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Giant killer bugs? Reefer madness? It’s a crazy week here at Video Games Plus, where we serve up the hottest news, previews and reviews in video gaming. Better bring your biggest flyswatter as we give you the heads up on “Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon," the info on an additional case for Cole Phelps to solve, a new way to experience “A Song of Fire and Ice” and a slam dunk for "NBA Jam" fans.

"Insect Armageddon" Is Campy Fun

“Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon” doesn’t offer much in terms of flashy graphics, a complex story or top-notch voice acting. But what it lacks in those categories, it tries to make up in a more important area -- fun.

As its mouthful of a name might imply, Insect Armageddon, the sequel to the cult hit “Earth Defense Force 2017” is a third-person shooter that wholeheartedly embraces a B-movie style aesthetic that recalls the human-versus-alien-bug action of “Starship Troopers.”

In it, you play as a member of the Earth Defense Force, who must (you guessed it) defend humanity against a horde of invading aliens called the Ravagers. It’s a simple set-up that allows you to play exterminator against giant spiders, ants, wasps, robots and spaceships. The awesomely terrible dialogue and goofy power-ups (an Air Tortoise weapon anyone?) shows that the game doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should you.
But the game is a bug-blasting good time, especially when your friends join your three-man Lightning squad either online or through split-screen co-op. There are four classes and the player can open up new weapons by advancing through the game and gaining levels.

As long as you’re not expecting a deep, complex experience with world beating graphics, Insect Armageddon is a campy, but enjoyable shooter.

Reefer Madness Hits L.A. Noire

The day of 4/20 passed months ago, but it appears that “L.A. Noire” has a drug problem. The case “Reefer Madness” is now available for download for PlayStation Network ($3.99) and Xbox Live (320 MS points). Those that purchased the Rockstar Pass will get the case as part of that fee. The “Reefer Madness” is the second additional case for the “L.A. Noire,” following the arson-based investigation “Nicholson Electroplating.”

In the new case, Detective Cole Phelps and his partner Roy Earle find themselves dealing with one of the city's biggest narcotics rings after a deadly shootout with a local drug dealer. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil the mystery.

NBA Jam Is On Fire!

Looks like “NBA Jam” is heating up! Last fall’s re-release of the classic basketball arcade smash is getting a special “On Fire” edition for download on Xbox Live and PlayStation network in October.

EA is boasting several key changes for the “On Fire” edition:

  • A Tag Mode so that gamers can switch their controllable players on the fly, Razzle Dazzle, which are stylish signature moves for the characters as they head to the basket and Team Fire.
  • The ability to get your entire team into ‘on fire’ mode.
  • Improved multiplayer that allows you to play up to four players online with two-player cooperative play.
  • More NBA legends, unlockable characters and new commentary from play-by-play announcer Tim Kitzrow. Boomshakalaka!

Game Of Thrones To Conquer PCs

While impatiently waiting for the follow-up to HBO’s fantastic “A Game Of Thrones” to begin, fans of the epic “A Song of Fire and Ice” series have the opportunity to whet their appetite with an upcoming PC game.

“A Game of Thrones - Genesis” is a strategy game being developed by Cyanide under the supervision of series author George R.R. Martin. In the single player campaign, the game promises to immerse you into some of the historic battles of the Kingdom of Westeros, such as Aegon the Conqueror’s invasion on the main continent or the War of the Usurper.

True to its source material, it’s a game where victory isn’t just earned through military might. In addition to waging war, you can also strangle your opponents in an economic war or use dirty tricks and diplomacy to crush them politically.

"A Game of Thrones - Genesis" is scheduled to hit the PC platform this summer.

Follow Ryan Smith on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter

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