Stick to what you are good at. The team working on SSX should have heeded this advice during the development of the game. While SSX does a lot of things right, and it can be seriously fun, it also stumbles on itself by putting too much focus on parts of the game that are not.

SSX marks Electronic Art’s return to franchise of the same name as well as the action-sports genre that began to lose popularity roughly a decade ago.

The game is at its best when it is continuing the legacy of previous entries in the series, namely, allowing players to control gravity-defying, ridiculous maneuvers in Trick It mode.

There are few games that offer the thrill of performing six complete rotations all while spinning the board in your hand and adding a backflip for good measure before sticking the landing only to hear RUN DMC let you know you have reached Uber Tricky mode. SSX combines moments like this from its predecessors with the physics and a polish only available in modern games.

You’ll have no problem pulling off these huge maneuvers either as SSX controls like a dream, giving you the choice between a classic, face button arrangement or the new analog controlled system. I personally opted for the analog controls, which made me feel more in control. Responsive controls are a necessity for this reboot because it is light years faster than previous entries. The speed of the game is both a blessing and a curse.

While a drop in frame rate would be a negative, sometimes I almost found myself wishing for a slow down so I could both appreciate the wonderful visual style of the game as well get my bearings and better control of my character. The majority of the courses are beautifully designed, feel organic and are a lot of fun to play.

The curse of speed is especially evident in the new Survive It mode in which you are tasked to make it through a course with a special set of necessities. For example a wing-suit to make it over wide crevices or a solar-powered suit to keep you from freezing to death in the middle of your run. Survive mode seemed out of place in the game, like the developers felt like they had to keep it in as a holdover from the early days in development when the game had a more serious tone. In this mode, especially, you’ll want to control your speed as much as possible to just get through the challenge and on to the next Trick it section. In other words, they just weren’t very fun.

Speaking of not being fun, unnecessary punishment of the player in SSX makes the game more frustrating than it needs to be. Case in point is the rewind function. In Trick It, the rewind function can be used as many times as necessary with the only consequence being points taken away from the player, which is fine because landing that failed trick will most likely net the player those points right back. While Survive rewinds are limited, courses can usually be accomplished relatively easy. Race It, however, seems to go far in punishing the player. Rewinding in Race It can make it very difficult to get back in the race as opponents speed ahead while you move backwards. The frustration only amplifies  in later courses when racing is combined surviving and the courses become much more challenging. If you’re going to have a rewind function in your game, it should help the player, not unnecessarily punish and frustrate.

While there is no head-to-head multiplayer functionality in SSX, the title boasts one of the deepest asynchronous online multiplayer ever, dubbed RiderNet. Taking cues from Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit‘s Autolog, the system keeps the high score rivalry between you and your friends in your face at all times, goading you to play just one more run to try and beat them.

SSX is a lot fun when it is doing what it does best. It does a good job of balancing the old series with new game development. While the game has its low points, the highs are worth it all.

Grade: B-

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

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The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Unfortunately, del Toro did not get the answer we were hoping for.

However, there is hope for fans of the comics, as artist and creator Mike Mignola reminded us that just because del Toro isn’t going to be involved anymore, it doesn’t mean there won’t be future Hellboy movies. There’s always hope.

This is good news for those who perhaps didn’t like del Toro’s take on the character. It hints at a possible reboot of the franchise, but if that were to happen, don’t expect Ron Perlman to reprise his role.

For those who fell in love with Perlman’s interpretation of the titular character, this is certainly a blow. However, del Toro does wish the franchise luck, and it’s not like he’s hurting for work (he’s got Netflix’s Trollhunters, Pacific Rim 2, and The Shape of Water, to just name a few).

This tweet is certainly interesting, as it hints that he wanted to take Hellboy in a new direction, but his vision did not match the vision of the studio. Does this mean they’ve got another idea in mind already, and if so, will it be Hellboy III, or a Hellboy for a new generation?

With Ron Perlman out of the picture, it’s likely the studio may try to do a reboot, rather than replace the actor for a potential sequel. If there is a reboot, there could be resistance from fans, but with updated technology and someone else’s vision, we could be looking at an interesting new set of superhero movies that will still feel different from the blockbusters currently taking over cinemas.

Are you interested in a new ‘Hellboy’ franchise?

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

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The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

The synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reads, “Simon Spier is sixteen and in love. Sure, he has never met the mysterious ‘Blue’ in person, but he’s falling hard and fast for their email love letters. There’s only one problem: Blue is a boy, Simon is gay, and he hasn’t told anyone else.”

The novel made the world (and Hypable) fall in love with the story, and the current cast and creative team have fans excited for this adaptation. With Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment (The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers) behind the scenes, it’s bound to be a big production.

How excited are you for ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’?

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

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Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Iwan Rheon is best known for his terrifying turn as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has starred in the British series Misfits and Vicious, and may never play a hero again in his life.

Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb, who also serves as an executive producer on Inhumans, suggests that those villainous skills will be well-deployed in the role of Maximus.

“Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life,” Loeb says. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Showrunner Scott Buck agrees.

“Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” he says, “And I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

Marvel’s Inhumans will be produced in partnership with IMAX. The first two episodes will screen in IMAX theaters before the show’s network debut in mid September. Spanning the course of eight episodes, the series will tell the story of the Inhuman royal family, with the associated drama that just happens when you’re a family of aliens with magical powers trying to rule a secret city.

A leaked cast list for Inhumans hinted at a complex lineup of characters, including Black Bolt’s wife Medusa and her sister Crystal. Karnak, as well as the three-legged horse Gorgon and amphibious Triton round out the eclectic cast. And with Iwan Rheon in place as Maximus, it seems like just a matter of time before the rest of the family falls into line.

What do you think of Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’?

Tags: inhumans, Marvel