Retro Game Challenge
The UK has (Dr.) Ashens. America has the Angry Video Game Nerd. And as for Japan? Japan has Arino of Game Center CX. Who happens to be the star of this video game as a matter of fact, more or less.
On his show (Game Center CX) he challenges video games. Not the crappiest or worst (though at times he does those as well), but a fine mix between the most beloved and the hardest games ever thrown at a player. For the first so many seasons he played only Famicom (NES) games, but later he added onto his plate Super Famicom (SNES) games… kinda really makes him a suitable counterpart to the AVGN since they both frequent the gaming lists of the NES and SNES. (Sadly my exposure is but the tip of the iceberg! Only so many content episodes have been fan subbed while there is like over 90 in total, which means quite abit of content is still out there waiting to be subbed… by someone…)
But that’s not the only comparison I can make between them! They both have had brushes with the nigh impossible gaming franchises (beloved but oh god are they hard to crack!) For the AVGN that have to be Castlevania while Arino it was Ghouls and Ghosts… and most recently Prince of Persia (the latest two episodes out from tvnihon.com is him challenging Prince of Persia on the Super Famicom).
Both have challenged and beat (after much hardship) Transformers : Secret of Convoy (though AVGN did beat Level 10, what Arino failed to do).
And both sunk their teeth into hard to beat puzzling “mystery” games. AVGN it was Milon’s Secret Castle, for Arino it was Mystery of Atlantis.
Of course never tell a die hard AVGN fan the similarities, they’d just get pissed off and curse you out and say foul things… they get so bent out of shape over the littlest thing it seems! Man! I am a total fan of the AVGN but I’d never get that bent out of shape over
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And the two even share a similar creation of a game about them. Of course for the AVGN it’s a card game, while Arino has TWO actual video games made by BANDAI NAMCO based on his challenging old school video games, this game and one more that most of us fans of this game wish would sooner or later be finally released by XSEED (but which they often vowed will never ever happen… the jerks). (He even appears in three forms in the game. One of course a static still image, two as the virtual “master” talking head in cyberspace who challenges you to all the challenges of the game (your nemesis) and as “young Arino” in the past (who teams up with you as your support and cheerleader… latterly your cheerleader but more on that in a minute)). Oh, and others from the show (including past assistants who helped him on challenges) also make appears in the GameFan magazines that appear in this game (Where you get cheat codes and help on games that you are challenging).
The premise of the game is simple enough. Arino, rather tired of being beaten by others in modern games (he never challenges new games, only classics) has escaped into the world of his DS (and virtual reality) to challenge games across the world to retro game challenges. You happen to be his latest target so he offs you to the 80’s where you find yourself in Arino’s living room with Arino himself (younger version) playing classic 80’s games on his Famicom… hmm… now all we need is for a game company to make a AVGN game where you go back to the 80’s and team up with a young AVGN… hmm… if only they could get past all the foul language though. Oh well.
The real notable fact of the games is, besides the fact they’re all clones of actual games (since apparently while the companies didn’t mind Arino challenging their games on TV, or at times sending actual help in the form of staff to help him play said games, they drew the line on actually allowing their games to be ported to this game… so they had to make clones of the games in question) they’re also games that Arino himself challenged in the show. Games like Cosmic Gate
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The games are engrossing and fun, and once you beat all the first challenges you unlock the full game which means you can play all these games to your heart’s content whenever you want (and you can’t beat the game until you beat all the games completely since it’s the last challenge of the game).
What are the few flaws of the game? Hmmm…
1-While I can’t say I was totally turned off by the one driving game (Rally King) I really didn’t like that the game had both the original and the promotional giveaway tie in version with a ramen or saimin company (something with cup o noodles type food). Just beating the game once was enough for me, didn’t want to do it twice. Could have put a different 80’s retro game in place of the second version of Rally King.
2-I liked the third rendition of Haggle man (the one set in the Ninja Gaiden style side scrolling gameplay) but why is the game so hard to complete?!? The last level is a nightmare to finish in terms of the boss(es) you have to fight, and it’s the same boss only the second time around it’s way harder than the first time! (And why the same boss over and over and over again, at least in Ninja Gaiden the boss was varied and different each level!)
3-It seems to me you don’t really get to bond with young Arino enough in the game, and while talking with him is nice the flavor text could have been just a wee bit better, or mainly not just stop when your at the last challenge of beating all the games, as it seems he only wants to remind you of your final challenge and not trade banter with you like before once you get to the last part of the 80’s and the final challenge.
3a-OK. Just kidding. My real complaint is that we didn’t need so many copies of Rally King AND Haggleman. I
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4-More use of the beloved staff of Game Center CX would have been nice. They only sparingly appear in photos in the game magazine, and only a few of them despite the fact a larger cast is listed on the credits page in the back of the book. Also while I think maybe you’ll hear Arino’s voice in the end of the game having him do abit of voice dubbing in the overall game would have been nice. Sure it would have been in Japanese but that’s what subtitling is for!
5-Finally, and this is not as much a hit on this game as it is XSEED, just how many copies do you want all of us to buy before you release the sequel! Come on! Just give us the sequel already because we loved this one so we’re sure to swarm in and pick up the next one… hopefully.
After this? Well apparently since you’re at the dawn of the 90’s you might as well just keep on going and roll into the 90’s with an older Arino as the 2nd game is all about 90’s ports. And once again there’s games that have more than one port (the two games that are knockoffs of (Super) Ghouls n Ghosts, or Ghouls and Ghosts (Famicom) and Super Ghouls n Ghosts (Super Famicom) respectively), and the return of the same RPG as the first (now in a new game era and better than before) but still I’m hyped about this game even if I may never play this game… stupid XSEED, come on and just port it already!
Well if you can do make sure to pick up a copy of the classic original Game Center CX… aka Retro Game Challenge. The more copies are sold I guess the closer we might get to Game Center CX 2... Maybe… anyway 5 out of 5. Enjoy the game, head on over to tvnihon.com and enjoy the downloads of Arino’s many challenges… just enjoy. Nuff said.
Now hurry up, XSEED! Sometime in my lifetime why don’t you! Sequel me!
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