The 'Shroom:Issue 112/Critic Corner
Welcome to The Critic Corner, hosted by your fabulous host, me! Anton! Today we have several celebrity guests playing: Winner of 19 BAFTA TV Awards and star of the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, Yoshi876 (talk)! You may remember him from his special guest spots on Super Smash Bros. Brawl and its spin-off SSB, Meta Knight (talk)! Born in squalor but trained years to become the world’s strongest magikoopa before losing his title in a Power Punch scandal, PowerKam-- huh? What? What do you mean this isn’t a game show?! Well...I’m already here, and assuming my benefits, bonuses, vacation time, access to our in-house masseuse, and dental insurance are all still intact I guess I’ll stick around...
I would like to thank Crocodile Dippy (talk), Super Mario Bros. (talk), and Stooben Rooben (talk) for all of the work they’ve done for The ‘Shroom. I would also like to thank The ‘Shroom staff for accepting my application and believing that I’d be a good fit for this position. While I’m only now joining the Core Staff team after their departure (and as a result), I have worked with all of them in the past on many other projects and have been friends for years, so I personally know just how much effort they’ve put in. I will certainly miss their regular contributions, but look forward to them popping in and out every now and then as well as them being a little bit more free for me to bug them to watch shows and play games with me :bowser:.
Additionally, I will be contributing my own section to this team soon enough, but first I Need Your Help!™ The theme of my section will be me trying out new things and then giving a half-assed and superficial first-time review of it. The section is meant to be a bit silly and not too serious, and give you, the readers, more of a say in what’s covered. Here’s my Steam Inventory filled with games I haven’t played for some ideas, but things you can tell me to do can also be movies, shows, physical actions, trying new foods, music, literally anything and I’ll cover it eventually if it’s not too ridiculous. Just send me a message here on my talk page or PM it to me on the forum.
And finally! Another request to you, our readers, and also writers, and staff, and whoever else, I would like to know what you guys want to see out of Critic Corner. I plan on reshaping Critic Corner to be a bit more friendly to the casual reader, but I don't want to take any steps without knowing what the readers would like to read. Below are some quick polls to let me know so I can get a running start.
If you have any other commentary or suggestions on Critic Corner as a whole, or on individual sections, for now and always please feel free to send me a message on my talk page or PM it to me on the forum, just like previously!
Now that I’ve successfully already used my new position of power and authority to advertise myself, ‘come on down!’ and enjoy reading this month’s Critic Corner!
Section of the Month
DragonFreak grabs a brush to sweep away some Dustbunnies.
Ho ho ho ho Yoshi876's gets spooky with a review of Neville.
Meta Knight gets humdrum about Moldorm.
This month Funky is Sunny Side Up; just be sure to use sunscreen so you don't get fried.
PowerKamek races in to tell us what he thinks of Mario Kart Wii.
DragonFreak's Review Quest
Let us return to the wonderful world of Indie games and dive into my first Indie game I have ever played: Dust: An Elysian Tail, an Action RPG Metroidvania. The entire game excluding the soundtrack, some of the story, and the voice acting was created entirely by Dean Dodrill, which means he programmed and designed all art in the game, which I will explain later is a very big accomplishment.
Dust: An Elysian Tail is set in a medieval-like world populated by anthropomorphic animals. You play as the titular character Dust, a mysterious wolf who woke up in a forest with a complete memory loss. He soon gains two companions: Blade of Ahrah, a powerful sentient sword, and Fidget, a Nimbat, which is a species that is a cross between a ferret and a bat (and also personally really adorable). Neither Dust nor his companions know what is happening so they travel to the nearest village for answers. Soon after arriving they notice the village is being attacked by monsters. Monsters under the control of a great force, planning an event that Dust has mysterious ties to.
Now here is something that you will rarely see me say: Dust’s graphics are amazing. It is one of the most visually appealing games I have ever seen. All of the art of the game is hand-painted, giving it a very unique and pleasing graphics. Now here is the thing, I do not usually care about graphics, as evident from some of my favorite modern games being 16-bit or something similar. So having a game in which the graphics add to the experience means it is special to me. Not to mention, that the creator Dodrill did all the art for Dust by himself. It is very impressive to say the least.
Dust: An Elysian Tail is one of my favorite game of all time. It could be for the fact that I love the art of the game more than anything else. Which is ok, because I would definitely play and have played games for their art and music alone. I would definitely recommend Dust. I had a blast with it and I think that most people would too.
But Yoshi876, this isn't Halloween, why are you reviewing a ghost character? Well, it's because Ghostbusters is out and everyone is going ghostbusting crazy, so I figured I'd honour the best ghostbuster and review one of the first spooks he busted.
