Tag Archives: Music

Yooka-Laylee Drops a Hot Track!

If you ever played Donkey Kong 64 during your childhood, then you certainly remember the DK Rap.  This funky song introduces the Kong crew through a well-written rap about what their special abilities were.  Diddy Kong could fly real high with a jetpack on and Lanky Kong floated just like a balloon!  It was a silly rap song that game composer Grant Kirkhope created for the title.

Flash forward almost 20 years later and Kirkhope’s latest work was composing video game music for Yooka-Laylee that’s slated to release on April 11th.  After his success with the Banjo-Kazooie series and Donkey Kong 64, Grant Kirkhope was busy composing new tunes for the game.  One of the best part about Kirkhope composing the score?  He created a rap track specifically about Yooka-Laylee!

That’s right folks – Yooka-Laylee has their own rap song featured in the game!  What started as an amusing stretch goal for Kickstarter has now become a real thing that Playtonic promised for their fans.  This rap son is as cheesy as the fans would expect, introducing some of the characters and their goals within the game.  Both Yooka and Laylee have a verse dedicated to introducing them and their special powers; it also introduces characters such as Trowzer the Snake and Rextro Sixtyforus (who is an homage to the Nintendo 64).

Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee is meant to invoke feelings of nostalgia for players that enjoyed the classic 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64.  It has that collectathon game-play feel to it that gamers enjoyed during the early 2000s.  Providing a Yooka-Laylee rap only makes sense because it pays tribute to the DK Rap that was created for Donkey Kong 64.

Yooka-Laylee stars a chameleon named Yooka and his batty pal Laylee as they venture out from Shipwreck Creek to explore deep inside the work of Hivory Towers.  The duo travel to Hivory Towers to search for the ‘Pagies’ in order to explore the secretive Grand Tomes.  Yooka-Laylee must stop their adversaries Capital B and Dr. Quack from absorbing all of the world’s literature and converting it into profit.  Players can use the Pagies in order to enter into new worlds or expand old worlds that were already unlocked.

It’s amazing that Yooka-Laylee got their own rap song!  Donkey Kong 64 was one of my favorite N64 games and the rap song was so catchy.  I’m glad that more nostalgic features from Rare’s classic titles are making their way into Yooka-Laylee.  This is a great strategy to reel in the audiences that enjoy the collectathon titles.  Hearing this rap song made me even more ecstatic to play Yooka-Laylee.

As a fan of collectathon games, I thought this was a neat idea from Playtonics.  Former employees of Rare that worked on Yooka-Laylee are doing great at providing interesting quirks from the classic titles into the project.  Yooka-Laylee is sounding like an amazing title to play and I can’t wait to check it out this month.  Who knows what other hidden features I may discover when I start playing the game.

With Playtonic employees coming in from working on various video game titles, it’ll be astonishing to see what kind of gameplay experience they provide for the players.  Yooka-Laylee releases in less than 2 weeks and fans are pumped to play the game soon.  Let’s hope that we discover more nostalgic features within Yooka-Laylee when it hits the shelves on April 11th!

Final 2016 Announcements From MakeSandcastlesNotWar

Aight folks…tomorrow is officially New Year’s Eve, which means this will be the LAST full blog post for MakeSandcastlesNotWar in 2016!  Wow…that was fast.  It only seemed like yesterday that I was midway through posting content for MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Boy does time sure fly!

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that there would be more exciting content?  Well I’m still sticking to my word!  Now’s the time to start dishing out what kinds of posts you’ll be seeing in the near future.  They’ll be old ideas, NEW ideas, and more topics within certain categories of entertainment.  If you thought the secret category was the most surprising post, you haven’t seen anything yet!

And speaking of that ‘secret category’ that was revealed earlier this month…we’re diving deeper into this idea.  If you’re still scratching your heads over the clues and pondering how ANY of this have to do with cannabis, you’re not alone!  We’ll reveal an exclusive behind-the-scenes post of how these ideas came into play when conjuring up the secret category.  The answers may shock you, causing you to re-think what you know about the cannabis industry.

