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Prehistoric Party 2016: Critical Review!

Greetings Penguins!

I’ve been putting this off for some time now. Mainly because the Prehistoric Parties don’t fill me with excitement. But, it has to be done! So let’s take a look at how the 2016 version compared to it’s ’13 and ’14 counterparts.

Content

Those players who have experienced at least one of the dinosaur-filled events before will have a strange sense of deja vu – obviously! Whilst the party is of course set in the past, the three versions are practically the same. The return of transformations and everyone’s favourite Dino Dig as January entertainment will certainly not be to everyone’s taste; though there are some positives in relation to the narrative.

This year’s version had us travel back in time in order to collect meteor fragments (via Dino Dig..obviously), in order to restore power to the UFO and send the Alien Puffles back on their way. Whilst we never actually saw this happen (other than a passing image in the newspaper), it brought a sense of purpose to the party; something in which is rarely seen in modern day Club Penguin.

As for that, pretty much everything was the same.

Activities/Quests

2013 introduced Dino Dig, a game similarly to Rockhopper’s Treasure Hunt in which allowed players to dig up coins and dinosaur eggs – allowing for transformations. This time, we had to hunt for meteor segments as stated previously. Whilst not nearly as frustrating as the game was in its’ 2013 and 2014 versions, the whole thing simply felt tiring and overdone. Much like throwing snowballs at things.

As usual, the typical “come back ____ to unlock this!” feature returned. Loathed by some, it prevents players from completing the event too quickly; a major issue considering the sheer length of the parties today. However, those with the CP app can complete all the tasks whenever they wish; regardless of the daily limit plaguing the desktop version. An imbalance here that surely needs to be solved when the legendary Project Super Secret eventually debuts.

Items

In terms of Non-Member items, literally the same as the 2014 version, bar the Asteroid Head which was ironically from the Future Party. The Prehistoric Beta Hat also returned unfortunately. I would’ve preferred to stay in the past to at least try add some rarity and exclusivity to this gimmicky item. Ultimately, this was the part I was disappointed at the most.

Interestingly, the T-Rex Hoodie (from the 2013 Prehistoric Party) returned as a Members only item. Add to this the return of Treasure Book exclusives as Member items in the Penguin Style catalogue and we can presume CP is really hitting the limits on not only their originality but also how low they will go purely to prevent Non-Members obtaining body items.

Decorations

Again, the same as what we’ve seen previously. Whilst nobody can complain that they aren’t nicely decorated, the Prehistoric version of rooms has me feeling like I’m not playing CP at all. Arguably the most iconic thing about CP is its’ location; a winter wonderland full of penguins and their furry pets. Replace winter wonderland with a volcanic lava-filled island consisting of dinosaurs and the game feels more like an attempt at mimicking the now extinct (pun intended) Webosaurs.

Is it too much to ask for a Prehistoric Party set during the ice age (no, not the film), consisting of sabre-toothed cats and mammoths? At least then the game would feel more contextually appropriate. Anyway, moving on..

Mascots

Gary, of course! He has been the mascot for every Prehistoric Party thus far. Anyone else would feel totally out of place.

Verdict

It’s no secret that I’ve never particularly enjoyed the Prehistoric Parties. They feel cliched and unlike CP. The lack of snow, ice and various other factors may be appealing for some but again it feels like Webosaurs. Players (non-members at least) who had experienced 2014’s version had no reason to log in other than to hunt down the Fluffy pin (which was hidden in Prehistoric CP – an admittedly nice touch).

However, the party does have at least some purpose in the respect of finally bringing the Operation: Crustacean event to a close. It lacked the subtle details such as a Prehistoric interface (such as the stone map and chat bars etc) and offered nothing new; something this party desperately needed. Regardless, I feel this month’s key event was a filler, paving the way to February’s highly anticipated Operation: Doom, the second EPF related event in 6 months. Let’s hope it holds its own against Operation: Blackout as opposed to Crustacean.

Until next time, Waddle on!

-Jimbobson

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(Late) Puffle Party 2015 Critical Review!

