Rockstar Games faced no small challenge by taking up development on Max Payne 3. After nearly a decade since Remedy made the last entry in the series, could they live up to expectations? Was the series’ signature Matrix, slow-down mechanic and noire style even relevant anymore? Lucky for us, Rockstar took up that challenge and has created a game that lives up the game’s legacy while moving it forward.

Max Payne 3 looks very different than its predecessors. Gone are the dark alleyways and tunnels of New York in favor of the luxurious penthouses and rundown favellas of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Max is working as a private body guard. Mixed with Max’s addiction to alcohol and painkillers, things only snowball from there. The change of setting is not the only aesthetic change, however.

The graphic novel style storytelling from the orignal games is replaced by dynamic multi-frame cutscenes interlaced with flashes of light and distortion with the occasional random highlighting of words. These help give the game a true sense of style. However, in trying to illustrate the world through Max’s over-drugged, intoxicated eyes, Rockstar may have gone a little too far. While it certainly sets the game apart from others, it can become tiring and distracting during one of the game’s many long cutscenes.

Max Payne 3 a gritty, all-out action game and makes no apologies about it. The gameplay retains the style of the series with the mechanic of diving and slowing down time still intact. Rockstar has made a slight addition with a cover mechanic. While this may seem like a small change, it makes a discernable difference in how the game is played. In many fights, it is to your advantage to utilize cover instead of the stylish bullet time jumps. While the addition is helpful in bringing the game up to modern standards, it is still a shame that the game’s initial hook is almost put on the back burner.

Unlike many modern titles, Max does not regenerate health. Instead, you rely on painkillers to replenish yourself. Not only does this make the game a bit more interesting as you can’t just sit back in a firefight and wait to get back to full strength, but it also fits the narrative of Max’s addiction.

Rockstar has done a terrific job with the writing and sound of Max Payne 3. Dan Houser’s script is one of the best examples for good writing in a video game. Max is not a good person, he abuses pain killers and alcohol and ignores the duties of the job he has been paid to do. Despite this, you start to feel sympathetic towards his character because Rockstar has done such a good job of humanizing the man.  The voice acting is spot on throughout as well and the soundtrack always manages to capture the moment on screen.

More than all this, it’s the small details and polish that make the game such an enjoyable experience to play. Little touches like holding a large weapon in one hand while you have a handgun drawn instead of slinging it to Max’s back bring a sense of realism that you don’t get with many other games.

Like many games recently, competitive online multiplayer has been added for the first time in the series. It’s set in the same world with many of the same factions as the single-player, but it’s a very different experience. You can still trigger slow-motion that will affect the entire map in multiplayer, though in much smaller quantities. Overall though, it’s pretty standard with deathmatch, team deathmatch and objective-based modes. It’s well thought out and fun, but it’s probably nothing special.

Rockstar has continued its string of excellent titles with Max Payne 3. Despite a few small annoyances, the game is solid throughout. It’s one of the year’s best and I’d be hard pressed not to recommend it to fans of the old series and newcomers alike.

Grade: A-

The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

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The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

The main theme of Homecoming certainly seems to be Peter’s desire to prove that he’s a capable member of the Avengers team. If you remember in Civil War, Tony wouldn’t let him get too deep into the fight, for fear that he wasn’t ready. But Peter doesn’t want to be treated liked a kid.

Except he definitely is a kid, and it’s a nice break from the other Spider-Man movies we’ve seen so far, which depicted an older Peter Parker that never quite fit the high school vibe.

Tom Holland’s Peter is undoubted an awkward teenager, and the younger character lends itself to a lighter, more humorous tone for the movie. Marvel has always been good at balancing action and comedy in their movies, and Homecoming is already promising to be a fun romp.

We get a lot of great looks at other characters in this trailer, too, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Donald Glover and Zendaya. Michael Keaton will be playing Vulture, and of course we also get Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

How cool was it to see Spidey swinging along next to Iron Man like an equal?

As is often the case for Marvel movies, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel debuted the trailer for Homecoming following pretty high expectations from fans. Did it live up to your hype?

