Just about everyone here in North America has started their summer vacations by now. What are your plans over your summer vacation? I doubt anyone is fighting mummies, showering monkeys or creating nanobots. But some of you might be driving your sisters insane.
Here at the wiki we've been considering what we're going to be doing over our summer vacation and we are planning to overhaul the article message boxes. You know the ones that tell you what problems articles have, like Point of View, etc. They come in a rainbow of colors and are supposed to tell you what you can do to help fix the article to make it the best article it can possibly be.
There are some issues with them as they exist right now. First, they've been on some articles for so long that they are outdated. Users update the article, fix the problem, but don't remove the message template. It's okay to remove the template if you've fixed the issue it refers to.
Next, the admin team believes that our lack of edits have more to do with editors not understanding what needs to be fixed than our articles being perfect. There are plenty of articles that need to be edited but we haven't had a way to truly explain what needs to be done with an article. It's just been an overwhelming rainbow of message boxes with no specific instructions on what needs to be fixed.
The admin team has come up with a solution. We are going to be overhauling our boxes to eliminate the "rainbow effect" that occurs when more than one issue needs to be addressed on a particular article. This will be in the form of one box with several different messages on it that will point the prospective editor to the talk page for more information. We have not yet decided what form the messages will come in, but we are working to make it simpler and more informative.
This new message box with point to the article's talk page with more specific instructions on what needs to be done to the page to get the article's message box removed. For instance, if an article is marked as POV and Expand, then you would say which sections are not in the correct point of view, and what areas the article needs to expand, such as including Season 2 episodes, etc.
So that is what we're planning to make the best out of our summer vacation. We'll be working hard to make it simpler for you to find out what can be done to help the wiki retain it place as the best resource for Phineas and Ferb information on the web.
If you'd like to hear 4 new songs about Father's Day sung by Phineas, Vanessa, Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Isabella, check out The Dad-inator. It will also tell you how you can make your own electronic card that you can send to your dad from either of the Disney sites.
Good lord, that was a long wait. Far too long. Disney is really terrible at scheduling, and it was particularly glaring these past few months, when they not only went on an unannounced (and at that, unconfirmed) hiatus for Phineas and Ferb,
but also neglected to use proper advertising and broadcasting methods to wring any passable amount of viewers for the reruns of Ferb on Disney Channel. But finally, Phineas and Ferb is back for what will hopefully be an uninterrupted normal schedule.
And what a seriously awesome way to come back, too! Enter, "She's the Mayor". In this episode, Candace "becomes" the new mayor of the day while Roger Doofenshmirtz goes out for a day of golf with his brother. Now is where we may stop and discuss some gold: the episode features a truly surprising thematic drive to it. Throughout the episode, we are treated to a backbone of heavy, unapologetic irony—this is a usual staple for Phineas and Ferb, yes, but was makes this episode so notable is the fact that irony is used literally as the entire setup. But that's not where it ends, either. Because then we're introduced to this admittedly weird pseudo political/moral satire that mashes up with an also admittedly weird parody of how people over analyze stuff that has literally no deep meaning. How do they do this? Through Roger admitting that the entire "Mayor for the Day" shtick is bogus, and the hilarious scenes of the crowd taking everything said to them as a metaphor for some random thing about society or morals. It's kind of out of nowhere, but the show does a really good job working with it and using it to add some consistent depth of sorts to the episode.
Now enough of that—how was the episode as a whole? Simply put: fantastic. The humor was gleefully consistent; the jokes weren't forced for the most part, it tended to be off the wall, irreverent, and sophisticated. I truly loved this episode, and found myself laughing all the time. Candace's story has some really solid jokes and cracks at politics and consumerism, Phineas and Ferb's plot features some simple but nice humor, and Doofenshmirtz's subplot was dry and realistic, like always. I am actually an avid golfer and I can tell you that everything Doof mentions about the sport is 100% accurate. It's seriously that boring, but in all honesty is entertaining purely because it helps take out aggression and gets you competitive—even though you end up being sticky, sweaty, and dying to just go home.
The Crazy Old Coot was great, and his ramblings made for several belly laughs. I've heard some complaining about the ending, but I actually loved it—it was silly and made for some great visual gags, including a parody of Obama's Hope painting, but with Candace instead of Mr. President. There wasn't really a song in this episode—technically there was, a light-hearted romp called "Never Gonna be an Ordinary Day", but it was almost entirely inaudible sans the guitar music—but there was a twist on the Quirky Worky Song. Needless to say, this was the best twist yet: what made it work was the unsuredness of the singer's voice, and the blank, awkward stares the boys were giving while doing the awkwardly long task of cutting the log. Genius. The animation is awesome, too—Zac Moncrief does a typical great job directing, and this new Synergy Animation studio in Shangai is proving to be the best source of Flash animation the show's had.
