I listened to the entire album today at work. Here's my track by track review. (Note - I was a huge Weird Al fan when I was younger. Older, not so much, but I still appreciate a good parody every now and again. I spoilered it since some people are sensitive about such things.
Spoiler for Hiden:
"Handy" - I was familiar with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" due to it being our guilty pleasure at work song. We kind of hate-love it. I liked Weird Al's version since I'm decidedly NON-handy, and it has a few funny lines.
"Lame Claim to Fame" - I've always thought Weird Al was best when he was doing original songs or more obscure parodies, and this falls into that category. I can't remember whose style this was a parody of (though I read it somewhere), but this song lists all those desperate claims people come up with to explain brushes with celebrity. Really liked this one because I'm guilty as charged.
"Foil" - While we're all probably completely burned out on Lorde's "Royals," this song's major saving grace is how it starts out as a pedestrian Weird Al food parody, and then takes a crazy 90 degree turn into conspiracy territory. I absolutely hated the first half of this parody until the brilliant second half redeemed it.
"Sports Song" - A rare misstep in original song territory, in my opinion. This ode to sports anthems basically riffs on "your team sucks" set to school fight song instrumentation. Thumbs down.
"Word Crimes" - As a grammar Nazi, this parody of Blurred Lines was one of the highlights of the album for me. Weird Al has a big dic.....tionary!
"My Own Eyes" - This is a parody of some Foo Fighters song I didn't recognize, and while it has some great lyrics about the weird stuff Weird Al has seen, a lot of it is drowned out by the instrumentation. (See "Tacky" for the same problem).
"NOW That's What I Call Polka!" - Any fan of Weird Al knows this is always one of the best parts of any of his albums. Another great mashup medley of the last 2-3 years of pop songs.
"Mission Statement" - As a Crosby, Stills, & Nash fan, I really appreciated the style he went for here. But damn if the lyrics aren't just completely boring. Just stating various business terminology cliches, the song goes on about 4 minutes too long.
"Inactive" - This parody of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" falls a little flat compared to the other big mainstream parodies on the album. OK, I guess, but not one of my favorites.
"First World Problems" - One of my favorites of the album. Another original, but he heavily borrows from The Pixies which is just awesome. I'm also a fan of "first world problem" memes so I really enjoyed this one.
"Tacky" - Your love of this one, as shown in this thread, will probably be determined by how much you can stand "Happy." I liked it, but then again I'm a big Despicable Me 2 fan so I've liked the song every since then.
"Jackson Park Express" - This is another original, and Weird Al's attempt at the long 60's/70's story songs popularized by Arlo Guthrie. This thing is 9 minutes long, but unfortunately the laughs are spaced out far too much to hold my interest. It has some of the typical sadistic Weird Al imagery, but it loses its punch when stretched out this long.
Overall impressions - about half of the album is good, the other half is skippable. And the "good" side largely depends on your tolerance of hearing "Happy," "Royals," "Blurred Lines", and "Fancy" for the 10 millionth time.
I made a serious dent in Child of Light over the weekend. I should be able to finish it up tonight or tomorrow. Once that's done I'll take a little hiatus from console gaming and continue The Wolf Among Us.
I've been chipping away at Child of Light. While the combat can get a little tedious, I'm still enjoying it a great deal.
I also had a surprise play session today. My son (2) decided he wanted to play a game today, picking up my Xbox controller and pointing at the TV. I didn't really have anything installed but Guacamelee, which I had downloaded as the freebie this month and had never tried.
He had a BLAST just making the guy move and jump. Then my daughter, who is almost 5, came in and she started playing co-op with him. She could actually control it well enough to fight some of the more basic enemies, so they were going to town on it. I got so wrapped up in the fun they were having that when they got tired of it I wound up playing another hour or so myself. It really is a terrific game and I got hooked pretty hard! More importantly, though, I saw a glimpse of my next-gen gaming buddies!
YK- There will be an XB1 beta or did I miss it already?
XB1 beta runs from July 23-28.
If I was completely sold on the game I would probably not be so adamant about voting with my wallet, but the Alpha didn't do a great deal for me. My interest in MMOs and multiplayer in general has been heavily on the decline lately, though, so YMMV.
I've decided to cancel my pre-order for this one. I was going XB1, but the 1-year exclusive DLC and halved beta time for XB1 owners is a bit slap in the face to Xbox fans who have supported Bungie for so long.
The biggest change for me was having kids. Pre-kids, it was not unusual for me to play games several hours on the weekends, even during the day. Post-kids, daytime gaming is pretty much impossible.
However, there has been a silver lining. Due to the reduced time, I've had to be very choosy in what games I play. I can't just bounce from game to game like I used to, so I tend to finish more games. So though the quantity of my game time has gone down, the quality has gone way up.
I still manage to play much more than most of my peers with kids. My wife (bless her heart) is a saint when it comes to my gaming hobby. We've settled into a nice routine in which we split our evenings after the kids go to bed between games and catching up on TV/movies, so I still get in a good 10-15 hours per week.
Going to try to finish up Wolfenstein - I'm only 1-2 hours from the end. After that on the console side it will be Child of Light, and on the PC The Wolf Among Us. Trying to knock out some quick wins before The Last of Us hits on the 29th.
I've been pleasantly surprised that I've split my time about evenly between the XB1 and the PS4. The XB1 is my entertainment hub, but I've also played a lot of its exclusives and it's the platform I'll buy any multiplayer games for.
The PS4 is my go-to cross-platform gaming machine for single player titles and indie stuff.
