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A Few Updates..

Greetings Penguins!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while – particularly my critical reviews of CP’s most recent parties. This is because lately I’ve been busy with my offline life (and the launch of Pokemon Go hasn’t helped either!). This is also due to the fact that most of the content coming from Disney’s number 1 virtual world as of late is simply recycled or uninspiring. In this post, I’ll give a brief overview of my thoughts on the most recent parties and CP’s current state, particularly moving forward. Here we go!

The Zootopia Takeover (May 18 – July 6)

The Zootopia Takeover felt pretty much like most other takeovers to me. The lack of a plot or true tasks – other than log in to collect some recycled items, all of which were Member exclusives of course – leaves a sour taste in most scenarios. Sure, the decorated rooms were quite nice but it seems that each and every party this year has the same old criticisms. Little to no plot, poor selection of items and a lack of decorated rooms, particularly interiors. I found those rooms in which were decorated were nicely done so, though this doesn’t hide what the party was – a sponsored takeover lacking in originality.

Finding Dory Party (July 6 – August 17)

The Finding Dory party is currently ongoing for an unholy duration (as was the Zootopia takeover and indeed next months party). This one gives us a small selection of tasks, all pretty much the same aside from the objects and rooms you have to locate said objects in. Simplistic, yet at least it provides us with something to do other than log in and collect an item. I’m just personally bored of the whole “here is a character from your favourite film of which somehow arrived to the island without any real reason for doing so”.

I was actually excited for the party due to its’ potential decoration-wise. The whole island could’ve been underwater – not unlike the Dance Club during the Submarine Party way back in 2008. We did get an overly-aquatic version of the Beach and a new Reef location which I loved – but this should’ve been island-wide! Remember the Festival of Flight in 2009? Imagine if the whole island was underwater instead!

Overall, it was by no means a bad party. I actually rather enjoyed it. Duration, relatively poor selection of items for everyone and wasted potential are perhaps the only downsides. As far as takeovers go, this one is by no means the worst.

Frozen Fever Party 2016 (August 18 – September 28)

Wow, we really get little to no break from takeovers this year do we?! For the third time, Frozen will be hitting the island again. ‘Why another takeover?’ you may ask? Think about it, the summer break will surely spark an increase in players due to the lack of school – therefore it’s a perfect time to offload some nice film advertisements in the form of takeovers!

Megg insists players request this party. Whilst I have no doubts a significant percentage of players adore the film and can’t wait to see the return of Elsa, Olaf and all the others, I do feel that the majority are quite frankly sick of this franchise and haven’t seen a positive response to its’ return on the island.

Going Forward

It’s obvious at this point that the team remains fully focused on CP Re:Mix (Project Super Secret) at this point. The lack of 2D artists explains the continuous recycling of parties and below-average new ones (and also the sheer lack of new items lately). I feel PSS remains a massive hindrance on the game – one in which is become so evident that the games content is severely lacking.

Will PSS be worth it? I hope so. I also believe so. My fundamental complain with this is how long it’s taking for the product to roll out. Many questions remain unanswered. When will the beta launch? Will it be mobile exclusive? When can we actually expect the official launch to be?

Spike Hike is evidently to busy using his profile for political propaganda to answer any of our questions, and Megg is obviously under strict rules of what she can and cannot say. In my opinion, it was announced far too soon. It was announced as a way of keeping players interested and justifying the lack of top quality content we’d come to expect from the game. It honestly feels like the team themselves cannot answer most of our questions – do they even know how everything will work out themselves? Who knows.

Patience is key at this point. Let’s hope PSS isn’t a busted lock.

Until next time..

-Jimbobson

Frozen Party – Critical Review!

Greetings Penguins!

One of the most highly anticipated parties of the year will be concluding very soon. The Frozen Party, or takeover if you will, was apparently one of the most highly requested parties amongst the CP fanbase. Whilst many weren’t exactly happy about another Disney sponsored party, the announcement of this one seemed to excite more than it did disappoint. Did it live up to expectations or will penguins be pleased to let it go?

