Posts Tagged ‘mission’

Album Review: Mandatory Fun – Weird Al Yankovic

Man, when was the last time I did an album review?

July 2014
RCA Records
Genre: Comedy/Pop


You’d better have some.


1. Handy
2. Lame Claim To Fame
3. Foil
4. Sports Song
5. Word Crimes
6. My Own Eyes
7. NOW That’s What I Call Polka!
8. Mission Statement
9. Inactive
10. First World Problems
11. Tacky
12. Jackson Park Express

Weird Al Yankovic is easily one of my favourite artists of all time, and his career has now lasted well over 30 years. The king of musical parody has always been most famous for his direct musical homages, which ape the exact melodies of relevant pop songs, but his astoundingly lengthy success can also be attributed to his underrated songwriting skills, both in his famous “style parodies” and his completely original tunes. This aspect was arguably in short supply on his last album, 2011’s Alpocalypsewhich was also criticised for falling behind the rapidly accelerating pace of pop culture trends. I’m happy to say that Weird Al’s fresh album release, Mandatory Fun, has no such problems. Al’s shrewd choice of song topics, not to mention his clever promotion method of releasing eight music videos in eight days, has proved he is as adaptable as anyone, and that makes me rather happy.

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The Hidden Insanity of Watch_Dogs

At the minute I’m playing through Watch_Dogs, Ubisoft’s long-hyped open world game focused on hacking the creepily prescient virtual operating system responsible for running an entire city. I’m having a lot of fun with it, as it has some cool ideas for combat and exploration that leverage the unique idea at the heart of the game. However, none of the extensive preview coverage I watched or read before the game’s release has prepared me for some of the crazy ways that the game’s developers push the idea of a super-digitised world through side missions and activities. Regardless of whether or not I end up reviewing – or even finishing – the game, I wanted to highlight the ridiculousness of some of the stuff I never expected to be doing in Watch_Dogs, but that is keeping me moored in Act I of the game’s story:

Giant Flower Bouncing

This was actually one of the first things I did in the game, launching me right into completely unexpected territory. Several street vendors offer you the ability to take part in “digital trips”, which are pretty much self-explanatory. They transport protagonist Aiden Pearce into the world of a bad acid trip, changing up the game’s mechanics in the name of the kinds of minigames you’d normally only see in a Japanese-developed title. The trip aptly named “Psychedelic” has you bouncing belly-first from giant blooming flower to giant blooming flower, using the control stick to angle your trajectory and trying to land as close to the middle of each flower as possible. It’s actually quite difficult and there are plenty of levels to play through.

"I'm flyyyyiiiing!" cries our hero, completely un-ironically.

“I’m flyyyyiiiing!” cries our hero, completely un-ironically.

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