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E3 2016 – The Ups & Downs of the Xbox Press Conference



For the first time, Goomba Stomp was live at the Galen Center for Microsoft’s Xbox press conference and the whole theater was jammed packed with media and Xbox lovers alike. Microsoft showcased major IPs like Scalebound, Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2 in a tightly-knit, well-organized and action-packed press conference that lasted over an hour. But with every press conference comes good and bad elements so here are the ups and the downs of the Xbox Briefing 2016.

Seeing as how Xbox had a considerably good showcase this year, let’s get the downs out of the way as to leave the best of what Xbox has to offer as the highlights.


Killer Instinct Gets More DLC

At the very least development is still going on for Killer Instinct but adding General RAAM from Gears of War to the mix made KI a mere extension to the Gears of War 4 hype rather than making having its own major presence at the show.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV looks to be the most engaging entry in the series yet and the demo they showed at the Xbox Conference proved the direction Square-Enix is taking the series to be the right one. However, the demo did nothing to boost the Xbox brand or convince people to buy the Xbox One version over the PS4 version (which the Playstation name has been synonymous with the franchise since Final Fantasy VII and the Xbox can’t seem to break that). Perhaps it helped a little just giving FFXV some time but it needed that little extra exclusivity to seal the deal.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

It’s always a great time when CD Projekt Red comes on stage because that means only one thing, more Witcher. Well, this time around we’ve been given more so a minigame from the Witcher series. The card game, Gwent, has been tweaked for more thorough gameplay but it still seems like a lackluster showing from the indie dev giant.

Battlefield 1

Of course, Battlefield 1 had a presence at the Xbox Conference but unfortunately, they showed the same footage the EA had shown during their press conference. The best thing to benefit Xbox is that Xbox One owners can play the game early through EA Access.

Xbox One Software Updates

There came a section of the conference that broke up the fast-paced reveals of major games and that was the explanation of upcoming software updates. These include Clubs, Looking for Group and Arena; three pretty neat features that probably should have been with the console ages ago.

Indie Games Get Swept Into a Video Package Again

This is a major sin that all companies do with their press conferences. They put all of their indie titles in an easy to miss video package. Games like Cuphead, Yookah-Laylee (on the Xbox!? How ironic!) and Slime Rancher don’t get enough time to shine. While these indie devs are surely delighted to have their games showcased for even a second (which is nearly the amount time they’re given, they deserve a little more love.


The Xbox One S

The show kicked off with the Xbox One S, a newer model of the Xbox One which comes with an integrated power supply and a 40% smaller hardware size compared to the original Xbox One (a tidbit which received its well-deserved own moment cheers and woos from the audience.) With 2 TB of internal HDD and 4K Ultra digital video at a price of $299 ($200 less than the original Xbox One’s release) this new model is enticing to anyone still holding out on the Xbox One. It’s now time for Sony to answer with their Neo.

Gears of War 4

Gears of War is a majorly important I.P. to Xbox and it was equally vital for them to reveal as much of Gears of War 4 as they were able. Studio Head Rod Fergusson and voice actress Laura Bailey co-oped an exciting (but obviously scripted) scene from the game and gave fans in need of their GoW fix a thrilling taste of things to come with the franchise.

Play Anywhere

Gears of War 4 was announced to be one of the many major games they have in store to be cross compatible with both Xbox One and Windows 10 through their new Play Anywhere system. Back up saves through Xbox Live and switch gameplay from the Xbox One to the PC as you wish. As long as you purchased the game for one console, the other will be accessible. Xbox being more easy-going with their OS and hardware is always a good thing.

Forza Horizon 3

Forza is without a doubt one of the Xbox’s major franchises and having a presence at a conference is always beneficial to Microsoft whether or not people enjoy the racer or not. After all the Forza series has had a continual presence on the Xbox One whereas Sony’s Gran Turismo is still yet to appear on their PS4.


The Xbox brand is riddled with games that cater to fans of shooters, racers, and general sports but when a unique exclusive adventure game comes around more eyes turn to the Xbox. Announced last year, this new IP produced by famed Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune had a great showing at the conference as it showed off its high paced action and thought provoking puzzles.


The successor to Limbo, INSIDE is back. While not much was shown gameplay-wise the game is due out June 29. A major up for Xbox. Plus, Limbo will be free on Xbox One so go and get that if you haven’t already.

We Happy Few

The action-dystopian game, We Happy Few, is making its console debut on the Xbox One exclusively and it was given a gorgeous showcase that left many people in the audience who weren’t familiar with the game previously wanting more. It will be available on Xbox Game Preview starting July 26th.


Tekken 7

Bandai Namco gave Tekken fans what they want with a trailer that showed Street Fighter’s Akuma beating the crap out of Heihachi which had some cleverly integrated fighting gameplay. Even Katsuhiro Harada came out with his trademark sunglasses to say Xbox Live Gold members would be given Tekken Tag Tournament 2 free.

Dead Rising 4

Even though it was leaked a few days ago, Dead Rising 4 still had a great reveal that made the audience laugh and shout as beloved zombie killer/ impromptu weapon assembler/ photo journalist Frank West slaughtered everything in sight the sound of some Christmas Carols. Even fake snow fell from the Galen Center ceiling, it was all so magical.


Legendary game developer and infamous Twitter blocker, Hideki Kamiya came out on behalf of Platinum Games to show off the Xbox One exclusive, Scalebound, a game that had fallen off the radar in the last few months. Luckily the gameplay he showcased proved the game is coming along nicely and has that over-the-top action we’ve come to love as the player character teams up with dragons to quell the monster menace. Not to mention the vigorous tunes that played felt reminiscent of Metal Gear Rising.

Sea of Thieves

Despite the rebellion from Playtonic, Rare is back and they sure are in major development mode on behalf of the Xbox. While the cringy Youtubers playing the game didn’t add much except for forced facial reactions, the game itself looks bright and colorful. Perhaps the new Rare will soon come into its own. At least Microsoft is letting them do something more than Kinect Sports games.

State of Decay 2 & Halo Wars 2

These are two huge games revealed at Xbox’s briefing this morning. Even though we were only given cinematic trailers for both, at the very least we know they’re coming and it is always a major plus to have a Halo game at a Xbox conference.


The biggest atom bomb to be dropped at E3 thus far is Xbox’s mention of their new console, Project Scorpio, coming Holiday 2017. Promised to be the most powerful console to ever exist, it will have six teraflops of performance speed as well as 4K gaming and is also focused on being a VR integrated machine. With Xbox officially revealing a new console on the horizon will this leave Sony and Nintendo in desperation to reveal their NEO and NX respectively? Surely, they must be anxiously cooking up something to compete.

Gamer, Writer, and a lover of pro-wrestling. Being born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona he took up gaming and writing at a young age to shield himself from the blazing heat. Ever since he first got his hands on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at the age of 3, gaming has been apart of his life and wishes to revolve his life around the industry and the art of writing. When he's not gaming, he's attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU or watching some pro wrestling!


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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