe that Toadsworth is “probably dead.” According to Toadsworth, his lifespan decreases every time Princess Peach is kidnapped, so it's quite possible that he actually is dead by now. But I can't confirm that, since I haven't seen his corpse. He really hasn't shown up in any new event in a very long time, though. Not since the Pi'illo Island incident almost a decade ago. I don't miss him. In fact, he probably hates me, though I haven't met him personally. I think he has something against Koopas in general.

Take a look at the following chemistry table excerpt taken from Mario Superstar Baseball. If you're unaware, Mario Superstar Baseball has a chemistry rating of 0 to 100 for each character for every other character. There is some gameplay application; you need 90 or more chemistry to have "good chemistry" (for faster fielding throws if you throw to a buddy, and stronger charged hits when your buddies are standing at the bases) and 15 or lower for "bad chemistry" (if you throw to an enemy, the ball may be mis-thrown; there is no batting consequence). That means chemistry values between 16 and 89 are superfluous, but they exist anyway. chemistry also matters in team formation when determining the number of Team Stars your team begins with, but that only matters in relation to your captain character and how the team members relate to your specific captain; so it's still superfluous for everything else.

The embedded Copy of Chemistry tab excludes Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Monty Mole, Birdo, Pianta, Noki, and Dixie Kong, since they aren't very relevant to Mushroom Kingdom-Koopa Kingdom relations. (Though if you're interested, Toadsworth's chemistry with them are 63, 62, 24, 23, 51, 69, 72, 73, and 61, respectively.) If you want the full table, go here.

Friday, May 26, 2023

The Super Mario Advance Releases are the Superior Versions of Those Games

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Same applies for the Donkey Kong Country Game Boy Advance games, though those aren't in the news.

This week, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers (and associated Family Group free-riders) now have access to Super Mario Advance, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, and Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3. This is on top of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 being available since Game Boy Advance titles have been available since three months ago.

Fundamentally, this is the third time you can play Super Mario Bros. 2 across Nintendo Switch Online emulators. The first is on NES as Super Mario Bros. 2, the second is on SNES as part of Super Mario All-Stars, and now here is the third as Super Mario Advance on the GBA. Super Mario Advance is undoubtedly the best version of it, and it is also the greatest-changed of all four Super Mario Advance titles.

All of the Super Mario Advance games have improved sound effects and voice effects, and there is better spritework put into them. (But not that much better—my sprites are still bad, for example) Super Mario Advance now has five Ace Coins scattered in all twenty of its levels, meaning there are one-hundred collectible Ace Coins. This greatly benefits the timer-less exploration experience that differentiates Super Mario Bros. 2 from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, and brings Super Mario Bros. 2 closer to the masterpiece exploration sidescroller experience of Yoshi's Island (or Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3). It also disincentivises skipping parts of some levels with Luigi's massive Jump stat by bringing alternate reasons to play besides level completion—collection.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Can't Shake Off FOAMSTARS's Splatoon Vibe, BUT...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Is it really still “fresh”?

There was a very memorable game from yesterday's PlayStation Showcase 2023 that is worth talking about in further detail, and it's not Spider-Man 2. It is FOAMSTARS by SQUARE ENIX, described as “the fresh new 4v4 online party shooter” releasing for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 at an undetermined date. You will use...
“foam to build terrain, creating slippery surfaces to surf around the arena at high speed, help defend from enemy attacks, or create vantage points to take out opponents. And most importantly, to foam up the opposition! Join the foam-blasting frenzy!

Initially, I thought it was just Splatoon-esque in aesthetic right when it was just in the cutscene part with the diving and shooting and having a cute female-lead main character, but then it very quickly became Splatoon-esque in everything else, too. Like sound effects, weapons and how you navigate. I mean, you could also describe Splatoon as a “fresh new 4v4 online party shooter”, and that's pretty much how Nintendo themselves described the first Splatoon on the Wii U. (Nevermind that Sony's also-announced “Project Q” that streams from your PlayStation 5 to a handheld device is also similar to a Wii U.) I will say that FOAMSTARS looks like a much more inspired Splatoon knock-off that already appears to have more effort into it than Sepia Go! was.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

PlayStation Showcase 2023 | KoopaTV Live Reaction

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They either lied to regulators or they suck. Let's see which.