Greetings Penguins!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently; coursework reached it’s peak which gave me little time to do much else. Anyways, this post will focus on last month’s Puffle Party – a highly anticipated event in which combined everyone’s favourite yet overused fluffy creatures with the mystery of the Sasquatch. Let’s begin!

Content

Despite it’s name, the Puffle Party 2015 wasn’t fully focused around Puffles. Sure, they were the core element of the party – but not the only element. This time, the transformation of the Ski Lodge to the Puffle Lodge was a key to the party’s plot. The party ultimately focused around the mystery of the wilds and more specifically, what or rather who had stolen the giant fish celebration cake. Of course, the Sasquatch turned out to be the culprit. With a short but sweet backstory, we learned that the Sasquatch actually lives with Puffles within the wilderness. However, much was lacking in terms of his origin.

How did he get the oversized Beta Hat? Apparently a penguin wearing a green jacket gave it to him long ago. I suspect this mystery penguin was Billybob – a penguin famous for his Green Letterman Jacket. Where has he been all this time? The wilderness of course! It’s a little fishy but it’s better than nothing I guess. With that being said, who lives in that mountain cave that can be seen from Ski Hill? Hmm..

Activities/Quests

This party had a pretty unique quest – explore and collect things. Sure, it was simple and took only a few minutes – but it was new! No snowflakes, no snowballs, just simple exploration. Hunt for berries to attract rare Puffle Creatures and then retrieve a Fishing Rod from the Puffle Lodge to fish and catch Sasquatch a meal, fun times indeed. A little more depth and complexity and this would’ve been an awesome quest indeed. Still, one cannot complain when comparing to the previous tasks we’ve been asked to endure for a uninspired item.

Items

Everyone loves items. They complete us. This party gave us a fair selection; mostly Puffle inspired (obviously). Whilst Members enjoyed a plethora of hoodies and a Puffle Guide uniform, Non-Members were graced with a selection of Hats. The only issue here was that 4/5 of these were the same baseball caps simply re-designed for each new Puffle Creature – of which only Members could adopt. I’m sure many were satisfied, but it all seemed underwhelming in my opinion. I hope the days of body items, whacky costumes and leis return. And preferably soon.

Decorations

Unlike many, many parties of late; the Puffle Party 2015 had a very nice selection of decorated rooms. The only issue being that all were recycled from the previous year – bar the Puffle Lodge and new Wild rooms. This isn’t a major issue however, I’d certainly prefer recycled rooms to no decorated rooms at all. A step in the right direction!

Mascots

PH of course! Plus a new background!! Not only this, but Sasquatch officially became recognised as a mascot! What a time to be alive.

Verdict

Whilst not even coming close to the ‘best party ever award in Jim’s opinion’, I don’t think anybody expected it to. CP showed us that they can still come up with interactive parties that engage and reward the players; whilst not completely ruining them via too many sneak peeks weeks before the party. Sure, it was lacking in several areas but when compared to recent parties, it certainly stands out as one of the better efforts. I enjoyed this party. Not as much as Operation Blackout or the Card Jitsu Snow event, but enjoyed it nevertheless. In fact, the slight disappointment only began to settle in once I realised 90% of the rooms were recycled. I imagine new players would’ve enjoyed it a lot – and who can blame them!

As the Frozen Fever Party is currently ongoing, expect a critical review of that next week sometime. But for now, we look forward to May, which promises to contain 2 different parties; one exclusive to the app (Rainbow Puffle celebration) and one exclusive to desktop (The Fair). Let’s hope both hold their own as contender’s for best party of 2015 thus far!

Random CP Fact #42: Due to the lack of Membership sales and the games’ recent ‘poor performance’ financially, many CP employees were recently laid off. This also included the complete closure of the CP office in Brighton, England.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

Sasquatch: The Ongoing Mystery

Greetings Penguins!

As promised in my last post, this one will be regarding the recently discovered Sasquatch and the mystery that surrounds the Party Hat-wearing beast. Where did it come from? Where did it go? (where did it come from Cotton-Eye Joe?)