In the end, this was a lurid, cliched plot that the show somehow turned into an irreverent, hysterical political/moral satire with inspired jokes and gags. Oh, and Carl and Monogram in a Sauna? I almost died laughing. Overall: A+
Next up: "The Lemonade Stand." This is also a partly cliched plot that the show did a nice job turning into a creative work fleshed out to call it its own, and ended up becoming a very atypical episode with traditional Phineas and Ferb goofiness. The boys set up a lemonade stand that proves so popular that they launch it into a string of lemonade restaurants—all in the matter of the morning, of course. I know the show is all about this bright, implausible in-a-morning success, but I felt it was more prominent in this episode then others, sending the show a little bit back to its roots, which is good.
There were some nice jokes sprinkled around—what particular gem comes from Perry as a plumber and Doof's hysterical reaction to him showing platypus hind a la every plumber known to men—but I found some of them lagging and that there were too few of them to count. But that's not to say it wasn't altogether hilarious—just not delivered as well as they could have (the "Voyage to the Bottom of Buford" callback, for example, could have been really great if they had made it dryer, more deadpan, and break the fourth wall more). But in the end, it was a solid episode with some nice jokes that could've been better. Overall, B+
Agree with this review? Disagree? Can't really decide? Let us know on our talk page.
Bi-Weekly Top 5
as voted on by the members of the wiki
Poll #15: What is Major Monogram's best line in the first third of Season 1?
Our poll this time gave Major Monogram a chance to show his stuff. Agent P's mission briefings just wouldn't be the same without him.
Agent P must maintain his "mindless domestic pet" cover. — 4 votes. ("Rollercoaster")
Largest total number of votes:
1. "Find out what's not going on and put a stop to it." — 12 votes.
2. Poor planning since Perry was just at Mount Rushmore. — 7 votes.
3. Tie, with 6 votes each:
Needing a close-up because Agent P came in early.
Carl's rookie error. — ("I Scream, You Scream")
5. Lawn gnomes are disappearing, leaving gardens unprotected. — 5 votes. ("Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror")
Recently, I purchased the Early Comic Reader books for The Chronicles of Meap and Nothing but Trouble. They can be bought for $4.99 each in the US. I read them both and finished them in a morning, and noticed some differences and similarities to the episodes. Like the episodes, there was a picture and a caption/speech bubble (to replace a normal transition or speech). However, I noticed that some of the words were cut out from the story. An example was the Chronicles of Meap, in the end where it does that whole “Episode ##...Meapless in Seattle” and it just said “Next time on the Chronicles of Meap…Meapless in Seattle!” then it showed Meap saying “Meap!” on that building. Overall, I would give this an 8.5 out of 10, but it might be better if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
The Summerizer is an activity site that will be going on for several weeks and new items to play with will be available every Friday. Exactly which items are added depends on the votes from the previous week.
We have an idea for a contest involving the Summerizer which we hope to get going within the next week or two. Stay tuned for more information.
In the meantime, head on over to the Games page. See what games are available that you can buy in stores and which ones you can play online.
Get seduced by the coolness with Phineas and Ferb's Best Game Ever!
For this issue, I'm going to review a game that most of you have heard of, yet almost none have heard of. It's called the Best Game Ever!. The reason that almost nobody has heard of this game is because it's listed incorrectly everywhere it's sold. Places like Toys R Us list it as the "Phineas and Ferb Motion Video Game", but its real name can be seen in the corner of the picture: Best Game Ever! "Motion Video Game" is a description of what kind of game it is and is used by Jakks Pacific on several of their products, such as the one for their Triple Header Sports and for Star Wars Republic Squadron.
The controller for the Best Game Ever! is definitely in keeping with the spirit of Phineas and Ferb's Big Ideas. It's designed to look like several different objects were grafted together, but the only one I recognize is the golf putter on the end. That comes into play later. The controller's buttons are fairly standard: an A and a B button, a 4-way "D" pad, a power switch and a menu button. It takes 4 AA batteries, which are secured behind a cover with a screw.