It isn't quite June yet, but I suppose it is close enough for big mid-year videogame announcement streams. First up, it is Sony Interactive Entertainmentnot with a mere State of Play, but with a grandiose SHOWCASE for the whole year.

The only KoopaTV staff member present during this live reaction log is myself, but I'm all you need. Let's start:

[3:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:

[3:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Apparently, this is going to be OVER AN HOUR long, so I might not know what I'm getting myself into.

[4:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: According to Sony's testimony to regulators, they don't have any games worth playing and they are dependent on Call of Duty to make sales. Let's see if that's actually true.

[4:01 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: STAY TUNED

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Ash Ketchum Failed His Torterra as a Pokémon Trainer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - He definitely wasn't Pokémon Master material. (And still isn't.)

After waiting for most of World Turtle Day 2023 for The Pokémon Company International to do something for the special day, it really does seem like they went and celebrated World Turtle Day a whole month early in honour of Terapagos and its little buddy. Whatever, KoopaTV will still stick to what the calendar says, since World Turtle Day is very special, in honour of turtles, tortoises, and Koopas everywhere.

Turtles, despite their natural protection on their backs, are also common targets for harm. Mario has a big role to play in that. But for World Turtle Day 2023, I'm going to write about a different world like I said I would a month ago: The Pokémon world, and specifically Ash Ketchum's Torterra (once a Turtwig). His Torterra, as a Grotle and Torterra, were notoriously mishandled by the twerp, and I have a lot of issues with it.

If you observe Ash's usual battle style, he really likes trying to overpower his opponents with speed, momentum, and the occasional clever novel use of the environment or his Pokémon's sometimes overlooked traits. His Turtwig was notable for being able to run around, especially inspired by Gardenia's even faster Turtwig. But when his Turtwig evolved into Grotle in Aiding the Enemy, Grotle could no longer run around, and Ash was completely ignorant as to why. Ash failed to adapt his battling style to fit the reality of his newly evolved Pokémon and its different physical characteristics.

Brock Aiding the Enemy Pokémon anime Turtle evolves into Grotle body ten times heavier
The average weight of a Turtwig is 22.5 pounds.
The average weight of a Grotle is 213.8 pounds, or 9.5 times heavier.
(Technically, Grotle has five base speed faster than Turtwig.
It's also notable that Turtwig's 31 base speed makes it the slowest starter Pokémon; that 31 is also the lowest base stat out of any starter Pokémon for any stat.)

Monday, May 22, 2023

IQ Bell Curve, Ukraine, Russia, and World Peace

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Why Miss USA and Donald Trump know better than FAKE NEWS CNN and the military-industrial complex.

On May 10, 2023, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went on FAKE NEWS CNN for a wide-ranging town hall with favourable voters in New Hampshire, moderated by combative CNN employee Kaitlan Collins. There is a lot of chatter about things like the former President being indicted and arrested. But in terms of the substantive discussion I care about (especially as a foreign national), there is this five to six minute discussion about Ukraine, Russia, and the war between them and how Donald Trump would like for there to be a peace deal, which seems to really bother CNN's nasty, stupid, and rude Kaitlan Collins. (The embed below starts at the relevant point and stops when it stops being relevant.)

Whether or not Donald Trump is correct about being able to make peace in 24 hours isn't that important. What is important is his approach—similar to his theoretical approach between Israel and the Palestinian territory when he was a candidate in 2015 (see below). (His actual peace plan as president abandoned his own principles, which is likely because he had the wrong people working on it who didn't share his own values.) It's been a foolish and widely held stance in America's two main parties and its mainstream media that, since the United States of America is a global superpower, it can just dictate what it wants to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world will just obey and accept it and enjoy being dictated to. Rather than America making demands that are clearly one-sided, America would work best as a neutral power between the conflicting nations. Otherwise, why would both sides agree to sit down and negotiate?

