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Neopian Book Reviews: Neopian Times Issue 3


by dr_tomoe

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Hello again, friends! Welcome to another installment of Neopian Book Reviews! Today we're going to do something special. Today we're going to talk about the Neopian Times! You might not know it, but the Neopian Times is thirteen years old. If the Neopian Times was a user, they would be old enough to post on the Neoboards. In other words, except for some of the most absolute ancient Neopians out there, and I don't mean those painted Elderly, the Neopian Times has been a fixture of our adventures in Neopia from the very start. Whether it's the weekly Editorial where TNT takes time out of working on making more sparkly wearables to answer our questions, or the comic section where the great art and great humor combine, the Neopian Times has been running for a long time. Articles, comics, editorials, short stories, and series all come together to form Neopia's number one fill-in-the-blank news source.

It's with that in mind that I've picked a special book to review for this installment of Neopian Book Reviews. I'll give you some clues. It's Neopian Times related, it's also available in plushie form, and it's everyone's favorite booby prize from the Tombola Game. That's right! This week on Neopian Book Reviews, I'll be reviewing Neopian Times Issue 3!

Like all issues of the Neopian Times, Issue 3 is written by both the members of Neopia and TNT. Like current issues of the Neopian Times, you can see that the basic formula hasn't changed much at all. There are still the same basic categories for entries into the Neopian Times. In fact, aside from the background images being much busier and the headers being in a different order, there's not much different on the surface. It even keeps the Quote of the Week!

However, one thing that will strike the reader as strange is that on the front page of Issue 3 is that there is a Guild Spotlight section. Likewise, while the stories that are in Neopian Times Issue 3 are listed on the sidebar, the main page itself does not have a collection of stories or articles within. Instead, Neopian Times Issue 3 has advertisements for different places in Neopia. I don't mean who sponsored the issue for the week, (The Book Shop, by the way. Strange coincidence, huh?) but actual advertisements. In Neopian Times Issue 3, these advertisements link you to Armada, Deckswabber, and the fact that the Trading Post has reopened.

Now, while that is an interesting diversion, I'm sure you're all interested to get to the part of the Neopian Times that everyone first rushes to when a new issue is hot off of the presses: The Editorial! Yes, even in an old issue like Issue 3, there is still the Editorial, where TNT answers all the questions that you might have about the site with their traditional wit and humor abound.

In the Editorial for Issue 3, we learn that the old Deckswabber game used to give out dubloons if you scored over 300 points. Okay, not exactly humorous, but informative. Another question is answered saying that you can hold fifty items in your inventory, and even more in your safety deposit box. Okay, they can't all be gems, but we do finally get one when asked why Punchbag Bob is wearing a disguise. That one is pretty funny, and... okay, looking at the rest, they seem to stick more to the informative rather than the humorous in the early days, and that's alright. It's Issue 3. They were just getting started. Although, one thing that I will note about the early editorial is that someone asked what happened to the time machine that was in Tyrannia. For those of you who are too young to remember, there used to be a quest in Tyrannia to help repair a broken time machine by bringing him Tyrannian foods. And then, one day, it was gone, as the Wocky Scientist repaired it. I know I'm going to date myself, but I remember doing quests for him many years ago. I suppose one day we'll find out when and where he was from.

The next section of Neopian Times Issue 3 that I'll be looking at is the Articles section. One of the first things that will strike the reader is the second article, entitled "A Survivors Guide to the Chatroom." Upon further reading; you can learn something that even I didn't know. A long time ago, Neopia had a chatroom! Clicking the in-article link, however, will only direct you to an error page, so I can only assume at some point in time, Dr. Sloth fired his ray gun and turned that function of the site to sludge. But now we have the Neoboards, which are much better.

Aside from that little interesting bit of Neopia history, the Articles section is just like how it is in any other issue of the Neopian Times. There are game guides, help guides, just for fun articles, and discussion of Neopian Events. Judging from the articles, when Neopian Times Issue 3 came out, Old Maraqua had just been destroyed. Yes, Faerieland isn't the only Neopian Land that underwent a catastrophic destruction. From that day forward, the Kitchen Quests had been moved to Mystery Island, where the Flotsam Chef still remains, now in the service of Mumbo Pango. I suppose that no one has told him that Maraqua has been rebuilt since then, or perhaps Mumbo Pango is easier to serve then King Kelpbeard.

The Comics section of Neopian Times Issue 3 is almost completely unchanged from the current, more modern version of the Neopian Times. There are still plenty of visual jokes and the traditional sense of humor that most Neopians who send in comics to the Neopian Times seem to possess. Speaking on a personal note, my personal favorite comic in Issue 3 would have to be the one where the hungry Blumaroo ate some Battle Slices from the Hidden Tower.

Finally, no review of an old issue of the Neopian Times can be complete without reviewing the short stories and series section. Neopian Times Issue 3 has you covered in that regard as well. There are several short stories ready to be read, and four new series that made Issue 3 their starting point. In a bit of a strange notion, the continuing series section has stories that go beyond three parts. Where these old stories might have found a beginning, I don't know, but what this does reveal is that there was a way for Neopian storytellers to tell their tales to the world before the Neopian Times came about. One interesting thing to note, however, is that one of the picture icons for one of the continuing series apparently shows the Art Center in the old catacombs. Another fascinating bit of Neopian history that is preserved in this old newspaper.

Well, this review went more detail than normal, but this was a special occasion. Neopian Times Issue 3 is very well made, and should be worth a read to anyone who enjoys the current Neopian Times and wishes to look back at how far it's come. Now, normally this is the part of the review where I ask several other famous Neopian figures their opinion of the book, but seeing as today is a special review, I'll leave this up to you, the reader. After all, without you, there would be no Neopian Times. So for this one, I want you to tell me your opinion of Neopian Times Issue 3.

As for me, I give Neopian Times Issue 3 a special place in the review and history books and rate it a great piece of Neopian history. As you celebrate Neopets Birthday, try to enjoy this look back at the early history of the Neopian Times and enjoy how far it has come since the humble beginnings. Until next time Neopia, keep on reading, and try to keep ants out of your lucky green boots!

 
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