September 24, 2017

Gaming for the Kids of Puerto Rico – Please Sponsor Me!

As many of you know, each fall I participate in the Extra Life charity gaming marathon to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This year I'll be playing for San Jorge Children's Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was hit especially hard by Hurricane Maria.

San Jorge is the only private pediatrics hospital in the Caribbean. According to Healthline News, they've been without power and running on generators since the storm hit on September 20. Hispanic Federation and other relief organizations are sending aid, but I want to do all I can to help these kids once the crisis passes and the rebuilding begins.

Donations of any size are welcome. You can leave your name or contribute anonymously. Donating online is safe and easy. Just click here to get started. If you'd like to donate offline with a check or money order made out to "Children's Miracle Network Hospitals," that's fine too. Contact me and we'll work out the details. Your contribution is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids in Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria aftermath - New York Times
Maria's aftermath. Photo by Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times.

The official Extra Life marathon weekend is November 4-5. The team's annual prize raffle is live now, so head on over to the RAFFLE PAGE to enter for a chance to win some cool Tomb Raider Swag, and please subscribe to my Twitch Channel and follow me on social media for up-to-the-minute Extra Life news.

Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Prize Raffle

Gamers, if you'd like to play for Extra Life this year, it's not too late to join. You can sign up on the Tomb Raider Community Team page. Check out this Extra Life FAQ and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you for caring!

September 21, 2017

Alicia Vikander Steps into Lara's Boots in the New Tomb Raider Movie

In case you missed it, Warner Brothers recently released the first trailer for the upcoming Tomb Raider movie starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. The movie is loosely based on the 2013 reboot game and follows Lara's ascent from determined but inexperienced young woman to action hero.

UPDATE: Trailer #2 released January 18, 2018.

The official synopsis, below, reveals a few key differences from the 2013 game script, along with a number of similarities. The trailer also references past games and films, including a trap sequence staright out of Legend and a humorous nod to Angelina Jolie's braid and dual H&K USP Match pistols.

Synopsis (courtesy of Warner Brothers): Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father's global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he's truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can't understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad's last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn't be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

Vikander discussed her preparation for the role in this featurette, "Becoming Lara Croft":

She also spoke live with IGN on Periscope Tuesday night, when the trailer first aired:

Director Roar Uthaug breaks down the trailer with this director's commentary from IGN:

Tomb Raider hits theaters March 16, 2018. Visit for the latest movie news and links to the official social media accounts.

September 9, 2017

Tomb Raider II Fan Remake Gets Playable Demo

Tomb Raider: The Dagger of Xian, Nicobass's fan remake of the second classic TR game has been in development for more than a year, but a few days ago a playable demo was released. Until now, we've only seen screenshots and a few short but mpressive videos, showing off bits of the Great Wall level. This demo lets players explore, find secrets, and and revel in a full-on nostalgia trip for about an hour of playtime.

Dagger of Xian demo screenshot by Dean Kopri, the project's musical composer.

Current Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has given the project its unofficial blessing and provided a few resources to aid in the development. Generally speaking they have been very supportive of fan endeavors, provided they don't infringe on proprietary assets or operate for profit.

For more details about the project, which is being developed by Nicobass and a small team of helpers using Unreal Engine 4, visit A list of system requirements is included on the demo download page.

You can also follow the project on Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt. For video updates, subscribe to Nicobass's YouTube channel.

Quick run-through of the first part of the level.

Longer playthrough on Ultra settings by steven35175.

All-secrets walkthrough by