For some years, many years ago, more members of the Democrat Party believed in being the peace party, while the Republican Party was more into military adventurism. Those roles have somewhat swapped, especially when Russia is involved in the conversation, because the Democrats have become completely deluded when it comes to the nation of Russia and its authoritarian ruler, Vladimir Putin. They're further deluded into believing their own debunked conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is a “Russian agent.” Ironically, that perception makes Donald Trump more qualified than any other American presidential candidate to be a neutral negotiator that would get Russia to the negotiating table. But while he wants to negotiate for peace, Democrats seem to believe risking a nuclear war with the end goal of regime change in Russia is their goal. They want Ukraine to “win” and Russia to “lose” and be severely punished for its aggressive posture. They want to look like a tough guy, punching the bully in the nose. That is a different goal than peace. Observe:

Friday, May 19, 2023

Single-Player Mode and Online Support: The Super Smash Bros. Brawl Game Concept

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I commentate about Masahiro Sakurai's look-back on Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

If Masahiro Sakurai declined Satoru Iwata bullying him into directing a Super Smash Bros. title for the Wii, Nintendo would have just ported Super Smash Bros. Melee and give it online play. Hm, perhaps that would've been a better outcome. In any case, since Masahiro Sakurai felt compelled to agree to Iwata's request, he made a new game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and so, we now get to learn the game concepts behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl per Sakurai's YouTube channel:

Twice in the video, Sakurai says he has stories to explain for another time (the job offer and the team composition, as well as how Super Smash Bros. might've been discontinued), so this shouldn't be the last we hear about Super Smash Bros. Brawl's development from Sakurai. Still, he described two of three things people mostly associate with Super Smash Bros. Brawl: It's the game with the most extensive single-player mode (Adventure Mode: Subspace Emissary) as well as the first Super Smash Bros. title with online multiplayer. The last thing people associate with the game is its very floaty and slow gameplay, which Sakurai also touches on. Let's talk about those things in the order the video does.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

European Commission Approves Microsoft Acquisition of Activision

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How does it feel to pass a hurdle only after you got a Game Over?

In a rare example of good news coming out of the European Union, the European Commission (EC) has approved of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard King. This follows how last month, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the deal. What does this mean? ...Well, unless Microsoft wants to just stop doing business in the UK, they still don't get to acquire Activision. Remember, the UK isn't part of the European Union anymore, so it's not like the EU actually has a say in what goes on in the UK. (Or vice-versa.) Though they both have a say in what Microsoft gets to do.

Like the CMA, the EC doesn't see a threat to the console market if Microsoft were to acquire Activision Blizzard King, and they believe that the likes of Call of Duty would still be available on the PlayStation (which is the market leader in Europe). Even if Call of Duty were to disappear, Sony has enough resources to be able to compete against that. I'm glad that they agree with me on this sensible point. The EC also acknowledges that Activision has no plans to make their games available on subscription or cloud services without Microsoft forcing them to (which could only happen if the acquisition went through), contrary to the CMA just fabricating said plan up to justify rejecting the deal.

Like the CMA, the EC did see trouble in the sky for the cloud game streaming service market, believing that Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard would make Microsoft too dominant a leader in this nascent market (that is, as of now, pretty much irrelevant). However, unlike the CMA, the EC accepted Microsoft's proposed remedy of making Activision games streamable on competing cloud service providers platforms, and that also means that competing cloud streaming service providers have that licence to offer those games. The CMA refused to consider this remedy for hysterical reasons over how it'd be implemented and regulated, but the EC was fine with it. The European Commission has agreed to supervise an independent person to monitor this, which the UK was too lazy to do (despite it being at Microsoft's expense). The EC also provided this confusing graphic of their own creation:

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Mighty Bowser VERSUS The Bootleg Bowser

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Imagine getting a bootleg for a gift.

