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Batman: Arkham City: Five Years After the Bat’s Worst Night

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On August 25, 2009, a little-known developer called Rocksteady Games created what was considered at the time the greatest superhero-based video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on the Grant Morrison graphic novel of the same name. The game, inspired by contemporaries like Assassin’s Creed and classics like Metroid, put the player in Batman’s shoes during what would become the worst night of his life, as he looks to put Joker back behind bars during a prisoner uprising. Explaining the actual main plot would be spoiling too much of the story, but the game is easily one of the most critically and commercially acclaimed titles in the generation due to its well-crafted narrative, which takes cues from the animated series and recent movies, and revolutionary mechanics, which makes Batman feel like the badass ninja assassin that never really translated well into the films. A sequel would be inevitable, and over two years later (October 18, 2011, to be exact, which marks its five anniversary this week) Batman: Arkham City would be released. Here Rocksteady dropped Batman into an open world, full of baddies from the complete Batman mythos, while expanding on the world’s greatest detective’s move set.

HugoStrangeAC

Protocol 10 will commence in ten hours…

The game is also quite literal in its title, taking place in a new prison that’s made up of a great portion of Gotham City. Puzzling all of Gotham by taking a sudden interest in politics, Bruce Wayne becomes a prisoner of this creation from the mind of one Hugo Strange, whom Bruce tries to convince to close the readily-named Arkham City to no avail. Perhaps expecting negotiations to fall through, Bruce dons the bat suit and begins to investigate the reason behind Arkham City’s construction and the purpose of the cryptic Protocol 10. What he uncovers is better discovered by the player, as it is an interesting take on what is essentially a police-sieged shanty town, but it does get undercut by a sloppily-placed continuation subplot regarding the Joker.

the joker

It’s always nice to have a Joker cameo (he is once again masterly voiced by Mark Hamill), but his story diverges greatly from the more interesting plot regarding the city, and feels shoehorned in. It’s not even important for the Joker to be here since he has no bearing on the main plot, and it drags the whole narrative down as a result. The whole game feels like that really; it just dumps a bunch of Batman fan service on top of what otherwise would have been a better story.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any redeeming values to the story, however.  Seeing fan-favorite villains like Two-Face, The Penguin, and Mister Freeze pop up is certainly worth the price of admission.

While the predecessor was aesthetically a mix of the 90s animated series and the Christopher Nolan film trilogy, Arkham City fits more at home with the films from Tim Burton, the 1989 entry in particular. That said, the score by Ron Fish and Nick Arundel still makes the game hearken back to the cartoon. I never was a fan of the doom and gloom aesthetics that dominated many games in the last generation, but here it works like gangbusters. There’s always a sense of danger in the air, whether the player is exploring the skin-melting temperatures from the furnaces of the Joker’s hideout or the subzero freezing halls of the old GCPD building. The player won’t even feel safe on the street, with the exception of being Batman; goons patrol the street, picking on political prisoners or putting the schemes of their bosses in motion. The only downside is that the goons don’t come in too much of an aesthetic variety, although that’s to be expected from a game that is basically about beating up wave after wave of hard-bitten thugs. It’s still a wonder to behold, and Arkham City looks cleaner with the new remastered edition being released this week.

freeflow

In Arkham Asylum, the freeflow combat system was the revolutionary mechanic that helped Batman feel like Batman during battle sequences while brawling with legions of henchmen. Despite looking like a brick house, Batman can literally fly around the area, laying everyone out and countering their attack with just a press of a button. Everything remains largely unchanged here, but there are a few additions to the formula: the Bat can now utilize gadgets like the Batclaw and explosive gel to experience new to lay the smack down, and he has the ability to counter two foes at once with a satisfying stun and pressure point rapid strike combination that makes for some laughably fun moments.  Unfortunately, the stealthy predator sequences don’t deviate that much away from Asylum, although it is possible to take foes out without an over-reliance on gadgets.

You will solve my riddles, Batman... It's a matter of life and death!

You will solve my riddles, Batman… It’s a matter of life and death!

Given that this is an open world game, there’s a bigger amount of side quests, including the return of the Riddler trophies, augmented reality training, and cat-and-mouse games with Victor Zsasz and Deadshot. Although they’re not required to beat the game, some of these side quests are necessary to acquire some new goodies to play around with, including a grapple boost for Batman’s grappling gun, which allows Batman to maintain flight while gliding around the immense Arkham City. The biggest highlight, however, is the game’s boss fights, including a battle against Mister Freeze that truly requires brains over brawn, and one mind-boggling final encounter that I won’t spoil.

Of all of the anniversaries being celebrated this year, the five-year anniversary of Batman: Arkham City admittedly doesn’t feel all that special, especially since it isn’t the ground-breaker that Asylum was. But with the exception of a disappointing story, it is refinement at it absolute finest. It takes the best assets of its predecessor and expands upon them for one of the most memorable experiences of the PS3/XBOX 360 era, and the two are now remastered for the PS4 and XBOX One.  It’s not declared the best superhero game for nothing, so check this one out.

Lifelong gamer since the days of the NES, retrospection is the bread and butter behind the writing, loyal Nintendo and Playstation fan, ol' school movie buff, part-time writing, part-time cook, full-time student, full-time cool dude.

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Watch Ninja On An Episode Of Family Feud

Don’t miss the moment Steve Harvey meets Ninja for the first time.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is heading up a team on Celebrity Family Feud this weekend, but it’s not the first time the famed Fortnite streamer has appeared on the show.

Long before he reached household name status in the gaming community, Ninja appeared on the televised game show Family Feud in 2015, when he and his family went on a three-day winning streak before losing to the Beams family of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

With Blevins now appearing on an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud, we thought it would be fun to revisit those earlier episodes which have now all been uploaded online.

Regardless if you like Ninja and/or the show, you’ll get a kick out of watching his introduction when he tells host Steve Harvey that he’s a professional video game player who travels across the country and competes, playing video games. The reaction on Harvey’s face is priceless since nobody at the time could have ever guessed how popular Ninja, not to mention streaming video games, would eventually become.

Watch the videos below. Enjoy!

[via Dexerto]

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Check Out the Explosive First Gameplay of ‘Kerbal Space Program 2’

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Kerbal Space Program 2

Gamescom 2019 brought with it a host of surprising game announcements and updates on existing games. One of the most unexpected announcements was the reveal of Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the viral, totally accurate space simulator that first released on PC back in 2011.

Now, shortly after its initial reveal, Gamespot has gone live with the first gameplay of this much-anticipated sequel. Fittingly enough, the footage showcases all the spectacularly explosive spaceships, interstellar exploration, and intrepid Kerbal explorers that the series has become known for.

It should be noted that the footage is pre-alpha, so although the gameplay does show some issues with frame rate and graphics, those should be polished up before the game’s full launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2020.

Here’s the full description of the game, courtesy of its official website:

With the original Kerbal Space Program having become one of the most beloved games of all time and now bigger than ever, Kerbal Space Program 2 has been fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration, all while maintaining the monumental foundations of the first game. Build a space program, construct powerful spacecraft, design resource-gathering colonies, and much more to uncover the secrets of the galaxy. A plethora of exciting new features will captivate veteran and returning players, as well as usher in a whole new wave of Kerbonauts to the ingenious and comedic world that has entertained millions of players.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11

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It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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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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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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