Backstory

Firstly, I will presume that you all know who Sasquatch is. If not, see my past post entitled ‘A wild Sasquatch Appeared!’. Anyways, the Sasquatch appeared for a short time last month just before the Frozen Party started as a mascot. Lucky penguins who managed to find the rapid-moving large creature were gifted with an exclusive Mystery Background. Unlike all other normal mascots however, the Sasquatch did not receive any meet up times or even acknowledgement from the CP Team. How odd..

Then, several days later, it stopped visiting. It was unable to be encountered on the island and simply disappeared just as it had appeared – without explanation. Not even an article in the CP Times discussed it. Personally, I figured that CP would keep it undercover until September when they would likely throw a Wilderness Expedition or something. Its’ possible mountain cave home (that can be seen from the Ski Hill) got a short mention in the newspaper; but has since failed to receive any further attention. In said paper, it stated that the cave glows at night (which currently doesn’t exist on CP – could that also be a hint of night time coming to the game?). Surely if an unknown cave begins to glow with no explanation, someone, whether the EPF or just curious penguins, would go investigate? Especially given a certain Polar Bear hasn’t attacked in a while..

Sasquatch’s Next Appearance

Instead of any wilderness or mountain expedition as we’ve seen before, September will hold the School and Skate Party. It is extremely unlikely that the Sasquatch will be involved in this party at all. Will it start appearing again before the party starts? Who knows. Maybe it will be featured in a mini-party, if there is one this month. Thus far, we’ve heard nothing regarding one so it seems unlikely which is a shame as they were enjoyable. Mini-parties haven’t featured the introduction of new mascots thus far, so the Sasquatch’s purpose seems to extend to a full-length party. 

October – the month of Halloween and CP’s Anniversary. Sasquatch is quite the beast, so it could possibly fit in with Halloween. The Beta Hat it wears also fits in with the upcoming 9th Anniversary Party. Surely that’s it! The Sasquatch is set for an official confirmation in October and will play a role within the month’s events!! Sadly, that was sarcasm. It seems that a Sasquatch-themed October is very unlikely due to the amount of stuff already going on. However, with night time a regular feature of the Halloween series, it will be interesting to see if the cave really does glow at night like the rumours suggest.

This means that November is the only remaining month of the year which will contain some sort of expedition to discover the animal. Why? Well, it cannot be December as Sasquatch really does not fit in with the Christmas – sorry – Holiday party. November is the absolute perfect time for it to arrive. It keeps the mystery going throughout 3 months and whilst many have already forgotten it exists, it has a old-CP feeling of mystery that continues for some time before it is solved. I.e Puffles (the Yellow, White and Orange in particular) used to appear in the wild every half an hour or so weeks before they were adoptable, which was more exciting than today’s quests for the [insert colour or species] Puffles. 

Conclusion

So, as the Halloween Party approaches and the sunlight of the island makes way for a fortnight-long period of constant darkness, I predict the golden glow of artificial lighting will be seen from the mountain cave visible from Ski Hill; effectively rebooting the mystery of the Sasquatch and proving rumours correct. Penguins will be confused as to who or what lives there. Undoubtedly Herbert will be mentioned, but we know this won’t be the his home due to the Newspaper stating that ‘Others say that it’s the home of the Sasquatch’. Then, as the party is in full swing (or after it ends), more newspaper reports will surface regarding the mysterious light – just in time for November. 

As for what exactly the team have in planned for the great beast of the wilderness, I’m not sure. I look forward to see what it is and hope they have something great planned with an awesome backstory for it. The biggest mystery lay’s with it’s Beta Hat. I can’t wait to hear how “It’s been here since the beginning”. One problem remains however, if my theory is correct, which I think there’s a good chance it is (why else would the Newspaper state the cave glows at night?), what about Card-Jitsu? November has been the month of Ninjas for many years, though I doubt Card-Jitsu Shadow is anywhere near completion yet. We shall have to wait!

Next Time: I will be discussing how to identify whether a penguin has used third-party software to add rare items!

Random CP Fact #25: Entering the code CELEBRA5 on the Unlock Items Online screen will unlock the Spanish 5th Year Hat for your penguin. 