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ hits theaters on July 7, 2017

All the errant observations this writer made while watching the first episode of Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Hi, my name is Selina. A year ago, I had never seen a single episode of Gilmore Girls.

But one of the bright spots of 2016, for me, was the decision we made on Hypable’s flagship podcast Hype when we found out that Netflix was reuniting the cast and crew for a series of revival episodes: We decided to watch and podcast about all seven seasons of the series in order to prepare for A Year in the Life, and we just made it!

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All the errant observations this writer made while watching the first episode of Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Hi, my name is Selina. A year ago, I had never seen a single episode of Gilmore Girls.

But one of the bright spots of 2016, for me, was the decision we made on Hypable’s flagship podcast Hype when we found out that Netflix was reuniting the cast and crew for a series of revival episodes: We decided to watch and podcast about all seven seasons of the series in order to prepare for A Year in the Life, and we just made it!

Now I’m watching the revival episodes, and believe it or not, but I’m still spoiler-free, having only watched and podcasted about “Winter” so far. You can listen to that discussion right here:

While I was watching the original run of Gilmore Girls, I would often take to Twitter to entertain/annoy (annoytertain?) my followers by sharing my immediate reactions to everything that happened. Obviously, that wouldn’t be very nice of me to do for “Winter,” since some fans might not have watched it yet, so I decided to save all my immediate reactions for later! And now is that later.

Here are all the 55 things I wanted to tweet during the first episode of the ‘Gilmore Girls‘ revival

  1. …Is Lorelai dead? What’s with this scary dark opening montage?
  2. WAIT, ARE THERE NO OPENING CREDITS? But I wanted to sing along! 😧
  3. Rory’s voice is different. I can’t really SEE that she’s gotten older, but I can hear it. Weird.
  4. Gilmore Girls Winter Miss Patty

  5. What’s with the creepy ballet music — is that Miss Patty?! 😯
  6. Does the out-of-focus ballet studio with the very dark interior represent death? Why do I keep thinking about death?
  7. Not gonna lie, I fully expected Dean to still be working in Doose’s market. It’s weird how everything feels exactly the same, except the characters have just aged 10 years overnight. Of course this might also be because I literally finished the original series a week ago.
  8. Hey! It’s Lane! …In Stars Hollow, which means she’s probably not a famous rock star like I’d hoped she would be. 😒
  9. “Ooooooooooober.” 😂 (Also, Kirk having a pet pig is the best thing that has ever happened to me.)
  10. You know… I was wondering if Paul Anka would still be alive. I’m glad he is.
  11. I’m also relieved Rory’s room is still her room. (Though I guess my theory about Lorelai and Luke already having a second kid was wrong.)
  12. Gilmore Girls Winter Paul

  13. …Wait, Paul? There’s a Paul now? Okay, #TeamPaul I guess.
  14. Ugh! Paul saying “I will follow” is just a sad reference to the missing opening credits. #TeamPaul is cancelled.
  15. Rory’s reaction to Paul saying they have a two-year anniversary is pretty awful. Stringing him on like that is just cruel. And buy some damn underwear wtf is wrong with you Rory.
  16. Happy sigh. I love how settled and content Luke and Lorelai are. (This revival better not break them up I stg.)
  17. “Do you think it’s because of grandpa?” 😢 I was wondering if they’d show the funeral, but I guess it’s been a little while.
  18. Gilmore Girls Winter fridge bow

  19. I really want that giant fridge bow.
  20. “People are dumb” would 100% be my LiveJournal signature if I still had a LiveJournal.
  21. Clearly, the only sensible way to deal with someone’s ridiculous “you need to control your woman”-comments is to throw bagels at them.
  22. OMG Paul! I totally DID forget about him just now — and then I forgot about him again when he went to the bathroom! This is brilliant.
  23. Michel having a husband is wonderful in its understated glory and I almost don’t want to say anything about it because it should just be a natural un-noteworthy thing. But it’s nice to (finally?!) see that non-straight sexualities exist inside the snow globe, as something other than the butt of a joke, so yay.
  24. I know Lorelai is acting out because she misses Sookie and all, but we’re 100% supposed to make the parallel between Lorelai’s attitude towards the auditioning chefs and Emily’s attitude towards her string of maids here, right?
  25. Revelation: Maybe Emily once had a maid friend like Sookie and she quit, and she’s been firing maids ever since cause it just was never the same? This is a prequel waiting to happen.
  26. Gilmore Girls Winter Kirk Oooooober