In these tough economic times, maybe you can't afford to blow your organisational or personal budget on a $270 2,807-piece The Mighty Bowser LEGO set like KoopaTV's staff did; click this for our review of it. (Click here for the official set.) Your choices are then to find alternate ways of entertainment and challenge-tackling, or to turn to bootlegged versions of The Mighty Bowser. Fortunately (???), there are multiple options out there that are significantly cheaper.

Of course, since they're bootlegs, they might not be at the same quality or feature levels you'd get from buying the official $270 LEGO set. For example, no interaction with the LEGO Super Mario stuff. But maybe you just want Bowser. Perhaps this DG Dreams 1358-piece set for only $80 (currently 25% off at $60) would be of... interest? It's about the same size as the real The Mighty Bowser, and it comes with the stand with two towers. Here is a comparison of DG Dreams Bowser versus LEGO Bowser using official product photos:

You vs versus the guy she told you not to worry about meme LEGO Mighty Bowser Bootleg Bowser DG Dreams
Left: The Bootleg Bowser
Right: The Mighty Bowser

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Why Discord Removing Four-Digit Discriminators is Bad for Nintendo Switch Owners

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, it's bad for ME, at least. I don't know what to do!

Recently, Discord announced that they will change how Discord usernames will work. This will allegedly be rolling out soon. When is soon? “In the coming weeks” to be notified of when you can update your account, and then “the course of several months” to actually do it, with the earliest Discord adopters going first. I made a Discord account in 2017 because of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) ending. That means there are millions of people who've been using it before me, but that's still before the majority of its users. I haven't received any notification of when I'll be able to upgrade my username.

The gist of the change is that rather than having a name and then a number sign with four digits afterwards (which are randomly assigned among the four-digit numbers not already in use... unless you pay Discord to be able to change them) that allows for ten thousand people to have that same name, you'll just have one unique username. You send friend requests to that unique username, and you can also have a different display name (which doesn't have to be unique compared to literally every other Discord user) that shows up when you actually talk to people. This is generally how every other service works. Think like Nintendo Network IDs on Miiverse. My NNID was PrinceOfKoopas (I'm the only Nintendo Network ID holder named PrinceOfKoopas), but my display name was Ludwig (of which there were many posers).

Here is my problem: I use my Discord tag (Koopa#5969... for now!) as my Nintendo Switch profile name for the explicit purpose of getting random people I play online with to send me a Discord friend request. It actually works, because people recognise that a name with a number sign with four digits following it is a Discord username. It's distinct to Discord.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Nintendo's Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2023 Q&A Analysis!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They are most interested in the Switch's successor, as well as The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

After Nintendo announced how their financial results for their fiscal year that ended March 2023 went—which was pretty much as expected—they had to field questions from their stock analysts. And that means... I get to analyse their seven questions and Nintendo's (President Shuntaro Furukawa's) answers! You can read the translated question and answer session at this link. What follows are my thoughts, and this time, I think I've written some intelligent things (for what might not all be intelligent questions).

Question 1: What impact will The Super Mario Bros. Movie's success have on Nintendo's future IP expansion initiatives, including revenue projections?

Furukawa says he and Shigeru Miyamoto are pleased about the fans’ overall positive reception to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, including stories of super-fans who had watched it several times. Nintendo will report the revenues of the movie (which are in the NEXT fiscal year that ends March 2024, since the fiscal year just ended in March 2023, and the movie released in April), and Nintendo does see money from that along with Universal, but what they really see is the potential in people buying Nintendo Switch consoles and a bunch of Super Mario videogames as a result of watching and being excited around the movie. Maybe that's how New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has re-outsold Ring Fit Adventure.

