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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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Sony PSP logo Buttonhole's Sony PSP Report

Sony portable hits Australian shelves and Sammy's Hands!

Thu, 1 September 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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What a day this has been. What a swell mood I’m in. Why it’s almost like being in love. Yes indeed, as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing better in life than the launch of a new video game system. Sony’s PSP has finally officially reached Aussie shores! If you can spend a few minutes with one of these things and not be impressed, then you are one jaded son (or daughter) of a bitch.

Nintendo’s DS wooed me with its innovative ways and the refreshingly unusual experience its games can provide. The PSP on the other hand, is not doing anything that hasn’t been done before, but it makes it look so nice that it all feels brand new. Basically, it is just drop dead gorgeous. Once your eyes get a load of that immaculate screen, it really is hard to stop staring at it. The clarity of the picture is truly amazing; it reminds me of how it felt to watch movies on DVD for the first time.

When Nokia released their N-Gage they were attempting to give consumers a "cool" and "mature" handheld gaming device. Everyone knows that Nokia failed miserably, as the design of the thing was poor from the get go, it was awkward looking (in other words, not cool at all) and had no games at launch good enough to justify the high price of the system The PSP however, is the real deal. It is beautifully designed, slick and stylish. I’ve never really thought of a game system in terms of how cool it is, I just like to play games and I don’t give a shit how I look to others while I’m doing it. But, I have to admit, the PSP really is cool. I reckon people will want to be seen with one of these suckas. And the launch software line-up is very nice too.

At $399(Aus) the PSP "value pack" has a debatable title. But considering how impressive the technology is and the numerous things the system can do, it is not really an unreasonable price. What you get with this bundle is: The PSP itself (yeah, no shit right?), AC Adapter & power cord, battery pack, ipod-esque white headphones/remote control, 32MB memory stick duo, wrist strap, protective pouch, cloth (for wiping the screen) and a demo UMD (the discs that PSP uses). The demo has some preview footage of several games and some music video clips.

Early purchasers can also register their PSP online, after which Sony will send you a free copy of the Spider-Man 2 movie on UMD along with some other goodies. When they first announced the movie feature, I didn’t think I’d want any UMD movies for the system. After all, why buy a second copy of a film I have on DVD just to watch it on a way smaller screen? But after seeing how good they look on PSP, I can’t wait to get my free Spidey 2 to watch in full! Especially as I can do it when I take my plane trip to Sydney (or whatever it might be).

The sound quality of the speakers is pretty good too, but with the headphones it improves dramatically. You can get extra speakers for the system and if you happen to watch movies regularly on it with others that might be worthwhile, but I don’t see myself doing that. The headphones are definitely the way to go for individual users and I’m very happy with the quality of the ones that come with the package. Pop those badboys into your ear holes, crank the volume and you're away.

Sony PSP pic 1
It looks even better in "real life".
I always say that it sucks that no systems come with a game at launch any more, but that’s just not looking as though it’ll change. The demo UMD will show off exactly how incredible things look on the PSP screen, but other than that it isn’t going to entertain anyone for any extended length of time. So, you’ll definitely need to stretch your budget even further and pick up a game to go with your PSP. I chose Wipeout Pure as my first PSP game because, as WWE wrestler Christian would say, that’s how I roll. I’ll have a full review of that game up in the next few days too, but I can tell you right now that it rocks.

I also picked up some other gear for my PSP, most notably a PC link cable so that I can download stuff onto the memory stick. I needed that right away because having Jessica Alba in her Sin City costume as my PSP’s wallpaper is not something I could have coped without. You can save your digital photos to the memory stick as well as music, video and games. Wipeout Pure, for example, already has some extra courses available for download.

The PSP fits fairly snugly into the users hands, not quite as comfortably as a dual shock pad, but not too shabby all the same. The button layout is most familiar if you’ve spent any time using a PlayStation 1 or 2 and it works very well. It also has a little analogue "nub" under the digital directional buttons; at first that looks like it would be way too awkward to use, but in actual fact it is quite easy to get accustomed to.

Some people will probably want to know which I think is the better portable system; PSP or DS? My honest answer is…I don’t really know. I love them both. But I know that’s not what people want to hear. So I’ll say that, right now, I prefer the PSP, purely because I just got it. Plus, Wipeout is a favourite of mine that I’m stoked to see back in such fine form. However, there are some DS titles set for release (check my E3 articles) that I think will rule and most of them can only be done on the dual screened wonder. So I’ll say PSP is my pick right now, but DS will likely be my favourite again in the near future. If that answer is not definitive enough for you, well tough shit, that’s all you’re getting! At the end of the day, I reckon both have plenty going for them and either way I am one happy gamer.

Looking at the PSP’s widescreen in action, the images are so crisp and have a depth to them that is hard to believe. So yes, it is cool and sexy and has all sorts of neat bells and whistles. It also plays games, which is of course my main concern, and I’m happy to say that, so far on that front, things are looking sweet. Speaking of games, I’ll leave it there, because I want to get back to playing Wipeout Pure.

by: Hillelman

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More articles by Hillelman

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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)

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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