Texas vs. Washington

March 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst, politics, Sports | Comments Off on Texas vs. Washington
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We don’t usually comment on political stories, especially before important primaries; with no offense intended to those who blog on the subject, we consider our blog relatively apolitical (if only because we have about zero credibility to analyze this subject).  At least we have the common sense not endorse any candidates since the Missouri primary was particularly close in either party’s primaries.  That being said, you might consider tomorrow night’s primary to be a little like NBA Jam: Primary Edition. 

For everyone who doesn’t remember this arcade basketball classic, this 2-on-2 basketball game from the early 1990s played loose on the rules and big with slam dunks – just like politics!  The game’s creators must have made the comparison themselves, because among the hidden characters included in the game were both then President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.  According to our research Clinton’s  stats are actually all “?”s, which could be reflected likewise in the super-delegate count.  Of course these statistics are probably skewed, as Chicago’s other most famous player Michael Jordan is not playable in the game.  And although Barrack Obama is not playable in the game, considering his stretch of at least 10 successive wins we would imagine that he is “on fire!” by anyone’s definition. 

“Is it in the shoes?”  To find out, we ran a short simulation of a game between the San Antonio Spurs to represent Senator Clinton’s campaign in Texas (because the Dallas Mavericksare leaning toward McCain presumably) and the Washington Wizards to represent Barrack Obama.  (Hey, it works for the Superbowl).  And although Hillary Clinton was backed with the endorsement of Dream Team player David Robinson, the Washington Wizards held on to a narrow lead in the second half to win the game 53-48 (which we think are nearly usable as percentage points).  So depending on your political affiliation this might be the result you’re expecting this Tuesday March 2nd, although it should probably be noted the game also includes Will Smith, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, and Sub Zero as unlockable characters as well – all of whom should be available to fill cabinet positions.

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Review – Matt Blunt: Document Destroyer

November 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst, Review | 1 Comment
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MBDDBy now you’ve probably heard about a flash game from the Missouri Democratic Party named “Matt Blunt: Document Destroyer” which serves equal parts parody and political communication.  You might have even played it or even passed along the link yourself.  So instead of providing a response to it’s political context (since there are enough blogs to cover that), we thought it might be appropriate to review the game as just that – a game review.  So I dug out my old issues of GamePro magazine, did a little extended play, and tried to give this game the objective analysis this exciting new kind of political communication strategy warrants.

Graphics – At first glance this game could be described as being realistic enough, using great photo scans of Governor Blunt over a fixed-perspective background, with an impressive use of scaling effects to give a depth to an otherwise boring background.  Boring might be the word to describe the cubicles that the governor pops up from, and although it might have been distracting it would have been nice to see some better detailed background.  And although it does limit load time and ensure greater compatibility, it would have been nice to throw in a few more frames of animation into what largely amounts to little more than Gubernatorial whack-a-mole.  Why introduce reaction shots that give the illusion of animation at all? 
Score: 3.5

Continue Reading Review – Matt Blunt: Document Destroyer…

Gamer Hero 3 – Tournament Edition

November 26, 2007 at 2:28 pm | Posted in contest, Matthew Hurst, Webster University | 5 Comments
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This Friday November 30th, Webster University will be the host of the RHA Video Game Tournament from 8pm to Midnight. In the Marletto’s Marketplace, which is next to Webster Hall, student gamers from Webster University will compete to win prizes and place rank is games such as Guitar Hero 3, Halo 3, and Super Smash Brothers Melee. At this time it is not clear whether members of the general public can compete, but spectators are welcome as guests of students (who will include the contributor of this blog entry).
With a grand prize of a 19-inch LCD HDTV for the Guitar Hero 3 competition, the atmosphere is sure to be exciting, and even those who don’t win will elligible for door prizes. But in addition to prizes the RHA needs equipment donations (or at least equipment to borrow) so that they can pull this tournament off; if you can, please donate equipment. For more information check their Facebook event page or through Zach Haugen and WebUGraph.

Master Cheif kills dumbledore

September 25, 2007 at 1:20 am | Posted in Matthew Hurst | Comments Off on Master Cheif kills dumbledore
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Those who already in the know were just treated to one of the most anticipated and undereported media events of the year: the release of Halo 3.  For those of you unfamiliar, that line you saw outside Game Stop, Game Crazy, and countless other gaming and electronic retailers last nightwere waiting until midnight for the release of this first person shooter for the Xbox360.  It’s also the same reason that so many of your co-workers and classmates who were sipping on game fuel yesterday are now missing from work today.

