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Nintendo releases Nintendo Labo VR for Switch Nintendo releases Nintendo Labo VR for Switch

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Nintendo Weekly Roundup: Virtual Reality, Round 2

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Nintendo Labo VR gets released

Last month, Nintendo announced Labo VR. A take on the virtual reality phenomenon, Nintendo intended to combine its Labo product line for Switch with its current über successful console for a fresh VR experience. Many hardly expected this, as the tech giant had explored VR over a couple decades ago to much controversy. However, Nintendo clearly had some desire to be privy to the VR scene.

This week, after a month’s wait, Nintendo Labo VR has released. The full VR kit comes with several peripherals to build out of cardboard for the Switch, including an elephant, a bird, a blaster, a camera, a foot pedal, as well as the goggles and a few smaller peripherals. The full set will cost $79.99 USD while a starter containing the goggles and blaster will run at $39.99 USD. The other peripherals will be sold separately.

It’s hard to tell, right now, if the Labo VR is going to perform well in the market. It’s efficiently-priced compared to alternatives on other platforms, including that of VR on the PlayStation 4, which ranges from about $200 to $300. In any case, it’s always great to see Nintendo try their hand at different technologies.

Nintendo Switch Online adds three new NES games

With an ever-expanding library of 8-bit classics, Nintendo Switch Online is becoming an increasingly desirable service. Having recently launched the likes of Kid Icarus for the service, Nintendo is releasing three new titles today, including Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Star Soldier, and Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream.

The first title in the lineup is very identical to the first entry in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, if far more difficult. Up until 2007, it had not yet been released in the North American market. Considered simultaneously a sequel to and extension of the first title, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is sure to make even the most skilled of Mario fans shiver in fear.

Originally released on NES in 1986, Star Soldier is a sci-fi shoot-’em-up video game in which the player controls a ship as they blast away at incoming enemies. Sharing elements with other games in its genre, it’s a fun action game to play when one doesn’t have much time to do so.

Punch-Out!! is one of Nintendo’s more obscure franchises. While it’s gotten a bit of limelight in recent years as per the presence of Little Mac in two Super Smash Bros. titles and 2009’s Punch-Out!! entry on the Wii, there has yet to be word on continued development of other series sequels. The original that can be played through Nintendo Switch Online is a challenge worth your time, even if you don’t get to fight Iron Mike.

Stage Builder may be coming to ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

One of the more integral features of the past couple Super Smash Bros. iterations has been the stage builder feature. As the name suggests, the player constructs arenas from various objects in any given setting to be suitable for any scale of battle. As it stands, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stands as an odd one out without the feature, but a new advertisement suggests it will have the feature soon enough.

In the beginning of this “Nintendo Switch My Way” advertisement, in which multiple children play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you can barely make out the term “Stage Builder” at the bottom right corner of the TV screen. This occurs about two seconds into the video, and while the words are slightly blurred, they are confirmation of what data miners had discovered earlier this year, according to Green Man Gaming Newsroom.

Stage Builder was quite easily one of the more engaging additions to the Smash Bros. series and is Nintendo’s closest thing to a “Forge” mode. In any case, we have yet to see how Nintendo adds to the popular mode and what else might be in store for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, considered one of the best Nintendo Switch games thus far..

Star Wars Pinball comes to Nintendo SwitchStar Wars Pinball collection coming to Switch in September

One series that has been remained active for quite some time by now is the Star Wars Pinball series. As such, Zen Studios’ 19 Star Wars-themed tables will be heading to the Nintendo Switch in September.

Polygon reports that Star Wars Pinball will get both a digital release on the eShop as well as a physical release, which is a first for Zen Studios. collection is set to include every table, which are as follows:

  • Adaptations of the feature films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, and Solo.
  • Tables based on the brand’s television shows, The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
  • Tables based on characters including Darth Vader, Han Solo, Boba Fett, Droids, and Calrissian Chronicles.
  • Star Wars: Battle of Mimban and Star Wars: Ahch-To Island. 
  • Star Wars: Masters of the Force, Starfighter Assault, and Might of the First Order.