The ‘secret category’ topic is just one of many posts coming up.  Listed below are a few brainstormed ideas being thrown around in the meantime:

Potential MakeSandcastlesNotWar Posts

Yooka-Laylee Review

History of Cannabis prohibition


Frank Gallagher’s Best Speeches From Shameless

The New Billion Dollar Crop

Drug Dealers Make the Best Businessmen

Secret Story of Cannabis and Video Games

LSD: The True VR Experience (Title to be altered)


Addiction: The Modern Day Slavery

Cary Grant’s Relationship with LSD (Working Title)

JFK: The 1st Late Night President

Alcoholic Anonymous and LSD

Cannabis as Truth Serum

Commentaries on past work (School work/Blog work)

These are just a few of many brainstormed ideas that could become a major part of the MakeSandcastlesNotWar community.  Within these titles are some unique figures that you probably haven’t heard of.  Listed below are some interesting characters that helped drastically change the country for the better:

Notable Figures

Timothy Leary

Denis Peron

Victor Maddox


Bill Wilson

The Stanley Brothers

Lots of ideas brewing up around MakeSandcastlesNotWar, yet very little has been revealed!  Most of our posts may be drug-related content, but will discuss other content as well.  Music, video games, and even works of literature will be discussed two.  That’s all that I can say for now.

In the meantime, I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year.  See you all in 2017!

MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s Most Memorable Posts of 2016

Welcome everyone!  2016 is coming to an end and many people have mixed feelings about what 2017 will bring.  It’s been a quite a hectic year, what with the shocking events that have kept us scrambling for answers.  We’ve dealt with arguments over transgenders using the bathroom, a gorilla being shot in the zoo, a reality TV series becoming President, cannabis being legal in 20% of the country (#megalizelarijuana!), and a slew of celebrity deaths.

We will see some more exciting content coming up next year, but more on that news later.  Right now it’s time to take a trip down memory lane to visit MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s most memorable posts.  There were posts that made us happy, sad, frustrated, amused, confused, and just downright BLOWN AWAY.  These posts delved into some deep-rooted issues from provocative news stories that occurred this year.

Here were the most memorable posts in 2016 from MakeSandcastlesNotWar:

SeaWorld Orca Change (March 21st):  Before I even started MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I was writing blog posts for my school’s PRSSA chapter at Salem State University.  My first post was about SeaWorld’s PR nightmare after Blackfish came out in 2013.  It’s been more than two years since the original post and I was happy to announce that SeaWorld will stop breeding Orcas in their facility.  They got major backlash about their treatment towards killer whales and they’re definitely listening to their audience.  This was one of my first PR nightmares that was created for MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

        Georgia Anti-Gay Bill (March 24th):  Back in March, Georgia almost passed a controversial bill that would’ve hindered their business with Disney and Marvel.  The religious liberty bill, a bill that would’ve legalized discrimination against the LGBTQ community, could’ve created serious ripple between businesses.  Other than LA or New York, Georgia has become a popular hotspot for filming TV series/movies (The Walking Dead was shot in ATLANTA!).  Luckily the bill never passed and business went on as usual.  As mentioned beforehand, MakeSandcastlesNotWar believes everyone should have the same human rights.  It really doesn’t matter whether your straight, gay, bi, transgendered, or other identities.  We’re all human beings in the end and we all make sandcastles!

        San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Law (April 8th):  Ah, San Francisco!  Be sure to smoke those flowers when you’re there!  San Francisco approved a law mandating six weeks of full-paid parental leave.  The measure applies to mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and same-sex couples.  Any mothers-to-be looking for the best business benefits should head on over to San Francisco.

        Steam Sega Mega Drive (April 27th):  Sega made one of the coolest announcements in April: the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub, a nostalgic 90s-hub where you play classic titles through Steam!  This exciting announcement was made back in 2011, but Sega was looking to add unique features for enhancing their retro-gaming atmosphere.  You can download the program on Steam to play all of the classic Sega titles.  The best part?  Games are played through the old CRT-TV!

        Kings of the Jungle (June 3rd):  JUSTICE FOR HARAMBE!  But in all seriousness, Harambe’s death was so widespread that we HAD to discuss this.  Harambe was a 450-pound gorilla that was shot in the Cincinnati Zoo after a 3-year-old boy fell into the exhibit.  His death sparked a nationwide controversy, with everyone finding someone to point fingers at.  What followed were a slew of memes dedicated to Harambe.  As I write this piece, I’d like to remind my readers that my dick’s out for Harambe.  #DicksOutforHarambe!

        Gotta Catch ‘em All! Pokémon GO! (July 13th):  This whole post started after a funny story from working at Berry Pond.  A kid was walking by the gate to wander around the park.  He was wandering around, you guessed it, to find Pokémon through the Pokémon GO app.  Pokémon GO caught on like wildfire, becoming the most popular app in less than week.  Millions of downloads and thousands of dollars later, Pokémon GO remains popular to this day.