Neville is one of the Portrait Ghosts in Luigi's Mansion and is the husband of Lydia and father to Henry, Orville and Chauncy. Sounds fairly standard, but he is actually one of the more developed ghosts within the game, although that's really not saying much. But that family description is pretty much where the game pushes the boat out to, because other than that the only interesting thing to note about him is that he likes to read, hence his full name: Neville, the Bookish Father. And as per usual with my reviews, I find this a disappointment as there's more potential for the character. As the father of a large(ish) family what would have been interesting is if he refused to fight Luigi when he's first encountered, whether it be because he's too busy reading or he just doesn't deem Luigi suitable for battle, but as the members of his family are sucked up he becomes more agitated until he eventually fights Luigi. And whilst we're focusing on his family throw in some of the ambiguous ghosts as part of it like Nana or Uncle Grimmly, heck, even Spooky could have been their dog.
His attacks are also another source of disappointment. I get that he likes to read, but surely as a ghost who has telekinetic powers, he could do a bit more than just lobbing books with his mind; I mean albeit without telekinesis I can still chuck books around if I feel like it. And since the game labels him as a prolific reader, what happens if he chucks a book he hasn't read yet and ends up losing it? He might have all of eternity to find it, but he just wasting time.
So, at the end of the day whilst Neville might be one of the more developed Portrait Ghosts, he is still quite a boring one. Aside from having a family, there's nothing else going for him, not even a backstory on how he and his family died, or when E. Gadd came across them.
Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews
I don't know about you but I always have a giant backlog clogged up with a bunch of games that I need to get around to finishing. One of those on the list currently is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Last time I played I made it somewhere in the middle of Dark World Dungeon 1. Anyway, many people are also excited for Link's newest adventure, Breath of the Wild. To celebrate, let’s take a look back to the past, and see one of the bosses that sticks out. This boss is known by many, but probably for the wrong reasons. This of course is the guardian of the Wisdom Pendant inside Death Mountain. I'm talking about the infamous Moldorm.
This boss doesn't really have much in terms of attacks, all it does is slither around on the floor. In order to succeed, you must attack the tail six times. The monster moves slightly faster after every hit as well. Doesn't seem too hard, until you realize that the arena has no boundaries. What this means is that the boss can push you off the edge, sending you to a lower floor of the dungeon. You then have to climb all the way back up to the boss. Not only that, but his health goes back to full. Let me tell you, nothing is more frustrating than to be really close, only to fall off and have to start the fight all over again. Fortunately, there is a Fairy Fountain easily accessible in this dungeon, so recovering health is easy. Unfortunately, it does not change the fact that this boss is annoying. Walking all the way through the dungeon just to get another chance at the boss is time consuming. The most disappointing point is that the difficulty in this fight isn't from the attacks, but from not getting flung off of the platform. If there's one thing to say about it though, it's the fact that finally defeating it is extremely satisfying, as it means you beat the worst boss in the game. Link to the Past is fantastic, with plenty of great puzzles, bosses, and areas to explore. However this is one boss you want to worm away from as soon as possible.
Sunny Side Up was created by sister-brother team Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, who also write and draw the Babymouse and Squish series. Babymouse was one of my favorite series as a kid, and I still love them today! But, I digress. Back to this month's book!
Sunny Side Up takes place in 1976, during America's Bicentennial celebration. This part of the setting is important, but I didn't actually catch on until they actually put a date in a sidepanel. Yes, within the first 5-10 pages, there's a 1976-car advertised, but it's owned by an old man, so naturally I thought it was a gag thing. But no, it is considered a "new car" here.
The back panel summary teases a "family secret" to the story that annoyed me at first (because it sounds like the opening to a cheesy teen paranormal romance book), but after you've read the book, it's really flipped on its head. I'll come back to that later.
ANYWAYS. Our main character is Sunny Lewin, a ten-year-old who has just been shipped down to Florida to spend the summer with her grandfather (the 'old man with a new car' from above). He lives in a retirement village, however, and there are no other kids Sunny's age there for her to hang out with. Thus, her vacation begins, with her grandfather's BIG PLANS being a trip to the grocery store, or a trip to the pool during 'free swim' (and Sunny has the whole pool to herself.)
The book really starts to take off when Sunny meets Buzz, the son of the village's groundskeeper. Buzz is an average boy: he likes to collect golf balls for nickels and buy comic books with them. Over the summer, he and Sunny collect golf balls, find missing cats, and buy a lot of comic books. The comic books play an important part, too. Whenever they buy a new one and Sunny finds a new hero, (Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc.) the book will do a little feature on the hero and Sunny will identify a little bit with each one. It's a cute feature, showing Sunny's history and her family life.
Okay, onto the most important part of the book: the "family secret" that sent Sunny down to Florida in the first place. Throughout the entire story, Sunny flashbacks to recent parts of her life- the first day of fifth grade, her older brother teaching her how to drive, and the bicentennial festival on the 4th of July. While these are important to showing Sunny's character, they're really meant to set up her older brother, Dale, as the 'antagonist' of our story. Dale drinks and smokes, and many of Sunny's flashbacks involve Dale getting into trouble, or his substance abuse problems getting her into trouble. Bottom line here is, Sunny is in Florida while her parents look into getting Dale some help for his problems. All of it takes a big toll on Sunny, as she feels responsible for 'getting Dale into trouble' instead of pretending that everything is okay and lying to help him stay out of trouble. All of this comes out to her grandfather, who has been smoking since before she arrived. Once he sees how upset about it she is, however, he agrees to quit for good.