The Switch iteration will include the ability to play vertically in handheld mode, as well as a console-exclusive career mode which is made with “short on-the-go gameplay sessions in mind.” The game includes a soundtrack which will be available in jukebox mode, according to Polygon, and a special collection mode designed to boost scores.

The collection will release on September 13, 2019.

This Week’s Releases

While Nintendo Labo VR may have been the only big first-party release of the last week, there were still some notable titles to come out. For example, on April 9, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was released for Nintendo Switch at $29.99 USD. The Phoenix Wright games are beloved in their own right (no pun intended) for their quirky brand of humor and unique style of gameplay. As some of the best Nintendo DS games around, there’s not much reason to miss out on this collection.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice releases today, April 11, on Nintendo Switch for $39.99 USD. Developed by Ninja Theory, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice tells the sad tale of a “broken Celtic warrior” who “embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.” Originally released in 2017, Hellblade was widely praised for its narrative finesse and visuals.

Just in time for the final season’s release, Reigns: Game of Thrones was released for the Switch at $3.99 USD. The game is a simulator of sorts revolving around characters from the actual series as you decide the fates of those within Westeros. The perfect way to prepare for Season 8, and priced fairly cheaply, Game of Thrones fans may be remiss without this game in their Switch library.

As always, you can view these and more on the Nintendo Game Store.

 

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Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Antlers’ Gets a Mysterious Trailer

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Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer and poster for Antlers, a rural horror film about a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret that places the entire town in danger.

Director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro have teamed to adapt a short story from Nick Antosca, the creator of the criminally underrated horror anthology series Channel Zero. Not much is yet known about Antlers other than Fox Searchlight, now owned by Disney, has scheduled the film for a 2020 release. Rounding up the main cast is Graham Green, Amy Madigan, Scott Haze and Rory Cochrane. Watch the trailer below.

Antlers Movie
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Be Excellent to Each Other with these Awesome ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Figures

“History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell.”

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Since its release in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure inspired a sequel (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), a Saturday morning cartoon, a comic book series, and launched actor Keanu Reeves into movie stardom. And now, three-plus decades later, Bill and Ted are getting their own scale collectible set courtesy Sideshow and Blitzway.

This is your chance to own the friendly duo in one go! The work put into creating these high-end figures is truly astounding as the figures capture the look of a young Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves just as we remember them. If you have $399 to spend, they can be all yours.

Check out the photos below along with the official press release.

Bill and Ted are two high school buddies who dream of becoming international rock stars. Their hilarious time travel adventure is depicted in the amazingly audacious comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

It’s like having them pop up right in front of you, with their iconic fashion and elaborate accessories. Besides, the iconic props are designed to let you reproduce a variety of wonderful scenes from the movie.

Be excellent to each other and travel to the past through the exciting story of Bill and Ted!

The Bill & Ted Sixth Scale Collectible Set specially features:

Highly detailed likeness of Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq.
Highly detailed likeness of Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan
Newly designed and developed male body with over 30 points of articulations and flexible soft arms
Two (2) Newly designed and developed figure stands
Twelve (12) interchangeable hands (total for both) including:
Two (2) pairs of guitar hands
Two (2) right blow fist hands
Two (2) pairs of open hands
Two (2) right good fortune hands

Costume for Bill:

One (1) purple pattern shirt
One (1) graphic t-shirts
One (1) pair of blue jeans
One (1) pair of pattern underpants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

Costume for Ted:

One (1) blue jacket
One (1) black vest
One (1) graphic t-shirt
One (1) pair of graphic shorts
One (1) pair of inner training pants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

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Watch the Creepy Trailer for ‘Little Nightmares 2’: Six is Back and She has Help.

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One of the biggest surprises to come out of Gamescom 2019 so far is the announcement of Little Nightmares 2, the sequel to the puzzle-platformer hit horror game developed by Tarsier Studios.

