April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.

 

Game Center CX Season 7 – Back to Contents
#48
フシギな洋ゲー「アウターワールド」
One Strange Western Game – "Outer World"

Chousen

So far, season 7 has mostly been sequels to games Arino’s played previously. And while not a real sequel, this game at least harkens back to the Prince of Persia challenge. It’s the French masterpiece, Outer World (Out of This World; Another World)! It’s fairly difficult, too, so will Arino be forced to spend two days on this one like PoP?

Arino begins the game and is a bit amused by the Victor logo that blasts into the screen. Following the intro movie (and another Victor logo), the game begins. Aaaand dead. Arino didn’t realize the game started so swiftly, and that he had to immediatley swim up out of the water before being dragged down by the monster squid.

He gets it on the second try, and then starts looking around. He moves to the right and then is instantly killed by the leeches on the ground. He tries again, jumping past the leeches, but then getting killed by more of them on the next screen! He eventually gets past all of them, but then a huge black beast plops down, ready to attack. Arino runs in the other direction, trying to jump over the leeches again, but fails. And then he accidentally jumps toward the beast.

He tries running to the left from the beginning, jumping onto a vine, but all it does is take him back to the start. He continues to the right again, this time kicking the leeches to get rid of them. He encounters the beast again, and then starts running. He makes it all the way to the vine, but doesn’t jump in time! Dead again!

This time he nails it, swinging over the beast and running back the other way. The chase is intense, but when Arino reaches the end, he’s knocked back by a shady figure who kills the beast. But then Arino too is knocked out. The game continues … from inside a cage. He figures out he can swing the cage to and fro, but the guard below notices and starts yelling at him. Arino thinks it sounds like "depachika, depachika" (the, uh, basement of a department store). Eventually after enough swinging, the cage breaks off and crushes the guard, freeing Arino and his alien cellmate.

The two run to the next screen, but Arino is instantly blasted by another guard. On the next try he notices the Alien ran back to the cage, so he follows it there. The guards catch up, and there’s nowhere else to go! They zap the Alien, leaving Arino alone. He tries jumping forward, and a quick scene is shown where he grabs a gun. But a split second later, he’s killed. Now he gets it — grab the gun before running off. With the gun, he’s able to kill the enemies while his new friend helps get him through the prison.

While firefighting, Arino discovers the gun’s ability to create "barriers" that will absorb fire. Using that to his advantage, he and the Alien continue via an underground elevator. They reach a small room, but it’s blocked by a thin wall. Arino tries charging the gun, which works! The super shot blows the wall away, but it alerts the guard on the level below. The guard blows the walls in front of him, and then starts continuously shooting. Forever. Arino has no idea what to do, as he’s sure to die.

He tries jumping down anyway, and of course, dies. On the next attempt, he just blows the wall down and runs out before the guard has a chance to reach him. Duh! He then climbs up a ledge, where the Alien opens a trap door leading down into a series of ducts. Arino drops down there and then has to roll his way through the ducts without much light. To make matters worse, steam is periodically blowing through the vents, which instantly kills Arino. After a few failed attempts, he eventually makes it out of the maze and down to a new area.

Arino runs back outside and comes across a large gap. He tries to jump across, but is impaled on the rocks below. On the next try, he jumps down a ledge next to the rocks, then blows away a rock wall which takes him into a creepy cavern. He does some exploring, but is soon killed by falling rocks on a slope. More attempts pass, and he continues to die at the same section for over an hour. The rocks seem to always fall right where he’s running to.

In a stroke of luck, he gets past the rocks, only to be crushed by another set. Yeesh. After taking it slow, he gets past all of them, but then he’s eaten by toothy monsters in the ground, and then by the tentacles on the ceiling (which Arino equates to the doorway curtains at a love hotel). Eventually he learns that he should shoot the tentacles, then jump over the hole monsters.

He finally bypasses all of them, and reaches the end. An end; a dead end. Back through the cavern he goes. There was a large platform he shot down previously, but he was on the wrong side. This time he busts it down from the left, creating a ramp that will take him up to the next section. Brilliant.

He then reaches a small passage with a breakable wall and a lot of water above. It’s clear what’s about to happen. Arino busts the wall and the water comes flowing in, but he just stands there and watches himself drown. On the next few tries he starts running away, but he either doesn’t clear the jumps or the water catches up to him.

