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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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Best of IC title dvd cover The Best of Intercontinental Championship. DVD Review

What's in a name?

Publisher: Shock

Tue, 14 June 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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The WWE has recently been releasing quite a few DVDs which are just straight conversions of some of their old video cassettes. They’re mostly only an hour or two in length and nowhere near as extensive as their more modern DVD compilations. This is all fine and dandy for the American fans, as these DVDs sell for much cheaper prices over there (about half price). But we Aussies, for some reason, are expected to pay the same price of around $30 for them, as we would for something newer like The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD that runs for 6 hours. That makes them pretty crappy value really, but for hardcore fans, they are a neat little bit of nostalgia and if you have the bucks to spend (or like me, you're just an idiot when it comes to stuff like this), well why not... I guess.

To be perfectly frank, there are some pretty lame matches on this one, but there a couple of good ones too. I just found it all quite charming though, the nostalgia factor kicked in for me in a big way and that really helped make it all far more appealing.

The compilation is hosted by the late, great Gorilla Monsoon and just seeing him introduce this “collector’s edition” as he put it, was enough to put a smile on my face. Each of these bouts is for the Intercontinental title (obviously) so that makes that particular portion of the DVD’s name accurate. The “best off” part, however, is a bit of a stretch. Anyway, let’s take a look at each of the matches included on the disc, which shouldn’t take all that long because there are only five of them, and I’ll tell you my thoughts on ‘em all...or, more likely, I'll just crap on about whatever comes into my head.

IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Crush
Sheffield, England 4/11/1993

This DVD should probably just be called “Some of Shawn Michael’s Intercontinental Title Bouts” or something like that, because of the 5 matches on the disc, 3 of them star HBK. That’s not necessarily such a bad thing though, because his matches are usually well worth watching.

Both these guys are sporting shocking mullets, with Crush taking the slight edge in the “battle of horrific hair styles”.

The commentary team during this one is Jim Ross, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. This line up leads to some pretty funny exchanges, with Heenan getting in some great gags, mostly at Randy’s expense.

Another notable addition to this match, for long time fans, is that the referee is Danny Davis. Davis played the role of “heel ref” during the late 80’s, who would allow (or even help) the bad guys to cheat. He was insanely “over” and hated by the fans at the time and he even ended up wrestling in a few matches himself. By this point though, all that stuff has been forgotten and he’s just back to being a regular referee.

This is a pretty entertaining match. Crush is in the role of “almost indestructible, ultra strong big guy”, which basically means he doesn’t sell much of Shawn’s offence and Shawn in turn bounces his arse off for everything Crush does. Shawn makes Crush look like a million bucks here and for his part Crush is, at least, one strong dude. I wouldn’t call this a classic by any means, but as a quality “big guy vs. small guy” clash it does the job. In case you wanted to know, Michaels lost via count-out, which means he still retained the belt.

IC Champ Bret “the Hitman” Hart vs. Skinner
Prime Time Wrestling 8/24/1992

I’m a big fan of Bret’s work, so I’ll watch anything with him in it. But this would not be one of my first choices! Skinner is Steve Keirn, from the influential tag team the Fabulous Ones and he was also one of several people to play the role of Doink the Clown, at one stage or another. The Skinner character is probably not one of Steve’s favourite career moments to look back on. Skinner is…well, he’s shithouse is what he is. A swamp dwelling alligator hunter, or something along those ridiculous lines, he has dirty pants (seriously, that was a big part of the gimmick!) and is apparently thoroughly unpleasant. Nobody ever gave a damn about him and can you really blame them?

The same commentators as for the last match are on board for this baby. Heenan is in fine form again (just as usual for him really) but Savage gets in one of the funniest lines: “Very mediocre leap-frog right there.”, after Skinner botches the move and falls flat on his face. Bret just looks at him with an amused smirk on his face.

There’s another “semi-famous referee” here too! This time it is Bill Alfonso, who ECW fans will recall as the skinny, whistle blowing goofball with the grating voice who managed the likes of RVD and Sabu.

As for the quality of the match itself….it is another okay one, but nothing close to being outstanding (which is what the words "best of" would lead you to expect). Bret is great as usual (unless you ask Ric Flair) but they only work a short match and Skinner, although not a terrible wrestler is just not at all over with the crowd, so the level of intensity suffers as a result. It is a bit of fun, but that’s about it. The Hitman wins it with the sharpshooter, after Skinner taps out almost instantly.

IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty
Raw 7/19/1993

This is a little more how I like it. These former tag partners, both excellent workers in their own right, square off here in a pretty sweet match.

