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The Return of the 3D Platformer

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So…the 3D platformer. If there is one genre to influence the industry more, only to vanish into the void of history, it is the stomping ground of Mario, Sonic, Spyro and friends. Of course, Mario remains as full of life as he did 10 or 20 years ago, albeit jumping limply in Nintendo’s current Wii U Dark Age. The legendary plumber remains an active icon to this day primarily by virtue of Nintendo’s ability to innovate the traditional collectathon formula. Be it Super Mario Galaxy sending the titular tradesman into space and redefining 3D level design, or Super Mario 3D World offering co-operative gameplay, Nintendo has kept their flagship franchise fresh as the generations roll by.

Many platforming giants have not been so lucky. Sonic in the 21st century has become infamous rather than famous, seemingly unable to find that perfect transition into the 3D landscape. Spyro, the once legendary Sony mascot of the 90s, and the first game I ever played, fell into legend as the new millennium approached. Whilst what I am about to say next does not apply to all 3D platforming greats, bare with me a moment. The running trend that seems to befall some platform series is an inability to innovate. Mario lives on because Nintendo took their core formula and molded it within other genres ie. Super Mario RPG. Sega could have done the same with Sonic, Sony with Spyro, yet even attempts to do so such as Sonic Brotherhood or All-Stars Racing Transformed could not lift the blue blur back onto his once mighty pedestal.

I have been thinking: perhaps the death of the 3D platformer was inevitable, like the passing of the seasons or something poetic like that. Franchise fatigue is a real thing, as Call of Duty’s milking will tell you, and I fear if the 3D platformer did survive into the 360, Wii and PS3 generation, the same result would have ultimately come to pass. The era of the FPS did not have the room for cutesy characters collecting gems or jumping across platforms unless you want a repeat of Shadow the Hedgehog lolwut. The industry had moved on. Gamers had moved on. Those of us who remain continue to mourn that once magical time and the characters who inhabited it. But perhaps, in the great words of Elton John and Tim Rice, “it’s the circle of life”.

Banjo_and_Kazooie_PNG

The positive caveat to franchise fatigue is the desire for change that soon follows. Now that we are into the 3rd year of the 8th generation, a seismic shift is currently folding as the desire for military and gritty FPS games begins to wane. Much of that can be attributed to Call of Duty’s cash cow status, the behemoth and cultural phenomenon of the 7th generation now a running joke whenever a new installment is announced. Now don’t get me wrong Mister Man, Infinite Warfare could end up the best Call of Duty game in years, but take one look back at the infamous reveal trailer on Youtube and the sad truth is crystal clear: the Call of Duty era is well and truly over and with it the FPS domination. Games such as Battlefield 1, Doom and Overwatch prove the desire for FPS’s will never truly die, but can we truly say they still rule the roost?

The intrinsic appeal of the 3D platformer is the joy of exploration and fun within a formula that is simple: collect stuff and jump. In the post-FPS gaming industry, the direct mirror to the gritty Call of Duty’s and Gears of War’s is games that are colourful and lighthearted. Case in point, the time could not be better for the 3D platformer to make its return, offering the exact antidote to the modern military FPS fatigue. There is the old adage that money speaks, in which case Playtonic Games’s Kickstarter success Yooka-Laylee is screaming at the top of its lungs. The purest possible successor to platforming legend Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee embodies that long forgotten genre in every possible way, a collectathon brimming with delightful cartoony characters to meet and worlds to explore.

£2,090,104 proclaims a burning desire for this kind of game. Nostalgia is a powerful thing; combined with franchise fatigue, Yooka-Laylee could not have emerged at a better time. If the delightful Bat and Chameleon pairing are to be the progenitors of a new 3D platforming era, it is fair to say the industry is ready, and Sony looks to be at the front of the queue.

Super-Mario-Sunshine

The reveal of PS4 remasters of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy at E3 is the first major move from an industry giant towards an interest in the 3D platformer genre. The end product, of course, remains to be seen, but Sony has a potential gold mine on their hands, completely driven by nostalgia and a wishful 90s generation.

The success of the remasters will ultimately determine a true return for not just Crash, but other long forgotten platforming veterans by proving to the industry big wigs that the 3D platformer is once again a viable investment.

Many trends come full circle: vinyl, World War games, Pokemon. The tastes of the gaming industry are as rotational as any other form of media, with one genre tapping out for the other when tiredness settles in. Those mascots of the 3D platforming Golden Age have bided their time in the retirement home of gaming past for well over a decade now.

I think it’s time we woke them up.

Howdy folks. My name is Patrick, and if you haven't guessed yet by the Yorkshire Pudding in my avatar, a Yorkshireman. This means two things: One, expect a disgustingly high level of courteousness, and two, I don't own a Whippet. I see you googling what a Whippet is. Stop. It's a dog.Writer at Goomba Stomp and The Gallifrey Times. If anyone needs me, I'll be staring out of the window, waiting for Spyro to come back.

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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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