        Super Mario Run (September 8th):  When I found out that my favorite plumber Mario was leaping into the mobile market, I just HAD to write about this!  Super Mario Run is the first Mario game people can play one-handed.  You just tap the screen and hold the screen for bigger jumps.  Collect as much coins as you can and challenge others through the ‘Toad Rally’ mode!  The game released for Apple on December 15th and there’s no word yet on when it’ll hit the Android market.

        American Horror Story: Roanoke (September 15th-November 17th):  I’ve discussed a lot of TV shows on the blog, but American Horror Story: Roanoke was a season like no other.  An isolated house near the haunted Roanoke grounds, a disturbing history of the colony itself, and a HUGE twist in the middle of the show that blew everyone’s mind!  This year’s season of American Horror Story was so amazing that posts were created the day after the episode aired.  Best part about the whole season?  Two words: PIGGY MAN.

        David Ortiz Flag Roll (October 3rd):  David Ortiz played his final game with the Boston Red Sox on October 2nd 2016.  Ortiz retired after this season, but not after an amazing tribute for him.  He may not be playing for the Boston Red Sox, but he will forever be a part of the Boston community.  As David Ortiz once said: this is our fucking city!

        #Grassachusetts (November 9th):  One of the GREATEST events happened for Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Maine: cannabis became LEGAL!  Question 4 passed for Massachusetts with 53% voting ‘yes’ to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and older.  Similar measures were passed for Nevada, Maine, and California.  This is a major step in what would initiate the cannabis industry to flourish in America.  In pot we trust, God bless Marijuanamerica.  Yes we CANNABIS!

        A Secret Category Approaches! (November 15th):  Last but not least, we have the new category that entered the blog!  There were three clues relating to what the category would be, each stuffed into an empty bottle that all read ‘12/15/16 – ????’.  The answer to the secret category was finally revealed on December 15th.  We’ll have more content generated towards the new category as the next year rolls in.

Trending Google Searches of 2016 Highlight

Google is a popular search engine I use when looking for useful information.  Whether it is looking up an actor/actress from a TV series or finding out information about a new video game, Google has always helped me find the right content.  It’s a great tool to use in the business world because it is like a treasure chest filled with knowledge.  Billions of internet users search for something on Google to fulfill their personal needs.

Now that 2016 is winding down, users are gearing up for what 2017 has in stores.  We’ve had quite an interesting year and we are all looking forward to what the next year will bring.  A rank of trending searches was released a few weeks ago showcasing what was the most popular search items of all time.  Here were some interesting search items that were trending this year:

Image result for Pokemon GO

Pokémon Go:  Pokémon GO was the most popular mobile title this summer, so it comes as no surprised that this game was trending on Google.  Millions of users downloaded the app to wander around and collect as much Pokémon as they could (you can find more info on the game here).  It’s been 5 months since its release and people are STILL searching for Pokémon in their area.  More new Pokémon have been updated into the app, as well as unique awards to collect.

Michael Phelps:  If there’s anyone from the Olympics that HAD to be trending this year, it would be Michael Phelps.  He’s won many gold medals swimming his way to the top (pun WAS intended!).  The one event that made him become another social media meme was his inevitable death glare over at Chad le Clos (read more about his death glare here).  Months after his infamous glare and people still remember that moment during the Rio Olympics.  It became so popular that it even became part of Intel’s TV ad featuring Jim Parsons!

iPhone 7:  Apple’s phones are always popular everywhere and the iPhone 7 wasn’t any different.  The iPhone was released back in September and was praised for long battery life, quality display, attractive design, and being easy to use.  This phone will cost you $869, but it’s definitely worth it for the mobile audience that wants the latest and greatest in mobile phones.  Here’s to another one of Apple’s latest phones to trend on Google!

Deadpool:  Deadpool was not only the most trending Superhero film, but it was also the first comic film with an R-rating.  Ryan Reynold was the lead role and the film made a box office of over $760 million.  Not bad for a Superhero film with an R-rating!  Hopefully 2017 will bring us more news about the Deadpool sequel.

Orlando Shooting: This year brought us some wins, but we also dealt with some downfalls.  On June 12th, 29-year-old Omar Mateen went into Pulse nightclub in Orlando and shot up the place.  49 people were killed and 53 people were left wounded after the attack.  It was one of the worst hate crimes this year that occurred this summer (on PRIDE week, out of all weeks!).  Events like this are hard to think about, but we must always remember to stay strong in the end.  Let’s hope that we can turn things around in 2017!

