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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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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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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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hbk_dvd_review Shawn Michaels: From The Vault

The first and best HBK DVD set.

Publisher: Shock

Thu, 1 January 1970

Billy Profile by: The Gimmick

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He is known as the show stopper. The main event. The icon that can still go. He is Shawn Michaels; “The Heart Break Kid” and he lives up to all those monikers and then some. For ten years he delighted audiences everywhere with his high flying style of wrestling. Meeting and defeating some the greats the industry has ever seen. Then a career ending back injury grounded the legend in his tracks for over five years. Then, just as his millions of fans thought they would never see him in action again, he returned. And he returned with a vengeance. All this is chronicled in a DVD entitled Shawn Michaels: From the Vault. (Man, I hope Shawn reads this and thanks me for building him up like that.)

I’m only kidding! He needs no false praise. The praise he gets, he deserves. And what we get from this 2 DVD set is approximately 6 hours of classic matches and interviews/pro-mo’s from his long career. The disc starts out with a classic AWA (American Wrestling Association) Tag Team Match from 1986 between The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) facing “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers and “Playboy” Buddy Rose for the AWA Tag Team Championship. The match itself started out as a classic (classic in the literal sense) tag team match but deteriorated into a bloody brawl. Which, back in those days, was as rare as an underprivileged Liberal Party Member. The thing that stands out for me is Shawn’s wrestling style. It hasn’t changed all that much from ‘86 to today, quite an accomplishment!

We next skip forward some eight years to the match that put him on the map. It was his WWF Intercontinental Title match against Razor Ramon. It was at Wrestlemania X and it was a “Ladder Match”. I remember seeing this for the first time and cringing every time either of them hit the ladder. It wasn’t the first ladder match I had seen, but it was by far the best. It also proved that you didn’t have to be 270 lbs plus to be a main eventer. Headlining as a smaller guy in the WWF in those days had only ever previously been done by the legendary Bret “Hitman” Hart.

The final match on this disc involves Bret Hart, and it is the famous Wrestlemania XII “Iron Man Match” from 1996. In my opinion, this is definitely in my top 5 matches of ALL time. I still think about this match and get goose bumps. To see two top athletes in their primes, wrestling for 60 minutes is a pleasure that can only be topped by 2 other things. (And 1 of those things is illegal in this country, with the exception of Tasmania.) I can’t say enough good things about this match. If you haven’t seen it, please- check it out!

Disc 1 also includes interviews and promos. Plus an hilarious easter egg featuring a mock advertisement from 1990 with “Playboy” Buddy Rose and his weight loss product “Blow Away”. The weird thing about this is Jerry “The King” Lawler is doing voice over with Vince McMahon. But Lawler wasn’t an employee with the WWF until late 1992. I wonder who was doing the voice over previously.

Ok, if you think the action lightens up on disc 2, well then you must think Richard Wilkins is talented. The disc kicks off with another classic encounter between HBK defending his newly won WWF title against “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel, better known today as Kevin Nash. It was in ‘96 and was a No Hold Barred Match, and it can be compared with any hardcore match you’ve ever seen. It was during a time when the WWF was transitioning from family entertainment to the attitude era. It had been a while since the WWF fans had seen chair shots in matches prior to this, but we got them in this one. Not only did we see chairs but belts, fire extinguishers, an awesome table spot and a false leg. (That’s not a typo. There was a fire extinguisher used). Although the attitude era wouldn’t hit full steam for another 11 months, this was the first match of that ilk and speared the WWF into that direction.

Match #2 features HBK opposite everyone’s favorite mental patient, Mankind from Mind Games 1996. Just like the previous match this was a trailblazer, but this one had more of an ECW feel to it. It was hardcore, but also had a lot of wrestling in it. It was Mick Foley’s greatest match ever and certainly one of Shawn’s greatest also. When I think of hardcore wrestling, this is what it should be like. But try getting that kind of performance from any two guys on a regular basis and see how far you get. And if you do succeed, there’s a little disagreement going on in the Middle East you might wanna fix.

Next match up is Shawn Michaels taking on “The Phenom”- The Undertaker in the first ever Hell in a Cell. We’ve seen a few more since this (1997) but none better. It had everything from blood to more blood. And when Shawn took that bump through the table from high up on the cell, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We know Mick Foley saw this and bettered the bump some time later, but even with his falls, he couldn’t better the match overall. If what Foley did in his HIAC match didn’t better this one, I’d hate to see what has to be done to accomplish it.

The final match is Shawn’s stunning comeback match from Summer Slam 2002 against Triple H in a “non-sanctioned match”. I really feared for Shawn in this one after everything he had gone through. But in the end he proved that legends don’t retire, they just cut down on their schedule. But HBK hasn’t stopped; he’s continued the level of greatness that made him so famous. Again there are more interviews and extras to keep you interested on this disc. Plus, I forgot to mention the introductions before each match by the man himself. There is also a special audio commentary with HBK and Kevin Nash for their No Holds Barred encounter.

I have a lot of respect for Shawn Michaels not only for the years of entertainment he’s provided, but during his first WWF title reign he carried the company heavily on his back. In ‘96 WCW was on top and only he and The Undertaker were able to carry the WWF to an acceptable level. It seems kinda sad that the night he took his sabbatical was the night that the WWF became #1 again. I enjoyed watching this stuff so much. Some of it I hadn’t seen for over 15 years. This 2 disc set does him justice; my only problem is that it could have easily been a 3 disc set.

by: The Gimmick

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More Wrestling

Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen. Wrestling DVD Review
Mick Foley: Hits & Misses - The Hardcore Edition. DVD Review
The Rise and Fall of ECW. Book Review
Sammy's Wrestling DVD Double Review Bonanza!
Born to Controversy: The Roddy Piper Story. DVD Review

What is the main reason you watch wrestling?
Hoping to see good quality matches
The crazy storylines and/or characters
Blood and violence
The sexy women or men
A combination of any of the above

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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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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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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