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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: Oh, and this:
Posted: August 14, 2008 (06:04 PM)
Also, Jade's going into the Indian Big Brother house.

This may not make sense to our friends across the pond, but I'm sure my fellow Brits will have a good chuckle at that prospect.

She will die.
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Title: Steve Van Klaren
Posted: August 14, 2008 (05:54 PM)
My friend Matt put it best when he exclaimed WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?!

This is a painfully embarassing look at the weird bit of some people's brains that thinks, when you're talking to foreign people, you have to talk in fragmented sentences and in a stupid voice.

But fuck it, McLaren goes all the way and even puts on a Dutch accent, and uses the phrase "how do you say...?" about an ENGLISH TERM.

Words escape me. It's like the football-jersey-wearing middle aged twats that go to Malaga and ask for 'El Beero.'

Absurd. Be horrified and amused.
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Title: Rock and roll and booze
Posted: August 13, 2008 (04:08 PM)
Some of you may be aware that I'm in a band. As such, I tend to post a lot on a music forum. A couple of friends' bands, including Chris from Sisters of Mercy's other project (Eureka Machines), have just been snapped up in sponsorship deals with liqueur company Jagermeister.

I'm not particularly sure about the drinking habits of the rest of the HonestGamers world, but in Leeds - particularly within the adult music community - Jager's a pretty popular drink on those late night sessions. It seems a pretty obvious sponsorship link, therefore.

Until someone points out that both these bands have a fairly young audience.

And it's rubbish, isn't it? Rock music is intrinsically linked with alcohol, for better or for worse. I don't understand the accusation of amorality levelled at Armstrong or Eureka Machines. If I were offered free publicity in exchange for selling a bit of corporate merchandise, of course I'd snap it up. I think any self-respecting human would do exactly this, instead of take moral high ground over an issue they, quite rightly, couldn't care less about - particularly since the "It's obvious they're trying to market it to kids" argument is awfully weak and unproven.

Moreover, I simply don't believe it'll make a difference. Under 18s can't buy booze in the UK. Seriously. Not even if they try, unless they look much older. A group of us went out last night to a bar in Leeds. That's a group with an average age of, ooh, 23. Every single member of the group (except me, fnah!) was asked for proof of age on the door. I don't understand how it can be an issue.

Thoughts?

EDITED to include this phenomenal thing with Eureka Machines and friends. Yes, these are the people I spend my time with.
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Title: The Dark Knight
Posted: August 02, 2008 (06:02 PM)
I had insanely high hopes and expectations for this.

My expectations were surpassed.

This is insane. Honestly, one of the greatest films I've ever seen in my life. It works on so many levels. It's a high-octane fantasy action film that actually displays a remarkable amount of subtlety.

Spectacular. Heath Ledger is as good as everyone said, too.
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Title: F.E.A.R.
Posted: July 28, 2008 (06:03 PM)
Jeeeeeesus.

Probably F.E.A.R.'s most famous bit, by the looks of things, but I only just picked up a copy today and didn't really know much about the specific set-pieces. This video doesn't make it look too impressive, but I fired multiple rounds at each of these scares and cursed like a trooper. What the video doesn't show is that nothing significant has happened for a good few minutes. You're on edge until you see the little girl, then the tension drops... just quickly enough for the bloke at the bottom to scare the crap out of you.

(Not that it's a particularly scary game overall. And, equally, not that it matters at all when it's this good.)
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Title: The League of Gentlemen
Posted: July 24, 2008 (04:33 PM)
I don't really know what the UK/US ratio of the HG reader/staffship is, but while sitting in front of the telly with Woman and a friend of ours tonight it occurred to me that a decent amount of people may not have experienced The League of Gentlemen.

Which, frankly, is stupid. So, since I'm pretty sure it'll never have been shown in the 'States, here: YOU'RE MY WIFE NOW...

I think I probably find it funnier being from Yorkshire as well... it's distinctly like the place I grew up at times. One of them went to college there apparently, which says a lot.

Meeeaaanwhile...

I'm writing a game mod. The story needs tonnes of fleshing out. Think System Shock meets Bioshock meets Titanic. Fancy a shot at it, give us a shout. Any concept artists and Half-Life level designers also more than welcome. It's been a while since my last forray into games design, but I reckon this could be fun if I can get it off the ground.
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Title:
Posted: July 22, 2008 (04:56 AM)
Tomorrow, I finally get my fix back.

It means selling my soul to the Devil Richard Branson, but at least Virgin Media are giving me the internet in my own house again, meaning I don't have to sit at the library looking geeky.

My new copy of Invisible War should arrive tomorrow as well, my old review code from way back when having decided to simply stop working, despite being installed on the exact same computer with the exact same settings. It is a disk problem though - it can't find one of the files on it.

I also found copies of Hitman: Contracts and Thief: Deadly Shadows that I'd forgotten I had. I've not even played Contracts.
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Title: Deus Ex: Recut
Posted: July 20, 2008 (05:06 AM)
Tom Francis of PC Gamer UK links to this little gem.

Parts of Deus Ex's opening, recut to be absolutely ridiculous.

Have a giggle. It's on the house.
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Title: The review
Posted: July 18, 2008 (08:53 AM)
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Title: Skeleton Party
Posted: July 18, 2008 (07:23 AM)
"...or is this what your fear would sound like, given a voice...?"