Black Mirror:  2016 brought us some twisted series on Netflix.  One of those twisted shows was Black Mirror, a British anthology series created by Charlie Brooker.  It’s a twisted and futuristic show with scenes similar to The Twilight Zone.  The series got so popular in the United States that a 3rd season was added exclusively on Netflix.  No news yet on the next season, but hopefully we will find more answers once 2017 rolls in.

Donald Trump:  After a crazy election season, Donald Trump made the top 3rd Google search of all time.  This doesn’t come as a shock to me being that Trump has been campaigning as president for a couple of years now.  Donald Trump is now officially our newest president, ringing in mixed results from both parties.  The inauguration ceremony happens on January 20th, so it’ll be interesting to see what he brings us on his first year.

Rio Olympics:  The summer Olympics took place in Rio this year, with millions of people tuning in to watch.  America brought in more gold medals (USA! USA! USA!) and we were blessed with more Olympic memes for the internet.  We won’t see any Olympics event until 2018, but we will cherish the memories from the Rio Olympics.

Prince:  We got a lot of untimely celebrity deaths in 2016, including Prince.  Prince passed away on April 21st at the age of 57 in Chanhassen, Minnesota.  He died of an accidental fentanyl opioid overdose in his hometown.  The opioid crisis has been hitting hard in the United States and took thousands of lives, including Prince.  Let’s hope that major changes are made to decrease the opioid epidemic from getting out of hand.

Stranger Things:  Last, but not least, 2016 gave us one of the best summer shows on Netflix: Stranger Things.  Stranger Things was the homage to the best 80s sci-fi/thriller movies of all time.  It was one of the best binge-worthy shows on Netflix and is already getting a 2nd season next year (2nd season, whoot whoot!).  There’s lots of exciting events to look forward to and the 2nd season of Stranger Things is just one of them.

A Secret Category Approaches Clue #3

It’s been more than a week since Thanksgiving ended and we’ve had some good stories cranking out at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Things have been pretty normal so far, slipping back to the old routine for the days ahead.  There hasn’t been much excitement in this sluggish week and…OH MY GOD!  It’s an empty bottle!

ANOTHER bottle has entered our office!  It was filled with a note inside, just like the last two we have received.  The bottle was smashed open in order to check out the note.  This note said, “Activision released Pitfall! for the Atari 2600 game system on April 20th, 1982”.

Ok then, so our newest clue talks about Activision releasing Pitfall! for Atari 2600 over 14 years ago.  There’s already a post about a Crash Bandicoot reboot title being released next year.  Could this clue have something to do with Crash Bandicoot?  How come this clue switched from relating to music to becoming about video games?  What is the answer to ANY of this?

Well then, here’s the research that has been dug up about the latest clue.  Pitfall! was a platform game released for the Atari 2600 from Activision.  Players control Pitfall Harry as he navigates a jungle and collects treasures along the way.  Such treasures that are found in the game included bags of money, gold/silver bars, and diamond rings.  You must avoid any obstacles or hazards that come in your way of your journey.

The game received much praise after its release, becoming one of the best-selling titles for the Atari 2600 (over 4 million copies were sold when it was released!).  It is widely regarded as helping to define the side-scrolling platform genre.  Pitfall! also made the #1 video game on the Billboard for 64 weeks straight.  This game helped generate huge success to the Atari 2600 console.

Atari released the Atari 2600 on September 11th, 1977.  The Atari 2600 popularized the use of microprocessor-based hardware and ROM cartridges that contained game code.  It was typically bundled with 2 joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge (first it was Combat, but was replaced with Pac-Man later on).  While the Atari 2600 has been discontinued for 14 years, you can still find most of these games to play online.  Things were running smoothly for the Atari 2600, until the video game crash of 1983 occurred.

Let’s rally up all of our clues together:  First we had a note about an All-Star Concert held in memory of Freddie Mercury that took place on April 20th, 1992 (read here).  A week later, we got another message about Barbara Streisand recording We’ve Only Just Begun on April 20th, 1971 (read more on this clue here!).  Now we have some message about Pitfall! being released for Atari 2600.  Two clues about music, one on a video game release, and yet NO answers that would crack the case.

What is the connection of all three clues?  Why was a video game release thrown into the mix of this puzzle?  And what’s the significance of these dates?  Stay tuned because ALL of the answers will be revealed in just TEN days!