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.
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..
Apologies for the lack of posts recently, my offline life got the better of me once again. Regardless, here’s the Frozen Fever critical review – almost a month after it occurred! Superb timing.
Those who attended the first Frozen party last year felt a powerful sense of deja vu upon exploring CP’s latest party efforts. Why? It was pretty much exactly the same as the first – bar a plethora of pins, a couple of rooms and a few new items. Overall, it felt completely unnecessary. At least the second Marvel Avengers takeover gave us something different from the first. Ultimately, it felt stale and stands as one of the weakest – if not the weakest parties of the year. Personally, this party would’ve been half-decent if this was the first time we were forced to endure another Disney-inspired event. Instead, it failed in more areas than it succeeded. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Those who hated finding oversized snowflakes last year were sure to hate this years even more. Amazingly, the team reduced the size of the snowflakes. Great, right? Wrong. They were still far too large and provided about as much of a challenge as logging in over the past month has (connection issues have plagued the game recently). There were also a large amount of pins to collect for some reason, but more on that later.
There was once a time when a party contained (typically) 1-3 items. Whilst this sounds lacklustre compared to today’s standards, these items were often very inspiring. Whether clever renditions of real-life items or completely organic designs; these items contained thought and many even included special dances which is an unfortunate rarity nowadays. Regardless, none of this was present within April’s wintery party..
Featuring the exact same items as the first version of a party isn’t uncommon, but there’s usually at least more stuff to do or something unique to that version. Non-members were graced with the exact same selection as last time, bar the pins and a new igloo that was so heavily gender-specific I’m unsure why there wasn’t two of them. Members got a couple of new stuff to play with; all of which were of course inspired by the 7-minute short that inspired the party.
Like last time, Members could adopt the elusive Ola..sorry, Snowman Puffle. Non-members couldn’t, so there was little progress in that respect. Transformations returned also, giving those with little imagination even more reason to play. As for those pins I wrote about previously – there was far too many. 10. 10 pins. Within 2 rooms. 5 per room. All so painfully easy to find. Pointless comes to mind. Just when we thought CP were restoring the once greatness of the ever-growing playercard decorations.
Surprisingly this wasn’t one of my favourite parties of all time. Since its’ announcement few were excited about it and who could blame them? The lack of a plot strikes again and suggests CP simply needed a bit more money and more time to work on other stuff (such as maybe Project Super Secret if that still exists). The same items (bar a few new ones), the same Elsa palace appearance, the same decorations, the same transformations…you get the idea.
Before anybody claims this, yes I do realise Screenhog stated on Twitter how this is what CP should be doing (recycling old parties). However, if CP has any hope of bringing the game back to at least half of its’ former glory, this isn’t the way to do it. It seems like a defeatist approach – but I’m sure this is an overreaction and new content is on the horizon.
In 2 days something very interesting happens. CP hosts 2 completely different parties on its’ desktop and mobile platforms. This ensures that the desktop versions’ parties aren’t hindered by the app’s lack of functionality. A very smart move from CP. What are those parties, you ask? The desktop will see the return of The Fair whereas the mobile app will see a Rainbow Puffle celebration event. Though we don’t know too much, we can confirm that The Fair 2015 will be an evolution of 2014’s attempts, rather than the classic 2007/etc offerings. The team also confirmed that my dreaded nemesis ‘The Daily Spin’ will be making an un-welcome return.
In terms of the Rainbow Puffle event, non-members will be available to adopt one of the multicoloured-fluffball for this party. Equality for all!
Random CP Fact #43: The Golden Goggles are a new item released to the game. To own them, player’s must have the highest score out of all their friends (at the end of that respective week) on the Sled Racer mobile app (for iOS and Android).
Until next time, Waddle on!
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!
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..
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.
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.
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!
PH of course! Plus a new background!! Not only this, but Sasquatch officially became recognised as a mascot! What a time to be alive.
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!
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?
- 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.
- 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!