Monday, March 3, 2014

Hey have you watched Game Center CX?

at 7:23 PM
Game Center CX is a Japanese TV show where comedian and game fanatic Shinya "Kachou" Arino ("Kachou" = "Chief") challenges himself to complete various retro games in a single (~14-hour) day. It's an hour-long program that edits together footage of Arino's playthrough with his goofy commentary and back-and-forth with the production crew, as well as occasional variety segments where the Chief does anything from visit a local arcade to showcase old Game-and-Watches to sing fan-written lyrics to chip-tunes. It's kind of like a let's play that doesn't suck. Arino challenges everything from major classics like Super Mario Bros. and Ocarina of Time to more obscure games like Atomic Runner and Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, of course hitting plenty of Japan-exclusives like quiz games, WaiWai WorldTom Sawyer no Bouken, and dozens more. There are over 150 episodes to date and the show is still running. Sometimes the Chief finishes in the allotted day, sometimes he doesn't, but it's almost always a grueling ordeal. 

Game Center is super-popular in Japan and has been running since 2003, and like everything that's popular over there, it has its dedicated following over here as well. It was brought to my attention through Retro Game Challenge (my runner-up GOTY 2013), which in its original Japanese incarnation is actually Game Center CX: The Game. There was actually a sequel, Game Center CX 2, that never made it out over here, as XSEED (the NA publisher) stated that Retro Game Challenge was far more expensive than the average licensing/localizing effort and did not turn nearly the expected results. 

Anyway I recommend checking out the show, it's a lot of fun. I have a lot of trouble watching video games (I have always despised let's plays) because it tends to be boring and occupy a bizarre space (essentially, I don't get why bother), but I'm enjoying this quite a bit. Here are some links to episodes I've recently enjoyed:

The Wings of Madoola - a Sunsoft action-RPG for NES that sees the Chief quite frustrated by a continue mechanic

Dragon Ball - the action/adventure Dragon Ball game for NES that is randomly unfair

Yuuyu's Quiz de GoGo! - a stupid quiz game but it's funny to watch the team struggle

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