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

Wild Sasquatch Appeared!

Greetings Penguins!

I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the latest mascot coming to CP. Is it Rory, is it Jet Pack Guy? No, it’s a Bigfoot/Sasquatch creature with a Beta Hat. You heard right, the thing has it’s very own Beta Hat. Here’s a picture of his artwork.

sasquatch

 

For those of you that are unaware, Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) is a mythical ape-like creature that is rumoured to inhabit forest areas in the wilderness. You may also recognise these names as they are both names given to servers on Club Penguin. There is little known about this guy other than rather than being like a bi-pedal ape he (or she?) has a beak, so it is quite a bizarre creation. Anyhow, this guy is rumoured to live in the cave that can be seen from Ski Hill – especially given Aunt Arctic’s report about said place in a recent Club Penguin Times article.

cave mystery

Still not convinced? Well our big-footed-friend can actually be found on the island! Like any other mascot, he is currently meetable in-game and will give a free background upon clicking the button on its’ playercard. It’s currently known as “??????” much like Sensei was during the Dig out the Dojo project way back in 2008. There are also several rumours that it is meetable on the Club Penguin app too. It should be relatively easy to spot due to its’ bigger size when compared to penguins (like Herbert) and of course that signature Beta Hat.

How did this thing get a Beta Hat?!

I’m sure this question will be asked a lot when the creature becomes more acknowledged on the island. Currently, it’s a mystery. Sensei has stated that he indeed does have one himself, but that’s understandable as he left the island and returned in 2008 from his travels to train ninjas – plus – he’s old. Sasquatch’s Beta Hat indicates that he has been around for a while which should provide CP with the ability to hopefully produce an interesting backstory of how it has been here since the beginning. However, the sheer size of it’s Beta Hat far outsizes the standard one possessed by rare penguins – which looks odd when you notice the creature in game. The hat is about half the size of the penguins themselves. It would’ve made sense if it the standard size, plus it would look quite comical on such a large beast.

Why is it here?

When Sasquatch’s mascot ID was found in the CP game files, many predicted that September would host a Mountain Expedition or something in order to discover the mystery cave discussed previously, thus introducing the creature. This is of course still a possibility, though very unlikely. Sasquatch is on the game now, and doesn’t fit in with the upcoming Frozen Party whatsoever. When met in game, it apparently only says stuff like “UGH” so that provides no help either. One thing is certain, this weeks Club Penguin Times issue should give us some more information – if the What’s New blog doesn’t first.

Random CP Fact #22: CP has recently released a Sled Racing game to the Apple App Store. The game differs from the online version as it is currently not multiplayer and is an endless 3D runner-type game similar to Temple Run. 

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

Card Jitsu Snow: Beta Hat!

Greetings Penguins!

As many will already know, the Card Jitsu beta test has being happening for a while now and it has become fairly successful in terms of players online. Well, as of today, you can now earn the official Card Jitsu Snow BETA HAT!

BUT, how do you get it? Those who have tested before (Beta testing CP, CPIP testing etc) should know that items were automatically added to the penguin’s accounts after testing was over. However, this times different. To earn the hat now, you must log into the beta test (beta.clubpenguin.com) and play the game. The more you play, the more % you will gain to receiving the item. If you get to the bonus round, you will instantly receive the item on your real penguin (not your beta test penguin that has no clothes/name etc).

cjs beta1

Once you log into your normal penguin account, simply search through your inventory until you find the Card Jitsu Snow beta hat! It’s as simple as that! (hah, a rhyme). Here is how it looks on Jimbobson:

cjs beta hat1

This is one of my personal fave items CP has ever released. I love the party hats already, but with the snowflakes CP added it makes it even more interesting; definitely a soon-to-be-VERY-rare item! I may even wear it instead of my CPIP red hard hat…for a while.

UPDATE: The Snow Beta Hat and Card-Jitsu Snow beta test are both now unavailable. The game will be released in May during a special Card-Jitsu Snow party.

Until next time, Waddle on!

-Jimbobson