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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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Tony Hawk Project 8 Box Tony Hawk's Project 8. Xbox 360 Review

Jason grinds the 360 version of Mr Hawk's latest game

Publisher: Activision

Wed, 14 February 2007

Jason Vorhees image by: Jason

Tony Hawk, "the birdman", "the chairman of the board" - call him what you will the man does know his way around a skateboard and with this, the eighth installment in probably one of the most accessible and recognized games in the industry, one would hope he knows his way around a videogame as well.

The Premise is simple(as well as virtually unchanged from the rest of the series) - Tony is putting together a group of the top up and coming skaters called, you guessed it Project 8 and its up to you to climb from nobody to skating legend.

Tony Hawk Project 8 screen1
Is that Brodie? Nah, I think his name is Earl. Or it could be "Pickle F*#ker"
One of the first things you will notice is that the create-a-skater section of the game has been trimmed down considerably, no more can you spend hours setting up your character to resemble you in every detail; instead you can slightly customize a selection of 5 premade personas (none of which really grabbed me). Its then on to the tutorial section, Hawk veterans will breeze through this with their eyes shut and others will be given a good grounding in skills to start on.

Probably one of the main features of this latest incarnation is the "nail the trick mode" which basically gives the control scheme a big boot in the arse, you find yourself a picture of a nail on the ground, rail, ramp etc once you leave the ground the viewpoint shifts to a close up of your feet and time slows slightly now your left analogue stick controls your left foot and vice versa with moving of the feet rotating or spinning your skateboard. Now this is probably screaming gimmick right about now but by clicking both analogue sticks you can incorporate "nail the trick" into normal tricks and combos.

Now we take a, trip back in time about 12 months give or take a little game called Tony Hawk's American Wasteland came out and made a big promise; NO LOADING SCREENS. Partially this was true, true in the sense that there were no screens with LOADING on them instead we had the innovation of "loading tunnels" i.e.: a tunnel that allowed access from one area to the next.

Tony Hawk Project 8 screen2
Dope trick. people still say "dope"? Man, I'm getting old. Not as old as Tony Hawk though.
This time around it is true, seamless transitions from one level to the next, well I use the term level very loosely as the whole game is basically one level with areas being locked off to begin with and only opening when you have created some true Tony Hawk style destruction i.e.: knocking stuff over, blowing shit up (not something you would expect to happen in a skateboarding game but trust me it happens).

Sound wise I feel that the series has taken a bit of a nose dive. Don't get me wrong, the actual effects sound great but the music, in my opinion, is a bit of a letdown with more obscure bands you've never heard of (although I'm fairly sure there's a Wolfmother track in there somewhere, much like every second game released lately). Although, as always with the white box of joy that is the 360, you can soon dump some tunes off a CD onto your hard drive. Graphics wise the game looks great but it's not a stunning visual masterpiece. Still if you want art, go to the museum.

The bottom line is if you're looking for a skateboarding game for your 360... well, you don't have a lot of options. It is either Tony, or learn to ride a real skateboard. However Activision and Neversoft really have their shit together, so if you're bored of killing anything that moves, or saving the world or driving really fast then tie your fingers in knots pulling off massive combos in this. Its definitely one of those games that will have you swearing and throwing controllers one minute and pumping the fist yelling "YES!!!" the next.

by: Jason

More articles by Jason

Same shit different day, but on the other hand, as a wise man once said "if it aint broke don't fix it". This series just goes from strength to strength (just forget about that second "underground" one). Go forth and play!

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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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