Halloween Party 2014 Critical Review!

Greetings Penguins!

With October well over with and November now in full swing, we can all reflect on October and agree it was a pretty successful month – as it usually is. The collaboration of two classic annual parties is something that isn’t seen in any other month of the year. I’ve already reviewed the 9th Anniversary party and, whilst it certainly wasn’t the biggest or most surprising of the series, it still gave us some originality that we see so much less of nowadays. This post focuses on a party that not only is the biggest of the October duo, but arguably the biggest in the calendar year – every year. Now, let’s begin.

Plot

The Puffle Hotel served as the fundamental location this time. Supposedly haunted by ghostly goings-on, Gary informed us that his Great Uncle Gariwald VIII (the same from Halloween 2012) had gone missing in the Hotel which now has a staggering 13 floors. Upon entering the Hotel and being introduced with a new Hotel bellhop named Skip, narrative thus far was actually a narrative. Something was happening other than Cadence’s friends coming to visit. A very, very welcome change. Though not as in-depth and complex as the plot during Operation: Blackout (arguably the best party ever in terms of plot), it definitely felt refreshing to actually have a story. An interesting story at that (come on, who didn’t want to know what happened to Gary’s ghost of a great uncle?!).

After extensive waiting and puzzle solving, we found out that Skip was actually an evil ghost whom stole the Ghost Puffles (and Gariwald) in order to extract their energy using his dodgy machines in order to haunt the island. Not only this, but he also tricks and ultimately traps the player. After escaping thanks to Gariwald’s blatant hints on how to do so, Skip is then defeated, flies away and the island is saved. Hurray! Wait, shouldn’t we do something about an evil ghost who just got away? No? Oh, alrighty then.

Despite containing a giant twist that very few saw coming, Skip seemed lacking in character somewhat. He was seemingly trying to terrorise the island – but why exactly? Herbert has his reasons for his evil plans, but Skip just seemed to be a random annoyed ghost whom had a lust for scaring everyone. At one point, he states that he’s not letting you mess his plans up as “It’s his ticket to the big leagues”. What does this even mean? Does he want to be famous or something? I would’ve preferred Skip to have more of a motive behind his actions. Instead, he seems to be a little fame-obsessed. And dead. Definitely dead. Regardless, the plot, despite its’ several flaws, it still manages to engage and indeed shock the player which is certainly a welcome addition that makes the 2014 version of the Halloween Party unique when compared to the others. Will Skip return someday though?

Puzzles/Quests

Quests containing puzzles have been the norm for a majority of parties this year and the Halloween Party 2014 is no exception. Whilst some of the puzzles were fun and required some thinking, others were lacking in comparison. For example, in one room user’s had to simply click on pumpkins to crush them. That’s not really a puzzle or challenging. I guess the challenge was to figure out what to do as opposed to finding out how to do it.

The final puzzle was to free Gariwald and the Ghost Puffles and to ultimately stop Skip from haunting the island. However, Gariwald’s hints were a huge giveaway. He basically instructed the player how to do escape the cage and distract Skip. Not to mention anyone who’s been a member of the EPF for several years would probably of had a case of deja vu, as the recycling of puzzles became evident (throwing snowballs at a power box…sounds familiar).

This party also saw the re-introduction of the infamous ‘come back every day’ feature. Many dislike this as it means they have to log in every day to complete a puzzle/earn items. This was once the norm for many of CP’s parties and served as a cheap way to get more penguins logging in. However, more recent parties such as the Frozen Party didn’t include this feature and instead allowed player’s to complete all the puzzles (if you could call em’ that) in 10 minutes or less if the player wanted to.

I personally felt the [Frozen] party seemed to be far too easy and quick to finish, which is a complete juxtaposition of its’ lengthy duration. Yes, it worked in the older days due to parties being simplistic and having a short duration of a few days, but since newer parties last so long, I feel the ‘come back every day’ feature works better. If player’s really dislike this that much, then simply log in on the final day when everything is unlocked. Simple!

Decorations

Contrary to what several believed when they saw an unreleased screenshot of the Plaza from CP’s files, the whole island was indeed decorated with the iconic dark night sky. Though there wasn’t a storm this time, the night sky always brings a completely new atmosphere to the island and this has made many want a night/day feature on the island, as well as some weather conditions that we’ve on rare occasions in the past (The Great Storm of 2010 included dark clouds and even rain!).

The Hotel and its’ interior were both decorated for once. Though, these rooms were the focal point on the party and thus had to be decorated. Most rooms had returned from previous years, including the slime pool in the Underground Pool which never seems to get any attention at all anymore. Some rooms however, mainly the interiors of the Plaza (bar the Hotel) and the Town (not including the Coffee Shop during the Anniversary) remained undecorated, which is slightly disappointing but when compared to all parties this year the decorations are huge.

One aspect that disappointed me was Ski Hill. Yes, it had the pumpkin scarecrow and the night sky, but the cave that apparently belongs to the Sasquatch didn’t glow. Why would it, you ask? Aunt Arctic stated in the CP Times that the cave was rumoured to glow at night – indicating that someone or something lived there. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case during the eternal darkness of a  fortnight and personally I believe CP missed out on the perfect opportunity to reboot this rumour. Ah well, maybe they’re saving it for when night and day comes to the island? Who knows..

Items

I always love Halloween items. They’re usually spooky with a comedic twist that makes them popular throughout the whole year. During CP’s youth, the Ghost and Clown Costumes were both very popular items, and this hasn’t changed much throughout the years. In the case of the 2014 version, all the free items were new. Non-Members were treated to a series of head and hand items, including a Magic Hat, a Ghostly Suitcase, a Little Jack’O’Lantern on a chain leash and even a jar of Newt eyes (amongst others).

As always, Member’s got their added bonus of even more items, such as a Web Hoodie, Spectral Ghost Costume, Ghost Puffle Costume, Skeleton Mask and Shadow Wings. These items obviously were a range of body items and not just limited to head and hand like with the non-members. In total, non-members got 7 items and members got 14 (including those available for everyone) which is a large amount for any party. So in this respect, the party did definitely not disappoint. However, I would’ve liked a bigger variety of items as opposed to the majority being for the head/hands.

Verdict

2014 hasn’t been the best year in terms of parties. We all know that. The Halloween Party 2014 stands out a lot more this year than it has any other year. The lack of a proper narrative structure and a plethora of decorations in the majority of parties this year means that this and indeed any other recent Halloween Party would stand out in 2014. I personally found that this year’s version was a positive approach that I hope CP continues into the remainder of the year. Whilst not perfect, and doesn’t compare to my all time fave (2008 – the thunderstorm, the scavenger hunt, introduction of ninjas…awesome), it’s still a great party that’s firmly earned its’ place as my favourite of the year thus far. Will the Pirate Party or Holiday Party 2014 change this? I sure hope so!

So that ends yet another critical review. We now only have two more parties left of 2014. As we already know, November will be the month of pirates as the Pirate Party returns along with everyone’s favourite and somewhat neglected captain. Many speculate we will be finally able to reach Rockhopper Island for the first time, which would be interesting to say the least. That all kicks off on the 20th, let’s hope its’ amazing!

Random CP Fact #31: Players used to be able to type numbers in the first couple of years in Club Penguin. This was eventually changed as many were sharing personal information such as their phone numbers. 

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

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About Jimbobson

Virtual World & Tech enthusiast. 3D Artist.

Posted on November 13, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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