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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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wrestlemania 21 logo Sammy's Wrestlemania 21 Match Preview

Here are my thoughts on the upcomming event

Tue, 22 March 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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The biggest wrestling show of the year is almost here once again. Wrestlemania (and to a lesser extent the Royal Rumble) is the Pay Per View that I still find myself getting excited about every single year. In the spirit of building up the hype and anticipation I figured that it’d be worth taking a look at the matches announced for the show so far and giving my comments/observations about them all.

I have included who I think should win; that is who I personally believe should get the victory. I’ve also included who I think will win; my guess at who will actually get the victory based on the WWE’s booking and things like that. I have seen other people do it that way and thought it worked pretty well, so I copied the format.

Firstly though, one thing I have to ask is, why does the WWE even bother having title belts any more? So far it looks as though the Intercontinental title is not going to defended at Wrestlemania (since Shelton Benjamin currently holds that and he’s involved in the ladder match), there are no tag title matches announced yet, no US title match has been announced yet and no cruiserweight title match has been announced yet! So even if any of those titles do get defended it’ll be in matches that are thrown together at the last minute, which hardly makes them seem terribly prestigious. Oh well, no use getting too upset about that I guess. It just seems like a bit of a waste.

Keep in mind I wrote this on the 21st of March, so there could be more matches added, or other developments regarding the things I discuss here between now and April 3rd when Wrestlemania 21 takes place.

It would be funny to see me get every single pick wrong, but if that happens…bah, who cares? Not like I bet on it. On with the preview!

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero: This one hasn’t actually been announced yet and as of this writing these guys were still tag team champs and (obviously) team mates. But it is still strongly expected to be on the card, so I’ll assume they’re going to go ahead with it. They have been sort of building up to it on Smackdown, with Chavo constantly trying to create friction between Eddie and Rey. Word is neither guy will turn heel, instead it will be a face vs. face match. One of those “respect match” type of deals. If it is part of Wrestlemania 21 it would be my second most anticipated match of the show. These guys have been involved in a few of my all time favourite matches, including one with each other: the widely acclaimed Halloween Havoc match in ’97. They are awesome wrestlers and really great opponents for each other. Put those guys in the ring with each other and I don’t think they’d be capable of putting a bad match together. It’d be more likely to be a matter of whether the match is a very good one or an absolutely great one.

Who I think should win: Rey has a couple of wins against Eddie I believe. This would be a great time for Eddie to get one back.

Who I think will win: If Eddie could get a victory without using his now customary dirty tactics (or even with them really) it would help give him a renewed push. With a renewed push, he could be set up in the near future as a great opponent for a WWE title holding John Cena. I don’t know if that’s something they have in mind, but it makes some sense to me, so I will go with Eddie again here.

Undertaker vs. Randy Orton: Orton was intended to be in the main event, but that plan fell through when live audiences began to turn on him. It now looks like he’s going back to being a heel, which is really the more natural fit for his smug demeanour. He still ended up with a high profile Wrestlemania match anyway. The big deal about this one is that it is the self-proclaimed “legend killer” in Orton challenging the “legend” of the Undertaker and his 12 match undefeated Wrestlemania streak. I’m actually quite curious to see how this one goes. I found the build up fairly effective. Even that really goofy stuff with the Undertaker shooting lightning bolts and shit didn’t ruin it. I always find his “superpowers” quite funny.

They seem to be have been doing the thing with opponents telling ‘Taker they aren’t afraid of him (even though really they are scared) for about a million years now. But here it is working better than it has for some time, as Orton is a legitimate contender (youngest ever world champ) who has backed up his boasts before (his victories over Mick Foley etc.) so you believe he may be able to win. They’ve also made it clear that Randy feels like this is his chance at becoming a made star for life by ending the Undertakers legendary ‘Mania winning run, something nobody else has been able to do. He’s being arrogant about it partially because he’s trying to convince himself he’s not scared. And the Undertaker is getting to the final years of his career (at least you’d assume as much) so he might feel a need to prove he still has what it takes to keep his dominant record intact. Nicely done stuff so far I reckon.

I hope the actual match surpasses my expectations, which aren’t too high. It isn’t that I am expecting it to be awful, I’m just unsure how well these guys’ styles can mesh (the same basic concerns I have for Tripple H/Batista). The crowd is going to be into it regardless though, thanks in part to the build up and the fact that the Undertaker is always a crowd favourite, so that should help keep it entertaining. I’m genuinely interested in seeing what the finish is going to be too.

Who I think should win: On the one hand it is kind of cool to have a guy that has never lost at Wrestlemania. But if he loses now, he’ll still always be the guy that had 12 straight Wrestlemania victories and that sounds cool enough to me. If Orton is intended to be a big part of the future of the company it makes good sense for him to be the one who ends Undertaker’s reign.