The Good:

  • This was a brand new, never-before-seen party that included both elements of summer and winter. Penguins could freeze and unfreeze rooms giving said room a winter or summery feel, or even a mixture of both. Like the film, the party contained all our favourite Frozen characters including Olaf, Marshmallow and Queen Elsa. However, unlike the Muppet’s takeover, none of these characters were actually mascots like Kermit was. Instead, members could transform into Olaf and Marshmallow whilst Queen Elsa would perform in her ice palace within the second week of the party.
  • New items: This party saw the introduction of a plethora of new items. A massive 15 items were available and that’s not even including the Ice Palace igloo, the Ice furniture items or Queen Elsa’s background. As per, not every item was available for everyone. 7 Items out of 15 (again not including those discussed prior) were available for Members, so overall a fairly healthy number.
  • New Igloo & Furiture items: As discussed previously, this party saw Queen Elsa give out a free Ice Palace igloo for everyone. Yes, everyone! This is the second igloo released for everyone at a party, with the first being the Sweet Swirl Igloo from the Holiday Party 2013. Not only this but everyone could even get a set of ice-themed furniture items. This included 5 Ice Thrones, 10 Ice Rugs and 3 Ice Dining Tables. Awesome!
  • New Puffle: One of the main member features of this party was the ability to build your own Snowman Puffle. Whilst sounding like a unique customisation possibility, it was actually the ability of adopting a Olaf-themed puffle inspired by the character from the film. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the mass introduction of so many Puffles lately, at least it’s not one of those strange Puffle Creatures (i.e Dino, Dog, Cat Puffles).
  • Decorated Island: Hallelujah, the island is decorated. Unlike the controversy with last month’s Music Jam, the majority of the island is decorated. Each room has 2 versions, a summer-ish theme and a frozen theme. The fact that we have control over which version we get (and can freeze some areas giving the room variety) is definitely a good thing. I would’ve liked to see more snow however, with perhaps the snow falling animation seen during Elsa’s performance being used in other rooms.

Improvements:

  • Scavenger Hunt/Quest: Upon logging in, we were instantly made aware of how to earn items. Simply heading to one of the rooms stated (Town, Dock, Beach etc) and looking for 3 snowflakes per room would unlock items. Although this sounds pretty fun, the sheer size of the snowflakes made finding them a task simpler than logging in. This meant the average penguin could find all the snowflakes and unlock all items in 2 minutes or under. After that, there was little else to do other than wait for Queen Elsa’s performance.
  • Winter in August: There was something about having a Frozen party in August that seemed strange. Yes I understand that the film does actually take place in Summer before everything becomes frozen, but I would’ve preferred something more focused around the warmest season. Last year’s Teen Beach Movie did exactly that, which is why it remains one of my favourite sponsored parties thus far.
  • Interior Decorations: Or rather the lack of. Nowadays, the island isn’t as decorated as it used to be. Parties often include a new room or set of rooms, such as the Music Jam, where the majority of the party take place. When this happens, most of the island gets ignored, with only the Town, Plaza and sometimes the Dock getting a decorated version. However, when the island does get decorated, the interiors of these rooms almost never get a makeover. The Frozen Party is no exception. The Coffee Shop has had no attention, nor has the Dance Club or even the Pizza Parlour. These three used to always receive some form of contextual re-design when there was a party occurring.
  • Members get more: We all get it by now. Members get more items and can typically transform at modern parties. If said event includes a new puffle or a body item it’s around 99% likely that it will be for Members only. Whilst this is understandable, after all, CP is a business and needs to generate income, it still seems a little unnecessary. Non-members are in desperate need of a new puffle. The last one were the Red Puffles in 2006. That’s 8 years without a new puffle. Would one more puffle really prevent that much income for the company? As for body items, the same applies.

Overall, the Frozen Party is one that received mixed reviews. Yes, many enjoyed the decorated island and the majority of the content, but many also found that the quests were far too easy and the lack of a mascot meant there was nobody to hunt down and receive that limited background. For those who are looking forward to the month of back to school adverts, school itself and the departure of summer for yet another year can also look forward to CP’s next party – the School and Skate Party. I will discuss this in more detail soon.

Random CP Fact #23: The Summer Kickoff Party 2007 contained 5 free items for everyone which was a record at the time. These were the Blue Lei, the Ice Cream Apron, the Green Inflatable Duck, a Flower Headdress and the Green Sunglasses.

