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2017: Looking Back at Some of Goomba Stomp’s Best Gaming Articles

Here are just a few of our favorite gaming articles published this year. Hopefully, some of you will take the time to read over some of the amazing articles you may have missed.

It’s not easy running a pop-culture website like Goomba Stomp in the year of 2017, when we have giants such as IGN, Polygon, and Kotaku (to name just a few) taking up a good portion of the marketplace. Yet, no matter how small and insignificant we may seem when compared to those websites, it didn’t stop our amazing team from working extremely hard all year long to provide our readers with some quality content. With that said, we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite gaming articles written over the past twelve months by our very own hard working staff. Here are just a few of our favorite gaming articles published this year. Hopefully, some of you will take the time to read over some of the amazing articles you may have missed. As per always, thank you for supporting our independent website. We are all looking forward to 2018!

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Could Rayman Give Mario a Run for His Coins?

Ever since the release of the original Super Mario Bros. over 30 years ago, Mario has regularly and persistently found himself at the top of the platforming heap. Oh sure, there’s been some competition: a Sonic the Hedgehog here, a Crash Bandicoot there, even the occasional Banjo-Kazooie or Bubsy (wait, scratch that last one). None of them have lasted for long against the venerable plumber however. Is there anyone among Mario’s platforming ilk who can really give him a run for his coins? (read the full article)

Ten Years On and ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is Still a Cornerstone of Modern Gaming Culture

2007, much like 2017, was a massive year for video games.  With the rise of the 7th generation of consoles came an onslaught of new and exciting games, every one boasting cleaner graphics, new gameplay mechanics, and a stronger sense of realism.  Among these titles are the coveted “Big Three” a trio of games that, while sharing little in common, all became foundations of modern gaming culture, and left a lasting legacy that is still discussed today… (read the full article)

StarWars‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ – The Sexism Strikes Back

EA’s hotly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront II is set to be released this year, and lightsaber fanatics the world over are excited to face off in yet another cluster of force fueled showdowns. Unlike its predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront II boasts a single player campaign, offering offline entertainment for those who don’t see the appeal in competing with complete strangers around the world whilst being called a string of racist and homophobic expletives over voice chat… (read the full article)

How ‘Persona 5’ Got Me Through My Break Up

A break up is a devastating shake-up to your life, whether it comes after a short-term experience or years of commitment. It can rock you to your core. It can leave you feeling isolated and unlovable. It can even lead you to question who you are. Well, I recently went through a breakup. And amongst many things, video games, my oldest passion, helped me get through this rough period. And I, in fact, owe a lot to one game in particular: Persona 5… (read the full review)

‘Persona 5’ Could Be The Most Important JRPG Since ‘Final Fantasy VII’

Releasing early in the lifespan of the original PlayStation, Final Fantasy VII was a cross-demographic smash hit that elevated Japanese role playing games out of the shadows and into the mainstream, helping to usher in what many consider to be a golden age for the genre. While the Final Fantasy series had a small but dedicated following on Nintendo consoles prior to the release of VII, and critical response to the games had been largely positive, Final Fantasy VII was the kind of success story that can’t be replicated by any conventional means. It was the right game in the right place at the right time; a perfect storm of ideas that were new and exciting for mainstream gamers with superb marketing that appealed to a demographic generally skeptical of role playing games, and a focus on mature, long-form storytelling that was instrumental in the Sony-led changing of public perception for video games from that of a childish pursuit to a cool and high-tech art-form for a more grown-up audience… (read the full article)

‘Prey’: An Examination of Choice and Consciousness in Video Games

Allow me to begin by saying that, from announcement onwards, I wasn’t all that much interested in Bethesda’s and Arkane Studios’ soft reboot of the Prey franchise. I don’t exactly know why; I suppose it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. That remained my position until I put a live stream of the game on in the background whilst puttering about the house. Since spoilers didn’t concern me, I was content to watch and listen to the streamer work through the game, enjoying the experience on a vicarious level… (read the full article)