Who I think will win: While everything in me says that the Undertaker is going to suffer his first Wrestlemania loss, my mind refuses to let me except it. Not because I don’t want him to lose (I don’t mind much either way really) but because I can’t imagine him allowing that to happen. Despite the 'Mania victories being pre-determined, Undertaker seems to be very attached to them and, from all reports, he also wields quite a bit of power and influence backstage. I wouldn’t be too shocked if he’d ask to win for one more year. Still if Vince and co. feel strongly enough about it, the Undertaker will lie down for Orton. I’m sure the ‘Taker sees how much Randy has to gain from the win too. Just to show I’m willing to make a decision I’ll say Orton wins. But if he does I seriously doubt it will be a clean victory.

Sumo Match- Big Show vs. Akebono: From what I gather this is going to be a legitimate Sumo-style contest. No scripted winner or any of that stuff. If that is true, logically you’d expect the Big Show to have little chance of winning against a former sumo grand champion. Of course Big Show is no normal man, but neither is Akebono. Show’s size isn’t going to intimidate a dude as big as Akebono and sumo wrestling isn’t purely about size anyway, technique also plays a major part. It will be fun seeing two monsters together like that. It reminds me of 80’s WWF when Vince had all those giants squaring off because…Vince just gets a kick out of really big people. I hope Hogan can resist running in and leg dropping both of them at the end. Old habits die hard you know.

Who I think should win: If it is a legit Sumo match I’d love to see Big Show overcome his lack of experience in that type of situation and pull off an upset victory. I like to cheer for the underdog. It seems funny to think of a guy as huge as Show as an underdog, but he really has to be in this case.

Who I think will win: Again, if this a real Sumo contest and not a scripted confrontation, Akebono would have to go in as the favourite, simply due to having vastly more experience than his opponent. Big Show doesn’t even have a huge size advantage going for him, he’s the taller guy but Akebono actually weighs more.

Women's Championship- Christy vs. Trish: Trish is great, she’s beautiful, sexy and very funny. She can actually wrestle well too. She’s improved so much so quickly that it is hard to believe. Christy is hot too and although she can be rather annoying she is putting a whole lot of effort in and I think she’s going to get better very quickly, much like Trish did (though I don't think she has the natural talent to ever become as good an entertainer as Trish). But Christy is only just learning to wrestle, so it is unrealistic to expect too much here. Should be a mildly entertaining affair and at least they are easy to look at. To be perfectly honest I doubt much of the audience really cares about the match quality of this one anyway.

Who I think should win: Trish. Because she rocks and Christy isn’t ready yet.

Who I think will win: I see Christy getting some kind of shock upset victory somehow. Lita might have something to do with it.

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels: In the wise words of Randy Savage, “Oooh yeah, dig it!” This is one match I’d pay for all by itself. This is one of those rare dream matches, with two of the very best ever in the business who, just through circumstance, happen to have never wrestled each other. They’ve done a great job building this one up too, starting from their confrontation at the Royal Rumble. Both guys have such excellent reputations and big egos, it is perfectly believable that each of them would want to outdo (and hence feels threatened by) the other. Kurt’s match with Marty Jannetty was really good too (apparently it was enough to help Jannetty get a new WWE contract) and a nice preview for what we might expect from this match.

They’ve certainly got an awful lot to live up to here. That could be the biggest problem, the expectations (amongst people like myself at least) are so high that anything less than a five star (or 11 button) match might be considered anti-climactic. But I have seen what both of these guys are capable of doing at the biggest show of the year, despite pressure and other problems they had to overcome, and I sincerely believe they’ll be able to deliver. I hope they are given plenty of time. I can’t wait for this one, it will likely be the match of the show and it is indeed the one I’m looking forward to the most.

Who I think should win: I honestly don’t care who wins, they should both come out of it looking great either way.

Who I think will win: I have a feeling Kurt Angle is going to get the victory here. One possibility (as a friend of mine suggested) could be Marty Jannetty helping Angle pick up the win as a way of paying Michaels back for kicking him through the window all those years ago. Then they’d have a ready made feud for Marty and Shawn as part of the deal. Whatever happens, I think Angle has more to gain from a win at this stage than Michaels does, so I’ll go with him based on that.

Money-In-The-Bank 6 man Ladder Match- Christian vs. Edge vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho: Kind of strange, how they’ve sort of just jammed all these cats together like that. It could result in a total clusterf*ck. It could also result in a fast paced spot fest with guys flying about all over the place and all kinds of crazy shit. I’m all for that.

There’s certainly no shortage of ability amongst these guys. I love the stipulation of the winner getting a world title shot that he can use whenever he likes. There are so many possible ways they could go with that, it really adds to the intrigue of this match’s outcome. With so many talented guys all wrestling at once it could go a couple of ways: it might come off disappointing that they weren’t in singles matches- as they might not get as much time or attention as they individually deserve. Or they could use the opportunity to do some eye popping stuff with constant action. It probably comes down to how much time they are given. If they don’t have to rush it too much this one could be absolutely awesome. At the very least I believe it will be fun to watch.

Who I think should win: Chris Benoit. Because he is Chris Benoit.

