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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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WarioWare Touched DS box WarioWare Touched! Nintendo DS Review

Do you enjoy rubbing and touching?

Publisher: Nintendo

Tue, 19 April 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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This is a tough one to review in some ways. You see, while I absolutely love it, in many ways WarioWare Touched! is not what I’d usually call a very good game. Fundamentally it is pretty limited. There’s very little depth to it, the gameplay is exceedingly basic and repetition sets in quite early on. Yet, despite all of that, I’ve played it (at least briefly) every night for the past couple of weeks and I think I’ll continue to do so for a while longer yet.

WarioWare Touched! is not a game that immerses you in some majestic adventure, where you explore a detailed 3D world. It is more like the old “Game & Watch” Nintendo games that many of us played as kids (in fact some of the mini-games actually are recreations of those Game & Watch titles). You just turn it on and play the simplistically presented games for the sheer fun and challenge of trying to top your highest score. If you enjoy that kind of thing, WarioWare Touched! is one of the most fun examples of it around, because it is all done in unique ways which implement the DS’ two screens, stylus control and even the microphone.

WarioWare Touched DS screen 1
I once knocked out Mike Tyson doing this!

The premise behind Touched is much the same as WarioWare on the Gameboy Advance. There are several characters in the game and each one presents you with a bunch of mini-games. They all have little cut-scenes and there is a semblance of a story to connect it all together, but I won’t go into that since, at the end of the day, it is insignificant. You definitely won’t be playing the game for the story, but at least everything is presented in a very humorous manner. The cut-scenes for each character are all utterly silly and goofy, which makes them quite amusing to sit through the first time around. After that you can (and you will) choose to skip them and go straight into the games.

Each character’s set of games uses a different type of control. Some require you to rapidly tap the screen, others have you dragging objects and some of them have you spinning things; all using the stylus on the touch screen (or sometimes by blowing into the microphone). Never do you use any of the actual buttons. You have to beat each mini-game within a strict time limit and as you progress the speed gets faster and the games get more hectic. The games are quite bizarre, such as: angling a pissing statue to put out a fire, unrolling toilet paper, blowing (literally) up balloons or tickling a nose until it sneezes. You never know exactly what you’re going to get. It is crazy stuff, but also addictive and great fun.

One of the many examples of the great use the game makes of the dual screens is the “boss stage” for one of the characters where you use the stylus to steer a remote control car. You have to move the car and have to avoid obstacles in the top screen. Meanwhile on the bottom screen a big goofball can be seen chasing after you. If you crash too often he catches up, gets on the top screen and captures the vehicle. Like, I said this is just one example, but WarioWare often shows how much of a difference having the two screens can make and has me very hopeful to see some of these great ideas explored and expanded upon in the future.

Another nice little addition is the toys you can unlock by achieving certain goals. While the majority of them are utterly useless, they are like little tech demos for the DS and some of them are really cool to mess around with. My favourites are the harmonica (which you play by blowing into it, just like a real one) and something called “Pyoro T” which is a whole little game of its own. I was also quite taken with the parrot that I taught to say “dickhead” by repeating it into the microphone (because I am mature like that).

The biggest criticism to be applied to WarioWare Touched! is that before long all of the mini-games begin to feel far less varied than they did at first. There’s only so much rubbing, tapping and swirling a dude can do before it is not new anymore! So the games don’t stay “fresh” for very long and, if that is what you were after, you could certainly lose interest. There’s not a whole lot to it. The graphics and (especially) the sounds are all nice, charming, whacky and perfectly functional but there’s nothing mind blowing here in a “traditional” sense. So if you judge the game on those merits it wouldn’t be all too successful. But I don’t think all games necessarily have to be judged the same way, some offer different experiences that put them almost into a whole different category. As I said at the beginning, none of those “problems” ended up bothering me. I’ve become quite hooked on trying to top my scores, repetitive or not and I tend to play in bed each night (there’s a potentially disturbing visual for you). I find it to be a nice diversion after spending the day playing more involving and complex games (yes, a big part of most of my days involves gaming, what an awful life right?), to just revert to a simple old-school “twitch response” game like this.

WarioWare Touched DS screen 2
Toilet paper should be in every game

There’s also a great deal of appeal here for a more general audience than usual. The new, but simple and intuitive control methods are really easy for non-gamers to get the hang of quickly. The whacky nature of it all is also more accessible for many folks. The kind of people (I guess you could call them “average people”) who show little interest in shooting demons, levelling up wizards or re-enacting battles from World War 2 are still quite likely to respond to the sheer silliness of WarioWare Touched’s content. Picking noses and pulling pants down: anyone can get a laugh out of that sort of thing. I’ve had people who rarely play any games get right into this one and I always enjoy seeing that. Great stuff Nintendo!


by: Hillelman

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All up I thoroughly recommend it. But those looking for a more “standard” type of game may be left wanting.

Overall:
12345678910118.5
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More Games


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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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