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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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Test Drive Unlimited PS2 Cover Test Drive Unlimited. PS2 Review

Jason's patients are tested in this next gen hand-me-down

Sun, 23 September 2007

Jason Vorhees image by: Jason

This could be a difficult review, as I have played a demo of Test Drive: Unlimited, on the mighty white box of power, the Xbox 360 and comparing the two is like comparing horseshoes and hand grenades, however I will push on and try to review the PS2 version on its own merits (or lack thereof).

Its probably also worth mentioning that I haven't tested the game online, being one of the few PS2 games with an online component is something of a novelty, they are so rare that it is too much effort to find an Ethernet cable and hope that the other three people with online PS2's are also online, the short story is if you want to play online without a PC go buy an Xbox 360 or a Wii or a PS3.

Test Drive Unlimited PS2 Screen 1
It's true, racing captions are the most boring captions ever
Having said that, what we have here is a fairly solid if a bit bland racer. Rather than force you to drive around in circles on the same racetrack Test Drive: Unlimited gives you a whole Hawaiian Island to make your skidpan.

There is a vague reference to something resembling a plot but really it's a racing game. The premise is simple, buy car, drive car, buy new car, repeat as needed to obtain buttloads of cash, vehicle upgrades and a slick selection of the fastest motorized shopping trolleys.

Now once you've collected these chariots you're going to need somewhere to park them, just jump in the nearest vehicle and drive to your friendly neighborhood real estate agent who will have a selection of homes for you to pick from, everything from a tin shed to a massive mansion with the main focus being garage size (i.e. more cars- bigger garage).

Graphically we're pushing the humble PS2 but the game is far from ugly and special mention must be made of the scenery. Be it a winding mountain road or a quick blast along the beachside it's a definite step up from the painted on spectators in grandstands you usually glance once at and never pay attention to again in many racing games.

One thing a racing game must have if it's to hold your interest for more than five minutes is a good selection of cars. Well Test Drive: Unlimited gets a big tick in that department as there is a massive selection of overpriced and overpowered buckets with the main emphasis on luxury speeding fine collectors from such makes as Ferrari, Porsche and many others you or I will drool over but never drive.

Test Drive Unlimited PS2 Screen 2
For those with super vision, you can see a tin of Spam on the horizon
Naturally there has to be someone to attempt to bring an end to your hooning joy and that would be the boys in blue.

Drive too quick, bowl over some signs and soon enough you'll be treated to blue and red flashers in the rearview mirror, however when you've got several hundred horsepower under your right foot it's usually fairly easy to outrun them until they lose interest.

The one thing that can really annoy about this game is the GPS navigation system. At first it seems handy simply, select your destination on the map and away you go. That is until you are in the middle of a race when the pleasant female voice telling you to "turn left here" comes a bit late when you're traveling at upwards of 200 KPH.

So there you have it not an absolute stinker but if you're bored shitless with Gran Turismo and don't own a next gen system give it a go (if you're game you might make it four people online.

by: Jason

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Win a complimentary ticket to ACMI's "Game On"

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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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