The 'Shroom:Issue 114/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hypnotoad (talk)

Issue100 anton.png

Hello guys and welcome back to Critic Corner! This month I'm super proud to present to you a jam-packed page with 8 whole sections! Eight! Wowzers!

Be sure to check out my new section that I wrote because I wanted to do it and also conveniently fit into a niche that you guys voted on wanting to see! Anton's Half-Baked Reviews is located at the bottom of this issue, so you guys will have to read eeeeverythiiiiiiiiiiing....or just hit the End button and scroll up, whatever suits your fancy, preferably everything because everyone works so hard <3

Also, be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom for Critic Corner Section of the Month! I can assure you that we pay attention to those, as well as our writers, so even just a simple couple button clicks to let people know you've read and appreciate their work can mean the world. Congrats to Yoshi876 (talk) and his Monthly Thoughts debut taking August's Critic Corner Section of the Month!

Section of the Month

Critic Corner SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Yoshi876's Monthly Thoughts 8 47.06% Yoshi876 (talk)
2nd Marioverse Reviews 4 23.53% PowerKamek (talk)
3rd Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews 3 17.65% Meta Knight (talk)



Reviews

Take a break with DragonFreak from real life with Fantasy Life.
[read more]

Yoshi876 picks a fight with someone totally not his size.
[read more]

Power through Funky's review of Powerless.
[read more]

Eye up Meta Knight's review of Eyerok.
[read more]

It's his Party and PowerKamek will cry about how bad it is if he wants to.
[read more]

Get snug with Yoshi876 with the Lights Out.
[read more]
Opinion Pieces

Read what you missed in the world while on your end-of-summer vacation.
[read more]

Go ape over Anton's thoughts on things and stuff.
[read more]



DragonFreak's Review Quest

Written by: DragonFreak (talk)

Fantasy Life
FantasyLifeBoxart.jpg
Developer Level-5, Brownie Brown, h.a.n.d.
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) 3DS
Genres RPG Life Simulation
Rating(s) E10+

Fantasy Life is an RPG Life Simulation game for the 3DS that upon seeing it for the same time I described it as a “handheld Runescape”, even though that is not really what it is, that is what hooked me into buying and playing it. Instead it’s a single player (that can do multiplayer but I have not done that) simulation of well, a fantasy life. You play as a younger human who is ready to the many trades of the world you live in.

In the world of Riveria, the player starts out in a sort of coming-of-age sequence where you can use and practice all the trades and skills available, which I will talk about in length later. A very huge goal in every citizens’ life is to go on their Life Path, which is a metaphorical set of choices of what you could call “a calling”. As typical with a lot of RPGs, your character manages to interweave themselves into the strange happenings of the world, with the king of your city trusting you to investigate said happenings. Meteorite-like rocks having been falling all around the area. These contain very dark energy with the ability to corrupt creatures. It is apparent that something terrible was happening, and as you explore Riveria, you will discover what’s going on with this unnatural phenomenon.

DFRQ 114 1.png
The main focus of Fantasy Life is all the life classes you can be. There are twelve total, which is not that bad, I feel like it is a good number. But here is the thing about these life classes: you cannot have more than one life class at the time, which means you can only level up one life class at a time. I know that is the point of having different life classes, but when you put this concept in video game form, having to manually switch between classes in order to skill them up in the way you have to can feel pretty tedious. I do consider this a flaw, but all things considered, I think this flaw can be overlooked and forgiven, giving the nature and structure of the game.

The 12 life classes are Alchemist, Angler, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Cook, Hunter, Magician, Mercenary, Miner, Paladin, Tailor, and Woodcutter. Four life classes are dedicated to combat. Hunters are the archery, from a distance you can attack and defeat your foes. Mercenaries are a heavy hitting, but slow melee class. Paladins are another melee class and are the opposite of Paladins, being quicker, but with less damage per hit. Finally, Wizards are the magic users that harness the elements of fire, water, earth, and wind.

