Thursday, July 2, 2009

Games You Should Know About (But Probably Don't)

This time around, we look at a game that was released in the States in early 2009, but brings the nostalgia of hanging out with your friends around the warm glow of the NES. Not only that, but this game is based on of one of the best TV shows from Japan to yet hit Stateside. That show is Game Center CX (Which seems to be better known as Retro Game Master over here) and it is a must watch for old school gamers like me. The premise of the show focuses on Shinya Arino, a japanese comedian, playing video games from yesteryear, focusing primarily on Famicom (NES) games. He tends to play some of the harder games and challenges himself to either beat the game or accomplish a certain task within a certain time frame (usually, within a day). The show is also interspersed with other segments, such as interviews with people from the japanese gaming industry and visiting game stores and video arcades throughout Japan. It reminds me of the old video game shows I used to watch in late '80s (such as Video Power) before there was such a thing as G4 (Though it's not like G4 really does that anymore. Granted, Ninja Warrior is fucking awesome, but why the fuck do you feel the need to show Cheaters and Cops every two hours? Those shows suck.) Here's some footage from the show. He's playing Super Mario Bros. 2, which became known in the States as The Lost Levels. Anyway, the show is such a big hit in Japan (It's been running for 11 seasons!) that they made a DS game based on the show. It was released in America as Retro Game Challenge. In the game, you are sent back into the '80s by a virtual version of Arino and made to complete challenges to 8-bit games while you hang out with a young version of Arino. Which games do you play? Well, though they are supposed to be Famicom games, they are actually original creations. The only place you can play them is on Retro Game Challenge. The games range from shooters to racing games to a full-fledged RPG game. Believe it or not, these games are actually fun. I'm not a ginormous fan of Rally King, the racing game, but I do like it, as well as Cosmic Gate, a Galaga knock-off, Star Prince, a shooter more in line with Star Soldier, Robot Ninja Haggle Man, an arcade type platform action game that spawned two sequels, which Haggleman 3 plays more like Ninja Gaiden, and Guadia Quest, the anticipated RPG of the game. Each game has four challenges, which, when you accomplish all four, allows you to move on to the next game. The challenges are not really that hard, though. Usually, it involves getting to a certain level with some restriction. I actually breezed through most of it. The final challenge of Guadia Quest is taking some time for me to accomplish, as you have to beat the first boss monster in this dungeon which I haven't even reached yet. The game also features all the little details from playing those old games back in the day, like video game magazines and cheat codes for each of the games. In short this is my childhood wrapped up in a neat package and delivered right to my DS. There has already been a sequel put out in Japan, but XSEED games, the guys who localized the first game over here, may be passing on bringing the second one here, due to lackluster sales after the initial release of the first one. What does that mean? If you are an old school gamer, like me, and you don't own this game yet, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND BUY THIS, NOW! Also, Fuji Television, the TV company responsible for Game Center CX as well as the classic Iron Chef, are looking for international distributors for releasing the show on DVD. I certainly hope so. It would mean more old school goodness for us on the other side of the Pacific. I need to find out if there are petitions to see both the show and the second game come over here. Kaiser out

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