All right, there’s been a lot of good stuff in the past two weeks, so I’ll just cut to the chase. I hit a lot of the major releases here, but I’ll still mention ’em here briefly.
“Super Mario Galaxy 2” (rated E, $50 on Wii, due out Sunday), “Red Dead Redemption” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3), “Alan Wake” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360) and “Split/Second” (rated T, $60 on Xbox 360 or PS3): I already covered these in my column this week, but I should mention that if you’re looking to score “SMG2” ASAP, GameStop’s doing the midnight opening thing. Other retailers may be, too, but it’s 2 a.m. on Saturday as I’m writing this, and I’m in no position to call around.
“Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playground, Episode 2 – The Tomb of Summan Mak” (rated T): This is the second part in the latest point-and-click-style adventure game from Telltale. “Sam & Max” is an episodic game in the true sense of the word. It’s sold on a subscription-based model, and you download each chapter when it’s done.
“The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition” (rated , on sale for $5 on Xbox Live): Speaking of point-and-click-style adventures, this is one of the classics, and it’s on sale through Monday for half-off. I folded a review of this game into a broader piece about the genre’s revival this generation.
“Braid” (rated E10+, $10 ) and “Cloning Clyde” (rated E10+, $5 ): These two outstanding puzzle/platform-jumping games both received permanent, $5 price cuts on Xbox Live Arcade. Go get ’em.
“Dragon Age: Origins” (rated M, $50 on Xbox 360 and PS3, $40 on PC): This alternate take on one of my favorite game’s core story lines asks what would have happened had your character in “Origins” died during the Grey Wardens’ joining ceremony.
“Portal” (rated T, free on PC): If you sign up for Valve’s Steam download service, which functions as a mashup of Xbox Live and iTunes for PC gaming, before May 24, you get this modern classic for free. More details at steampowered.com, which now offers games for the Mac.
“Bit.Trip Runner” (rated E, 8 WiiWare download): This retro-style game, which features a cool little pixelated dude running through environments at a constant speed, caught my eye when I saw it on a TV at Nintendo’s Game Developers Conference booth. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the strength to pry the Wii remote away from the quite talented guy who was playing it, so that initial impression is all I’ve got. As usual, this recommendation comes with the caveat that Nintendo’s backward approach to digital content means you might be expected to rebuy it should your Wii ever fail.