Diesel (Kevin Nash) is in Shawn’s corner for this one. He looks quite hysterical; he’s wearing acid wash jeans that are tucked into his cowboy boots and a white leather jacket covered in shiny silver studs and he caps it all off with yet another mullet! The early 90’s sure were some stylish times. I am in no position to talk, in the early 90's I too rocked the mullet, complete with spikey hair on top.

On commentary we have J.R and Gorilla. It is a pity it isn’t Gorilla and Heenan (one of the all time best duos) but you can’t have everything.

The ref is Earl Hepner, so once again you could say he’s a well known one. Infamous would perhaps be a better description, though that really depends on your point of view. Regardless, Earl is a veteran referee and pretty well respected in his field. Mind you; that field is a rather odd one to begin with.

Michaels here (and each one of his 3 matches on the disc), while far from being fat, is in that slightly podgy mode he had for a few years, probably due to his…“lifestyle” at the time. But his work is no less impressive, so it doesn’t really matter. Marty, on the other hand, looks to be in excellent shape, but he wasn’t mister clean living then either (from most reports, including some of his own, he partied even harder than Shawn did), so he must’ve just been hitting the gym fairly hard. All of that is just an observation; it doesn’t make much difference one way or the other. I’ll watch a Mick Foley match over a Lex Luger one any day of the week, which just goes to show that physical appearance doesn’t automatically make a wrestler’s matches more entertaining.

As I was saying, these two were always capable of putting on good matches and knew each other extremely well, making it easy for them to work as opponents. I wouldn’t call this match an all time classic or anything, but it is certainly a good one. They keep up a solid pace throughout, plenty of flying about all over the ring and the crowd is well into it too. Michael’s retains his title after a false finish where Jannetty got the 3 but the ref reverses the decision because Shawn’s foot was on the rope. Not too shabby at all, this is one of my two favourite matches on the DVD.

Best of IC title dvd HBK pic
Do you love me? I sure do. You should get this DVD. It has me on it!

IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig)
Raw 5/3/1993

Here’s my other favourite bout on this thing. Michaels and Hennig is an excellent combination. The late Mr. Hennig was not too far off his Perfect moniker when he was firing on all four cylinders. He had the right look, power, speed, technical prowess, could work a crowd and made his opponents look awesome as he always bumped like a madman.

Vince is on commentary with Heenan. Before he became Mr. McMahon on TV, Vince would never mention that he owned the company and just played the role of a mere commentator. And he sucked arse. “Un-be-lievable!” Is one of Vince’s favourite things to say, so he says that over and over again. He also pretends to think there will be a 3 count nearly every time there’s a pin attempt; “One, two, he got him! No! Only 2!” This, of course, gets old really fast. But, because I grew up listening to him, I do get a nostalgic kick out his lame calls.

This is not the best match either of these dudes ever had and I always preferred Perfect as a heel. It is way shorter than I’d hoped for too and the finish with Hennig being counted out while Diesel holds his leg didn’t work for me. Even so, you won’t hear me complaining too much, because this is still entertaining stuff.

IC Champ Shawn Michaels vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Raw 5/3/93

The old Hacksaw. Man... that character just gives me the shits. He yells “Ho!” for no reason about every five seconds, makes stupid faces and has the crowd constantly chanting “U.S.A!” even when his opponent is also American. On top of that he wrestles a punch, kick, clothesline style and that does very little for me. But the guy was always extremely popular with the crowd, so plenty of people obviously found the character appealing.

The commentary team is Vince, Heenan and Savage. This combination is a bit of a clash of styles at times, but they still come out with some funny stuff. Savage is pretty much always a laugh for me to listen to, just because he speaks in such a ridiculous way. He has that voice that sounds as though he is severely constipated and gargles with rocks and to add to that he pronounces his words in some really strange and silly ways.

Michaels tries hard to make this match an amusing one and he comes pretty close to succeeding, but in the end it just couldn’t really hold my interest. It doesn’t completely suck though and is only a short one to sit through. If you like Jim Duggan you will probably get far more out of this one than I did. Jim wins it by a count out, meaning he (thankfully, in my opinion) didn’t get the title.

All told The Best of Intercontinental Championship is not really worth the full price. Having only five matches means the value just isn’t there and when 3 of those 5 feature the same guy the lack of variety really stands out. If you love Shawn Michaels you should really just get his From the Vault DVD instead, as that one has some way better HBK action on offer. If you can find Best of Intercontinental cheaper, or you have plenty of money to throw around (you lucky bastard) then it is a very brief but quite amusing stroll down memory lane and a nice little dose of mullet powered mayhem. Otherwise, there's nothing here to really justify spending your 30 bucks on.

by: Hillelman

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More articles by Hillelman

Only one hour of action and no variety means it is not worth $30, or the words "Best of"

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More Wrestling

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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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