Sunny Side Up is a touching and fun graphic novel that highlights the struggle that comes with having a family member that has problems with substance abuse from a young child's perspective. It's a poignant read for young and old readers, and it never feels preachy or poorly set-up, like so many books about serious problems like this can. I definitely give Sunny Side Up my recommendation, and you should read it as soon as possible!
Hello! It's PowerKamek! I am here to say that I'm burning up in the heat, considering I work at an amusement park. But I enjoy working there. I also hope you guys are enjoying your summer, because fall is like several weeks away. School is also soon (for me). Anyways, I am going to review Mario Kart Wii today.
Mario Kart Wii is my childhood game. I played it all the time when I was younger. My grandma even played with me sometimes. I loved it. It was the first Mario Kart to have different accounts for other players. It was also the first one to introduce bikes. Well, I never really raced with bikes, so I can't really say anything about that. But I can say that I liked the accounts idea, because my friends, also my grandma had a different account, so that way, there wasn't a way for any of my friends to mess up my account.
Now to the courses. There would literally be no Mario Kart without racecourses, so, yeah. My favorite course is Coconut Mall, because me and my grandma would always race down this course, so basically because of memories. I also like it because the parking lot is crazy. Your Mii’s are driving back and forth, it's almost like they can't find a parking spot because they're afraid that some Kart is going to wreck their car up. I like it because it's the most craziest thing in the course.
Okay, my favorite battle course is Thwomp Desert. I like the desert theme of it. it's also fun when that Thwomp falls in the middle of the quicksand because he creates an earthquake that makes waves in the quicksand that make the racers fly. Also, just some advice, try to avoid the cactuses. I always hit those and lose my balloons while battling. It wasn't fun.
The only thing that I don't like about this game is the trick ramps. They ruin so many courses in my opinion, especially the retro ones. I used it once to see what it would do, and, I didn't like it.
Lots of talk, sorry. Lets get to rating it!
I would give this game an 8/10.
Summary: Fun Courses to race on, also creative; Battle Mode is pretty fun; The new bikes are fun, and the accounts are great to have (especially when other people play the game); Trick Ramps are boring and useless (in my opinion).
Hope you enjoyed this issue! Again, “Have a Great Summer!"
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is a comedy based on the British TV series: Absolutely Fabulous (big surprise). The plot follows Edina Monsoon and her best friend, Patsy Stone, as they flee the country after Edina accidentally kills Kate Moss whilst trying to become her new PR.
So, does my above paragraph make the plot seem nonsensical? Well, that's because the plot is. It's ludicrous at best and made up as they went along at worst, but from my understanding that's how the main show generally works (excluding the accidental murder). So it feels strange criticizing the plot seeing as it is a straight adaptation. This nonsense is seen everywhere within the film, be it when Saffy needs to sing various love songs in a drag bar to convince Chris to tell her where her daughter, Edina and Patsy have fled to, or how literally every main character somehow ends up in Cannes, and I mean every. Edina Patsy and Lola escape their to avoid prosecution (and Lola wants to annoy her mother), Saffy goes there to find Lola, her boyfriend Nick goes there to bring Edina back to England for pre-trial, Bubbles owns a condo there and she makes her way there after it's assumed she drowned in the River Thames, Mother is there for her friend's 90th birthday party and singer Lulu makes her way over there to convince Bubbles to help her get back at Edina. However, from what I've heard from fans of the original show the movie doesn't feel like an elongated episode, which for a TV adaptation is good news.
The main people you'll be spending time with in this film are Edina and Patsy and their characters are exactly like how they are in the TV series: rich, selfish and obsessed with creating new trends (which creates a tiny bit of confusion when you're not aware that foetus blood is a beauty treatment they use). Despite this being a comedy though, Edina does receive quite a bit of development, with the climax of the film revealing why she is who she is. Unfortunately though, she is the only one who gets any development, every other character is exactly how they are by the end of the film, as they were when it started. Another character complaint is with Lola, and how she is basically the token minority, she barely plays any part in film and is only really relevant because of her credit card which allows Edina and Patsy to escape England. The cameos are a refreshing part of the film, with my personal favourites being Dawn French as the vaguely condescending interviewer to someone affected by Kate Moss's death and Dame Edna Everage who appears in a French swimming pool when police are searching for Edina and Patsy. Those two cameos just essentially capture the entire mood of the movie.
The target audience of the movie is obviously going to be middle-aged women, and in the viewing that I was in there were only about six other men there, and from what I heard around the viewing, it majorly appealed to the target audience, and even the men were laughing at some bits. This is not going to be a movie for everyone and so as a result it is hard to recommend; if none of what I've said in this review sounds appealing to you in any way then do not watch this, you will not enjoy it. If anything did sound appealing then I think you should go, because you'll probably enjoy parts if not the whole thing. My major criticism is only that they could have made it more viewer friendly to those who haven't seen the series, because the opening scenes were all the characters were just there and already established made it a bit confusing to understand.