Who I think will win: I have no idea who they are going to go with here. The most likely choice seems to be Edge. They need more top heels, so they might want to keep him strong. (I’m not going to bother with any jokes about the Matt Hardy/Lita/Edge situation)

WWE Championship- John Cena vs. JBL: JBL as WWE champ went on far longer than was first expected. I have to say that Bradshaw has done a great job with the character and he’s also done everything that has been asked of him. Most of his matches have been okay too. He’s a capable brawler and not nearly as bad as some internet fans will tell you. That “last man standing match” he had with Kurt Angle in particular was very good. And it wasn’t ALL thanks to Angle’s work either. Lately I think they’ve gone overboard with the JBL stuff on Smackdown, he and his “cabinet” seem to be in nearly every segment and the whole thing is starting to get a little old. Nevertheless, JBL has worked hard to deserve his spot and the crowd is certainly keen to see him get his arse kicked; the true sign of an effective heel.

John Cena might be the most popular guy in the entire WWE right now. He’s getting some huge reactions from the fans. Personally, I seem to like him one week and find him annoying the next. Sometimes his act works for me and other times it doesn’t. He’s a bit like a younger “Stone Cold” character, if Austin watched “8 Mile” too many times or something. Anyway, the dude does have charisma. His wrestling style is a lot likes Austin’s Stone Cold work too, except Cena is nowhere near as polished or good at the basic fundamentals. He’ll get better with time I reckon. He has an abundance of potential and he seems destined for greatness. It seems entirely probable that a Cena vs. Batista match will be the main event of next year’s Wrestlemania, or some other show down the line. The seeds have already been sewn for that eventual showdown. I wonder if both guys will have title belts when it happens.

Cena and JBL are probably going to put on a real “street fight” style brawl. I expect blood, fighting in the crowd and a broken table during this one. The tension has been built and their best bet would be to stick to the brawling. They could make a really fun to watch fight out of this, just as long as it is amped a notch or three on the violence scale.

Who I think should win: JBL winning by hook or by crook has gone on long enough now. It worked, the fans are dying to see him lose, but you need a payoff eventually and that time has arrived. Cena has to go over, simple as that. The only way I can see any sense in having JBL retain is if the Triple H vs. Batista match comes straight after this one (which I expect it will) and they want the crowd to be desperate for one of their favourites to win after the other has failed. Even then they’d be pushing their luck in my book. I think if Cena doesn’t get the belt the crowd will probably shit all over the show and cry like babies. Which is almost enough to make me hope that is what happens, because I’m perverse like that.

Who I think will win: Unless they were intentionally trying to swerve everyone, I think Cena losing the US title was a pretty clear sign that he’ll be upgrading to the WWE title at Wrestlemania. Then they’ll have to make a ridiculous spinning WWE belt for him I guess.

World Heavyweight Championship- Batista vs. Triple H: Originally the WWE had planned to go with a HHH versus Randy Orton match for the Raw main event at Wrestlemania, but that’s not the way it ended up. The fans absolutely embraced Batista and more or less demanded that he be the one to face Triple H. I think they’ve slowly built up to this match very well and I’ve really enjoyed watching it all unfold. But the match itself isn’t one that I find myself getting too excited about.

Batista’s ring style doesn’t exactly scream “40 minute classic”. He certainly looks the part, but with all those muscles to carry around Batista seems to be breathing heavily within a few minutes. That’s fine for a three minute squash victory, but how will he go if he has to work far longer? The other thing is that Triple H uses a methodical style and that can be great with the right kind of opponent, but with another big lug in there that is even slower than Trips is, it could result in a really dragging pace.

On the other hand, Batista seems to be improving all the time, his power moves are awesome to see and always get the crowd going and he seems to put in plenty of effort. I’m sure Triple H will bump his arse off to help show off Batista’s strength too. Also, both guys are well aware of what an important match this is. They take plenty of pride in their craft, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll both work as hard as they can to make it a good one. I just don’t know how successful they’ll be. I sure hope they surprise me and have an amazing match.

Who I think should win: I’m a sucker for the happy ending at Wrestlemania. This is the only show where I nearly always like it when the good guy prevails and the crowd is sent home with a smile. I’m also a sucker for world title changes at Wrestlemania; it just helps make the event feel more special. Therefore, in my opinion, Batista should defeat Triple H and capture the world title. Besides, it isn’t like Hunter won’t be getting it back sooner or later.

Who I think will win: As I just said, it isn’t like HHH will be without the belt for too long, so I see no reason why he can’t drop it here. Then again he lost the title at last year’s Wrestlemania, will he be willing to do it again? Also, maybe they want Batista in a long term chase for the title, so that they can get a few more PPV matches out of it? And do they want both fan favourites winning their respective title bouts, or just one so that it stands out more? Those are points worth considering (at least as far as any points regarding wrestling could really be “worth” considering). I still believe Batista is going to win this one. But, one way or another, Triple H will likely have the belt back within a month or two.

Okay, that’s all she wrote for now. As I said at the beginning, some of this stuff might change and other matches may be put on the card between now and the 3rd of April. I hope all you wrestling fans enjoy Wrestlemania 21. I’m pretty sure I will.

by: Hillelman

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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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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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