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10 Years On: Looking Back at the Games of 2007

Clearly, 2007 was an important year for us. The roots of trends we see today took to ground, and the gaming world would be a very different place today them.

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2007 was a great year in gaming. The 7th generation of consoles was hitting their stride. A plethora of quality titles hit every platform that year, pushing gaming into the future we now know. Cinematic story-driven experiences made a big push that year, while indie games took a foothold in the wider gaming culture.

Microsoft hit big with two major exclusive titles in 2007. Bungie’s hotly anticipated Halo 3 finally hit store shelves and ripped up the Xbox Live player charts. Many Halo fans still consider it the best of the franchise both from single player and a competitive standpoint. Bungie had been riding high on their success, standardizing many of the online gaming features we’ve become accustomed to while staying at the top of the chart. As with most everything in life, it couldn’t last forever. Suddenly Bungie found itself up against two heavy hitters eroding its player base.

The first was Epic and Microsoft’s Gears of War. A new franchise headed by Cliff Bleszinski of Unreal Tournament and Jazz Jackrabbit fame, Gears reinvented the 3rd-person shooter. Intuitive and simplistic controls, easily snapping in and out of cover with just one button, opened the game up to players of all skill levels. Over the top gory action drew players in and the unique gameplay kept them there. Gears of War would go on to spawn a franchise and influence pretty much every other action game going forward.

Gears of War

Gears of War’s cover mechanics and sense of scale captivated audiences

Microsoft’s shooters may have been a big hit, driving a lot of customers to the Xbox 360 and its online service, but it was the multi-platform Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which really took the world by storm. Infinity Ward’s first step into the “modern” military setting surpassed everyone’s wildest imaginations with its success. It created a worldwide phenomenon, putting consoles in most every home in the US. The series has become a joke in the industry today, but it’s success and the quality of Modern Warfare is not to be understated.

Microsoft wasn’t the only one of the big 3 to find success in 2007. Both Sony and Nintendo hit gold with their exclusive products. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune garnered a lot of praise for its attention to cinematic detail. The first game in Naughty Dog’s series was rough around the edges, much like the other franchise starters on this list, but it set the bar for what games would look like today.

2007 was also the year that made Ubisoft, for better or worse. The company had been around for a long time, drifting underneath the other major publishers of the day. All of that began to change with the release of the first Assassin’s Creed. This game, while not great per se (or even good if you ask me…) did kick-start the massive franchise we know today. The parkour elements really are fun. Much like Gears of War’s cover-based shooting, Assassin’s Creed’s gameplay design influenced many a title going forward.

During this era, Nintendo was doing… well, exactly what Nintendo always does. They went against the mold, eschewing fancy HD graphics for motion controls and a lower price point. Their gamble paid off, as the Wii was the clear winner that generation in terms of raw sales. They further cemented their lead with 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy. A new style of 3D platformer designed around more easily digestible sections of levels divided up by planets, Super Mario Galaxy satisfied our need for a classic Nintendo experience without resting on its own laurels.

Super Mario Galaxy2007 had a lot of “game changing” releases if you can’t tell. Yet another example is none other than Bioshock from Irrational Software and 2K Interactive. Irrational formed out of the ashes of Looking Glass Studios (System Shock, Thief) with Ken Levine at the helm. This game combined the interactive storytelling of System Shock 2 and its predecessor with a more straight forward linear shooter design. Bioshock was a massive success, spawning two sequels and a renewed interest in linear story driven content in an era driven by multiplayer and open world games.

Speaking of multiplayer games, Rock Band dropped in 2007. Yeah, it was that long ago. The Guitar Hero franchise had brought music gaming out of Japanese arcades and into the mainstream. Rock Band took the gameplay formula and ran with it, adding a drum kit and microphone controller. Now a group of 4 could jam out to Tom Sawyer from the comfort of their living room. The franchise started to die off after this due to over-saturation and some poor business decisions, but boy was Rock Band fun.

The release of both Peggle and Alien Hominid HD brought attention to Xbox Live Arcade and the indie scene in general. Both of these games are instrumental in popularizing the digital download service and shining light on the vibrant indie scene. Today most of us get our games from a digital store as well as play indie games. Sure, Steam and Direct2Drive were offering (legal) game downloads on PC before this, but moving this distribution method to consoles really got the ball rolling.

