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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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spiderJ Happy Birthday Buttonhole. And oh, what heights we'll hit!

On with the show, this is it!

Mon, 9 January 2006

Sammy by: Hillelman

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I know it is a touch late of me, but Happy New Year to everyone. A quick word of warning- I'm going to do a much longer & more detailed Editorial than usual here. It'll be way more of a personal one too. Fear not, I don't intend to make a habit of this. For one thing, it is unlikely to be all that relevant to most of you. Plus, I doubt I'd really want to write 'em this way most of the time; it is supposed to be an Editorial column for Buttonhole, not my personal "blog". I just felt like doing it this way for the first one of the New Year, as a way to sorta mark the occasion. If it bores you to tears, feel free to just skim through it (or ignore it completely).

For me, the year 2005 was a strange mix of good and bad. I think every year is bound to be that way, to a degree. This one was just more extreme.

Most prominently (again, I'm speaking for myself here) on the downside, I had constant health problems and, unfortunately, that doesn't look set to ease off or change any time soon. Usually in the past my Crohn's disease will give me a break or two, of at least a couple of months here and there. But, for the past 12 to 14 months, it just hasn't let up for more than a few days in a row.

At the start of the year I had emergency surgery (with me and operations, they might as well just put a zipper on my guts to save some time), after they perforated my bowel during a "routine" examination (while colonoscopies aren't that unusual to me, since I've probably had- no exaggeration- at least 20 of them, "routine" still seems like an inappropriate way to describe the procedure). So, from that I can now say that I know, for certain, that having a perforated bowel isn't any fun (and it sure doesn't tickle). But I'd really have been far happier to be left just assuming that was the case. Anyway, that really set the tone for what I had in store, in terms of my health, during the days, weeks & months that followed.

Crohn's is a weird illness; I know, or have met, people with it who rarely have any trouble at all and others who are in a worse way than me, with terrible pain all the damn time. It seems to effect people differently, to the extent that you wonder if we even have the same affliction.

More recently, I have been having all sorts of strange mental problems. I was diagnosed several years ago as clinically depressed, so mood swings are something I've grown fairly accustomed to. I have always been a bit of a nut, but generally these days it is not in a negative way. I guess I'm more what is commonly, or politely, described as eccentric (indeed, people have often called me just that). Lately though, I have been freaking out for no real reason; paranoia, anxiety attacks and just feeling really odd and unhappy. One of the worst things about it was that I couldn't even summon any enthusiasm to write anything for Buttonhole. Every time I tried, it felt forced & resembled a chore. As this is usually something I love more than just about anything and consider a great deal of fun, such a feeling was most disconcerting. I couldn't understand it, because I really tend to be able to handle my chemically imbalanced brain quite well and stay pretty happy most of the time.

Then I remembered that one of my medications can do that to me, as it has done several times in the past. I just forgot how severe it could be, because it has been a few years since I've needed to remain on such a high dose for this long a period. It was actually a relief to figure out what was going on. That's the nature of this beast- if it isn't the illness itself f*cking you up, it'll be the side effects of the drugs. The main thing is though, I know how to handle it, now that I'm aware of what I'm dealing with. So, I should now be able to get back to enjoying Buttonhole fully, being my easy going self & having all sorts of geeky fun. Phew, that's a relief!

Of course, I wasn't the only one last year who had problems to deal with. Obviously there were all kinds of heavy things going on, all around this planet of ours (stuff that is surely far more imposing than anything most of us have to worry about), you only need to have watched the news or read the papers every so often to be aware of that. But I am referring to matters of a more personal nature.

Some of my relatives and close mates (including some fellow Buttonholers) also had serious problematic issues and setbacks of various kinds to contend with. Actually, a couple of them were extremely similar to those emotional type difficulties I was just talking about. It is never pleasant to see people you know and care for suffering. I truly hope things go more smoothly for them (us!) this year than they did in the last one.

There are plenty of other crappy things I could go on about, but it is best not to dwell too much on such matters. I will say though, something that hit the wrestling fans amongst us hard in '05 was the death of Eddie Guerrero. I remember saying on the Forums earlier in the year (months before his tragic passing) that he was in the top five of my favourite wrestlers of all time. That's how highly I regarded him as a performer. I also just flat-out liked the guy. I mean, I never actually met him, but I felt like I knew him. So that sucked a big fat one, especially after he fought so hard to get clean and back on the right path. Still, the grief us wrasslin' fans felt must be nothing compared that of Guerrero's family and friends.

For things I can bitch about from the previous year, I'll end it with this (less serious) one: Tom Cruise. I'd pay good money to see The Gimmick piledrive that douche through the Spanish announcers' table.

So, yeah, all of that shit was a total drag. On the flipside, however, numerous things took place this year that would easily rank as some of the greatest and most highly pleasurable things I've experienced in my entire 29 (and counting) years of existence. And I'm not talking about any sexual exploits (though I probably would, if I'd had any of much note to recall of late).

Let's see here... well, for starters there was plenty of the big L going around. That's right- love. Love is all you need, as some pommies once sang. Mind you, it is much easier to say something like that when you're stinking rich and have plenty to eat and drink. Nevertheless, love is wonderful thing, I wouldn't argue with that.

There were betrothals and the like aplenty. Two that immediately come to mind: Stewart, a very good friend of mine, married a super cool chick known as Belinda. And Buttonhole's Assistant Editor, Lead Software Developer and Tech Support (aka "the guy with lots of titles") Special K got engaged to Madame Hooplah, who you just know is a rockin' person, since she's my sister. Their wedding will be taking place on the 5th of May.

To go along with the wedding bells and lovey dovey atmosphere, quite a few of my acquaintances started popping out the squids (in other words, having kids). Michelle and Milan (and their respective partners) were the first two cabs off that rank. The most recent additions to the new parents brigade were Buttonhole's very own (nobody else would have him) Mugwai & his beautiful wife Miss. We'll have to get their baby Declan to do some reviews, maybe about which nappies he likes the best, or something like that.

There were so many other cool things that happened to me and those around me in 2005 that I could go on all night (and some might say I already have). The most obvious one, and the one that I've gotten the biggest kick out of personally, is of course this website: the mighty Buttonhole! We officially launched in January '05, so this month marks our first anniversary.

That really means that for 2005 the good did outweigh the bad in my life, because Buttonhole would have to be about the best thing I could ask for. Thanks again to everyone who helped make it happen. We've grown so much so quickly that it never ceases to amaze me. As far as I'm concerned, it has been an absolute blast. As killer as our first year was, I reckon our second is set to be even better. And that gets me so excited...they'll probably make it illegal soon. Rock on, baby! Woooo!


by: Hillelman

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For the year of 2005: Top score for the crappy stuff & ( more importantly) top score for the good stuff.

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Don't damn me, when I speak a piece of mind
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Friends will arrive, friends will disappear
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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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