Nintendo does plan to “pour [their] efforts into a variety of visual content”, and it seems like they are looking for other non-game opportunities to expand selective IP in, “with the goal of continually invigorating our core dedicated video game platform business.” Well, you know what could really use some re-invigorating and would be excellent fodder for movies? F-Zero and/or Punch-Out!!. But I think Nintendo wants to get the most bang for their movie investment buck, which means there needs to be several sellable items associated with a new thing they make a movie of. F-Zero and Punch-Out!! have zero, unless you really want to stretch and say people will pay for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play Punch-Out!! on the NES... or upgrade to an Expansion Pack to play F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64. But “several” means “more than one”...

On the Nintendo Switch Online bit, Nintendo IS observing and appreciates those numbers, citing a non-specific “slight rise in activity for classic Mario titles that can be played through Nintendo Switch Online.” And maybe THAT means that if you go and play Paper Mario right now on the Expansion Pack emulator, they'll count that as people wanting more Mario games, not people wanting more classic JRPG Paper Mario games. (See that comments section discussion on Nintendo Switch Online emulator telemetry.)

It turns out this isn't the last question on The Super Mario Bros. Movie, though:

Friday, May 12, 2023

Ten Years Completed of KoopaTV... but this anniversary is where it ends

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - An explanation of His Majesty's royal decree and what that means for KoopaTV.

Thank you, if you've been around KoopaTV for the ten years it has been established. Yes, KoopaTV launched on May 12, 2013. It's now May 12, 2023. I suppose it's unlikely anyone has been around since Day 1, but, eh, congrats if you've been close enough.

You may be wondering why KoopaTV has Round 50 (May 1 2023 to June 30 2023) of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program be its last round. That would be because KoopaTV will not continue after that point. I'll get into the reasons throughout this article, but essentially, it's because the big man that we even have this site for, King Bowser Koopa, no longer believes it is a good use of Koopa Kingdom's resources to continue to operate KoopaTV.

By the way, this is the real King Bowser Koopa. With real scales, not a Trojan cardboard fake (like the last time “Bowser” demanded KoopaTV end). We confirmed this as the Big KoopaTV Staff Meeting in April, and that's when we got his official orders. That also means that we have finally ended our Sierra Leone office lease. So... why is this happening? A lot of the problems are around product-market fit.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

KoopaTV's Live Reaction to Nintendo Treehouse: Live's The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Gameplay

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This counts as our launch coverage, right?

Given their upcoming non-presence at E3 2023 (since E3 2023 won't exist), Nintendo of America apparently still wants their Treehouse division to be streaming gameplay footage of their most important game(s) of the year. For 2023, that's The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

It's unclear what I'll be doing during E3 2023 week, but since I was prepared to watch streams of Nintendo Treehouse: Live during then, I might as well as prepared to do that a month sooner than expected with this stream. And, hey, MAYBE it'll get me to change my mind and want to buy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! ...I doubt it. But I'll give it a chance. The rest of this article will be my live (textual) reactions to Treehouse's stream, with occasional screenshots.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Surprising Similarities Between Sticker Star and Breath of the Wild

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the proto-The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I have been muttering about how I believe Paper Mario: Sticker Star (developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo) and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (developed and published by Nintendo) fundamentally share similar game design philosophies for several years now. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild finally having its sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, releasing at the end of this week, it's time for me to finally and fully share my thoughts about how Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the gameplay prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was Nintendo's try of a non-linear limited-durability-weapon game four to five years before Breath of the Wild came out.

For the rest of this article, I'm going to discuss the gameplay similarities between the two titles, and then move on to the narrative similarities. (The story is greatly influenced by the gameplay structure.) Of course, the two games do have differences, as you should expect from a spiritual sequel, so I end the article by discussing those. It is also notable that both Paper Mario: Sticker Star and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are radical departures from what their respective franchises have developed a reputation for.