While the first Little Nightmares has you take control a character named Six while avoiding instant death as she traverses alone amongst the depths of a dungeon, the sequel will give her a companion named Mono, who must accompany Six throughout her terrifying new journey.  

Little Nightmares was one of our favorite games of 2017 and so we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel. In our review, James Baker wrote, “Tarsier Studios have created a wholly original concept to a horror genre that has leaned more towards thriller before anything else, bringing its roots back without relying on jump-scares and needlessly-gory shocks. Just like hide-and-seek, Little Nightmares captures the fear of being caught, albeit in a creepy, macabre style.”

Little Nightmares 2 will be released sometime in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Watch the trailer below and if you are a fan of the first game, we recommend reading this article that dives deep into the meaning behind Little Nightmares.

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NBA 2K20’s Story Mode Gets a Stunning Trailer

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NBA 2K19 features to date, its strongest MyCareer mode with the aptly titled, “The Way Back”, a fascinating look at the culture behind college basketball recruiting. The story mode was well received by critics and fans everywhere and in our review, we called it, “an incredible achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length”.

NBA 2K20 which will be released in less than a month, promises to include an even better story mode, and while we haven’t played the game yet, we have plenty of reasons to think it might be. Not only does it feature an all-star cast with top-tier talents such as Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson, but the story mode – entitled “When the Lights Are Brightest” – is being produced by LeBron James’ Springhill Productions, the same company behind the upcoming Space Jam 2.

NBA 2K20’s latest trailer, which debuted Monday during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox show live from Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, give us a good idea of what to expect. We get a glimpse at Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson in action as well as the rest of the supporting cast which includes Thomas Middleditch, Mark Cuban, Ernie Hudson, Lamorne Morris, Scottie Pippen, and Jaleel White!

The NBA 2K20 demo will go live on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and will allow players to create a character and get a head start on MyCareer. Any progress made will carry over to the full game, which will be released Sept. 6 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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The Transformers: Lessons in Warfare, Scale, and Childhood

Toys We Love Spotlight

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The Transformers are an enduring part of American pop culture. Starting with the introduction of the first toy lines in the early 1980s, the animated series went on to define a large part of ‘80s culture, reaching its apex with the release of The Transformers: The Movie in 1986. After a disappointing performance in theaters, however, the brand reached a nadir in the post-movie era, receding from the front of American pop culture until the late 1990s, when Transformers: Beast Wars brought the franchise to the forefront again.

It was into this climate that I was born. By the time I was old enough to watch TV and get toys courtesy of the North Pole and my parents, I began to take an interest in the series. After all, what five-year-old boy doesn’t like the idea of giant robots fighting each other for control of the earth and the universe?

My local video store (yes, those used to exist) had a copy of the first three episodes of the original Transformers series, Generation 1, on VHS. I remember renting this one particular copy from the store and watching it at least three times, sun-faded front cover and all. Even then, I loved the series, though I only had a few generic dollar-store “transformers,” an Armada Megatron that I had received for my fifth birthday, and a couple of hand-me-down G1 figures from my Dad.

Some of my earliest memories of Transformers came from a trip my parents and I took to visit my Dad’s former college roommate, a professed 80s culture geek. I remember watching a ton of G1 episodes, like “Dinobot Island,” as well as The Transformers: The Movie on his large projection-screen TV, an experience which inculcated within me an intense love of the series.

Optimus Prime The Transformers The Movie

Optimus Prime, bastion of bravery and an excellent role model for a maturing boy.

The first real episodic Transformers show that I watched with any sort of consistency, however, was Transformers: Armada. Now, I don’t remember much about this show — for good reason, as it’s derided by many Transformers fans for its poor animation, bad dubbing, and terrible story — but what I do remember is one particular toy that I really enjoyed: Armada Unicron.