  27. Kirk singing in the car. Lorelai’s little smile. The water jug. Everything about this scene is my favorite. For some reason it feels like the revival didn’t really find itself until this moment — and it feels a little like home. I’m so happy I found this fandom.
  28. Confession: I didn’t realize Emily wasn’t speaking to Lorelai at all in this scene when I first watched it because I’m so used to Emily ignoring Lorelai’s quips and snapping at her.
  29. “This is what I want.” “I swear it can’t be!” Alright Lorelai. You know I’m team you always, but who cares if Emily made a mistake? Back off, the painting isn’t even that big.
  30. Oh, so they are showing the funeral. I wasn’t prepared for this. 😢
  31. The juxtaposition of Emily alone and Rory/Lorelai together says so much about the show. Also the camera pan ending on Lorelai just hammers home that at the end of the day, she’s the show’s central POV character. Am I wrong?
  32. Well, Digger must be Paul’s dad cause I totally forgot he existed, too. Oops.
  33. I bet his dog didn’t live to see the revival, what with being confined to a life staring into a wall and all. #stillmadaboutit
  34. I always loved Luke, but nervous house fixing in this scene just makes me love him even more.
  35. What is with this maid storyline? We really should have moved beyond pulling stereotypes for laughs like this, Gilmore Girls.
  36. Gilmore Girls Winter Emily Lorelai hug

  37. This might be the closest we’ve ever gotten to an Emily/Lorelai hug…? And it’s so sad cause of what is probably gonna happen next.
  38. …Oh, Lorelai. On one hand, it would be nice for her to take the high ground in this scene and swallow her own feelings to give Emily a nice moment. On the other, I totally get it. Lorelai just lost her father, and she’s feeling a wealth of conflicting emotions, all heightened by her being drunk and tired. One of my favorite things about the show is that it allows its characters to be flawed — their flaws are not traits they need to atone for, but just part of what makes them complex humans. And I actually loved that she did the ‘wrong’ thing here. Because sometimes, people say crap they shouldn’t say and immediately regret it afterwards. That’s life.
  39. “What did you mean to do, Lorelai, break my heart in public?” speaks volumes about Emily’s egocentric personality. It’s not only about your pain, have some compassion.
  40. Gilmore Girls Winter Emily

  41. “I just lost my husband.” “I just lost my father!” “And you couldn’t care less.” Wow. Just wow, Emily. Yes, both Lorelai and Emily are hurting and both of them are clearly in the wrong here… But if you’re making the argument that Emily can’t be expected to act rationally in this situation, you have to make the same allowance for Lorelai. To me, the difference is that Lorelai immediately is sorry for hurting Emily, and actually acknowledges her mother’s pain, whereas Emily completely dismisses the validity of Lorelai’s perspective, and eviscerates her completely without remorse. Just like always. 😐 #fightme #nodontfightme #thisisjusthowIfeelaboutit
  42. So anyway… does the ambiance foley feel too loud to anyone else?
  43. Note to self: “That’s the kid” is not a great way of telling someone you want to have a kid with them.
  44. Is having a kid at 48 too late? Of course not! Plenty of men have kids at that stage in their lives so women should, too. As long as Lorelai doesn’t want a kid just because she thinks Luke wants one, this would be great!
  45. Gilmore Girls Winter Paris

  46. lol Paris, it’s pretty rich to condemn studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s effect on the feminist agenda considering you literally married bizarro!verse Jonathan.
  47. Would Neil Patrick Harris be okay with children that didn’t look good on camera? I mean, it’d really ruin his Halloween photo op tradition.
  48. RIVER SONG! No one told me River Song was in this! She’s even stealing food from the “darling Doctor,” you guys.
  49. Gilmore Girls Winter Logan