On the third try, he makes it, making up above the water just as it closes in. He moves forward, into another part of the prison. Before long he’s grabbed by a guard, and Arino has no idea what to do again. He’s eventually zapped and killed. On the next try, he realizes he should kick the guard. But then he’s shot again soon after.

The solution? Kick the guard then run back to the gun on the ground. Arino grabs the gun, but as soon as he points it at the guard and fires, they’re both killed! On the third try he nails it.

Arino finds his way back at another pool of water. He tries diving down, but once he sees it’s more than one screen deep, he climbs back out and runs to the other side. But then he comes across a guard that’s behind two barriers, and sends out some sort of rolling plasma mine towards him. Le-e-et’s go back.

After a bit of aimless exploring later, Arino encounters another few walls and a guard on the other side. He busts down the walls but, as usual, is zapped right after. He tries setting a barrier then running up to shoot the guard, but still no progress. At that point, AD Takahashi finally steps in. Certainly she’ll just play this part for him? No, instead she writes a couple of hints on the whiteboard, says "please do your best" and walks off. After Arino dies again, she comes back in and writes a third hint: "don’t break the wall!"

OK, then. Arino walks up to the walls and — hey, they slide open! They’re actually doors!(?) He turns around and they close again, and the guard’s mine rebounds off and rolls back to him, obliterating himself and leaving Arino safe.

In the next couple screens, Arino comes upon a series of green spheres hanging from the ceiling, much like the one above that other guard across the water. After some careful consideration, he shoots one of the spheres, which audibly drops onto the guard and kills him. Arino then rushes back to the pool and past the dead guard. He’s then chased by more guards as he runs down the hall. He’s eventually trapped and killed.

That is until the next time, when Arino stalls long enough by using barriers and a head pokes out from under the ceiling. It’s the Alien friend! His hand extends and Arino escapes the narrow firefight. The dynamic duo makes it outside and enters another building, but the Alien keeps getting killed right at the entrance, followed by Arino. Arino accidentally finds out he can walk up a path behind the building, sneaking past the guards while the Alien takes care of them himself. The two then run back outside.

The Alien tosses Arino across the rooftop outside, but the Alien doesn’t quite make it and gets caught on the awning, hanging on to dear life. With no clear way out of this pinch, Arino just leaps into the gap. In an insane stroke of luck (albeit luck predetermined by the designers), Arino lands on a lower awning and ends up in another passage. Whew!

He zaps another guard on the way in and enters what looks to be a cathedral of some sort. He runs into another wall with a guard behind it, but he safely destroys both by standing in the middle of the nearby stairs. Ha-haah! But then, another tricky spot, with a high road and a low road. Either path seems to lead to instant death for Arino. He spends about 30 minutes here with no progress. But then on one try, one of the guards rushing out the other end gets trapped behind the closed gate. Arino walks up to him, but he just stands there. The two stare each other down. Arino creeps forward a step or two, and the guard still doesn’t do anything. One last step and the guard instantly rushes forward and pummels Arino. Oops.

He takes the high road again, this time waiting for the guard up there to blast the wall away. Arino then follows by blasting the guard’s barrier, then zapping the guard. Success! He then warps down to another apparent dead end. He ends up going back to that trapped guard on the lower end.

AD Takahashi returns… but she has little for Arino other than a reminder of one of her hints. Arino returns to the staircase in the cathedral, where the guard there sends some mines down the steps. Arino kills the guard, then goes down the stairs to see that the floor at the bottom has been taken out by the mine! Ah haaaa. He jumps down the hole.

He then ends up in a holding quarters full of those black beasts, but is killed by guards in the next screen. The game then kicks him back to before the hole in the stairs was created. Grr. He makes it back through and ends up at another dead end. But there’s a lever on the wall! Arino pulls it and hops down a hole to see that the lever opened the beast cages! Chaos reigns! Poetic justice, bitches! Yeaa–oops, zapped.

Arino runs as far down the hall as he can until he’s warped up a level. He runs to the left and he reunites with the Alien! A platform extends, letting his friend jump down to safety. The two keep running forward and eventually they enter a large black tank. The tank rolls out into a coliseum and then stops. Arino doesn’t know what to do, and pretty soon the tank is blown up by a mine. Buh?

On the next try, an inset appears and shows Arino’s hand against a control panel on the tank. Arino keeps pressing the button on the panel, but it only delays another death. Third try: he presses the button more rapidly from the start, and it eventually activates the escape pods, which send him and the Alien flying.

