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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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Blazing Angels Xbox 360 box Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WW2. Xbox 360 Review

Jason takes to the skies in a blaze of glory

Publisher: Ubisoft

Thu, 8 June 2006

Jason Vorhees image by: Jason

One type of games I normally steer clear of are flight Sims, as I have a nasty habit of losing track of the large flat solid object more commonly known as the ground and having a close meeting with it, usually at high speed resulting in a fiery mess. However Blazing Angels has a very arcade feel and, while being challenging, doesn't require a commercial pilot's license to play.

You start the game as a rookie pilot and after the obligatory training mission where you do all the things you would expect i.e.: taking off (the starting of the engine is a nice little detail, you rotate your right analogue stick to spin the propeller),making turns, shooting balloons and practicing bombing runs by dropping leaflets on a church. Eventually you will progress to an air ace in command of your own squadron, although from personal experience your wingmen always seem to disappear as soon as the bullets start to fly.

Blazing Angels Xbox 360 screen 1
The calm before the storm
You may have noticed I haven't commented on landing your plane, as I have yet to encounter a mission that requires you to land. Possibly the game subscribes to the school of thought that if you do actually manage to get one of these crates off the ground, very shortly you will be sitting astride a flaming chariot of death, thus foregoing the need for learning how to land.

The controls are sweet, the developers have managed to take something on the difficult side (i.e.: flying a plane) and make it so even a ham-fisted controller masher like myself can make it appear as though he actually knows what he's doing. The left analogue stick controls your steering (up, down, left and right turns) while the right stick controls your speed and rolling left and right, the right trigger is your machine guns and before you jump to the conclusion that the left trigger is for bombs its not, bombs and torpedoes are dropped with a click of the right stick. The left trigger controls possibly the greatest innovation in the history of flight sims, a follow cam, by holding said trigger the camera will lock onto your chosen target and stick to it like; well...really sticky stuff. Never again will you make a pass in a dogfight and then spend the next 10 minutes lining up for another run. In fact, with a combination of the follow cam and braking and accelerating you can pull off maneuvers that would make the red baron spin in his grave.

Graphics, well the game has them, as all games do; one mission involves the battle of Brittan and from my complete lack of anything resembling knowledge of the geography of England it's a very decent representation with a big tower, a bridge and some other large buildings all rendered in the highest possible detail most of witch you wont notice unless you have a close encounter of the ground kind. But seriously though, this game looks awesome with a very cinematic feel at times really drawing you in.

Sound-wise everything is ok, planes make plane noises, and all the weaponry sounds suitably destructive. However, the music is a bit of a letdown - with the developers trying a bit too hard to expand the cinematic feel with orchestral filler music. My suggestion is to turn the in game music down, throw some tunes on your 360 and listen to whatever the hell you like.

Blazing Angels Xbox 360 screen 2
Pearl Harbor sucks, and I miss you
At some point you're probably going to get bored with the main campaign, so its just as well the developers have thought to include a fairly sizeable assortment of other play modes. There's a basic arcade mode with the "keep killin' till yer dead" approach, or you can have a one on one duel with a fighter ace. Bored with that? Then grab a mate for some multiplayer fun. There are more modes than you can poke a propeller at and if you haven got any mates(or at least any that like flight sims), then challenge the world to a dogfight on Xbox live.

Overall Blazing Angels is a fun game (isn't this why we play games in the first place) that will probably offend flight sim purists for being too "arcadey". Well, to hell with them and, given the choice at the moment, you can either take it or leave it. For the rest of us, it's a solid gaming experience sure to provide hours of entertainment.

by: Jason

More articles by Jason

Snoopy beat the Red Baron. If a small white dog flying a doghouse can do it, what's stopping you from having a go?

SmartArtist Web Hosting

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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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