The Core Design Similarities

Designed with non-linearity

While everyone is well-aware of how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild starts out—you wake up on the Great Plateau, acquire all of the Runes (Magnesis, Remote Bomb, Statis, Cryonis), and jump off with the Paraglider, and then you get to decide what direction you go—not as many people consider Paper Mario: Sticker Star as a predecessor to this.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Nintendo's Results For Fiscal Year Ended March 2023

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Are we now entering swan song territory?

It is the fun part of the year where Nintendo has completed their fiscal year (abbreviated as FY23, which ended March 31, 2023) and is now reporting on how that went. And the top-line results, year-over-year, are all worse than FY22. (We talked about last year's results last year. See the link below the italicised footer.) FY22 was, itself, a year of decline compared to the year before that, and Nintendo said from the beginning that they'd expect FY23 to be a year of further decline. Less profit, less sales, higher expenses across the board.

Compared to the initial consolidated financial forecast made one year ago for how FY23 would turn out (but note that forecast has changed several times since then), Nintendo was spot-on or better regarding their sales and profit figures. That said, they did expect to sell 21 million hardware units and 210 million software units, and they actually sold 17.97 million hardware units and 213.96 million software units. For FY24, they are now projecting they'll sell 15 million Nintendo Switch units and sell 180 million software units. Their basic strategy remains unchanged: Continue with some new titles, sell more of their already-released games, and hope more people are like Masahiro Sakurai and purchase multiple Switch consoles in their household.

They did sell a lot of a few new games, though, like Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet, Splatoon 3, and Nintendo Switch Sports. But just not as much first-party games as, say, the year before or the year before that. For this year, their plans are based on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (including its OLED model), with a side of Pikmin 4 and downloadable content for games like Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Maybe Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will sell well. And Metroid Prime 4 is still TBA.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Nintendo Live 2023 Has the Worst Possible Registration System, Bypassable by Winning a Splatoon 3 Championship 2023 Qualifier Event

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You could also win a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Championship 2023 Qualifier.

Did you get excited over last month's news of Nintendo of America announcing a Nintendo Live 2023 event—said to be a Nintendo celebration for the fans, but there will NOT be product announcements—in September 2023 in Seattle?

Well, now it's time for all of that excitement to be sucked out of your mind, as Nintendo has announced new and despairing details. Nintendo Live will be held from Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4, at the Seattle Convention Center. You can register for FREE tickets (which requires a Nintendo Account holders 18+; you can also register as a Family Group) starting on May 31... and tickets will be distributed randomly by lottery. That's right... if you want to attend, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to attend. Odds are, you won't be able to. If you want to schedule some time with friends ahead of time in attending the event, that'll be rather foolish, since it likely will be for nothing. Especially because your lottery ticket will only be for ONE day. That probably speaks to how much content will actually be at Nintendo Live 2023, but it also would be done to be able to fit more people.

There is another detail: At that same timeframe in the same Seattle Convention Center will be PAX West. PAX West and Nintendo Live 2023 will be co-located events, but they will have different ticketing systems. A ticket to Nintendo Live 2023 will not get you into PAX West 2023, and a ticket to PAX West 2023 will not get you to Nintendo Live 2023. However, PAX West ticket-holders will have the opportunity for an additional lottery-based system to also get a free ticket to Nintendo Live. That way, if you do plan on going to Nintendo Live, you should plan on going to PAX West as well. You can actually purchase tickets to PAX West (and guarantee you'll be there as opposed to relying on RNG) and take advantage of their hotel blocks. I don't understand why Nintendo wouldn't just charge for tickets and have the highest bidders win. They might even recoup the costs of the event that way.

Ah, but there are three skill-based opportunities to get in Nintendo Live 2023—and these will have you there for the duration of the event as opposed to just ONE DAY:

Friday, May 5, 2023

KoopaTV's Failed Attempt at Building THE MIGHTY BOWSER

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Alternatively: Two people with no LEGO experience try building one of the most complicated sets of all time.