When Halo 2 was released on November 9th in 2004, its release overshadowed the previous week’s general election in media coverage, in part because it sold 2.4 million copies and made nearly $125 million in its first day.  Similar sale figures are expected today, including a big uptick in sales of Xbox360 as gamers revel in this multimedia empire that now includes merchandizing, feature films by Peter Jackson, and devoted players.  You only need ask your friends to find a Halo fanatic among your midst.  And that’s why you saw lines outside last night.

In Saint Louis we expect a shortage in the workforce to be the result of Master Cheif devotees.  You might find a few among the self-reporters recruited by G4, the cable television network with live coverage of the release night evening.  If you’re interested in hearing from the fans themselves, check out their complete coverage of this gaming phenomena, designed to include fan interaction from the trenches via the internet.  Oh, and no spoilers from me.

It’s HOT!

August 6, 2007 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst, summer | 2 Comments
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Just as with the tornado sirens that woke us up this morning, with a Excessive Heat Warning in effect forecast the rest of the week in the St. Louis area, we’re proud to take advantage of your natural inclination to stay indoors this week.  As a matter of a fact, I might be considered somewhat of a savant at spending time indoors over summer.  But if you must head outside this week (like me), here’s our own take on a few less practical tips for staying cool this summer.

  • Since it’s important to stay hydrated in the summer heat, we recommend you take advantage of the heat and brew Sun Tea.  Unlike Iced Tea (which owes its popular origin to Saint Louis), Sun Tea feeds off the summer heat despite being served ice cold.  It’s natural mellowing agents, like ketchup, should help you from panicking as the rise in temperature stresses your being.
  • Eat more ice cream.
  • Continue Reading It’s HOT!…

Love Tester @ Happy Joe’s

July 31, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Lauren Reid, Matthew Hurst, staff, Video | 2 Comments
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With summer flings in full swoon this summer, you might need a means to test the veracity of your lover.  Fortunately there is in fact a machine that will scientifically measure the strength of your love, the Love Tester.  As demonstrated in the above video by yours truly, the Love Tester was also used by fellow Highway 61 contributor Lauren “Hot Stuff” Reid (check out her video on youtube).

This amusement machine is among many others at Happy Joe’s family restaurant (see more with FlickR photos here), which wouldn’t be a bad place for a date with your summer fling.  In fact, Happy Joe’s is just one of many popular pizza parlors in this slice of St Louis County, including my old favorite Fortel’s Pizza Den.  And if your date is on a diet, just remind them that the games are “harmless” (heh).

No-Frills LAN Party 2k7

July 12, 2007 at 12:15 am | Posted in Events, Matthew Hurst | Comments Off on No-Frills LAN Party 2k7
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Because sometimes console gaming is just a little too solitary, why not meet other local gamers at the No-Frills LAN party? Our friends @ Warfactory (the same folks behind the annual LANetarium at the Science Center) are planning another LAN party, this time a bit more focused playing with friends instead of competition ladder tournaments. For those of you who still consider computer gamers to be for the socially maladjusted, here comes another chance to prove your prejudice wrong.  According to the Warfactory website:

So what does this mean? Basically, we organize everything for you and give you a great place to LAN with all our equipment (including our fancy new core switch!) and we join you for a day of fun.
The best part … IT’S TOTALLY FREE!!!!!. To ensure that you’ll have a seat, however, we are accepting a $5 payment to “payments@warfactory.net” which we will refund or give you credit at the LAN for pizza/drinks.

So here’s your chance to pwn some n00bz and frag yr friends (as they say). It’ll all go down at the Banwidth Exchange Building in downtown St. Louis this August 18th, 2k7 edition.  Just bring your computer and add Bawls

Kick, Punch, Blog!

July 11, 2007 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst | Comments Off on Kick, Punch, Blog!
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It’s no secret that Highway 61 blog has its share of gamers in its staff, in fact we’ve used the power of the internet to hook up our neighbors with a Wii on at least one occasion.  We don’t know if you’ve been following the news coverage of E3 this week, but here are a few good sources to follow every keynote speech and announcement.  You know, because the News Channel on your Wii has an editorial pro-Nintendo bias :P

One announcement in particular caught my attention, in part because it is hardly game related: Nintendo unveiled the “Check Mii Out” channel for the Wii.  As a kind of avatar version on Hot or Not, this channel will give us yet another chance to show off our celebrity look alike Miis.  Of course if you can’t wait to trade celebrity Miis, we’re definitely open to making some new friends or at least virtual semblances of Albert Pujols for playing Baseball.  There’s no reason why Wii can’t be friends…you’re not a Wiitard, it’s all in the mind.

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