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

Turbo Race 3000 – Critical Review!

Greetings Penguins!

After the slight mishap which was the Music Jam 2014, many are focused on next month’s Frozen Party which, thus far, looks to be very promising. But what exactly happens between one party ending and the other beginning? Previously, not much other than the usual catalogues, pins and EPF messages. Nothing really worth logging in for in all honesty. However, CP decided to fix that by adding mini-events that usually consist of one decorated room and at least one free item.

Within the past few months, we’ve seen several of these mini parties. The first was the Russian Welcome Event (Stadium), followed by Funny Hat Week (Dock), The Penguin Prom (University exterior and interior) and now the Turbo Race 3000 (Stadium). These typically 6-day long parties aim to attract players and provide the game with an essence of the old Club Penguin. As the title obviously states, this post will be reviewing the latest instalment in the mini party series; Turbo Race 3000.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 18.18.59

The party obviously takes place at The Stadium, so fans of Football (or Soccer if you must) may possibly be a little annoyed, but it is only for 6 days! Players simply walk to the starting line and are automatically provided with a Go-Kart (not actually an item) based on their penguins colour. The aim is to race other penguins throughout 3 laps of the track shown above. The winner doesn’t actually get anything unfortunately.

The Good:

There’s no doubt that these mini-events do keep the game entertaining whilst there are no major parties going on. They also do have the feeling of an old CP-style party – complete with the free items and the iconic “Free!” sign that was once the norm in most parties. The track has light sensors (which change colour every lap) so players cannot cheat which is nice to see, plus it provides some good competition that will undoubtedly make you some new friends – and rivals!

As with every mini-event, the fundamental feature is typically the item. Not so much in this one however, as this contains a fairly interactive track in which the role-play is aided by the use of the free items, and not necessarily focused fully upon them. There are 2 items this time, the Go-Karter Helmet for everyone and the the Go-Karter Suit for Members. This marks the first time thus far that a mini-party has included a Members exclusive item.

Improvements:

No party is perfect, ever. Some may argue the Beta Test party’s simplicity and exclusivity makes it the best, others may say the annual Halloween’s use of dark sky and Jack-O-Lanterns is what a true party should be. My main criticism of this party is the lack of mechanics used in go-kart track (by that I don’t mean people who fix cars). Upon equipping the go-kart, you’ll notice that there are no speed improvements. It’s just like waddling – without the waddle. Surely even a minor speed boost would’ve made the races more fun. Think of the bumper cars from The Fair or the sliding action from the Ice Rink. As this isn’t waddling, it should be different to control.

There are two objects on the track in which appear to have a purpose. Fans of the Mario Kart series may expect the banana skin to cause them to slip, and the oil spill could cause the same. So why don’t they? Driving – if you can even call it that, over these objects would surely cause something to happen. So why include them? More than likely for role-playing purposes. I’d also like to see the winner of the race’s name appear on the screen as opposed to simply “Finish”. An item could also be issued for all those that complete the track. Maybe a trophy or medal?

The addition of a Members-only item is somewhat odd and unexpected, especially so as past events have only included items for everyone. Yeah it’s good for Members without a doubt, it simply seems a little unnecessary, especially considering that said item is a Body item, and not a Head item like all the mini-parties have featured thus far. It would’ve also been nice to perhaps see Gary mentioned and maybe included as a mascot with potential for a new background. After all, it is a 3000 and thus a Gary invention.

Verdict:

There’s no denying these parties provide some entertainment whilst the CP team is hard at work with the next party. The free items are obviously the highlighting feature but the decorations are often nice, simplistic and not over the top – like many rooms nowadays (I’m looking at you, Pet Shop!). There’s no doubt that if this was a major party the team would’ve included a lot more in terms of things to do and interactivity. Since this is a mini-party, it cannot really be compared to one in which CP spends a lot more time on. Regardless, I look forward to both the Frozen Party and whatever mini-party event will follow.

Random CP Fact #21: Club Penguin plan to release 2 new apps to the App Store. These are the already-known Sled Racing and a new game titled Puffle Wild. The release dates are currently unknown, but it is likely to be sooner rather than later.

Until next time, Waddle On!

– Jimbobson