While most of KoopaTV's staff were in our Sierra Leone headquarters between April 19 and April 23 this year for a big meeting, we had some non-meeting fun activities. The most fun of those? We permanently blew KoopaTV's current and future budget buying the $270 LEGO The Mighty Bowser set that released last year. Was that worth it? Read this review to find out.

First of all, disclosure. Only two people on KoopaTV's staff actually worked to try to build The Mighty Bowser (set #71411) (ages 18+): myself and Witch Princess. Despite my frequent writing about LEGO Super Mario as a topic, neither of us have LEGO set building experience. To compensate for this, LEGO also shipped us the 4x4 Off-Road Ambulance Rescue (set # 40582) (ages 6+) as a free gift—normally a $20 value. I think it's because they thought an incentive to buy such a large purchase would be cool.

We treated the ambulance as a tutorial level in being able to read LEGO's enclosed instruction books. The ambulance had two bags in it, and we finished the whole thing in an hour (29:48.35 on bag one, and 27:07.50 on bag two) without having issues. (If you're wondering what's with the times, we decided we'd time ourselves for The Mighty Bowser, because no other review on the Internet—and we looked extensively—gave a time for how long it took them to construct the entirety of the set. We decided we'd be the first ones out there to report this information.) This was the wake-up call that The Mighty Bowser would take a very, very long time to build, so we would end up putting some of the meetings off and dedicate the entire Friday to building The Mighty Bowser. Still, despite the time investment, we felt confident that we were competent enough people that we could be successful, even if it would take a long time.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

True, the Advance Wars Trilogy's Story isn't Serious

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Seems like some are just figuring that out, but it doesn't make it less true.

In a story that is probably related to KoopaTV's article yesterday about how Nintendo has blacklisted awful videogame outlet Kotaku, Kotaku writer Sisi Jiang, who according to people who actually read the website often writes about identity politics (they love to discuss Chinese and queer issues), wrote an article, “The Advance Wars Remake Is Tactically Satisfying But Narratively Toothless”. In this article, Sisi Jiang reveals itself to be unfamiliar with Advance Wars games up to this point. For example, Sisi believes that damage calculations are “gambling”, even though there is a fairly consistent (besides an occasional luck stat) set of damage calculations that all player versus player theory is founded upon.

Sisi doesn't believe that Advance Wars's gameplay mechanics are as “profound” as they ought to be because of a perceived dissonance between the tactical complexity and the game's excuse plot. It's a well-known fact among Advance Wars fans for the past two decades that the trilogy (Advance Wars, Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike—note that Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp only offers the first two of those games, as the name suggests) has a very weak nonsense plot. Personally, I've never understood how the different countries work among the continents (Cosmo Land, Macro Land, Omega Land). Orange Star, Blue Moon, Ye–... Gold Comet, and Green Earth are all countries, and they seem to have presences on all of these continents (under the same name as whichever continent is where their home base continent is, which is never made clear), which suggests a lot of colonialism going on. Some COs are native or stationed to different continents. I dunno.

But Sisi's point is less about lore and more about the fact that the Commanding Officers (COs) don't care about the lives of their units. Neither the protagonists nor antagonists are all that concerned. That is also something that has long been observed among series fans, especially with missions like Rivals at the end of the first Advance Wars, which implies that COs Andy and Eagle are throwing away the lives of their units just for a personal rivalry to see who is better than the other, just for fun. That's lead fans to believe that units aren't actually real people but are basically robots, or maybe predeployed units are real people but units built from factories/airports (what's that?)/(sea)ports are robots. But the games don't go into those details.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Kotaku is Deservedly Blacklisted By Nintendo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - As enemies of the people, Kotaku should be blacklisted by every other company, too.