Each has their pros and cons, but I think both consoles are awesome and I'm glad I went all in and decided to invest in both of them.
GOTY for me so far would be Infamous: Second Son. It held my attention through two playthroughs (which almost never happens), it was a great graphical showcase for the PS4, and it was the first console game of 2014 that I really sank my teeth into.
In terms of hours played I spent more time in Watch Dogs, but that was due to the greater abundance of side content. In terms of presentation and story I enjoyed Infamous more, and the extra bonus was that it was my first platinum trophy.
I fully expect, however, that some of the games coming out this fall will dethrone Infamous as GOTY for me. While it's a good game, it wasn't at that next level that I demand of a "true" GOTY.
I don't usually pay full price for shooters, but having played it, I'd make an exception for this one. In terms of sheer entertainment value, it's worth full price. If you can get it cheaper, then I'd say it's a no-brainer.
Also note - Amazon has the PC digital download version for $29.99.
Another bit of trivia. The first two Ninja Turtles movies were filmed in my hometown. The first movie was probably our first big box-office success after a string of Dino DeLaurentis and Stephen King movies in the 80s.
So apparently my office is setting up a big TV downstairs and grilling out hot dogs and stuff. I guess they figured they were going to lose productivity today either way, so they may as well do it up right.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not much of a TMNT fan.
Everybody wants the dark gritty turtles of the early comics, but the majority of the fan base was built on the 80's pizza-munching surfer dude Turtles. For better or for worse, that's what they are.
I was already outgrowing them when they hit their peak, so I think I just missed the boat.
Keeping that in mind, I think that this looks awesome compared to the original TMNT live-action movies. At least they went a little darker and the turtles look better than guys dressed up in rubber suits. I don't care for the wisecracking dudebro angle, but then again, I've never cared for it in any iteration.
Traded in Watch Dogs today for $42.50 credit towards The Last of Us Remastered. I was not going to trade in any games this generation, but when they're giving those kinds of crazy trade-in values it's really hard to resist.
Funny, had the exact same issue and not really sure what I was doing wrong. I kept dying, they kept telling me to 'sprint and jump' and I kept yelling at the screen that I AM sprinting and jumping, dammit! Finally worked and not really sure what was different when it did, guess I finally got the timing of the jump to its liking.
I had the same issue. It's because I wasn't sprinting and jumping correctly. You have to click down on the left analog to sprint, then hit X to jump. For some reason I was reversing those controls, and trying to sprint with X and jump with the analog stick.
Papers, Please - $2.99 The Stanley Parable - $5.99 Gone Home - $2.99 The Wolf Among Us - $8.65 Blackwell Bundle (The Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, Blackwell Convergence, Blackwell Deception) - $1.99 Shadowrun Returns - $3.74
I know this is an unpopular opinion but I actually liked the 3rd one better than the second one. The story made more sense to me. Turning an entire section of the city into a prison in part 2 was a really bad premise that didn't make a whole lot of sense.
You're not alone. I also enjoyed the third one more than the second. I really thought the third one got an unfair rap just because it didn't add a lot of new features (which is kind of a lame negative, in my opinion).
It was a rock solid Batman game experience, and I was pretty impressed that a totally different developer pulled off the feel of it so well. Some of the review scores it got were a travesty. Gamespot, for instance, gave it a paltry 6 despite praising the mechanics and storyline. Only cons? Not innovative enough and some weak multiplayer characters. That's just total bullshit. It's not up to us, as gamers, to dream up fanciful new features and innovations and then ding the developer for not including them. There's no Bill of Rights that says every sequel has to have X number of new features or the game sucks.
I played the hell out of Arkham Origins and enjoyed every minute of it. Was it innovative? Nope. But I loved the first two Batman games so more of the same didn't change the fun factor.
I'm still really on the fence with this one. I've found myself drifting back more to single player games that I can make true progress on and finish in a reasonable amount of time. While the alpha was certainly polished and fun, I'm just not sure the multi aspects are going to hold my interest (particularly since there will be a lot of single player titles competing for my interest this fall).
I had the day off to watch my son who was sick, so I finished up Watch Dogs. Wound up at just shy of 80%. I debated finishing up a few of the collectible things I missed, but after a good 30+ hours I think I'm ready to move on.
At any rate, I think it got a little bit of an unfair backlash from gamers due to hype/mystery surrounding it. It's a good game, but needs some refinement in the form of a sequel to really take it to the next level. I definitely look forward to playing future installments.
This is the reason I went from primarily PC gamer to primarily console gamer this gen. I got tired of the lazy PC ports. I also got tired of games that had decent PC ports, but were so obviously designed for a console that it detracted from the experience.
Well I got a nice Father's Day surprise - a copy of Wolfenstein PS4! So even though I have about 10 more missions to go in Watch Dogs, I'm going to treat myself to some Nazi kill in' tonight. I also got a bit of time in with the Destiny alpha.
I've about finished up all the side content I want to do, and ready to finish out the campaign and be done with this one. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed it - I've sunk a good 30 hours in and will all is said and done that will probably be closer to 40, which is just under what I put into Black Flag.
I've done all the official side missions (Gang Hideouts, Convoys, Fixer Missions), and most of the collectibles (which I may push through and try to complete). I don't think I'm going to finish the Online Missions (just don't have a lot of interest in it), and I'm not going to bother with the mini-game stuff (Level 10 against all three drinking game opponents? Pass).
I give it a solid B-, and the minus comes mostly from the uninteresting story/characters. The gameplay itself was fun, the side content was great, and though it failed to live up to its next-gen hype, it was still a solid example of a good past-gen open world adventure.