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A Look Back at ‘Disney Infinity’ Through the Eyes of an Addict

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My name is Robin Smith, and I am an addict.

I was infatuated with the concepts behind Disney infinity from the start. It’s original trailer had promised a game which would allow for the customisation of Minecraft and the gameplay of more traditional game types. Structured yet free. It sounded like a lofty goal, but this was first party, it had some great starter I.P. available for use, and had a really sweet stylized look that tied all these characters and worlds together.

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The game that initially arrived was not quite what people expected. It was more and less at the same time. I know that’s super contradictory but allow me to elaborate. Toys to life as a concept had looked okay. Skylanders seemed to be an okay, if simple, opening gambit in the new generation of entertainment, and the concept of having a toy that worked in a video game was cool.

It’s always struck me as odd that people found the whole concept of toys to life as odd, or a waste of time. Even underhanded DLC peddling. I don’t know about you but I bought action figures and models growing up: X-Men, Star Wars, and Star Trek even. I’m sure that whatever your interest was, it was catered for by some sort of accompanying toy. So the concept of a collectable existing that ALSO works in one or many games is like magic to me.

The first problem with Skylanders though, for me anyway, was it’s limitations. The first Skylanders release was a single videogame, you put one of the Skylanders figures in the game and swap them out for others as you want, but at the end of the day you have a single story and game to play through.

Once you are done you have to wait for the next title to come out before you have a new game to play. No DLC or add-on’s to expand the actual game content, just what you start with. Some areas in that game we’re locked off from players though, which leads to the second problem Skylanders had on release.

Manipulative in game practices build to siphon money from players. As mentioned before, Skylanders games have areas that are locked off from players. In order to unlock the gates preventing access, you had to buy a new Skylander to access the locked content. Instead of providing additional content to players who choose to buy it, it prevents you from accessing content you already own.

Disney Infinity at least appeared to be doing something a little less manipulative than that.

The key thing to see Disney Infinity as was not as a game, but instead a games console or platform. Buying the first Disney Infinity release; the starter pack with base and three figures; gave you access to a set of three games. Each game was a stand alone title that had it’s own cast of characters and story. Already Disney Infinity was providing a more reasonable package when compared to its competitor.

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Each of it’s three launch games we’re about the same length as a Skylanders campaign, or budget kid friendly platformer, but they had the added benefit of being  based on likable, popular franchises and produced to a high quality.

Beyond Infinite’s three starter pack playset games, there was also the toybox mode. One the games original release this was actually the weakest part of the Infinity package. While it had amazing depth and a range of things to unlock and do the mode was just overly obtuse for your likely average Disney Infinity fan. Heck even I had trouble with the original releases’ interface.

Over the following years updates this part of the game become ever deeper and also more user-friendly and refined. The sheer amount of creative freedom contained within the Disney Infinity toybox is literally mind-boggling.

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Did I mention before that Infinity was more a platform then a game? After the initial release of the first Disney Infinity starter pack we saw the release of a further eighteen playsets for the platform. Each one would come with one or more figures you needed for the game included, unless it was one of the six toybox game titles which allowed for nearly any character to be used.

While nearly every one of these titles is a well made and fun title in their own right, and they cover a range of styles from cart racer to adventure game and Powerstone like brawler, my personal favorite Infinity game highlight was the Spider-Man playset, which provided some of the most interesting gameplay moments and actually was a super serviceable open world Spider-Man game.

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All this information leads us to me, here, today. Since the announcement of the closure of Avalanche Software and the cancellation of all future Disney Infinity products (Leading to the loss of 300+ peoples jobs) by Disney the hunt for Disney Infinity figures has become extra affordable. At the same time older and rarer characters and add-on power discs have become all the harder to find.

Those that have been possible to get are up to a third their original price and this has turned what had originally been a mild interest for me, into a full blown obsession.

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At current count my collection stands at fifty-nine of the one hundred and twenty-one available figures (if you count variables and alternatives such as FX Star Wars characters) and there’s not a moment that doesn’t pass when I’m not looking up deals and sales online or in local stores. Really I know I probably should stop, before my girlfriend kills/leaves me, but in all honestly I don’t want to.

Disney Infinity has provided the best example of a great concept and its potential. It was the best quality take on the toys to life genre and has provided both hours of entertainment for myself alongside a great and in depth game development tool for young players looking to get into development later. It’s a shame that the trajectory for the series was so short.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to head out to town, I heard that there’s a Yoda on offer with my name on it.

Robin "Seiibutsu" Smith, man, myth, legend, layabout! Robin has been writing about video games and interactive digital media since 1999. He's written for sites small and less small. Crafted podcasts with friends and industry veterans. Streamed games on twitch for (he says) 48 hours for charity. Name it Robin has done it. Some say not very well, but he gave it a good college try. He also writes about games over on his own site : Videogame Cliche and tells stories over at A Series Of Down Endings (Link : https://aseriesofdownendings.wordpress.com ) and is on every social network, website, and games service know to man under the name Seiibutsu. Look for him and he's there. Like some sort of terrible virus.