Alien Hominid HDThe massive open-ended RPG genre which now dominates the industry received 2 very important releases in 2007. Bioware’s Mass Effect kick-started a massive fan base by developing a universe seemingly rich with lore in the vein of Star Wars and letting players create their own stories through character development. CD Projekt Red filled in the high fantasy bracket with the first installment of The Witcher. This PC only release was rough around the edges (much like Mass Effect) but laid the foundation for a thriving franchise.

Metroid Prime 3 CorruptionThere are tons of other monumental releases from 2007. Valve’s The Orange Box introduced us to Portal and Team Fortress 2 along with the last Half-Life release. Skate showed us how extreme sports games could be more realistic while still ridiculously entertaining. Sony Santa Monica supported the PS2 with the beloved God of War II. Retro Studios proved the viability of Nintendo’s motion tech with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Crysis destroyed people’s graphics cards.

Clearly, 2007 was an important year for us. The roots of trends we see today took to ground, and the gaming world would be a very different place today them.

Why hello there. I write about the video game industry. I usually write features about the history and state of the industry, and dive into topics like game design and tech. I'm also a competitive fighting game player and speedrunner. I talk about old fighting games and Mother 3 too often for most people's taste. Money match me in WindJammers if you don't mind losing. Aside from gaming, I work as a professional musician and do a bit of stand-up comedy. You can find me writing jokes and retweeting fan art @PfhorTheWin.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Soundtrack Gets a Vinyl Release

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While we don’t publish music news or music reviews here at Goomba Stomp, we are huge fans of vinyl and since we cover film, we figured this announcement would interest some of our readers.

Back in 2017, Jordan Peele’s Get Out topped our list of the best films of 2017 and while the year isn’t yet over, there’s a good chance his follow-up Us, will land somewhere on our best of the year list as well. There are many reasons why we love Peele’s ambitious sophomore film including for the suspense, cinematography, performances, and direction, but one thing that doesn’t get enough praise is the soundtrack by Michael Abels. And if you like us, love the original score, you’re going to love this bit of news.

After giving his Get Out soundtrack a vinyl release last year, Jordan Peele is now doing the same for the soundtrack to Us.

WaxWork Records announced the news earlier today and if you’re planning on buying a copy, you don’t have to wait since it is now available to purchase through the label’s website.

The soundtrack, which received a digital release earlier this year, features composer Michael Abels’ score, in addition to songs from Janelle Monáe, Minnie Ripperton and the “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” that appeared in the film’s first trailer. The album artwork was created by illustrator Edward Kinsella and features an interactive die-cut mirror board back cover, a heavyweight art print and an exclusive essay from UCLA Professor, scholar, and activist Shana L. Redmond Ph.D.

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Trailer for the Twisted Dark Comedy thriller ‘Villains’

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Alter has released the first poster and the official trailer for Villains, the upcoming dark comedy thriller which stars Bill Skarsgård (IT) and Maika Monroe (It Follows) as a couple who rob a gas station and scores enough cash to start a new life in Florida. Unfortunately for them, their getaway plans turn upside down and the young couple end up stumbling on much more than they bargained for.

Villains hits theaters on September 20th and was written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. In addition to Skarsgard and Monroe, the movie also stars Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick. It’s co-produced by Bron Studios, Star Thrower Entertainment, Creative Wealth Media Finance, and The Realm Films. You can watch the trailer for Villains below.

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Beanie Babies: The Collectables with Heart

Toys We Love Spotlight

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For our Toys We Love Spotlight, I’m looking at one of my personal favourites: Beanie Babies. I had collected so many of these growing up, and households worldwide in the 90s and early 2000s were sure to have at least one Beanie Baby in their possession (was it even the 90s if they didn’t?). These plushie companions were cute, cuddly, and collectable, so it’s not a surprise that the Beanie Babies craze swept the globe, forcing parents and toy collectors everywhere to dig into their wallets.


Beanie Babies had a few aspects to them that made them stand out from your average plushie. Firstly, they did not have as much stuffing as most soft toys. Whilst some thought that this made them look cheap, it also made them light, posable, and gave them a realistic feel and look. The bear Beanie Babies were particularly good to pose, and this set them apart from run-of-the-mill teddy bears. Another element that made Beanie Babies more unique was their special tag. Each toy had a tag attached which had the toy’s name, date of birth, and a quotation etched inside. The former was something that could have been a risky choice, as although it wasn’t completely taking away the child’s choice of name — there was nothing stopping them from just calling their Beanie whatever they wanted — a pre-selected name can be difficult to sell, as kids can often take great pride and pleasure in naming their toys.

