I found it hard to connect with the storyline, which saw crabs pester and steal from Rockhopper's ship, causing the eventual sinking of the Migrator. That plot device had several weaknesses. First, the telescope could only show one glimpse of the crabs doing just that, completely omitting the progressive element of the storyline. This was way less effective than the telescope scene in 2008 where we could see the "full sequence" of the Migrator sinking. Secondly, just after Club Penguin's weak villain, Skip, who only served as a villain to the Halloween Party because he was a ghost, we get the pirate crabs. I wouldn't be surprised if the pirate crabs were used just because they have the claws to screw Rockhopper's ship. It is definite though, that the pirate crabs were uncommunicative, that it was difficult to have an ambition to go against their evil motives. We don't have any backstory to why the pirate crabs stole from Rockhopper because of the pirate crabs' lack of characterization or dialogue. Maybe they are just an excuse to bring about the renovation of Rockhopper's ship? It's a shame that no villain to Club Penguin has achieved the mastery of Herbert, and yet he fails a lot.
Also, prior to the party, we get the weak plot device of a week's old message arriving. This was simply an information dump to foreshadow the plot. It's questionable whether Rockhopper genuinely wanted to send such a message. It's not like we were expecting him in November anyway.
The sinking of the Migrator was very undramatic - in fact, so undramatic that the shipwreck is unrealistically static in the sea (as viewed from the Beach). The pirate crabs that "invaded" the island only came in groups of 3 for each room - kind of a weak invasion if you ask me. If the pirate crabs actually dominated the island and swarmed around the place, then the party would be less forgettable.
So apparently the southern area of the island gets redecorated into an island characteristic of an island a pirate would enter. But that makes no sense since the decoration is only there for display. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the visuals of the Forest and the Cove, which employed a lush combination of natural colors, highlights, scenic focus, and roleplay opportunities. They weren't perfect though. The Cove, for example, could have let water overlay the player when in the water instead of looking like we could walk over it as if we were walking on water.
The other rooms however, carried the same theme of over-decoration as the Halloween Party 2014 showed, especially considering that the interiors of the decorated buildings weren't decorated at all. The Dock was especially cramped, and there was no reason to have the Hydro-Hopper as a ship if you can't even play it as a ship in-game. Also, how did the sea color somehow become more greenish?
Rockhopper hardly plays a believable character in this party. His ship has sunken yet he seems unmoved by this in his appearances on Club Penguin other than calling it a "tragedy". Hardly do we ever get to help Rockhopper's hidden dismay other than doing what he tells us, which is the "standard role of battling the crabs for loot". We don't get much of a emotional connection with Rockhopper that it seems we are being demanded a favor from him rather than helping him as a protagonist.
I disliked how Rockhopper had dialogue moments which weren't in-game. If you did the wrong move in a crab boss battle, he'd give you constructive criticism through watchful commentary, but not actually join in the battle himself. Talk about lame.
Nonetheless, I praise Rockhopper's cunning plan to lure the pirate crabs out of the island.
The items available at the party were a mixed bag. They might not be that appealing in general because of their stereotypical pirate-like nature - but they can come in handy. Alas, the incentive to obtain these items in the party is still by the unfortunate long-running cliché formula. Chillin43 sums this point up: "We've seen the 'come back each day for a new challenge in another room that will take at most thirty seconds and won't offer any sort of stimulation or enjoyment and we'll give non-members a new free item and members a new free item' before."
I did appreciate a selection of the items in the Furniture & Igloo Catalog and the Penguin Style. Seeing an underwater igloo location and pirate ship furniture in particular was a delight and a promise for further creativity.
Club Penguin reused the same style of duel with the sword duels between penguins and crabs as the lightsaber duels of the Star Wars Takeover. This was a bad idea for two reasons. The first being that winning the game is based on chance, and the second being that sword fighting just wasn't that appealing. In the Star Wars Takeover, there was something special in dressing up as your own Jedi knight or Sith costume and dueling an opponent. While your own jedi/sith costume might not be rendered during the duel and instead be substituted with a cloak or Darth Vader costume, at least there was something to wear, unlike in the Pirate Party crab duels...
The Crab Battles were initially interesting, but these got repetitive and uncreative fast. Like I said before, the duels is based on chance. Also, the crabs just attack you one by one. Can't they think a little more smarter than that? If this was more fun, we wouldn't have to be needing item incentives for these battles in the first place. Like Green N Cool said, "why keep dueling if you don't get any more coins or items because you've got them all?"
Ninja Penguins pointed out that "we can't even go" to the Migrator. This is a good point as exploring the Migrator shipwreck would've made gameplay more memorable. He also commented on the restrictions of exploration, "The worst problem is, we can't go on the X, so the Town had a lack of space to walk around, so as a few other rooms". If we had more freedom, like we did in Rockhopper's Quest where we could go to islands beyond Club Penguin's boundaries, I'd guarantee that the Pirate Party 2014 would've had more replay value.
I couldn't say this any better than Chillin43 did: "The music at this party is fine. None of it is very memorable, but none of it is bad. The same can be said for the items. Do you sense a theme here?"
The Pirate Party 2014 had a bland delivery. I guess overall the decorations and items were the only highlights, but everything else was not impressive at all. There was not enough for the party to reach a satisfactory level. 4.5 out of 10.
Now it's time for your say! What would you rate the Pirate Party 2014? Feel free to post your opinions on the party in the comments. :)
07:52, December 1, 2014 (UTC)