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10 Years Later: ‘Mass Effect’ Deserves Better

No matter what your particular gaming vice, throughout the last generation there was an innovation there for you to pick up and sink your teeth into. For fans of the RPG, Mass Effect was certainly one of those games.

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Many of us probably didn’t realize it at the time, but as we cast our minds back to the previous generation of consoles, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that it really was a golden period for the gaming industry. Sure, it eventually became a bit long in the tooth and yes, it had more than its fair share of controversies… the red ring of death escapade and the now infamous PSN outage to name only two, but despite these issues, when the last generation was good, it was an innovative and momentous period for games.

It brought with it a plethora of titles that can now count themselves amongst the gaming elite. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare revolutionized the FPS genre, Gears of War came along and made cover shooters a staple for years, Nathan Drake burst onto the scene showing Indiana Jones how to Indiana Jones properly and of course, members of the gaming royal family such as Mario continued to innovate with the near flawless Super Mario Galaxy, forcing even the most ardent opponent of “the waggle” to wave their arms about like a wacky-waving, inflatable, tube man and giggle with glee. No matter what your particular gaming vice, there was an innovation there for you to pick up and sink your teeth into and for fans of the RPG genre, Mass Effect was certainly one of those games.

After ten years, four games, a number of novels, comics, animated films and mobile titles, it would be all too easy to look back at Mass Effect as a series and scoff. The comics were mediocre at best, the books were largely a swing and a miss and the last two outings in the gaming sphere have somehow managed to miss the mark. The most recent entry in particular hasn’t done anyone any favors, effectively sending Mass Effect into an indefinite cryo-sleep, stamping out any embers of goodwill that may have remained after the Mass Effect 3 incident. Disappointing as it was however, we shouldn’t let that cloud the fact that Mass Effect is a game simply oozing style and mystique which millions of us found utterly captivating.

When Mass Effect came along on November 20 2007, it didn’t necessarily do anything particularly groundbreaking or new from a game play perspective. Although pretty, the game was hardly the most impressive looking thing we had ever seen. Animations looked stiff and the moment to moment combat, although functional, certainly wasn’t anything to get excited about. What Mass Effect excelled at, however, was its world-building. Bioware achieved this by placing the player in a universe which felt deep, responsive to player interactions, and most importantly, it felt lived in.

Players had their overall mission, but they were also forced to deal with issues encountered by their crew members. If players wanted to get the most from their team, they had to listen to them and support their needs and wants. The game encouraged the player to act like a commander of their very own ship. In real life this would include much more than simply ticking off missions and Bioware attempted to mirror this by encouraging the player to talk to the crew members, get to know them and eventually unlock missions and dialogue options revealing the personalities of the crew, what made them tick and what they cared about.

In real terms, what this did was provide the player with an array of characters they could spend upwards of 40 hours alongside. Players would become attached to the stories of their squad members and care about what happened to them. Of course, the game brought with it the overarching ‘save the world’ storyline, but weaved into this narrative were the stories and lives of squad members. It created stakes the player could relate to and genuine feelings of excitement, trepidation and concern for what ramifications choices and actions might have down the line. There are precious few games that can wield genuine emotional power over a player and surely that alone means Mass Effect deserves to be recognized as a gaming great despite its flaws.

Looking back at Mass Effect on its 10th anniversary, there is little doubt this is a game which absolutely deserves a place at the table of gaming’s elite franchises. Playing through the game, even back in 2007, it was far from perfect. The menus were dense and overly fiddly and particularly for console players, it was all too apparent the user interface had been designed for use with a mouse, making it feel clunky and unresponsive on a controller. With that said, it more than made up for its shortfalls in game design with the creation of its world and environments. Mass Effect was a great start to a series that had potential to be up there with the best stories and worlds sci-fi has to offer. Whether that’s in gaming, film or in the written word. Mass Effect deserves better than it has been given of late but please, don’t let that blur the reality of how truly special it is.

David has been writing, podcasting and making videos about video games for around a decade. He grew up on Halo LAN parties and wiled away summers mastering the final line in Tony Hawk Underground. Today his tastes are somewhat eclectic, but he holds a particular fondness for an immersive RPG he can lose himself in for days.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. LordCancer Kain

    November 25, 2017 at 12:20 am

    it would be cool to see the original trilogy remastered. seems mass effect is now dead space.

    • Mike Worby

      November 25, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I would love to see EA do this. Couldnt hurt in terms of recouping the money from Andromeda.

      • LordCancer Kain

        November 25, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        well ea cited andromeda as a solid revenue driver.

        • Mike Worby

          November 26, 2017 at 12:10 am

          Right. They also shut down production of the series and slashed the price on the title almost immediately. You tell me what that means.

          • LordCancer Kain

            November 26, 2017 at 2:55 am

            oh i do not speak their language, but i think it means anytime you order an ea game you should wear protection 😉

          • Mike Worby

            November 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

            Hahah, you’re not wrong about that.

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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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