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  Batman Has Ended 05:31 PM -- Tue October 11, 2011  

To interrupt the constant stream of BHE announcements and contests, I thought I'd talk about the game I finished a few days ago. Batman: Arkham Asylum. Amazing! I haven't been this hooked on a game in years, it's like going back to Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper (it's actually a lot like Sly Cooper). It's just fantabulous and everybody should play. It's got everything you could want - there's a good story, great graphics, nifty voicework (you can overhear dozens of different conversations between the thugs that tell you what's going on as well as letting you know there are thugs around), and several different really cool games all executed perfectly. By that, I mean it feels like multiple games all combined.

The main game is Metroidvania - you roam around this island figuring out how to proceed further, looking for ventilation shafts you can sneak into, or high ledges you can grapple up to. Of course, in true Metroidvania fashion, you gradually accumulate new methods of getting around, so you can go back to earlier areas and explore further. And there are little hidden "riddles" to find, which you'll constantly be backtracking to reach with new powers. The Riddler has placed these all over, but calling them riddles is a biiiig stretch. They are collectible question marks, but there are also other things that are a bit more riddley, like having to take a picture of something based on what he says (for example "I hope you SEE what Tweedledee and Tweedledum SAW", so you look around until you find a see-saw, and take a picture of it), or trying to align two pieces of a question mark in your view, then take a picture. I love those ones.

Then, as you're exploring, you come across a group of thugs. This is the second game. You beat the crap out of them, in a practically-one-button fighting system that actually feels really satisfying and fun. There's also a second button, which you use to to counter enemy attacks (super easily, I like that), and a third button for a 'stun attack' that you almost never use, and you could complete the game without, once you learn how to leap over guys and hit them from behind. Anyway, this is your usual brawling, but implemented in an awesome way that makes you feel super powerful as well as giving you a ton of options at any given moment, and a lot of stuff to do. As you go, scarier sorts of thugs appear, with knives or stun guns, and so there are constantly new techniques you have to employ.

The third game is stealth action straight out of Metal Gear Solid, only better. This is what happens if the group of thugs you come across happens to have guns. The game changes completely, because they can kill you very quickly. So instead of running up and punching them, you hide in the rafters, drop down and scoop them up. This is by far the coolest part of the game. It's also the best stealth implementation I've played. You've got no radar because you don't need one. If you get seen, it's not fatal, you can lose your pursuers in maybe five seconds at the most (on the other hand, you can also die in five seconds, so don't get seen). There are probably over a dozen ways that you can take enemies out and it's amazing how much variety there is. I didn't even know about some of them until I played Challenge Mode after winning the game and taking guys out in these special ways was among the "Challenges" it offered me. You can catch them with a grappling hook and yank them off a ledge, you can sneak up on them and do a sleeper hold, you can plant explosives so that a wall explodes on them, you can glide kick from the sky and slam them down, you can zip down and scoop them up and leave them hanging from a gargoyle, you can detonate a sonic batarang to blow one up (you can only do that to one guy in each area, so choose wisely...). And it's all very organic, they're just walking around this room, and you look at all the tools at your disposal, time their movements, and take them down.

Oh yeah, the best part about stealth is how the guys freak out as they realize they're being wiped out. When it's down to the last guy left, he's so terrified he'll occasionally shoot at the walls, and constantly turn back and forth, looking in every direction. This is extra cool because it serves a gameplay purpose - the more the guys freak out, the harder they are to deal with, so even though there are fewer guys, it's still tricky.

But never too tricky! That's the best thing in the game. It's constantly fun and interesting, and never gets too hard! Man, I can't remember the last time I've beaten a final boss without being horribly frustrated. It also only sends you back a very short way when you die. And not just fun, and not just easy, but also always new! The game just goes on and on with new events and situations. There can't be more than about five minutes of gameplay between each 'major event' in this game (unless you spend twenty minutes hunting for riddles like I always did). And you'll be going along, thinking you have everything down, when suddenly The Joker throws something new at you, like snipers or giant super-thugs.