Next comes the gathering classes, which is the smallest group consisting of only three. They’re all self-explanatory as they are Anglers, Miners, and Woodcutters who fish, mine, and cut down tree respectively. That leaves the last group, the crafters, who use the items from the gatherers plus any other items lying around to build objects to use, wear, or decorate. Crafters are particularly useful because so many of them compliment your combat classes, which you will mostly likely use most. Each of these classes revolve around short quick time events. Alchemists brew potions to help you on your adventures. Blacksmiths use the ore from Miners to build your armor. Carpenters use the chopped wood for decorations and tools, most importantly wands for the Wizard classes. Cooks, obviously, make the food for your adventure. And Tailors sew and stitch your clothing and more decoration.

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Now with so many life classes you would think there would be a lot of content outside of the main story right? Well yes…and no. In order to level up a class, you need to complete what is essentially a checklist. Usually it’s defeat X amount of a certain foe for combat, collect X amount of material for gatherers, and make X number of items for crafters. It can be a bit grindy, especially for the crafters where you would be crafting a lot of items you don’t need. You could just sell them for money, but you are still crafting them for grinding reasons. Then there are the classic NPC quests. The vast majority of these quests are simple fetch quests, which wouldn’t be bad per se if it was not for the fact that fetch quests are a bit boring.

To give to this game’s credit, while the it is not the most thrilling rpg there is, I find it most enjoyable when you are in a casual mode, because Fantasy Life is a pretty casual game. I will not consider that a bad thing, unless said casual game appeals to the lowest common denominator like Wii Sports or any shovelware ever. As a gamer with varied tastes, after intense and/or stressful sessions of games like Dota or Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, kicking back and relaxing with games like Fantasy Life is perfect.

Bottom line, Fantasy Life is fun if you go into it knowing and expecting an easy, casual RPG instead of some extravagant RPG. It’s a curiosity game to me. I would like to say I would be interested in seeing what else Nintendo could offer in terms of Fantasy Life…but the sequel is apparently mobile only, which kills all my interest regardless of what it is. However, a new game has been announced recently that looks similar to Fantasy Life but improved upon. It is called Ever Oasis, and I am pretty excited about it. Expect to see a review of that in the future.


Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Baby Rosalina

This is what happens when you leave your kids at daycare.

The Awards have passed and I couldn't decide which character to review, but I eventually settled on Worst Character. I then ran into some further issues as I'd already reviewed the winner: Peach Gold Peach, and I didn't know enough about the second placed Kersti to write a good enough review on her, so without further ado here is my review on third place in Worst Character: Baby Rosalina.

I'm going to start this review out on a positive note, and say that I do not mind the inclusion of any baby character within the Mario Kart series. I don't see why we shouldn't have baby versions of characters exist within the franchise and I'd happily support Baby Wario or Baby Donkey Kong making their way into future installments. Baby Rosalina is just continuing a trend that I'm happy for it to have continue.

However, the inclusion of Baby Rosalina is sadly marred by the massive retcon that it did, in which they just gave adult Rosalina a shrinking pill and a diaper, completely ignoring the backstory that they had already given in Super Mario Galaxy. Baby Wario retains Wario's greed, Baby Luigi retains Luigi's timidness, was it too much to ask for Baby Rosalina to retain her actual younger self's hair colour? Baby Rosalina was inevitable for the Mario Kart series, but given the way she got introduced into it, I honestly would have preferred Baby Wario or Baby Donkey Kong to have made their Mario Kart debut instead, or maybe had Baby Waluigi make his debut.

I'm not offended by Baby Rosalina's existence, Rosalina is one of the most popular characters in the Mario series, her baby form shouldn't register at all on my radar, but the fact that she was introduced like this just feels like a massive middle finger to her fans, and the developers and or writers who spent a lot of time and effort coming up with her original backstory.


Book Review

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

Powerless
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Author Matthew Cody
Release date 2009
Genre fiction, superhero
Pages 280
Available From


Hello, all, and welcome to a new edition of Book Reviews! Today, I will be giving you a spoiler-free review of Powerless by Matthew Cody!

Some of you who have been reading with me since the beginning will remember that forever ago I did a review of one of my favorite series of all time, The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy. This book is kind of like Ordinary Boy. I first heard of it when it was being advertised in Archie Comics, and this year I finally built up enough interest and bought the trilogy. I haven't finished the last two books, though, so this review just applies for Powerless.