Christ. Absolutely the spookiest thing an in-game character has ever said to me, made all the more terrifying by the fact that I'm in a room where someone's set up some skeletons as if they're having a dinner party, and I have no idea where the voice is coming from.

Bloodlines does things like that every now and then. It's just a little bit good. Shame about the bugs.
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Title: Back from the dead
Posted: July 16, 2008 (07:22 AM)
A bit, anyway.

I moved house a couple of weeks ago and don't properly have the internet yet. Inexplicably, as a result of moving my computer from one place to another, it now refuses to run Invisible War.

Normal service resumed shortly.
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Title: A Game.
Posted: June 24, 2008 (02:47 PM)
Around five years ago, I wrote a videogame.

Or, to be fairer, myself and a handful of other idiots wrote it. After giving up on the initial quest of building a more streamlined version around the Half-Life engine, the plan was to craft the thing in Source and release it episodically as a Half-Life 2 total-conversion mod, and it actually got past pre-production and into the actual creation itself, as the above link suggests. Somehow - and I still can't remember how, but I'd wager it was something to do with it being massively, pompously impossible to actually make - nothing ever got built past the first few minutes of play, and the entire project died on its arse for a second time.

Reading through the notes, looking at the screenshots, and remembering the hours, days, weeks and months we poured into writing the back story, the characters, the narrative and even a decent portion of the script, I feel like crying a little.

'Cause, y'know. Without meaning to sound too egotistical, this would have been my perfect game. I mean, that was always our aim: to write the game we wanted to play.

Which leaves me in a huge predicament. The design documents are far too incomplete to pitch to anyone, and regardless, the chance of any company with the technical ability to create such a monstrous thing actually wanting to take a risk on an indie design is extremely slim. If they could be spruced up into a fully fledged pitch it might be worth something, but that'd take far more time and dedication from myself and the rest of the team - most of whom I've lost touch with - than we're realistically capable of coping with. It wouldn't work as a novel - it's too wordy and too expansive, for a start, and it incorporates the sort of comedy that would be appreciated more by the gaming audience. It could lend itself to a comic, but it'd have to be an enormously long and incredibly detailed one, and it'd lose some of the freeform stuff (what am I saying? All of the freeform stuff) in the translation. A film version would ruin the joke entirely.

Which leaves a final option. I'd love to pretend I've been mulling this over for ages but I'll admit the idea came to me during the writing of this blog. The only way I can see it progressing in any way that wouldn't make a mockery of all the work we've already done is in the guise of an ARG, or at least some form of interactive fiction. I ran one of these in 2004 - it only lasted a month and I had to essentially dedicate my life to it for that time period, but I had so much fun doing it that I've always wanted to make another one. This would be much more expansive, and require a fucking load of skill from a whole bunch of talented puppetmasters. Plus I've already broken rule number one of ARG creation and stepped in front of the curtain, but it's the only way to kickstart such a big project, and the idea of setting the thing in an entirely fictional universe sort of spoils the 'This Is Not A Game' concept anyway.

It would work in this format, though it'd require some major re-writing to allow the action to play out 'at home' instead of the hands-on-guns approach that a videogame would obviously take. The pre-game ambling would be able to be ported straight over, though - CWA's original advertising campaign was always going to consist of a series of fictional websites that allowed the player to discover all the essential bits about the world's history and the narrative setup before they even began playing.

Shit, you know what? I'm getting a bit excited.

ARG's are a shitload of work but an equal shitload of fun to be a part of. I'd have to get in touch with all the old team members, get their permission, potentially get them back on board, make sure no copyright was infringed upon, spend loads of money, invest loads of time, and write practially a whole book of stuff and build a gazillion websites and forums and blogs and all sorts to get the thing up and running. But, despite all that, it still seems like an inviting prospect.

I guess the point of this blog has turned into:

Anyone fancy this absurd idea?
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Title:
Posted: June 24, 2008 (08:46 AM)
I've neglected pretty much everything over the last few days, keeping myself busy with absolutely nothing of interest. Moving house this time next week, so expect everything to be quiet for a little while.

In the meantime, though, entertain yourselves with the following lovely online comic:

www.bustedwonder.com
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Title: Sleep is for the weak
Posted: June 16, 2008 (05:50 PM)
Just finished reviewing the Coldplay album for The Line of Best Fit (www.thelineofbestfit.com). Can't divulge a whole lot until it's published on Wednesday.

Difficult one to write about though, as my opinion of the entire thing changed with each listen, in a seemingly random pattern. It's got some cracking moments, though. Shame it tries a little too hard in places, and not hard enough in others.

Got to tackle the Perry Rhodan game for RealGamer now. I'm away from Wednesday until the weekend so might stay up late and bash it out tonight. However, I'm only half way through. I hate reviewing titles I've not finished, but I'm utterly stuck, have been playing all day with no idea what to do, and the only walkthroughs I can find on the net are apparently untranslatably German.

I think I've seen enough, to be honest.

Meanwhile, ladyfriend asks me if I'm drunk because my spelling is so bad in a Facebook message. As if I have the money to get drunk.
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Title: Miracle in Pakistan!
Posted: June 13, 2008 (04:49 AM)
Good old Daily Mail.

"Officials believe the area... was turning dried cannabis leaves into heroin."

Spectacular! Is this the new Jesus?

Link
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