Props to Ubisoft and Bethesda for doing this a long time ago. Terrible gaming journalism outlet Kotaku has a long history of poor behaviour towards game publishers, such as leaking very unannounced game information. Kotaku defends their behaviour with “it's our job to be good videogame journalists and serve our readers well, not to be mouthpieces and allies for the corporations.” (They also claimed to have “millions of readers” back in 2015, though I can't disconfirm that they don't. I just think it'd be unfortunate to be one of those millions.)

I have a very tough stance against leakers, though Kotaku not only loves their own leaking, but they also like to spread others’ leaks on unsuspecting readers. (Even when it's actually FAKE NEWS.) That damages their reader base. It doesn't help them. Anyway, one of the most popular games to leak right now is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. While you won't find any leaks of it on KoopaTV, it's pretty easy to find them on Kotaku. This is one of the few ways Kotaku can actually cover The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom right now, because Nintendo has blacklisted the outlet from having a preview/review copy of the game:

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

If You Want a PlayStation 5 in 2023, You Can Get One at MSRP

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That took a while, but I admit it's progress.

Two and a half years ago (November 2020), Sony Interactive Entertainment released the PlayStation 5 to market. For quite some time, it has experienced low supply and high demand at its $500 base price point, and potential customers found themselves at the mercy of scalping resellers that jacked up the price to something closer to what it should've economically been the whole time.

In 2022, Sony decided to raise the MSRP (the manufacturer's suggested retail price, though Sony appears to call it the RRP, or recommended retail price) of the PlayStation 5 everywhere on Earth... except for the United States of America. At the time, the PlayStation 5 was STILL unavailable at the normal retail outlets. Sony cited rising worldwide inflation rates for their price increase, ignoring that the United States Dollar was also suffering inflation and thinking that no one would appear to notice that. I opined that Sony should've raised the price in America, and it should've been a higher price to begin with. Well, about that...

Monday, May 1, 2023

KoopaTV's April 2023 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We have VERY big news to share, so read the entire newsletter. Carefully.

Hey, it's May!

Good job to you for surviving this long. Good job to us, too. It's felt like a rough whirlwind, yeah? Well, we have a number of items to share in the newsletter that focus less on April 2023 and more on things going on after May 1, 2023, but I'm still going to review April, too. Here's some proof:

Top Five Recommended Experiences of April 2023

Even though we had three days off from April 2023, we also had an additional day on (Saturday, April 1) that wouldn't normally happen, so I'm comfortable going with a top five instead of a top four. It's certainly a tough competition even at five:
  1. The Short History of the Disrespected DK Rap — In basically every opportunity the DK Rap has had since 2001, it has been shafted and disrespected in some way. The Super Mario Bros. Movie leaving Grant Kirkhope's name out of its credits is just one of a long line of examples.
  2. LEGO Super Mario Character Pack Series 6, Wendy O. Koopa in the Creativity Toolbox, and Pom Pom on a Balloon Ride — Ludwig plays catch up on wave 6 of the LEGO Super Mario series, and in the process, uncovers several storylines that further prove his on-going point that Mario is a vicious and evil man who must be stopped.
  3. Alex Jones Is Wrong About Mario Hallucinating Koopas — American talk personality Alex Jones is correct that Mario is a bad guy, but in the process of making his point, he stated that Koopas are a product of a drug-induced hallucination on Mario's part. KoopaTV takes great issue with that claim.
  4. The Truths About the FAIRtax — After listening to the media and politicians lie about the plan, Ludwig writes several truths about the FAIRtax, a national consumption tax plan in the United States, based on common objections and questions he has encountered.
  5. SEEK POWER! Power Versus Wisdom Versus Courage Splatfest! — The upcoming Splatfest asks you which you should seek of power, wisdom, or courage. The choice to KoopaTV is clear: MORE POWER. Ludwig explains why.

Hm, tough competition didn't do it justice. April 2023 was a SPECTACULAR month for KoopaTV content. I'm (still) impressed by my own output. Hopefully, you are too. Everything, even if not listed above, is worth reading. There were several things I wanted to include but couldn't! The above list was created in chronological order of when it was published, by the way.