  50. Ooh who’s Rory talking to? Ugh, it’s Logan isn’t it? I was hoping it’d be Jess or Dean, that would have been a way more fun surprise.
  51. Don’t get me wrong, Logan is fine, but I’m beginning to feel like Rory hasn’t evolved at all in the past 10 years and this just adds to that weirdness.
  52. “There are two arm-wrestling breeders here” is an amazing out-of-context quote.
  53. Taylor’s devotion to Stars Hollow and his rant in the diner made me realize that I really haven’t appreciated him enough. 💙 And I think Luke realized the same thing. That scene was very cute!
  54. Is that lady singing on the street someone I should know?
  55. Gilmore Girls Winter Zack

  56. Zack has a whole Doc Brown from Back to the Future thing going on these days, huh?
  57. Okay so Hep Alien is NOT a superfamous rock band, which makes me sad. On the other hand, it’s wonderful to see them still going strong!
  58. Hmmmmm Rory isn’t telling Lorelai about Logan. Is she embarrassed?
  59. To be honest, I haven’t been a Gilmore Girls fan for long enough to truly appreciate the magnitude of Emily wearing jeans.
  60. I appreciate Lorelai saying “nothing is gonna bring you joy right now” and wanting her to not make decisions right now based on her current emotional state, because it’s just really useful bereavement advice.
  61. Oh Emily, why you gotta throw another dig at Lorelai about the validity of her and Luke’s relationship and prove my point further? I really want to understand why everyone seems to love you.
  62. So, I’m not sure how to feel about the surrogate situation right now. It feels like Lorelai actually DOES want a kid and is sad it’s not happening? Will it happen? I guess this a mystery that “Spring” will have to clear up for me.
  63. It makes me so sad that Lorelai is so happy and grateful for Emily saying thank you… and then Emily is just conning her into therapy sessions. #EmilyWhy
  64. Cute ending song, but WHERE IS MY THEME MUSIC? Oh well, maybe next season!

Follow Hype Podcast on Twitter to catch our discussion of episode 2, “Spring,” and read Hypable’s full Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life review.

What did you think about the first ‘Gilmore Girls’ revival episode?

Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

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Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

“We do get the sense that things can come from there, things live there. [Robbie has] been dragged to that place, wherever that is. What happens to him there or where that goes is a ‘wait and see.'”

agents of shield 4x08

Tancharoen adds that, though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will move into a new “pod” of story when the show returns in January, “That doesn’t mean that [Robbie] is gone.”

“Or that he will not be involved at some point,” Whedon says. “But it will definitely have a different feel.”

As for Gabriel Luna, the actor who brought Robbie and Ghost Rider to blazing life is optimistic about his character’s future.

“I’m not too worried about it being finite at this point,” he tells EW.

After all, he and Robbie still have a few loose ends to tie up. “My car is still parked on the cargo bay on the Zephyr, so I have to come back for that,” Luna says. “I’m not going to leave her in the hands of these jokers.”

And though his character was left on an emphatic question mark, Luna appreciates the culmination of Robbie’s story.

“He makes a really great heroic choice, and he makes it while in a form that usually has all the power,” he says. “So that’s really, really cool. I’m really excited to see how that plays out. It’s a first for us, in terms of story, actually seeing a decision being made while Robbie isn’t Robbie. That is pretty special.”

agents of shield 4x08

Luna is also looking forward to seeing the impact of Robbie’s apparent disappearance on Daisy Johnson.

“She seems to lose a lot of people,” he observes. “Even though we just met, we built this understanding between each other because of similarities in our lives, and we leave her in a moment of questioning and of hoping that this isn’t the end for Robbie.”

And the actor, like Daisy, and like all good constituents of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has faith in a certain former Director.

“Agent Phil Coulson comes in and drops knowledge like a clumsy librarian, as he tends to do, and lifts her spirits and says to her, ‘I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of him,'” Luna says. “So that’s a good sign for everyone who loves the Ghost Rider.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Jan. 10, 2017.

What do you think of Ghost Rider’s fate on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’?