25 Years Later, ‘Night Trap’ is True SCAT

Since the dawn of the medium, gaming has attracted controversy in one form or another, with the most common complaints being that it desensitizes children to immoral actions like sex and violence. The validity of these claims can be argued forever, but it all reached a particularly nasty peak in 1992 when two of the most controversial and unintentionally important games of all time were released… (read the full article)

The Worst Sex Scenes in Gaming

Gaming and sex go together like…gaming and sex. Admittedly those aren’t two activities often associated with one another, for various reasons. One of those reasons might be the usually weird, sometimes awkward depiction of sex in games. Most games steer clear of the subject, or do it in off-screen cutscenes that fade to black. Occasionally games will go all in, with mixed results. While some games like The Witcher 3 or Wolfenstein: The New Order manage to pull off something decently artistic, the games on this list were either to weird, or to funny to take seriously… (read the full article)

Understanding Mental Illness Through Video Games

The subject of mental illness represents a delicate and almost taboo topic in modern culture.  Jokes about conditions such as autism, asperger’s, and PTSD are thoroughly frowned upon, and it’s extremely difficult for those not affected by a mental illness to fully grasp its detrimental effects and hindrances.  Despite the difficulties faced with understanding mental illness, the video game medium has done a miraculous job of not only properly portraying several different types of disabilities, but also allowing those stricken with such afflictions to properly convey how they feel, and alleviate some of their pain… (read the full article)

The Odd History of ‘Rule of Rose’

can’t think of many PlayStation 2 games out there that command the same collector’s price tag that Rule of Rose does. This game is a monetary investment, even when compared to other rare horror-themed games like Kuon or Haunting Ground. Games sky rocket in price for many reasons, normally it’s from low print amounts vs a high demand, but in the case of Rule of Rose, there’s a whole lot more going on. This game has one of the most fascinating history lessons in games media attached to it. However, I’m not here to review the game, Rule of Rose is over a decade old, and plenty of other people have tackled the strengths and weaknesses of the game’s sluggish combat, weird story, and engrossing soundtrack. Rather, I want to talk about why this game is special and all of the red tape it had to go through to see a release outside of Japan…(read the full article)

Outlast2The Use of Catholic Themes in ‘Outlast 2’

When I was 16, I went through one the biggest religious rites of passage for Catholics: Confirmation, the process in which Catholics are blessed by the Holy Spirit to further strengthen their relationship with God. But before we stand in front of a Priest (or in my case, a Cardinal) and have our foreheads smeared with oil, there’s usually classes we take first. These range from bible study, to the history of Catholicism, to learning about the ceremony itself. I had to take two years of these classes before the church said I was ready to be confirmed. I remember nothing from these classes, except for one group activity that raised stereotypical Catholic guilt to a new level… (read the full article)

Stephen King, David Lynch, & The Art That Inspired ‘Silent Hill’

In the late ’90s, survival horror was a burgeoning trend on home video game consoles. While there’d been numerous forays into horror gaming previously, it was the enormous success of Capcom’s Resident Evil that proved the genre could be commercially viable as well as critically lauded. The advent of the compact disc as the industry standard for storage had allowed developers to be more adventurous in their games, and Resident Evil, in particular, benefited from the boons of the medium. On a cartridge-based system the full motion video cut-scenes and hours of recorded dialogue would never have been an option, and while the dubious quality of the storytelling and voice acting in the game have been the subject of much ridicule in the years subsequent to its release, it was these cinematic qualities that helped Resident Evil stand out against mechanically similar titles like Alone In The Dark… (read the full article)

‘Until Dawn’: Analyzing PlayStation’s Familiar Yet Distinctive Horror Tribute

A couple of years ago, survival horror/interactive teen drama Until Dawn released on PS4 to some surprisingly positive reviews. Praised for its intelligent game design, well-written characters, intriguing plot, and wonderfully evocative environments, Until Dawn established itself as one of the year’s bestPS4 releases… (read the full article)

