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Lewis Lewis Denby is a freelance videogames journalist and critic. As well as HonestGamers, he has written for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, The Escapist, Gamasutra and BeefJack.

Title: Cryptic...
Posted: October 31, 2008 (04:47 PM)
Wow.

No, really. Seriously.
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Title: Guitar Hero
Posted: October 30, 2008 (04:13 AM)
My friend Chris's band appears on viral marketing game for razor company.

It's Guitar Hero, basically. Have a look for Eureka Machines. Get to know the song a bit first, then try to smash my 82% record. This is a full 15% higher than the band's bass player's top score.

I'm eager to see how Chris would score, but sickeningly, he's currently doing on tour with his other band. Lucky bugger.

Be warned: it's *ever-so-slightly* out of time in places.
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Title: One more day to go...
Posted: October 30, 2008 (03:21 AM)
I get my copy of Fallout 3 tomorrow. Expect the official HG word on the PC version some time next week.

In anticipation and preparation, I might play bits of Fallout, Fallout 2 and Oblivion today, just by means of comparison. Though I'm keen to get away from the Oblivion thing. So many publications are writing as if Oblivion is the only thing Bethesda have ever made before - and by the looks of things, the only similarity between the two games is the engine, which has been enormously revamped for F3 anyway.

You'd think F3 was the new Elder Scrolls title. Jeeeeesus.

Rant over, anyway. The point of all this is that I'm excited, and need an outlet to go on about Fallout 3 a bit more.
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Title: The New Rule
Posted: October 28, 2008 (03:23 AM)
Just the one rule from me:

Everyone must buy Quake 3 and download this mod, so we can all play it ALL THE TIME.

Astonishing.

Trust a level designer when I say there's a lot of work gone into that.
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Title: Suggestion
Posted: October 28, 2008 (02:18 AM)
Oh, be nice to each other you silly people.
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Title: WoG review (wait, that sounds racist...)
Posted: October 24, 2008 (11:43 AM)
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Title: World of Goo
Posted: October 23, 2008 (03:07 PM)
Truly is brilliant.
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Title: Incredible joy at small victories...
Posted: October 23, 2008 (11:00 AM)
Neptune has a "readable content" system!

Deus Ex, eat your heart out. A bit.
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Title: Voice actors
Posted: October 21, 2008 (06:30 AM)
Hello hello.

We're currently recruiting voice actors for Neptune. In particular, I need a male who can deliver a nice British RP accent in a convincing, urgent style (and this is a pretty important role, as it's of the main 'radio guide' throughout the game), and a couple of American males do deliver fairly large roles. One should not have a strong regional accent, the other can.

Also looking for tonnes of minor roles as well, so if you fancy doing any of it, or know anyone who'd be interested, do get in touch.

Reasonable-quality recording equipment will be necessary. Doesn't need to be studio-level, but just something that won't sound crap in-game once our sound team has gone to town with it.
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Title: Fallout 3
Posted: October 19, 2008 (02:09 AM)
"Our 40-ish hours of game time went by on fast-forward. We often forgot to eat, and we begrudged bathroom breaks. Games this captivating don't come along often. Between its engrossing story, ginormous world, well-crafted RPG side and white-knuckle FPS combat, Fallout 3 completely, utterly gives you your $60 worth."
10/10 - Official X-Box Magazine USA

Basically: thank fuck for that.

Title: My Pet Game, by Lewis Denby
Posted: October 18, 2008 (08:37 AM)
I am playing through BioShock for a third time. Even now, I'm still finding little things I didn't notice before. I'm more impressed with this monster every time.

Interestingly, I've decided to play it on easy mode this time, to allow me to more safely experiment with weapon/plasmid combos, and things have definitely stepped up a gear. I love it. It's fantastic.
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Title: Some Really Good Games In A List
Posted: October 17, 2008 (03:09 PM)
Inspired by Suskie's post a bit ago, I've spent this evening piecing together my Top 50 Games. Just because I'm that big a geek, really. I threw this together with the sort of careless 'caution-to-the-wind' method that should give the truest results. This isn't about what's technically the best. This is about what games I've loved, and which ones will stick in my memory in the coming weeks, months and years.

As such, I was surprised to see a few of these end up in the list. I awarded STALKER: Clear Sky a 7/10 on release just few weeks back, and I absolutely stick by that assessment, but when weighed up against some of the other great games I've played it managed to somehow hold its own. The Nomad Soul is an ancient adventure game that no one really played, because of its dodgy image and nasty controls, but I can still see the city of Omikron in all its glory in my mind's eye. Deus Ex ends up not being number 1. Baldur's Gate ends up being absent all together.

I feel I should give a special mention to In Memoriam, which clearly should be joint 50th, but isn't because I stick to the rules. If Uplink wasn't around, that lovely piece of France would be in there too.

