Anything that's done too often is bad. And trust me, most of the real life tie-ins are not very obvious.
But, I get what you mean. I initially had the idea to blend in song titles or lyrics where they could apply to the situation, and put the text in blue or red, but it doesn't seem like it could work out well I don't think.
Personally, I think that tie ins and references are good for a small amount of time, eventually they will get outdated and confusing for new players after a while. This is even worse with in jokes, which rarely happen.
And it doesn't matter if people generally don't make the connection. The fact is is that, by being there, it makes it more fun if you do get it, or if you discover it later. I can't think of a good example for what I mean at the moment but,
Tl;dr: I think references and tie-ins are awesome.
Only point of real criticism (apart from the "is thrashing about" without a subject, which may be a small script thing) is those slope tiles (you know, the mach bike only tiles) being used incorrectly (should be 2 tiles high, not one)
I do. It's fun making it, but it's more fun when people are affected by the game, when it's good enough for them to play/watch it over and over and still say "wow that was so cool! I really like how it built up to that" or something. That's what I'm going for.