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Games
GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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Halo 2 Box Shot Halo 2. Xbox Review

Hype this

Publisher: Microsoft

Mon, 6 December 2004

Sammy by: Hillelman

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Halo was the first game I played on my (then) shiny new Xbox system. I was seriously impressed. The graphics were amazing for the time. The game was so much fun; the funky physics engine, cruising around in the warthog, lobbing grenades...awesome stuff! I played it through twice in a row, on the harder difficulty the second time through. It was a beauty. Now here we are with the second Halo game. Can it match up to the thrill of the first?

Not really. But it is still an excellent game. After the hype and build-up though, it could be seen as slightly disappointing - especially the length of the game's single player campaign. I was expecting an epic. But I'd swear the second Halo was much shorter than the first game. Thankfully it also had less overly repetitive and slightly dull (compared to the rest of the game, at least) patches than the original. I can see myself coming back to this one; it was a short trip, but one worth repeating.

Mind you, despite the relative shortness of the game, it could still last you a long time if you were to play it on the highest difficulty. The AI is even more outstanding than it was before and it can be adapted to challenge any skill level.

After loading Halo 2 for the first time I found the graphics underwhelming. It basically appeared just like the old one. But, after a while, I began to notice that it had in fact been spruced up significantly. Further into the game there were some really pretty graphics on offer, almost stunning. Almost, but not quite. And the reason for that... well, I think it is just because the Xbox isn't new anymore. When I played the first Halo, the Xbox was the latest, cutting edge system. Three years later, everyone has caught up to, or even overtaken, those standards. Now, after seeing titles like Doom 3 and Far Cry on the PC, the giant black console is starting to show its age slightly. We've gotten used to really great graphics and it takes a lot more to impress us. Still, while my jaw may not have dropped for Halo 2 like it did for the first one, but the bottom line is: This is still one tremendous looking Xbox game.

The sound is similar again to the first. But that just means it remains excellent. The music always fits the action superbly and the various noises of the guns and banter from your enemies all ensure the mood is suitably set.

As with the original there's a pretty strong plot to this game, but I don't want to give too much away. I will say that one major difference here is that for a good portion of the game you don't actually play as Master Chief. Much of the story deals with political struggles going on within the Covenant. It drew me in well enough, right up until I go to the ending, which is....lame, really. In fact, it totally sucks. You don't see it coming and, in this case, I don't mean that as a compliment. The game finishes before you expect it to and the story is left unfinished. With very few exceptions (and this isn't one of them) I hate it when games do that! As far as I'm concerned, that is just piss weak.

For the most part the game plays just like the old one, but there are a few key improvements. Duel wielding weapons is the most prominent addition. You can now hold two weapons at once; left trigger fires your left hands weapon and right trigger fires the right. Mixing and matching between different guns is a blast (excuse the crappy pun). It adds to the tactical aspect of the combat too because grenades can only be used when you have a free hand, so you have to decide whether you'll be better off with two guns or the ability to lob some explosives. Also, some weapons, like the newly useable energy sword (it is heaps of fun killing suckas with that thing!) require both hands. There are a bunch of new weapons on offer too; the brute shot grenade launcher was my favourite. There are a couple more vehicles available now as well and once again controling all of the vehicles is supremely entertaining.

The multi-player aspect of Halo 2 is another big drawing card. This is about as good as it gets for multiple people on a console First Person Shooter. It holds its own with the very best the PC has to offer as well. You can play the missions in two player co-op mode and I recommend that you do, because it is a hugely enjoyable experience. Then you have the split-screen death matches for up to four people, which work very well. You can also play with up to 16 people using system link. The icing on the cake is the ability to play against others online. All told the multi-player modes will add significantly to the lifespan of the game and go a long way to making up for the brevity of the single player campaign.

There's nothing particularly wrong with Halo 2, apart from the length of the (single player) game and that ending. Microsoft/Bungie may have been their own worst enemy by hyping this thing so damn much. I can definitely see some people, who were expecting it to be leaps and bounds above anything else, coming away from the game feeling a little let down. Still it already sold in pre-orders by the truckload; so the hype must've worked very well, in some ways.

Personally speaking, though my expectations were perhaps unreasonable, I have to admit I expected a little more. It didn't have an impact on me that was even close to what the first one managed. Even so, I liked Halo 2 very much and I know I will play it again often; both by myself and with others. That means, from me, the game is definitely highly recommended.


by: Hillelman

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More articles by Hillelman




Halo 2

Overall:
12345678910119.5
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More Games


Press Release. Haze 4 Player Demo Availabe Soon.
Games and Beer
Pong designer Al Alcorn to give free talk at ACMI.
eGames and Entertainment expo '07 Report
Win a complimentary ticket to ACMI's "Game On"


Which of the following game genres do you like the most?
Role Playing
First Person Shooters
Adventure/Action (includes platformers)
Racing/Driving
Sports
Strategy





Toons
ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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