I think it was the Christmas of 2002 when I first got Unicron. I remember having seen him in the store and (probably) telling my parents something or another about it, but I was utterly shocked when Santa brought it to me as a present. As a kid, Unicron was an impressive toy that towered over all of my other Transformers. He was such a hefty toy that I had trouble just picking him up from the ground. After having seen The Transformers: The Movie, I was just impressed by having the planet-eating destroyer of worlds himself in toy form. It was good to be a kid.

My consumption of Transformers-related content stayed relatively the same for a couple of years. Since my family didn’t get any of the channels that the shows came on, I was often left to make up what stories I could from my own memory, but we had Netflix (back when it was a DVD mail-in service), so I was able to watch some of the old series, including Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Transformers: Energon on DVD. As usual, however, I spent most of my time in school or playing on my GameCube.  

When Michael Bay’s Transformers released in theaters in 2007, it ushered in an entirely new era of Transformers fandom across the world. With the return of G1 originals Peter Cullen and Frank Welker as the voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively, the ‘80s were alive and well again. This transformation (pun fully intended), brought about the introduction of an entirely new show, Transformers Animated, which aired on Cartoon Network. Before the days of DVR, it was nearly impossible for someone like myself, who was usually involved in any myriad of school activities on any given day, to find the time to watch a show at its air time. 

Unicron Armada Transformers Toy

Just look at this toy! Even today, it’s impressive.

However, luckily enough for me, Cartoon Network aired reruns of two episodes of Animated every day at 6:30 AM. As someone who lived literally two minutes away from school, I usually didn’t leave my house until around 7:45 or 8:00, so I had plenty of time to watch the show. I remember getting up every morning, fixing myself a big bowl of cereal, and sitting down to watch Animated before anyone in the house was up. Just me, Transformers, cereal, and a lot of fun. 

Soon, as I aged and Animated was replaced by Transformers Prime, I grew into a more nuanced appreciation for the shows’ storytelling. Prime, a dark tonal contrast with Animated, found me at the perfect time in my life. I appreciated its reverence for Optimus Prime and its overarching themes of sacrifice and leadership. While some would say it was boring or over-wrought, for a burgeoning pre-teen it was an engaging combination of cool and edgy that I thoroughly enjoyed.

When I sit down to think about the impact the Transformers series has had on my life, there’s one point in particular that sticks out to me: the imagination that playing with Transformers encouraged. While the brand was doubtlessly born of a commercial desire to sell as many pieces of plastic as possible, it nonetheless developed into a series capable of some interesting, if not always deep, storytelling. 

I copied this sense of storytelling when it came time to play with my toys. I remember incorporating various weather machines, weapons of ultimate power, and energy crystals into overarching narratives that could last a whole afternoon. Narratives in which Autobots died, lost limbs, or were otherwise in peril before the power of the Matrix of Leadership or Primus himself showed up to save them in the end. While this may not seem all that unique, I credit the series with instilling in me a sense of narrative detail. In fact, I remember not mixing my G.I. Joes and Transformers together, because in my internal head canon, they weren’t to scale (everyone knows that Transformers are at least three to four times taller than humans.) 

Megatron vs. Dinosaur G1 Transformers

I can safely say that I probably played out this exact scenario at least four or five times in my childhood.

However, Unicron himself created all sorts of problems for an internal narrative. For a being the size of a planet, he was rather puny in scale when compared to the other figures. So, I would always put Unicron to the side and pretend that the smaller Transformers were mere dots on him, tiny little specks that could barely be seen, the same as they had been in The Transformers: The Movie. I feel like the toys gave me an appreciation of the tropes of narrative fiction that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed or appreciated. 

Today, I still love the series and try to watch The Transformers: The Movie at least once a year. Newer entries, like Transformers: Rescue Bots and Rescue Bots Academy allow me to share my love of the series with my younger siblings without encountering the darker elements of some of the classic shows. It allows me to teach them all about the Cybertronians that I grew up with, and perhaps encourage them to craft stories of their own. Now, excuse me while I help the Rescue Bots put out a fire on Wayward Island…

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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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