The Imperfect Art of ‘No Man’s Sky’

Has the flurry of recent updates saved No Man’s Sky and transformed it into the game we were hoping it would be prior to release? Probably not. Sure, the core gameplay loop isn’t quite as tedious as it once was and, with the introduction of procedurally generated side-quests, freighters, and a handful of other new mechanics, the future looks relatively bright for the beleaguered title. Even so, at present, No Man’s Sky remains frustratingly flawed. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the game’s visuals, which are by turns beautiful and actually rather ugly… (read the full article)

 

MetalGearSolidArtilcles30th Anniversary Retrospective: The ‘Metal Gear’ Series’ Uniquely Self-Aware Journey

Metal Gear is a name that, by now, is permanently etched not only into the history of video games, but outside culture at large, unlike any other multimedia franchise before or since. The series had its humble start in Japan on July 13th, 1987 with Metal Gear for the MSX (not to be confused with the shoddy Metal Gear NES port/remake Konami put out in late 1987), as the first officially released game by then fledgling game developer, Hideo Kojima, for the gaming giant, Konami. It was successful enough, in a very roundabout way, to warrant a sequel for the MSX2, titled Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MG2), in 1990, which then, nearly a decade after, led to the immensely successful and groundbreaking Metal Gear Solid (MGS1) for the original Sony PlayStation. Skyrocketing from there, the series grew and grew into the tour de force it is remembered as today. Thirty years since the release of the first Metal Gear, after eight mainline games and numerous spin-off titles, it’s influence can be seen far and wide across all boards… (read the full article)

Playing ‘Gravity Rush 2’ as a Photographer

It’s safe to say that Project Siren’s PS4-exclusive Gravity Rush 2 is the only game I have ever played that has enabled me to incorporate my eye for photography within the game itself.As a hobbyist, I made my start with film photography. Mind you, this was not intentional because, in the early-to-mid 2000s, digital cameras were still a bit expensive for a kid without access to disposable income. Older film cameras were easily available due to the consumer tech market’s slow but rising boom of digital SLRs and phone cameras, which created a decline in the average person’s interest or need for film… (read the full article)

‘Dark Souls III’ Echoes the Haunted Vision of a Dying World

There are few series that have such a signature look and feel as the Dark Souls franchise does. Each entry is brimming with haunting tales, grim back stories and a horrific aura of mystery that leaves the player constantly struggling with a feeling of genuine unease… (read the full article)

HorizonZeroDawn2‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ is Breathtakingly Close to a Masterpiece

The current console generation is defined by many things: a distinct shift towards digital, the abundance of quality independent gaming experiences, and a distinct lack of meaningful new, major IPs. Sunset Overdrive didn’t ride the wave of open-world hype Microsoft had hoped it would, while Watch Dogs and No Man’s Sky failed to set a standard for new PlayStation 4 franchises. It wasn’t for lack of want; there are plenty of multi-platform titles, like The Division Destiny, that fell short of expectations, extremely profitable new properties ultimately tarnished by their troubled release windows and lasting reputations. These titles, no matter their ambition or success, all ended up in the shadows of old properties brought to life again by the new hardware: from Dark Souls to Gears of War, and Uncharted to Batman, quality entries from long-running franchises have dominated the conversations around these still-young consoles, which has made it ever harder to distinguish this generation of gaming from the last, in terms of marking definitive creative arcs for developers and genres…(read the full review)

Analyzing ‘Uncharted’: ‘Drake’s Deception’ – Wait, What Was The Game About?

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception has a lot to live up to as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an incredible and near-perfect game. Don’t get me wrong, Uncharted 3 is a decent game in the sense that everything still looks gorgeous and the gameplay is functional and still pretty fun. However, when playing Drake’s Deception, I sort of felt like I was going through the motions of the game, as opposed to exploring the world and making discoveries as I did in the previous two. So much so that when I finished the game and saw the credits roll, I asked myself “wait, what was the game about?” (read the full article)

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