TV connections are also fairly standard. The yellow RCA connector plugs into the Video In jack (called "composite" on some TVs) and the white connector is for the Audio In. There is a "breakaway" connector close to those two jacks so that if you happen to tug on the cable while playing, it will should disconnect before you move the TV. At the other end is a wrist strap and a belt clip to help keep the cord out of your way. According to the manual, you need to make sure you have about an 8 foot wide area (2.4 meters) clear when you're playing. You'll be playing golf with this controller, so I agree that you need enough room for your swing.
One thing that I found was that when I first plugged in the game, there was a loud buzzing noise when the introduction was playing. I fixed that by unplugging the breakaway connector and plugging it back in. It must have been slightly un-seated before.
Now that we have the technical details out of the way, let's go on to the good parts: the games. From this point on, I'll refer to the unit as the "BGE".
The BGE has four games built in:
Put That Putter Away
The first game in the BGE is "Swampoil 500", a racing game based on the episode "The Fast and the Phineas". This is a fairly straight-forward racing game with the usual hazards: oil spills, bumping into other cars and Dr. Doofenshmirtz firing his Deflate-inator ray down on the track. If the ray hits any of the card, their tires will go flat for a few seconds.
Driving is done by tilting the controller left and right. This is called "Ultimotion" control, using tilt sensors in the controller. There's no brakes, just the A button for the accelerator and it pretty much has one speed. The car somehow speeds up when you go around a turn, which I haven't figured out why yet. You can get a temporary speed boost by pressing the B button if you have collected 3 batteries. Use these turbo boosts at the right moment and you'll win each of the four races.
Next up is "Put That Putter Away". As the name indicates, this is miniature golf, direct from that episode. Eight rounds of golf, covering the air hockey hole, hitting the ball into the bulls-eye, hitting the ball into the clown's mouth, the shooting gallery, the Tilt-A-Maze, the bird that lays the egg, the "Double Homer" hole, and the tilting hole seen as part of the song Disco Miniature Golfing Queen.
This is the game where you need the room and to make sure the cables don't get caught on anything. Swing the controller just like a golf club and use the A button for the power. I think I was up to about 92 strokes on the "Double Homer" hole, which was the absolute worst I did on any of the games.
There is a trick to some of the holes that I discovered by accident, but I'll let you find that out for yourself.
Third on the list is "Blimp Buster", an original game where you control Agent P in his hoverjet. Tilt the controller to move the hoverjet. Shoot the objects that Dr. Doofenshmirtz throws out of his blimp (coat hangers, flower pots, gears, anvils, etc.). Some of them will follow you while others just move in a set pattern. If you hit one of them, the hoverjet freezes for a few seconds, you lose a bit of power and you can't shoot. There's some power ups to help you for health, a shield and a bomb to destroy what's on-screen.
At the end of the stage, you'll need to take on Doof's blimp. Shoot it enough times and he'll be defeated, at least until he repairs it and comes back for more.
The last game in the BGE is called "Platypus Panic" and it's my favorite of the four. Major Monogram sends Agent P into Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated to destroy the bad doctor's latest "-inator". The cut scenes also have different dialog, with Monogram advancing the storyline, whereas for the other games the cut scenes were the same ones repeated each time.
You guide Agent P through different levels of the building, jumping, climbing ladders, avoiding traps. All in your quest to find where the "-inator" is hidden. Slices of cheese can be picked up along the way for extra points.
"Platypus Panic" also gives you a choice for the controls. You can switch from "Ultimotion" to "Joypad control" if you want to use the D pad instead of tilting the controller. You still use the A button to climb ladders, but you might find it a little easier to control the jumps with Joypad control. I did, but I also found it amusing that this game, like so many others, allows you to change the direction of your character mid-jump. Clearly, semi-aquatic egg-laying mammals of action are not subject to the laws of physics. But we wouldn't have it any other way.
Overall, I really like this game. There was more to it than I was expecting. It really does a good job of living up to its name.
If you're interested in buying it, Toys R Us seems to be the one place that is consistent with having the game available for sale. I was able to pick it up at a local store for $30.
Be sure to check out the Best Game Ever! page over the next few days. I have some more screenshots to add for the game. From what I can tell, our wiki is the only place on the Internet that has this kind of info on the game. Everywhere else just has the basic info. For right now, we've got an exclusive!
Coming in two weeks:
Results of the next Bi-Weekly Top 5
Hands-on with the new toys, part five
Retro Reviews: a look back at episodes that deserve a second look
Updates on the policies that are being voted on now
Other articles to be determined (submissions wanted)