Go Play Your Video Games

Angry Birds I don't think anyone has quite milked the potential of launching on the iOS platform quite like Rovio has with their mega-hit "Angry Birds." This brand began as one game, grew into 8+ others and then spawned a wide-reaching merchandise empire that rivals any Hollywood entertainment property. Speaking of Hollywood, they've even partnered with films in the past (Rio) and more recently with the Star Wars brand. It's quite possible to be sick of seeing Angry Birds everywhere even if you've never played it. But, this is the game that started it all, and it still holds up as an excellent slingshot-puzzler, so this weekend while it's free, be sure to download both iOS versions. For iPhone & iPod: Download Angry Birds For iPad: Download Angry Birds HD   Tomb Raider Nitty Gritty LaraLara Croft is back. Sort of. Technically this is the first time we're meeting Lara, because Crystal Dynamics have partnered with publishers Square Enix and have breathed new (and improved) life to the iconic video game heroine. Expect my full review sometime in the next two weeks, as I'm currently in the thrall of the campaign, but read on for my initial take. Original developer/publisher team Core/Eidos had stretched the original Tomb Raider series just about as far as they could when they partnered up (and eventually handed over) Lara to developers Crystal Dynamics. CD actually managed to put their own decent spin on the series, releasing "Legend", a 10 year anniversary remake of the original titled, aptly, "Tomb Raider: Anniversary" and a finally a continuation of their own original storyline called "Tomb Raider: Underworld." Underworld was actually quite good and felt modern, while still very true to the original intent. But sales just weren't keeping up, so the Lara think tank went back to the drawing board, trying to figure out how to make an essentially nine-sequeled game exciting again. Next, Eidos badly damaged by investments, was absorbed by publisher Square Enix (publishers of hits like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts & Hitman) and Crystal Dynamics retained developer rights. As a result, we now have "Tomb Raider." Sharing a name with the original best-selling and trend-setting game that essentially launched the 3D exploring adventure genre, the newest version of Lara's exploits is easily her best to date. Definitely worth your $60 to check out. The gameplay is the best combination hybrid I've seen in a game like this, borrowing back the best pieces from so many games that borrowed from the original series. To buy Tomb Raider *while* supporting #nerdjizz, go here! Halo 4 Promethean KnightAt this point, I'll play anything Halo Related. They've taken a more methodical approach to releases than the original Tomb Raider series did. As such, their candle hasn't burned out yet, and likely won't be needing a reboot any time soon. The newest exploits of everyone's favorite couple who can't consummate their relationship finds Master Chief and his Artificial Intelligence assistant Cortana uncovering secrets of the creators of life in their universe. The Elite are certainly back for action too, but they can't quite match up to the killing prowess of new enemies like the Promethean Knights. (Pictured to your left.) Seriously, Promethean Knights are a bitch to take down in the game. Especially on Legendary (the hardest difficulty setting, for non-Halo folk.) So, if you loved the outings of Master Chief before, you're probably going to love them again. Might as well go pick it up and start playing today!       Walking Dead The final entry I'll mention today is a particularly interesting game. Based on the hit comic book series "The Walking Dead" from which the universally-loved tv show comes from, this game began and exists as an episodic adventure. Originally there were a couple of months to a few weeks between releases giving the game a true sense of originating from the world of Kirkman's comics. If you're not much of a gamer, this installment-based adventure might be perfect for you. The game is driven by about 70% story and 30% action. It comes close to achieving a perfect rendition of "interactive storytelling." Not only that, but there are more on the way! These first five "episodes" complete the first "season" of the game. Season two is on its way soon! And given that it's available on just about every platform available, from your phone to your XBox to your computer, you don't have many excuses not to try it. For XBox 360 owners, you can find it here. For Mac users :: For PC Users PS3 folks can buy it here. For iOS users, pick up your copy on the app store. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games