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‘The Mandalorian’ Trailer: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis

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With Disney’s D23 Expo well underway in Anaheim, California, we got a slew of information about upcoming Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars projects. One of the most anticipated of these announcements was the trailer for Jon Favreau’s upcoming television series The Mandalorian. The show will take place following the events of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, set a few years after Return of the Jedi, when the Empire has been defeated, and will follow the titular gunfighter. The Mandalorian trailer suggests a darker tone for the Star Wars franchise; story-wise, we haven’t had much information, so let’s break down the trailer and see what we can decipher.

Stormtrooper Graveyard

One of the most striking images from the entire Mandalorian trailer is the opening shot of decimated Stormtrooper helmets in the sand. The setting of the series is emphasised here, with the collapse of the Empire highlighted by what looks like a shrine to their demise.

We also get this image of the helmets on pikes, suggesting a dark and violent tone. It is understandable that the inhabitants of the Star Wars universe would be vengeful towards the Empire, but this imagery illustrates just how deeply rooted this anger is throughout the galaxy. It is also a rather violent image, suggesting that the show will have a more adult nature similar to that of the Rogue One film.

Razor Crest

We then get a look at the Mandalorian’s ship as it cruises across a lush planet flourishing with greenery. The ship itself is known as the Razor Crest, a fact that was given back in April at the The Mandalorian panel at the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago.

Prepare for Landing

The next shot we see is of some kind of ship port where the Mandalorian has docked the Razor Crest. He obviously travels far and wide within the galaxy for his contracts, and it could be interesting to see where his work takes him throughout the series. This particular port looks like it has seen better days. It’s likely that it took a beating during the civil war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The effects that the war had on the rest of the galaxy could also be a fascinating element to explore.

Greef Carga

Next we see the Mandalorian exchanging what looks like credits of some kind with a character confirmed to be called Greef Carga, played by Carl Weathers. Carga is said to be the leader of a guild of bounty hunters who hires the titular character to track down an asset of great value.

Desert Plains

The Mandalorian trailer then sees the Razor Crest flying across a planet with a cracked, desert style terrain. This is another great example of the various worlds that we might see across the span of the series.  The scene is also visually stunning, and the production values are incredibly impressive for a television series. You can see that Disney is investing a lot in the show.

Suit Up

The Mandalorian readies his armour and weaponry in the next shot, obviously preparing for a fight. The mystery of the man behind the Mandolorian mask is clearly going to be a strong element of the series, much like with fellow Mandolorian bounty hunter Boba Fett, who became a fan favourite despite his minimal screen time. We know that the title character will be played by Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos), but little else is known about him.

Cara Dune

Gina Carano’s Cara Dune is seen in the following shot. Dune is a former Rebel solider, having been a Rebel Shock Trooper beforehand.  Carano described her as a “loner” who has trouble fitting back into regular society following the end of the Galactic Civil War. This is also an interesting story element that could bring some relatable human moments to a galaxy far, far away. Soldiers often have trouble adjusting back into ordinary civilian life following a long stint on the battlefield, and seeing this via Carano’s character could really humanise the Rebel soldiers who weren’t necessarily big players in the war, but just regular troopers. They are often overlooked in big adventure stories such as Star Wars in favour of the unobtainable heroes, so to explore the stories of the other Rebels could be interesting.

Uganaught

We then see an Uganaught  riding on what looks a bit like a worm with legs (that is my best scientific description). Uganaughts are humanoid creatures that have a slight resemblance to pigs. They come from the planet Gentes, and have made appearances across the wealth of Star Wars media. It’s nice to see the inclusion of a variety of alien species from the Star Wars universe here.

Twi’lek Ladies Get it Done

Similar to the Uganaught species, the Twi’lek are an alien species who have made appearances across the various Star Wars books, television shows, and video games. This particular Twi’lek woman looks like she has some sass to her, and I’m a sucker for strong sci-fi ladies. Girl power and all that.

The Lone Ranger

This is personally my favourite shot of the whole Mandalorian trailer. We see the Mandalorian walking by himself as the sun sets on a desert landscape. This shot encapsulates the lone nature of the bounty hunter. His dark silhouette slowly approaching is somewhat menacing as well, and makes for a fantastic shot that not only looks terrific, but also suggests the dark tones of the show and the moral ambiguity of the character.

