I got to do the new covers for the Mighty Odds series by Amy Ignatow! The new covers will be released in September? I think? They’re a fun quick romp about a bunch of teens who get very lame super powers and solve bizarre mysteries while avoiding the evil science corporation that inexplicably gave them powers in the first place. If you’re a tween or an adult who never grew up (like me) then you’ll probably enjoy them immensely.
Let’s try to explain the Eurovision Song Contest nice and easy for everyone outside of Europe.
It’s almost like the Hunger Games.
1. Each country sends one (or sometimes more) tributes to compete against each other.
2. Instead of killing each other, the tributes sing.
3. While they do so, they put on a big show for everyone to gain even more attention and affection from the spectators. This includes fancy or crazy costumes, dances and special effects.
4. These extra efforts often enough have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SONG AT ALL!!
5. This only adds to the confusion!!! Even for Europeans!
6. Everyone can watch this show live
7. AND decide about demise or victory of the chosen tributes
You know what’s something that I love about the Portal series that sets it apart from a lot of other games?
Portal is, unnecessarily, very musical.
Its a puzzle game, there’s literally no reason for it to be as musical as it is. I’m not just talking about the score, either, though it is incredible. All video games have some kind of music so that you aren’t listening to nothing while you travel around maps and shoot at things. And for RPGs the music is a very important part of storytelling. Undertale did this masterfully.
But I’m talking about how you find easter eggs of turrets singing to each other as a past time, or how one of the loading screens is Potatos lamenting about being thrown down into old Aperture. Music is a theme in the game. Putting aside the music that you test by, these are examples of all the musical encounters you have just by walking around the game without tripping a cut scene. (Though I would like to note that GLaDOS singing the ending credit song for each game was also a very odd path for Valve to take that paid off. )
- Exile Vilify on the radio.
- Still Alive on the radio.
- Turrets practicing ‘Turret Wife Serenade’.
- The companion cube sings a version of ‘Cara Mia Addio’ when you pick it up.
- Funnels have their own music.
- Test Chamber 20 of Portal 2; the laser buttons have rhythm when they’ve all been activated.
- The things that re-direct lasers make their own music too.
- Wheatley plays classical music to try and show off to the player.
- The Announcer plays smooth jazz for you in one of the earlier tests.
I know I’m still missing some, but if you were to take these out of the game nothing would change. They don’t add anything to the story (aside from Wheatley trying to prove he isn’t a moron and failing at it), and some of them are Easter Eggs so you could just as easily miss them. There’s no point to them being there but we love that they are. It adds a character and charm to the game, like the Aperture facility itself is a big orchestra with robots that love to sing.
And it leaks into its fan base, too. We have a Portal 2: Musical that has been performed twice! Harry101UK makes his own original Portal music videos and tracks as a hobby.The Portal Stories: Mel mod not only uses all of its own original music, but it also has hidden musical easter eggs like a radio playing a rock version of ‘Want You Gone’. The most popular Portal fanfiction, ‘Blue Sky’, is named and themed after a song by Electrical Lights Orchestra. It is almost mandatory that if you are to make Portal content the universe you’ve created does not seem complete unless there is at least one hint at its musical themes. (That’s my opinion anyway, I realize the first game wasn’t nearly as crafty with its usage of music as much as Portal 2 was)
I dunno, it was just a thought I was sitting on for a while that I really appreciate the franchise for.