Our story starts out with a normal boy named Daniel moving to the "World's Safest Town" of Noble's Green with his family to help care for his ailing grandmother. He meets a group of kids there: Rohan, Mollie, Eric, Louisa, Simon, and Rose, and notices that they have some kind of secret to hide. As you may have guessed it from everything else in this review, these kids have SUPERPOWERS! The complicated part is that they have their powers from birth, but when they turn thirteen years old, their powers disappear, along with all their memories of them, which includes the rest of the friend group having these powers. Readers are introduced to Michael, a boy who could fly, in the first chapter of the book, but the next day at Michael's thirteenth birthday party, his powers and his memory are suddenly gone. Daniel meets him later in the book, but Michael still doesn't remember anything from before his birthday. So, Daniel and the "Supers of Noble's Green" begin their investigation of why this strange phenomenon keeps happening.

Okay, let's first start with the characters. Daniel is a pretty average "new kid in school." He finds a new friend group and sticks with them, then helps them with their problems after they help him with his. Not too remarkable. Rohan is the group nerd, so he's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Mollie is really surly and bitchy, honestly, and I really feel that most of it is uncalled for. She's not even super-protective in the way that would make sense, like a mother-figure for the group, she's just really bitchy and moody all the time. I get that she's stressed and worried about losing her friends but this is all her character is and it's irritating most of the time. Eric works as the makeshift leader of the group, and he's probably the most tolerable, followed by Rohan. He's brave and strong and he can fly, so he's pretty much what you would expect as well. Louisa and Rose don't get a lot of pages dedicated to them, but Rose is the youngest in their group, so most of her character focuses on that, and the book starts to set up Louisa as a love interest for Daniel about halfway through, so she's not too bad, either. Simon is just an asshole throughout almost the entire book for reasons that are explained later, so there's that.

That's the first gripe I have with this book. Very few of the characters are actually likable. Most of the mystery-solving business is Daniel going around to talk to people with no backup whatsoever. Ordinary Boy went that a way a few times, but usually most if not all of his friends were always with him. It's just such a strange disconnect that it divides the group right up instead of uniting them throughout the story.

Next on my list: the setting. I'll let Daniel fill you in on this part, as he does it better than I can: "'Welcome to Noble's Green, Pennsylvania-the Safest Town on Earth!' The safest town of Earth, thought Daniel. Couldn't sound lamer." And that's all you really need to know about the setting.

Finally, let's look at the plot. While it does have a few twists here and there to keep you interested, but they're not great. They're no better than what you'd get out of a food cozy mystery. Maybe that has something to do with this book being aimed at middle-school boys, but even middle schoolers deserve better than this. It doesn't get very good until you're more than halfway through the book, so if you need something to hook you right at the beginning, you'll most likely drop this one before it even has a chance to get started. If you're willing to put up with it, you will be rewarded, as it does get better, but this book is not really anything remarkable.

All in all, I can't give this book a positive recommendation, probably because I read it with Ordinary Boy in mind. If you've never read OB, you might get more enjoyment out of this book, but I honestly can't recommend this book to anyone. Its faults outnumber any redeeming qualities, and you'll be waiting too long for it to get good. Read Ordinary Boy instead and enjoy your day.

Thanks for reading with me, everyone! Stick around next time, when I'll bring you a new Graphic Novel Review!


Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews

Written by: Meta Knight (talk)


Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's Boss Battle Review. Twenty years ago, Super Mario 64 was released in Japan and the United States. To celebrate, let's take a look at a boss that made their debut here. Let's talk about the Eyerok! Eyerok is the boss inside Shifting Sand Land, in the mission Stand Tall On the Four Pillars. One thing that makes Eyerok fun for me, is just how to find him. You have to go around the map outside the pyramid, and stand on each of the four pillars. However, I usually ground pound on each pillar, because sometimes I'll walk on a pillar, then go to the next, but one of the pillars doesn't register properly. It's not too much of a loss, just another trip around the map, but still.

Once all the pillars have been activated, the top of the pyramid gets blown off, and the player can go in there. I like the fact that when you enter the pyramid from this point, it takes you near where the boss is. I also like how you can't normally get to the boss unless you go and activate the four pillars. It still is possible to fight Eyerok while having another mission selected, but you still have to take the special elevator by activating the four pillars to get to the boss. This makes Eyerok feel unique because you can fight him without having his mission selected, but still have to work your way to find him unlike the Big Bully in Lethal Lava Land.