Downsides... Killer Croc's Lair is just stupid. Outright video game stupidity, in the classic "too long doing the same thing and one mistake will kill you" vein. On the flipside, it includes several interesting events, with a bunch of different change-ups to the action. And it's not nearly as long and dull as other games would have. Other downsides... hmmm... I'm trying... it's too awesome? It ends too soon? Hey, the sequel is coming out next week! Whoo! Oh wait, I do have another actual downside. Detective Mode (basically X-Ray Vision that highlights important objects for you) is far too useful, and there's no reason to ever turn it off except during brawls. Why is that so bad? Because in Detective Mode, the entire world is monochromatic and weird-looking. So you spend about 80% of the game not seeing what the game actually looks like. Every time I actually turned it off I was shocked at how cool everything looked.

There's so many other little things I could fanboy about with this, it's just amazing, but I've said too much already, judging by the giant wall of text. It's really just a big ball of perfection the likes I haven't seen in gaming since... Portal I guess? I'd much rather play this though.
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  Bring Healthy Eyes! 02:00 PM -- Tue October 11, 2011  

Remember this goofy little game? Well I think it's fun! And now I challenge you to take it on. Just like Booty Haul, Everybody, what we have here is a one-week high score contest on the Hamumu Word Search. And just like that one, the winner gets 50 Yerfbucks, second place gets 25, and third place gets 10. So start searching those words!

Other fun facts of note: your Profile tab on your Dumb Page contains all your exciting BHE statistics for the month. You can also spy on the competition by visiting their Dumb Page. Also, the BHE Page now has a handy calendar so you know when things are due or ending. Which means I should remind you: our first deadline is fast approaching! Booty Haul, Everybody ends on October 13th, in two days! So haul your booty over there and earn some points.
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  Bouapha Heralds Entertainment! 09:27 PM -- Mon October 10, 2011  

Good news, everyone! Actually, it's big world-changing news. First of all, major credit to SpaceManiac, who did this work...

Dr. Lunatic has been updated to work properly on modern computers without any weird color issues or whatever! There are lots of other little tweaks in the code that are improving other issues (like as an example, the notorious add-on world limit has been massively upgraded). But the big news is that the game now includes The Expando-Pak and Fun Pack! So it's big and juicy and fun and cool. I have all the old add-ons still (they were taken down since the packs they required weren't available, and Supremized version were available), and I want to get those listed up on the site again, but it'll take a while, since I have to go through and find out who the author was for each one.

Now you're probably asking, what's the point? Who needs an upgraded Dr. Lunatic, when Supreme With Cheese is all anybody plays? Well the point is that this was the testbed for the conversion process. Assuming he doesn't run away, SpaceManiac will be converting all the other big games too! Things are going to be much nicer all around with lots of modern functionality and much-needed tweaks. It's exciting to know this stuff actually compiles nowadays.

Oh, and one note/warning/request for help. Please check out the demo version, and if you own the full game, download the new version from My Downloads and check that out. If you encounter any problems, let me know. This is actually a pretty darn untested release because of the tight deadline we had to work on it (lots of bugs fixed this very afternoon). So if you have problems, don't fear, we will fix them ASAP, we just need to know about them!
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  Byzantine Hallways Extend 11:03 AM -- Sun October 9, 2011  

For the rest of the month, enjoy a fresh new maze of horror! It will vanish and return to the original maze (with your progress intact) on November 1st, so build it up fast and enjoy! I'm not verifying rooms for quality either, so beware of unsolvable riddles... Ask your friends for help, because they probably made the room. Of course I do get notified about each new room, so you know, don't do anything inappropriate.
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  Brag (t)Here, Everybody! 10:58 AM -- Sat October 8, 2011  

There's another Halloween contest?? It's not the last one, but this one is all about memories and fun, and doesn't require any actual work. It's Brag Here, Everybody! Go share your Halloween memories and potentially win a purple monster card.
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  Big Horses, Ecstatic 12:29 PM -- Fri October 7, 2011  

The Great Pumpkin's Field has returned for another year of fun and frolic! If you've been around before, you know exactly what to do. If you haven't, I'd suggest you visit the field often, you never know what might happen!

This year, every time The Great Pumpkin is rescued, everyone who helped earns 1 Raffle Ticket. On Halloween, I'll raffle off a CD copy of Loonyland: Halloween Hill. Each ticket is one chance to win, so save the pumpkin as many times as you can!