Enjoy. Voila!

--------------

50 - Uplink (2001)
Rarely do games provide this much tension. A simple yet wonderful idea, gorgeously crafted.

49 - Tomb Raider (1996)
I remember being absolutely mesmerised by this upon release. Deserves its spot for nostalgia value alone.

48 - The Witcher (2007)
I was surprised to enjoy this as much as I did. Genuinely lovely RPG, if a little crass.

47 - Quake (1996)
Too brown, too sparse, but still such a blast to play even now. Its technical innovation at the time was flabbergasting.

46 - Metroid Prime (2003)
On release, I'd have predicted this would have stuck around high up for a lot longer. It's not aged well, but its depth and its intuitive control mechanisms still stand out.

45 - Eternal Darkness (2002)
Survival horror / adventure hybrid with enough spark to keep it in memory for years.

44 - FlatOut 2 (2008)
Big cars and big explosions. What more could you ask for?

43 - MDK 2 (2000)
Oddball craziness with a cool dog. Staggeringly fun stuff.

42 - The Longest Journey (2000)
Still probably the PC's finest 'serious' adventure game. How depressing is that?

41 - Guitar Hero 2 (2006)
Oh yeah, I am a ROCK GOD!

40 - Fallout 2 (1998)
Deep, immersive and thoroughly adult. I cannot wait for October 30th to revist this wonderful world from a new perspective.

39 - The Nomad Soul (1999)
The first 'immersive sim'? Paved the way for open-plan adventuring in years to come. Its universe is still incredible.

38 - Wii Sports (2006)
An impressive tech demo... until you play with a bunch of mates after a night out. Then it becomes your entire world.

37 - Metal Gear Solid (1999)
Stealth to the mainstream. Well, not real stealth, but a darn good old-school romp nevertheless.

36 - Alien vs Predator 2 (2001)
The first PC shooter since 'That One' to really challenge for the crown. Clearly surpassed today, but it does relentless jumpiness better than Doom 3 could ever have hoped.

35 - American McGee's Alice (2000)
It will ruin your childhood memories in the finest possible way.

34 - God of War (2005)
Wonderous symbolic adventuring. One of the PS2's crowning moments.

33 - Doom (1993)
I challenge anyone to play it even now and not be impressed by how entertaining this thing is.

32 - Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
The most endearing and lighthearted of the series manages to be one of the best.

31 - Halo: Combat Evolved (2002)
Combat perfected.

30 - STALKER: Clear Sky (2008)
Buggy and confusing, but The Zone remains one of the finest videogame worlds ever realised.

29 - Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001)
Yo' mama's yo' sister. And Lazlow's a genius.

28 - Grim Fandango (1998)
More depression-inducing adventuring from when the genre used to be good. A hilarious masterpiece.

27 - Thief II: The Metal Age (2000)
Still the pinnacle of the series. Terrifying and rewarding.

26 - F.E.A.R. (2005)
Create-your-own John Wu action, and one of the best jump moments ever in a game. Winner.

25 - Quake III Arena (1999)
So fast it's ridiculous. So enjoyable it's untrue. Roll on Quake Live.

24 - Deus Ex: Invisible War (2004)
No, honestly, it's actually really good. You there at the back - stop moaning and pay more attention!

23 - Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
Monstrous. In the best possible way.

22 - Giants: Citizen Kabuto (2001)
Why hasn't anyone done anything like this since? Oh, yeah, Project Nomads - but that wasn't a patch on Giants.

21 - Portal (2007)
This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE success.

20 - No One Lives Forever (2000)
Simply marvellous. Kitch spy-hero spoof done better than any of the Austin Powers films came close to.

19 - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Stands head and shoulders above the majority of the pack even today. Gloriously crafted action-adventure.

18 - ICO (2002)
Videogames can't be art, you say? Stop being bloody stupid and play ICO. Never has so much creative emotion been displayed to wonderfully in an interactive world. Gorgeous. Exquisite. And now I'm going to shut up before I'm lost forever in memories.

17 - Medieval: Total War (2002)
To be honest, the series has improved since then, but it's Medieval that I remember losing myself in for weeks. I'm not even that into strategy games, and this one blew me away.

16 - Half-Life (1998)
To this day, I still can't get over how astonishingly ahead of its time Half-Life was. I maintain, each time it's mentioned, that if this were released now it would receive 9/10 scores across the board, at least. A stupendous leap forward for the FPS.

15 - Counter-Strike (2003)
And some amateurs made the best online game of its time out of its open-source engine. This was my pet game for many months. I was in a clan and everyfin'.

14 - Mario Kart: Double dash (2003)
My housemates and I revisited this last year. It was nearly the end of us.