A view of both hands of Eyerok. While both hands appear to be vulnerable, this most likely won't happen during the fight.

When you enter the boss room, Eyerok appears inactive, but if you step on the big pile of rocks he appears with terrible grammar. The fight then begins. Generally, one hand will attack you, while the other is vulnerable. You have to avoid the hand that's attacking you while at the same time get to the other one to defeat it. If you die on the boss, don't worry. Jumping back into the portrait spawns you inside the pyramid on the elevator, and I think that's good because you don't have to go mess about with the four pillars again.

Eyerok's pattern is fairly simple, but is still more complex than other bosses in the main series. Additionally, Eyerok came first, but it also reminds me of Bongo Bongo from Ocarina of Time or the Gohdan from Wind Waker. I think that's pretty neat, because it's as if Eyrok was a bit of an experiment, then they thought "I wonder what would happen if this kind of boss was in a Zelda game instead?" Overall, Eyerok is no masterpiece, but I still think that it's worth fighting. It will be one less star for you to worry about.



Marioverse Reviews

Written by: PowerKamek (talk)

Mario Party 10 box.png

Hey! It’s PowerKamek here. School has been stressing me out. I’ve had hard classes, stressful days, and more and more throughout the past month. I am better now though. Anyways, my birthday was on the 9th, and I turned 17. I am so happy! Just a year away from adulthood. Today, I am going to review Mario Party 10.

Mario Party 10 is the most recent entry in the Mario Party series so far. But, I wasn't really a big fan. It is actually my least favorite in the series, well, 2nd least favorite. I’m looking at you, Mario Party Advance! Anyways, Mario Party 10 came out on March 20, 2015. So, I didn't like it because: Number one, they kept the car idea from Mario Party 9; Number two, Bowser Party is boring to me; Number 3, It doesn't seem to have enough minigames.

Well, I’m going to explain why I liked it in one paragraph, and why I disliked it in the next.

I do like the minigames. There were a lot of fun ones in it. My favorite three minigames are: Soar to Score , Meanie Match, and Fruit Cahoots. Pretty much, all the minigames were good. At least, I think. From the boards, I like the board Mushroom Park, because it has an amusement park in it. One time, I got lucky and got to every event in the board! The other boards are fun too, just not my favorites. I do like Amiibo Party, but it gets annoying after a while when you have to pull out your amiibo every time it’s your turn.

Now the dislikes! First things first, I don’t like how Nintendo put the car back in the gameplay from Mario Party 9. I like moving around with my legs, going wherever I want in the board. If you're in the car, it could be bad luck, because you only control it on your turn. What if someone gets near a pile of Mini Ztars right when it’s about to be your turn? Exactly. Number two, Bowser Party did not make Mario Party 10 any better, believe me. I tried it many times, but it ain't fun. It just changes the gameplay a little bit, and it’s still boring because you're IN THE CAR! Plus, playing as Bowser is tedious because you barely have a turn at all. You spend a lot of time watching someone else play. Number three, It doesn't have many minigames. Mario Party 9 had a total of 82. This game had a total of, well, 75. But I mean the list still seems short, doesn't it? Especially the 4-player minigames. They are all fun though, yay!

My positive paragraph is shorter than I thought it would be. The negatives was a huge essay! So I guess that doesn't look good for Mario Party 10.

Time to review:
Pros: Fun Minigames; Fun Boards; Amiibo Party
Cons: Annoyance of amiibo in Amiibo Party; Car back from MP9; Bowser Party; Not much Minigames

I would give this game a 4/10.

Summary: All minigames are great; The boards are fun to play on; Amiibo Party brought fun with the amiibo;; Using the amiibo too much in Amiibo Party; The cars return from Mario Party 9 ruined the gameplay; Bowser Party wasn't fun; Not enough minigames, especially 4-player ones

Hope you enjoyed this issue! Have a Happy Fall!


Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Lights Out

Lights Out
Lights Out.jpg
Genres Supernatural horror
Release date August 2016 (UK)
Starring Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Alexander DiPersia
Runtime 81 minutes
Ratings 15 (UK)

I hate watching supernatural horror films because I jump way too easily. Something just needs to move and I instinctively want to close my eyes and wish the whole thing would just be over. Of course a film review where I didn't actually watch the film would be boring so don't worry, you're not about to read a review about Lights Out with no commentary on anything that actually happened.

The main reason I didn't watch this film through my fingers though was because I was never scared during it. Maybe it was due to me having watched several trailers so I knew where the majority of jump scares were, but in all likelihood it was probably because I mentally prepared myself for this film to be the scariest thing since missing one of Anton's deadlines. To be fair on the film I probably set myself expectations so high that realistically no horror film could actually deliver on those. However, despite the film not actually scaring me, I know the same cannot be said for other audience members who were clearly terrified, and the film is creepy throughout. Diana's movements are incredibly creepy, her general body shape and she is easily one of the creepiest monsters in the entire horror genre, not to mention a scene near the climax where Rebecca finds mannequins in the basement, whilst I wasn't scared by the overall film, those mannequins were actually quite freaky and definite nightmare material. There is a perfect sense of dread in nearly every scene and it rarely relies on a cheap jump scare. The majority of the jump scares build up without you fully noticing, the most notable being when Diana is able to grab Martin due to there being darkness under the bed. There is also great suspense throughout the film, whilst most modern horrors have a jump scare before the monster leaves after a door is slammed, for the most part this film keeps suspense high throughout. The most notable of these moments being either the opening scene where Paul tries to escape Diana and has to run through dark and light to get back to his office, or where Bret is trying to escape after the power overload at the house and has to rely on light sources not affected by it, like his phone or car headlights.

Quite a lot of films tend to overcomplicate themselves by having multiple storylines throughout and failing to give a satisfying end to all of them, but for the most part this film just has one. The only sub-plot that it has is Rebecca and Bret's rocky relationship due to her lack of commitment and actual love. The lack of a diverse cast works majorly in the film's way, none of the main characters feel two-dimensional, there's meaning behind what they do and for the most part if avoids usual character clichés. Bret is not your typical jerk boyfriend only interested in sex who flees at the first sign of danger, in fact Rebecca's safety seems to be his main concern. There's none of the boring waste of time of a character trying to get the others to believe them about a ghost, as all the main character, barring Bret, have had experience with Diana, Sophie (Rebecca and Martin's mother) isn't absurdly neglectful, the only reason she is is due to her depression and subsequent brainwash by Diana. Of course the police are just cannon fodder, but it's not a horror film if the police are actually able to do their job well.

There are some issues I have with the film though. In early scenes there always seems to be some shoehorned in dark place and light source close to it giving the impression that something is about to happen, and although for the most part nothing does it'd make the film feel a bit cheap if they were. Other criticisms just end up as questions, like: why in a situation where Diana could be in any dark place would the character waste time by having a wind-up torch that takes time to fully light up instead of a normal torch that immediately turns on? Why does Diana lock Rebecca and Martin in the basement? At that point in the film she is clearly going against Sophie's rule of "Don't hurt my children", so it'd make more sense for her to kill them rather than just hide them away, especially since when it turned back to day she could easily let them out. Why does Diana waste time by picking up Bret and Rebecca and throwing them around instead of just simply killing them? Diana is shown to use her overly long nails to kill Paul and the police officers so all it's doing is adding fake suspense. And my main question is why does it take so goddamned long for anything to get explained? I'm not expecting the full story of Diana by the end of scene 1, but one of the things that really irritated me was when Diana woke up Rebecca near the start of the film by constantly scratching something on the floor. It takes several scenes before we learn what was written and this seems ludicrous, because surely Rebecca would have looked after Diana went.

Despite there being several things that annoyed me about the film, it is definitely one of the best horror films released in recent years. I respect any film that avoids the obvious clichés, and whilst one still exists and is a bit of an annoyance I don't think anything really affects the film's quality. For fans of the genre I really recommend it, but if you're like me and are incredibly jumpy, although I got through it, I wouldn't advise you to watch this unless you're comfortable with sleeping with the lights still on.