Mother and Child

The next shot shows a woman and child cowering. This shot could be taken from any moment in the show, and could be a flashback or an important event in the series. Either way, it is likely that they are related to the Mandalorian in some way. Whether they were family to him or they are characters that he protects, I am certain they will play some role in the events that occur.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The next shot seems to be edited together in a way to make it seem like the line up of Deathtroopers are aiming at the woman and child in the previous shot. Though this is most likely purposely edited, it shows that the Empire still has loyal followers attempting to uphold the regime.

From the Hip

We see the Mandalorian’s itchy trigger finger next as he stands off against an unknown adversary. The trailer is certainly establishing a Western theme and this moment truly captures the feel of traditional gun-slinging Westerns.

Moff Gideon

Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon is the next character introduced in the Mandalorian trailer. Esposito confirmed that his character is still serving the Empire despite their fall in Return of the Jedi. He seems to have an ensemble of  Deathtroopers behind him, so he clearly isn’t alone in his dedication to the Empire. We know that the First Order will step up and take the place of the Empire in the future, so perhaps Gideon will play a part in establishing the new regime. It could also be that Gideon is an independent party, acting alone with his team of troopers.

Bounty Hunter for Hire

The close up of the classic Mandalorian helmet brings back memories of fellow Mandalorians — Boba Fett from the original trilogy, as well as his father, Jango Fett, from the prequels. The people of the planet Mandalore were ravaged by war on their world, so I’d be interested to see if we get to see the Mandalorian home planet, get more of an insight into the Mandalorian people, and learn how they were affected by their planets violent history.

Swoop

We then see a man aboard a swoop bike back in the desert at night confronting some sort of space craft.  This looks like it could be the Mandalorian, but he is missing his signature helmet. Hopefully, we will get a look at the man under the mask at some point in the series.

Warzone

A battle rages in the night in the next shot. You can see trenches set up and ships blasting at those on the ground. The ship makes the classic ‘pew pew’ noise when it fires, which is always the best part of anything Star Wars-related.

Run

Someone carrying a child runs through a street where a battle is raging; could it be possible that the valuable asset that Greef Carga has tasked the Mandalorian with transporting is indeed this child? It would make sense if the person carrying the child is the Mandalorian himself without his helmet again, but it could also be possible that this is just a child and parent affected by the war, trying to escape the battle. Either way, you can clearly see how the fighting is affecting someone so young.

Knock Knock, Open up the Door

Another cool scene from the Mandalorian trailer is this moment with the Mandalorian and a droid. The droid was confirmed to be named IG-11 after fans were originally thinking that he was an IG-88 assassin droid seen in the previous Star Wars movies. IG-11 will be voiced by Taika Waititi, so he is sure to have some attitude, and hopefully will deliver some one liners. If IG-11 has a similar personality to some of Waititi’s others roles, such as Korg from Thor: Ragnorak, then it could be a nice contrast to have him team up with the stalwart and stoic Mandalorian.

Space Battle

For a series set in space in a franchise known as Star Wars, we only get one glimpse of an actual fight in space.

IG -11

After seeing the Mandolorian gunning down some people in a battle, IG- 11 gets a moment to shine as he takes out several people with his laser pistol. Hopefully, the droid will pay a significant role in the series, perhaps forming a similar relationship with the Mandolorian that Cassian Andor and K2-S0 had in Rogue One.

Mexican Standoff

One of the finishing shots of the Mandalorian trailer shows the Mandalorian standing off against a group of Stormtroopers. He seems to be outnumbered and outgunned. At least until…

Hold the Door

He pulls a finishing move on this guy by tripping him as he tries to run, grabbing him with some kind of grappling hook, and pulling him back in through the door. He then shoots a panel next to door, forcing it to close on the attempted runaway. The shot cuts away before we get the bloody shot of someone getting chopped in two (this is still a Disney production after all), but the tone is clear. This guy is skilled, he is precise, and he is certainly not to be messed with.

Carbonite

A brief shot of an alien frozen in carbonite is seen next, showing that this isn’t a punishment just reserved for the likes of Han Solo. We also hear some voice lines from acclaimed actor, director, writer and all around artist Werner Herzog who states “Bounty Hunting is a complicated thing.”

Herzog Himself

Then we cut to the man himself. It is unclear as to who Herzog will be playing, but to have such an acclaimed person on board is pretty promising. He finishes his speech, “Don’t you agree?” I really hope that the series explores the moral ambiguities of what a bounty hunter is, and this small yet poignant speech from Herzog’s character suggests that this could come into question.

The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau is clearly a huge fan of the Star Wars series, and I have no doubt that he will bring us an interesting story that explores the dark underworld of the bounty hunting business in the Star Wars universe, whilst also maintaining the conflict between the Rebels, the ordinary citizens, and the last remnants of the Empire. With an impressive cast and crew working on it, The Mandalorian has the potential to be a brilliant addition to the Star Wars lore.

The Mandalorian will be available to stream from November 12th on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

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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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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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