13 - Far Cry (2004)
Look, just ignore the Trigens, okay? The first half alone is enough to lift it this high in the list. Just beautiful. Far Cry 2 is on my 'most wanted' list...

12 - Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (2001)
The most hauntingly real portrayal of Scary War in the world. Spellbinding tactical FPS that does wonders for your survival instinct. Probably my most replayed game ever.

11 - Team Fortress 2 (2007)
Play with the right people, who know what they're doing, and it becomes the most incredible, frantic, tactical, magical FPS on the internet. Play it with gun-mad idiots and it's still a barrel of laughs. Delicious lunchtime distraction.

10 - Planescape: Torment (1999)
Nothing has compared to this level of depth and immersion in an RPG. Nothing's even come remotely close. Tantilising, scary, hilarious and moving role-player with one of the most breathtaking scripts on the planet.

9 - System Shock 2 (1999)
A shining example of atmosphere in videogames. This is more than just a game; it's a thrill-a-minute experience, even despite its relatively slow pace. It features the finest character ever conceived for a computer game, and one of the best plot twists to boot. And the monkeys are funny.

8 - Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
I genuinely nearly cried at Morrowind's beauty the first time I played it. An enormous leap forward for the genre, setting the benchmark that all modern fantasy RPGs - including its successor - aspire to.

7 - BioShock (2007)
You're either a madman or Mike Suskie if you weren't utterly captivated by the story of Rapture, BioShock's underwater utopia-gone-wrong. Staggeringly beautiful, and more intelligent than you or I will ever be. And yeah, Suskie did quite like it, but you know...

6 - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (2004)
Criminally underrated, disgustingly buggy immersive sim from the fallen masters of the role-player. Vampire dares to tread waters few go anywhere near, and pulls it off with enough panache to be considered a true masterpiece. And that haunted house level is astonishing. Get a spare pair of pants ready.

5 - Mass Effect (2007)
There are a lot of RPGs up here, aren't there? I wonder what that says about me. Anyway, this is one of the best out there - wonderful sci-fi stuff, rich in back-story and divine character interactions. It has its problems, but the majority is so spectacular that you'd be a fool to even care.

4 - Super Mario Galaxy (2006)
One of those games that just works. Truly special and inspired level design is the order of the day here, with our loveable plummer travelling around the galaxy on his latest full-blown quest. Old-school gaming really doesn't get any better than this.

3 - Half-Life 2 (2004)
A spectacular full-stop at the end of a long path for the set-piece driven FPS. City 17 and its surroundings are so ingeniously realised that you have to constantly pinch yourself to remember it's not real. Valve have a real talent for telling a story so effortlessly that you don't even realise it's being told. You just know stuff. And Alyx Vance remains the crowning achievement in videogame character design.

2 - Deus Ex (2000)
Started what is arguably the most important genre in modern videogaming. Deus Ex is an enormous masterpiece on so many levels, from its incredible scale to the finest details. You can do as much or as little as you want - but you'll absolutely want to push it to its limits. Even then, it constantly amazes each and every second. Simply ingenious.

1 - Grand Theft Auto 4 (2008)
It's nothing new and it's vaguely predictable, but I honestly haven't enjoyed a game this much in years. Previous Grand Theft Auto titles may have cemented the format, but GTA4 represents cinematic perfection from the word go. It oozes cool from every crack, grips and captivates at every turn. It's huge, it's spectacular... it's the gangster ride of your life.

Title: Decisions, decisions...
Posted: October 17, 2008 (08:54 AM)
In the next two weeks, two games that I have been eagerly awaiting for ages will be released. I am skint, and have been assigned to review neither.

Which will I buy?

Answers on a postcard. If you know me at all, try guessing what the games are. I doubt you'll have much trouble.
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Title: I fucked a she-elf once...
Posted: October 16, 2008 (07:13 AM)
In the game, natch. It's such a shame The Witcher does things like OMGSHOWBOOBS, as well, because in almost every other way it's one of the most intelligent, atmospheric and gripping RPGs I've played in a long time, and if I hadn't recently reviewed the PC version of Mass Effect, I think I'd be gushing even more. It's lovely. It's as good a debut game as I've seen since Half-Life.

I was checking out Far Cry 2's system specs earlier. Christ. Is this a huge issue? I can't decide. My machine will run it, just about, but I imagine I'll have to scale it down to almost minimum detail. Is it worth having an incredibly beautiful engine when it requires almost double the quality of system as anything else on the market? I'll have to wait a week or so to find out, but it certainly seems a little off.

It looks astonishing, though, doesn't it?
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Title: Islam is the light, eh?
Posted: October 14, 2008 (06:10 AM)
It's worth first pointing out that I don't read The Sun; I was linked to this by a friend who found it on Yahoo news. Just so you don't think I'm a horrible human.

So: What the fuck? It's like something off BrassEye!
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