Yoshi876's Monthly Thoughts

by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Hello readers and welcome to my new section: Monthly Thoughts! Here, I give a run down on the 10 news stories that interested me the most in the past month. Now, the things that will likely interest me are disasters and similar things; politics; and scientific discoveries, particularly in the fields of astronomy and biology. This issue we'll be covering news from August 14 - September 10, 2016.

10. Still no date for Australia Same-Sex Marriage Bill - I still find it surprising that Australia hasn't legalized same-sex marriage yet, especially since many other first world nations like the United States and United Kingdom have, as well as New Zealand. February might be the earliest they'll get something, but I'm not really expecting anything then, and even when it does eventually get motioned, given how it's gone down before, and how the government seem to be trying to avoid it again, I doubt it will pass. There's also news about the government holding a plebiscite on the issue which many Australian political parties oppose because the results no matter what they say have no legal basis and the plan would cost Australia $160 million Australian dollars. In all honesty, the Australian government should stop pussy-footing the issue and have the vote, there does seem to be no reason in the constant delays.

Hunting him will be illegal
9. Mammoths to become protected species - It might be a little late to save them from extinction, but it's the thought that counts. In all seriousness this has come about due to a discovery of more mammoth tusks in Siberia due to the permafrost surrounding them melting. In fact, it's estimated that there may be around 150 million tusks there. At the moment selling mammoth ivory is legal, and as a result elephant poachers use it to get around the laws forbidding the sale of elephant ivory. So, even though it'll be an odd law, and I'm sure that poachers will still find loopholes to expose, it's a step in the right direction for further protection to elephants.
Someone's happy about this!

8. Species taken off the endangered list - Two animals have been taken off of the endangered list in the past month: giant pandas and humpback whales. In just a decade giant panda numbers have risen by 17% in the wild, with their geographic range increasing by 12%. Unfortunately, there are worries that climate change could wipe out 35% of bamboo which could sadly reverse this. As for the humpback whales, whilst not all species are off of the list, nine out of fourteen being taken off the endangered list is a great to hear, and due to there being an international ban on commercial whaling, hopefully they'll stay that way.

7. Planned removal of some CCTV cameras in London - Westminster council plans on scrapping 75 CCTV cameras to save £2.7 million, despite Westminster containing many of London's tourist attractions like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square among others. Normally I'm for measures that reduce unnecessary expenditure, but not when it comes to security, and scrapping these cameras in Westminster I think will affect security. Whilst I doubt it'll leave the landmarks with no CCTV surveillance, it'll make infiltration by terrorists into other places with large crowds more likely, and given the state the world is currently in, they could very well exploit that.

6. University fees going up - I'm starting my first year of university later this month, and whilst the rise of tuition fees won't increase until next year, and by the looks of it's only going to some of the top universities, it does worry me a bit due to the potential money issues that I could face in the future. The UK is no stranger to university fees increasing, the last time it happened the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, released a video apology as it went back on one of his election promises (this was later turned into an actual song), but when 83% of people from a sample of 7855 Telegraph readers said university was already expensive enough, it does seem like universities are ignoring the wants of their students. The Russell Group argue that the rises are necessary due to a funding shortfall, but there are universities where students feels that they aren't getting value for money, so maybe something should be done about that before increasing the fees again.

5. Low reading age among adults in England - It was revealed this month that over a quarter of adults in England have a reading age so low that they may struggle to read a bus timetable or wage slip, in fact it's reported that they have such low levels of writing, reading and numeracy skills for things that are required in everyday life. One in twenty adults have the levels of literacy or numeracy skills of a five year old meaning that they should struggle with selecting a floor on a lift. What's also shocking is that adults outperform the younger generation in these statistics, England is the only nation in the world where this happens. Whilst I highly doubt in the future England will be populated with people unable to use a lift, it is worrying that these statistics exist and may showcase shortfalls in the education system on the whole.

