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Sony PlayStation Roundup: Epic Games, Earnings and Endings



After a bit of a hiatus, we’re back with our weekly dose of Sony PlayStation news! I know you missed me, don’t deny it. Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the news that’s come from Sony this week.

Epic Store and Quantic Dream

The Game Developers Conference, or GDC, has been underway this week and with it we’ve had a few announcements in regards to gaming. One of these announcements came from the French game developers Quantic Dream, who you may know for their narrative driven games with a large dose of quick time events, branching paths and a hint of player choice. The news centred on their three major titles coming to the PC and no longer only being PlayStation exclusives as they are currently. Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls will be available via the Epic Games Store.

Stadia Overtakes Sony

One of the biggest pieces of gaming news this week was the announcement of Google’s new gaming platform Stadia, which promises a lot of different elements such as gaming across devices, instant playability directly from a YouTube video and immediate play without updates or downloads. So as you can imagine, the gaming community was all a little bit preoccupied with this and how it would actually work for everyday gamers. Due to the large interest in all things Stadia, there was a slight drop in Sony’s shares. GameRant reported that, “On Wednesday, the day after Google Stadia’s announcement, shares for Sony…dropped by 4.5….percent.” Stadia could be a potential threat to all other gaming platforms, especially if Google can deliver on what they have promised. We could be witness to a very interesting competition when Stadia releases. When it comes to me, at heart I will always be a PlayStation gal. Although I was once an Xbox gal. And a Nintendo gal. I’m not that fickle, I promise.

Days Gone Photo Mode

With the release of the post-apocalyptic zombie game Days Gone approaching fast, the PlayStation blog released a post detailing the games photo mode. because who doesn’t like a cheeky selfie amongst the undead? Photo mode has become something of a staple of contemporary games, going hand in hand with modern technology and the growing desire to document every aspect of life via the camera. The blog goes on to detail the Advanced Mode “where users can fine-tune their final shots by manipulating 55 different settings across Bloom, Color Grading, and Color Depth Grading panel,” so users can now spend hours tweaking their photos in-game as well as in reality! I often wonder whether such focus is needed on something like Photo Mode (I personally don’t really use it) but the artistic value of it can’t be denied. Some people have created beautiful images via photo modes, images that would once may have been relegated to just cinema or a professional photographer.

We recommend this article from GamesRadar about the best photo modes in gaming. Check out some of the best, and weirdest, creations to emerge from Photo Mode in general.

Days Gone has just gone gold and will be released worldwide on April 26th for PlayStation 4.

State of Play

Sony has announced that they will be setting up a new video programme known as State of Play which will showcase an array of trailers and information for upcoming PlayStation titles.  This won’t be a one-off, but rather a programme that will return “throughout the year”. The first episode airs Monday, March 25, 2019. Check out the PlayStation blog at the link here for a little more about it. This news has obviously caused a bit of a buzz as to what is going to be showcased on Monday. The blog states that the first installment of State of Play will “showcase upcoming PS4 and PS VR software, including new trailers, new game announcements, and new gameplay footage”. Could we be getting a look at some anticipated titles like The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding or even Cyberpunk 2077?  We’ll find out this Monday.

Trailer of the Week
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
Episode 4: Take Us Back

The end is nigh for Clementine in the recent trailer for the fourth episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. This will be the final outing in the game’s last season, which has had a tumultuous path in the recent months. After the closure of Telltale Games in October 2018, all future Telltale projects were cancelled and the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which was two episodes in at that point, was up in the air. Skybound Games stepped in to finish the game as it was originally intended and brought back as many of the Telltale team as they could. With the game saved from the brink of cancellation, we’re now able to see how Clementine’s journey will end. The trailer has a solemn tone to it, with the somber song from episode three playing eerily as we see snippets of AJ and Clementine attempting to survive against what looks like a horde of walkers. The trailer doesn’t show too much, just enough to give us the feeling of finality even if it is unclear as to whether it will end on a tragic note or on something a bit more hopeful. It also shows multiple characters who are determinants, so they may well be dead already depending on the player choice, making it more difficult to get a grasp on what direction the story is going to go.

We’ve seen Clementine grow into a survivor over seven years and four games, she even survived a studio closure! In many ways, it is the end of an era. Although Telltale Games is no more, The Walking Dead was the game that lifted them to triple-A status and proved their ability to create engaging and emotional games driven by a strong narrative. The title of the episode, Take Us Back, also tugs on the heartstrings as it is the name of the song that played over the credits of the very first season after Lee’s death. We got a lovely dream sequence involving Lee in episode three, so we may not see him again, but maybe we will get a call back to him and the sacrifice that he made for Clementine. Hopefully, it won’t be history repeating itself though. I don’t think my heart could take it.

I feel personally invested in Clementine and her story. I was 19 when I first played the game and it quickly became a contender for my favourite game of all time. Seven years on and we’re about to see how it will all end. I am not ready.

Take Us Back is due for release on March 26th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch.

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series




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




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’




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



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



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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