Arino’s pod lands in a bath filled with alien women. He dashes out while guards continue firing at him, but dies on the first try. Eventually he continues forward, and the Alien buddy busts through a stained-glass window to rejoin Arino. But then the road is blasted away, and Arino falls through! Oh no! Just then, the Alien’s hand grabs his and pulls him to safety. Ahh.

But wait, this Alien isn’t friendly; he’s kicking Arino! The real Alien appears and tackles the other. A fight ensues, and Arino can only crawl towards the end of the room. He keeps pushing buttons, but it only makes his hand reach out. It’s not working! The bad alien wins the fight and starts walking toward Arino! Eventually he’s kicked off the edge to his death again.

Arino runs back through the entire sequence. He gets to the end of the room, mashing buttons the whole way and flips the switch there, which sends a laser down from the ceiling. It doesn’t do anything, though, and before long he’s dead again. Another failed attempt goes through. And then, finally, Arino figures it out! Can you figure it out? Well, yes — he needs to pull the switch when the bad alien enters the center.

On the next try he finally zaps the bad one, then crawls backward to save the friendly Alien. But then, enemy lasers start coming in! Arino’s dead again!! No!! Once again, it’s a matter of being too slow. He zaps the bad alien again, then gets to the center of the room just in time to be warped up to the roof.

And it’s there where the (disappointing) ending appears. Can you believe it? Arino finishes the game, and it’s daylight yet again! Season 7’s winning streak pushes on.

TamaGe

This TamaGe trip is in Odaiba, so t’s not too far from Fuji headquarters. Arino steps inside the Daiba Icchome Shotengai, part of a retro shopping center with a fairly large game center on the fourth floor.

It has a few nice-looking cocktail machines, including Space Invaders. But Arino sits down with Tehkan’s World Cup instead. He whips that trackball like a champ, but it doesn’t end up getting him the Cup.

The next game he tries is Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun (Renegade), but doesn’t do too well in that, either. After that, he moves on to Jaleco’s Captain Flag, a half-mechanical game based on the traditional flag-raising trickery game (used often in Mario Party). He plays by looking down and listening to his opponents’ cues, and manages to do pretty well … until the boss, where he loses.

He stands up to leave, but then decides to give it one more try. After beating the next opponent, he earns a bonus round where he must pick between two chests. He picks the wrong one, of course, and ghosts fly out.

The next game Arino tries is a ball-balancing game based on the anime Slam Dunk. He manages to get the ball into one of the goals, and gets a prize card as a reward. He takes the card over to the shooting gallery attendant, who gives him a candy as redemption. The guy then persuades Arino into grabbing a rifle and trying the gallery. He’s done well at them before, so why not?

He gets more than a couple of candies (thanks to some help from a hand behind the curtain), and then ends the day by going back to the cocktail games.

Game Kakeikaku

Arino leads a group of people from Indies Zero in a brainstorming session regarding the GCCX game. He pitches a general idea: Druaga’s 60 floors with Atlantis no Nazo’s 100 levels — Druaga no Nazo! A 100-level game with 60 floors each! Eeyeah, no.

Mr. Suzui from Indies Zero then shows a more complete concept of the game that he and his team thought up: a "game within a game," where the player plays a retro-style game on the top screen while something … else … happens on the bottom.

Arino rolls with it, and tries brainstorming from there. Something with bits of difficult games in it. Ninja Gaiden’s birds; Takeshi no Chousenjou’s 1-hour idle time (though the DS battery may not be up for that if the player fails!). Mr. Sasaki from Bandai Namco then suggests the game should be called Arino no Chousenjou …

So it’s decided: the official name of the game will be Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou! Suzui then presents Arino with the first character art from the game: a polygonized Arino with a controller crown, as the devilish game king Arrino (a play on Red Arremer?).

Game & Watch Hottokenai Yo

Today’s selection is the Multi-Screen Series, the obvious precursors to the DS. Besides that, it was also special for being the first games to use Nintendo’s iconic cross control pad. The first game Arino tries is Donkey Kong, from 1982. He gets to the top, but misses grabbing the crane that would make DK fall to his death. Oh well!

Next up is Oil Panic. Arino must fill the drum with the leaking oil, then dump it out to his partner below. The partner isn’t always where you want him, of course, so Arino fails the first few times.

And how much do these go for now? Super Potato sells both for 13,800 yen ($111). As usual, Arino decides not to buy them.

Game Collections: 1988: August

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