4. UN accidentally introduced cholera to Haiti - Cholera was accidentally introduced to Haiti back in October 2010, and is thought to have come from Nepalese soldiers that were positioned there back in 2004 on a peacekeeping exercise due to cholera being endemic to Nepal. Despite that, it was only last month when the U.N. actually admitted responsibility to it and would be pushing to get further funding against the cholera outbreak which it seeks to end. Whilst it's certainly a step in the right direction, it probably means little to the 9200+ families who have lost someone as a result of the disease, especially in a country where only 24% of the population has access to a toilet. As well as funding to end the disease, I think the U.N. should take a further step and help get Haiti out of the gutters due to this colossal mess up.

3. Racial inequality in Britain - I was shocked and appalled when I first read this story, as a white man I myself have never experienced racial abuse directed at me and I assumed that for the most part the majority of racial minorities were treated fairly. As it turns out they are not. Black people are twice as likely to be murdered in the UK and three times more likely to be prosecuted as opposed to white people. And it's not just crime where there are major differences, black people with degrees earn on average 23.1% less than their white co-workers. 26.8% of black people live in overcrowded accommodation, as opposed to 8.3% of white people. I agree with the report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, something needs to be done urgently, and I hope that the government will heavily fund ways to combat this.
Could this star harbour life?

2. U.S. and Russia aim for Syrian truce - This was announced September 10, so further details won't be available for me to say until next month's issue. So for what I know so far, the truce will start on Monday after sundown and will focus on increasing humanitarian aid and cracking down on terrorist groups. Part of the truce bans the Syrian government from flying combat missions meaning that indiscriminate barrel bombing will hopefully be stopping, there will also be the creation of a demilitarized zone. I think many people have been waiting for this news, and I am hoping that it will help bring a close to the Syrian War as well as severely weakening IS.

1. Potential life-harbouring planet discovered - Do not get your hopes up for this one, but our closest star, Proxima Centauri, has a small rocky planet orbiting it within its habitable zone. The planet has been called Proxima b and it has the potential to have liquid water on it and it has been estimated that it is around 31-40 degrees Centigrade on the surface if it had an atmosphere. Now that is has been discovered there are already discussions about getting there, and robotic probes landing on the planet in the coming centuries, which means we won't be around to learn what it harbours. Or will we? The planet is now a focus of Project Starshot, which would send ultra-fast nanocraft there and would take 20 years to get there, but although it has funding as far as I'm aware no spacecraft have actually been made yet and they would probably take a while to be made. As a keen astronomer and someone who takes great interest in other life in the universe, this is great news. Whilst I've always been a believer that liquid water isn't fundamental for alien life, it certainly helps and hopefully in the coming decades that question may finally be answered.


AntonHalfBakedLogo.png

Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

Welcome to the first Anton’s Half-Baked Reviews, which, due to confusing terminology that was explained to me in our secret sub-board of glitterati as actually probably being an opinion piece, but I’ve already decided that Half-Baked Reviews sounds better than Half-Baked Opinions because it sounds more ~official~, is a fun shallow section in which I utilize my community-badgering skills to crowdfund ideas on things to do and then I tell you what I think about them in a completely uncritical way that’s about as adequate as this entire first paragraph being one run-on sentence.

The way this section works is you guys tell me to do a thing, then I go do the thing, and then I come back and tell you my experiences with it. For people like Palkia47 (talk) who are used to being perpetually hypnotized to do goofy things, now’s your chance to return the favor in the form of appealing to my sense of commitment and duty of finishing the tasks I promise to perform rather than mental enslavement. For this first month, in the spirit of half-assery that this section embraces, I only received one outside response after having hounded #mwchat for a bit! Wow! I haven’t even written my first piece yet and you guys have already embodied the soul, THE ESSENCE, C’EST MAGNIFIQUE!! Fun fact I’m not even using that suggestion this month lol.

I hope you like the logo because I worked really hard and stressed over deciding whether I should draw new elements or just copy/paste things for that freshly curated sense of half-assery. Whole-assed half-assing. Just ask Twentytwofiftyseven (talk) because I bugged him about which direction I should take.

Running a ‘Shroom team

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a ‘Shroom team director then allow yourself to wade into the waters of my immersive VR summary that I’m going to do in one sitting and not bother rereading because I really want to go out and play Pokémon Go sometime before the day is over but also be able to say “I did something productive!” today.
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So I kinda knew what I was getting into for being the director of a ‘Shroom team for a while, thanks to my various Overlord duties in chat and awards, as well as just being a snoop. I figured “Hey, I already yell at people about deadlines all the time, what’s a couple of more deadlines to yell at people about gonna do to me?”