It was a great success, however, and worked as a nice finishing touch for the Beanie Babies, adding a dash of personality and flair (something much needed in the often critically over-saturated soft toy market), as well as making each Beanie Baby feel like their own creature with their own little stories. Adding to that was the wide variety of animals that were available, such as Tiny the Chihuahua, Pegasus the Unicorn or Swampy the Alligator. This means that the desires of each individual child or enthusiastic collector could be catered to (I myself favoured the dogs and bears).

The puppies were my Beanie Baby of choice. They were all such good boys and girls.

The Beanie Babies also had their own way of tackling difficult issues in society, showing them to kids through the guise of a soft toy. I’ll give you an example through my own experience: I had a Beanie Baby that (as odd as it may sound) gave me more of an understanding of the horrors of September 11th. Weird, right? Allow me to explain. I was only just nine years old on that now-historical day when the twin towers in New York were attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives. I had come home from school (it was afternoon time here in the UK when it happened), and I remember my mum watching it on television in complete shock. She had watched the whole thing whilst I’d been at school.

I didn’t really understand what was happening to be honest. Even when I was watching the repeats of the plane crashing into the side of the tower, I was somewhat oblivious the gravity of the situation (though as a nine year old child, I suppose I could be forgiven for that). The news continued to report the tragedy for a long time, and my school held assemblies to discuss the matter. I knew people had died, and that made me very sad, but I remember thinking that people died all the time, so why was this one incident reported on so much? About a month or so after, TY released three Beanie Babies as a tribute to those lost during 9/11. One of these was a Dalmatian Beanie Baby called Rescue, and I wanted him the moment I saw him, not really knowing the true nature of his purpose. My mum obliged happily, knowing what he represented. I remember taking my little Dalmatian with the red collar and American flag on his leg home and reading his tag. It read:

To honor our heroes
who lost their lives in the
national catastrophe that
took place on September 11, 2001.
We mourn for them and express our
deepest sympathy to their families.
God Bless America

Rescue the Dalmatian was joined by America the Bear and Courage the German Shepherd. The Beanies were a set of three released to honor those who perished in the tragedy of 9/11.

I found Rescue in my room recently, and the memories flooded back to me upon reading it again. I remember looking into all the acts of heroism and bravery after reading Rescue’s tag, and that’s when the situation really hit home to me. I looked into the stories of firefighters and first responders and those who had died, as well as all the search-and-rescue dogs attempting to save people among the chaos. As a child, it can be hard to see past your immediate opinion and truly consider the sheer weight of a situation, but with Rescue’s help, I was able to see just how this event was indeed very different to anything I had ever seen before, and how serious it was. It was the first time I felt like I was thinking like a grown up. I looked at the world differently from then on — obviously as I got older, but also from my ability to think harder and search deeper. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have even bothered if it wasn’t for Rescue reminding me of exactly how much was lost on that day.

Rescue, perhaps the goodest and bravest boy of them all.

Beanie babies will forever be ingrained in culture. They are still bought, sold and collected even now and will remain a timeless staple of most of our childhoods. They certainly are for me. Especially you Rescue, the bravest firefighting Dalmatian the world has ever known.

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‘Shenmue III’ Gamescom Trailer Details a Day in the Life of Ryo

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The original Shenmue games pioneered the open world genre, in part through their inclusion of many different minigames and side activities. The Kickstarter-funded Shenmue III looks to continue that legacy, as developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver have debuted a new trailer at Gamescom 2019 entitled “A Day in Shenmue.”

The developers provided the following description of the trailer via their latest Kickstarter update: “Exploring the town, playing minigames and battling! We hope it feels just how a Shenmue day should!” Sure enough, the footage showcases the series protagonist Ryo participating in a number of minigames, such as a boxing game and a pachinko machine. The end of the trailer also includes a good look at the series’ signature kung fu combat.

Beyond the new trailer, the Kickstarter update also noted that Yu Suzuki, the famed creator of Shenmue, will be present at Gamescom for autograph signings.

After numerous delays, Shenmue III will finally launch on November 19, 2019 for PS4 and PC via the Epic Games Store.

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Freelance Film Writers

Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip. We are currently looking for Film, TV, Anime and Comic writers.

Contact us: Editor@GoombaStomp.com

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