Note: As is tradition, the thing that happens on the field will fluctuate in both difficulty and timing as the month progresses, so don't despair if it seems impossible. For that matter, you know what it takes to make it possible, so get in there and grab your gear, and tell your friends to help you out!
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  Booty Haul, Everybody! 10:48 AM -- Thu October 6, 2011  

Today begins the first ever Infinite Deadly Islands Of Terror tournament! You'll note that there's now a new scoreboard on that page, underneath the game. It works the same as the other scoreboard, the difference is that it's starting from scratch! You have until October 13th to get yourself to the top of that new scoreboard. First place on October 13th will win 50 Yerfbucks, second place will win 25 Yerfbucks, and third place will win 10 Yerfbucks.

(And you might find later that there's another reason to do as well as you can in it, even if you're not the greatest pirate...)
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  BUY HAMUMU ENTERTAINMENT!! 02:22 PM -- Wed October 5, 2011  


That's half price!!! What is going on!?!? That's RIDICULOUS! Fire that accountant! Incidentally, the "20% off for multiple games purchased" is gone, because that really would require firing an accountant on top of the 50% off.
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  Bite Here, Enjoy! 12:03 AM -- Wed October 5, 2011  

I know it seems like it's nothing but contests around here all of a sudden, but that's because these contests where you do something creative need to give you time, so I have to launch them all at the start of the month! This latest one is simple enough: Invent a Halloween recipe, and share it with us!

Here's what I created myself, with some amazing inspiration today when I realized I should probably demonstrate with my own recipe...


Like it? Isn't it awesome? Here's a rough recipe to make it yourself...

Just cut off the yellow ends from a whole lot of candy corn. Keep a little orange on there, whatever it takes to make a nice consistent kernel size.
The next step is to make Rice Krispie Treats! I'm not gonna give you the recipe, because if you have a box of Krispies (or a generic equivalent), I am quite sure the recipe is right on there. One thing I would suggest, because it was a problem for me, is to go heavier than normal on the marshmallows. You want a fairly sticky krispie treat, not a dry one.
I can't give exact measurements here, but each cob you want to make should use maybe a cup and a half of krispie treat. It really depends on how big you want to make the corn! As you can see in the picture, I made two, and let the rest become good old fashioned treats. Now shape each cob. You can use a piece of waxed paper to keep from getting sticky hands. I found it was really not very sticky for me, but that caused me problems in the next phase, so again, make sticky treats! Shape the cob into a general corn shape. You can see that I made the top half skinnier than the bottom. This is because the kernels will stick out further, and the lower half is not going to have kernels. I'd actually recommend you don't do this - I discovered that pushing the kernels into the rice squeezed it together quite a bit, so if I had just made a sort of long football shape (like real corn!), that would've done the job.
Next, push the kernels of candy corn into the top half of each cob! Here is why you wanted a sticky krispie treat. Mine was so dry that the candy corn kept falling off.
The last part of the recipe is the most chef-ly and was new to me! I made fondant, following this recipe. It turns out to be very easy to make! We didn't have corn syrup, which I substituted a mix of honey and molasses for (you can taste that in the end result, for sure), and much too late I discovered that our blue food coloring had dried up, so you get this stylish dried-corn appearance instead of the green I had intended. Oh, and I substituted butter for shortening, but I always do that.

Once the fondant was kneaded, I rolled it out on a piece of waxed paper (the same one as before, because I'm cheap), and didn't even need to 'flour' the surface with sugar, because it didn't stick at all. I really have to repeat that I found fondant super easy to make and to roll out. You can see in the final picture that, much like the krispies, I ended up making it too dry though, and it cracked and broke a lot.
So I cut it into some sort of leaf shapes, wrapped them around the lower half of the cob (see why you didn't need kernels down there? Good thing too - krispie treats are much tastier than candy corn), and curled them down at the top like an open corn cob. Then for good measure, I used a knife to etch lines in the fondant. That added a nice corn texture. That's it!

Is it tasty? Not really. It's much too sweet. But I got to eat a lot of krispie treats, and it looks really cool. Now that you've seen mine, go make your own Halloween recipe!

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  Build Haunted Environments! 12:18 PM -- Mon October 3, 2011  

It's another fine tradition (a whole year old?)! Let's all build levels for Costume Party!

Don't own Costume Party? How sad that you can't participate in this conte... Oh wait!!

Costume Party is free to play for all of October, for everybody with a Dumb Account! Just download the free version and play! That means not just playing, but level building and getting awards and trophies too. Don't miss out!

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