Not much, as it turns out!

Well, I kinda went into this with a gigantic application/resumé because I GO HARD when it comes to things that feel like I’m working at an office because oh my god have you ever went shopping at Staples?? That place is like heaven like there’s so many stationeries and paper products and so many styles of paperclips and pens and aaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAA.

Anyways maybe because I joined during some light months with focus turning to Awards work is the reason why it felt like I wasn’t doing too much. Like, don’t get me wrong the entire group effort of the management staff and the writing crew makes for a magnificent body of work, but to compare it to other leader positions I’ve held this one is kinda lax. I set up a checklist of deadlines I need to follow, cross them off each month when I get to them and complete them, the issue goes up, and I refresh the checklist to repeat it and that really….seems like it? Maybe it’s what I need to balance out my ensemble of other management duties online and offline that all cause me to have anxiety. And like it’s not like just anyone can do it because while it seems lowkey, it does require a certain finesse, discernment, palate, decorum, and other fancy words I double-checked the definition of before using when mulling over applications and other various actions and decisions.

Perhaps it just feels this way because I came in prepared for an authoritative job, but what it really is is more like a guide for our writers. It’s a bit humbling in that aspect.

I can’t w8 to do a review of surviving my first special issue.

Rating: CornChex.png Regular corn chex piece

Explanation: Respectable piece that has been there forever, and can be good on its own, but is certainly better when it’s covered in cocoa powder.

Play as Winston in Overwatch

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an irrational and selective hatred of monkeys and other various primates. They tend to occupy tropes in all kinds of fiction and media as being either somehow smarter than humans, or beasts that only serve to irritate others for comedic effect. Winston seems to fulfill both of these. Now, prior to this request I’ve only played Winston for like 40 seconds just to see what he was about but I immediately had to switch because I just felt gross.
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After that I’ve just completely avoided the character while I just brewed some angry thoughts against him without bothering to read up on what he can even do or what the character’s background even is and then let it fester some more into a nice contempt stew.

Winston’s primary attack is like a giant taser electro shooty gun and you don’t need to bother aiming with it; just click the left mouse button and it shoots out zappy arms that kills everything. He also can jump at people I guess which is a movement ability I used to flee instead of enter conflict because the ally Mercy is spending all of her time tanking Reaper, and also some shiny dome shield he plops down to protect an area from damage. In my like 4 rounds of playing as him, I quickly found myself noticing one particular mode of play, which is toss up the shield to block out the enemy team’s Torbjörn, Widowmaker, and Bastion, and then just lob myself at the front line offense of Soldier 76, Reaper, and McCree (god what a boring team) to just hold left-click to win as I spasm in a feigned attempt at aiming, and then once they’re dead just lob myself again at the pile of long-range snipers and turrets just kinda sitting back and then just hold-left-click-to-win them all to death at once because apparently not only do you not need to aim but the electro zappy shooter arcs between nearby opponents.

In my experiences, while playing as him and asking questions on how to better my play, it seems he has one particular niche: destroying Symmetra nests. I’ll admit it’s pretty satisfying having a self-proclaimed “““““““meme team””””””” pick all Symmetra and make considerable gains with their 4000 turrets and teleporters, only for like 1 person to switch to Winston with a single support healer trailing him and then completely obliterate every single turret as well as the Symmetras.

Rating: Brokenpretzel.png Broken pretzel pieces at the bottom of the bag.

Explanation: While ultimately satisfying because you can sweep things up, after the fact you need to look yourself in the mirror and be able to make peace with yourself. Sure, I just polished off the bag, but I had to tip it upside-down and choke on some dust and probably got some crumbs on my bed.


Tell me what to review next! 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. Don't like what I have to say? That's fine, and probably bound to happen because I'm putting no effort into really learning about my subjects! We at Critic Corner will welcome your alternate review of it as a new section for the next issue!



The 'Shroom: Issue 114
Staff sections Staff NotesAwards Director ElectionThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Anton's Awards Reflections'Shroom Awards VIIUltimate Music Battle

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