Game Center CX Season 12 – Back to Contents
Caught Up With the Times! "2010 Street Fighter"
Happy New Year from Arino! With 2009 and another decade behind us, Game Center CX returns for 2010 with the hauntingly accurate Famicom sci-fi action game 2010 Street Fighter (or "Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight" as you may know it). Of course, it’s not accurate, and in fact has nearly nothing to do with the real Street Fighter series. It is, however, quite challenging. AD Emoto personally delivers the game to Arino, and the challenge begins.
SF2010 tells the story of bionic warrior Kevin (or Ken in the English version), tasked with defeating some bionic menaces over several planets. Stage 1-1 is just a large enclosed area with a few enemies flying around. Arino then spots the boss character he’s supposed to defeat, Red Sting. Unfortunately, Red Sting loves to fly around and be a nuisance, and it’s tough for Arino to get a lock on him. Eventually the kacho is killed.
On the next life, he grabs a Shot power-up, which improves his punch beams (or whatever they’re called), but soon, he’s depleted of life again and gets the first Game Over. In the interim, Arino asks, "what happened to Dhalsim?" More missteps lead to more deaths, but on one try, Arino gets a second shot power-up, and manages to keep Red Sting still for a few seconds. He still gets away, though, and Arino is killed again.
Eventually, Arino learns Red Sting’s movement patterns and manages to chip away at his health enough until he’s finally destroyed. The stage is complete! Arino grabs a glowing floating thing, and then the words "FADE IN" appear onscreen. Arino walks around a corner of the screen, but nothing’s happening, aside from the "OPEN" meter counting down. When it’s empty, Arino dies. Turns out there was an exit portal not too far away, but Arino didn’t reach it in the 10 seconds it’s open for. Oops! Time Over!
On the next try, Arino defeats Red Sting again, and this time finds the exit on the other side of the stage. It’s been a slow start, but he finally makes it to stage 1-2. This is just a tiny room with the next boss, the apelike commando Brian, inside. This enclosed one-on-one fight is most similar to a real Street Fighter game, but it’s still more like a Mega Man boss fight. At any rate, Arino defeats Brian on one try, and leaps to the exit.
Stage 1-3 is a forced-scroll stage, so Arino has to think a little faster — but he’s killed by a missile within seconds, and then squished in between the screen and the wall later on. On the final life, he makes it to the boss, Androboy, but the huge blocks he tosses are too much for Arino to dodge right now, so it’s another Game Over.
On the next try, Arino wins just by a few well-placed hits, and then it’s on to 1-4. This is a weird stage, though, with a psychedelic background and multiple froglike monsters to defeat. That’s easy enough, and then Arino enters 1-5, and is inmmediately defeated by the boss, Electric Tommy.
Tommy can override capsules that split out dangerous electric beams, and the layout of his stage is a little tight, so Arino has trouble getting around. But soon enough, he catches Tommy in a pattern where he just jumps back and forth above Arino. Several vertical attacks later, and Arino’s done with Planet 1.
Stage 2-1 is a plantlike area, dotted with nasty organic enemies. The exit is opened, but Arino is killed just as he gets close. A couple more tries and he makes it through without a scratch, but 2-2 is another forced-scroll stage — vertically, even! Arino has to keep climbing to risk death, then make it to the top and defeat the boss, Flower Head. The mutant plant hops around and spits seeds, providing two challenges that Arino has trouble with.
At one point, Arino grabs the Hyper Shot power-up, which shoots short homing beams as Arino punches. These track Flower Head just well enough to hit and destroy it, making an easy victory for once. 2-3 features more climbing, and a bunch of "Turtle Eye" enemies that fly around and hurt Arino along with the regular missile drones. A couple more deaths, though, and he finally opens the exit.
After another psychedelic stage, Arino makes it to 2-4 to face the largest boss so far: a giant red monster with one big eye and a penchant for dripping some lethal bio material. Arino has to wait for the drops to harden and form pillars so he can reach up and hit the eye, but its unpredictability keeps throwing him off. Again, he wishes Dhalsim was around in 2010, then he could just reach up and hit the boss.
Once he gets the hang of it, Arino lets four pillars rise up and starts hitting the eye. Unfortunately, the drone enemies keep hitting him, and pretty soon he’s dead again. "Is this the last boss?" Arino wonders. Laughs from the back say it all.
A couple more tries, and Arino finally destroys the monster, and hurriedly makes it to the exit. Onto Planet 3, where the first stage includes the return of Red Sting. Here, Arino grabs a new item, the Flip Shield Capsule, which lets him perform a backflip move that’s also a bit invulnerable.
There’s a lot less places to stand on, so Arino is forced to stay on a tiny block and try to knock down Red Sting from there. He eventually does, but then, two more Red Stings show up! Before long, he’s killed again by the tag team. And again, and again… you know how it goes. Finally, AD Emoto reappears with some help.
Emoto offers to defeat the first two Red Stings for Arino, and then the kacho will finish things off. Emoto naturally bounds around the stage with expertise, but he’s not perfect, taking a few hits and dying before he can even land a hit on the first Sting. After shaking off the shame, he gets back to it, and engages the first two Stings, only to die again.
Emoto takes about 30 minutes in his attempts, but eventually kills the first two Stings. He pause and passes the controller to Arino, who also fails to land a hit and just dies. Silence, long pause. "…Once more, [Emoto], if you would."
Emoto does his part much quicker, but is down to one life point. Once Arino gets the controller back and unpauses, the Red Sting swoops down and kills him in half a second. Emoto buries his head in laughter. The process begins anew. Will the two men manage to get past 3-1?
One more attempt. This time, Arino has near-full life, and in a heart-stopping moment, manages to kill the last Sting just as he’s hit and has one-half of a life point remaining. A mad dash to the exit finally ends this singular nightmare.
Stage 3-2 starts with an underground fight with the seemingly armadillo-headed Mamee. He teleports often, showing up next to Arino and attacking. It’s awfully tricky, but it only takes two tries for Arino to learn to hug the wall and just hammer the boss with punches. A psychedelic room follows, but the exit is too far up for Arino to reach. Well, until he realizes on the next try that he can just ride the flying enemies nearby.
3-3 features some sort of small parasite that can attach itself to the sandy floor and manifest a sand creature. Getting a hit on it is hard, as it loves to dark across the ground, and kills Arino several times. At one point, Arino opens the exit, only to be killed by another enemy right afterward, and then the same thing happens again.
Stage 3-4 starts with a ride down a sand waterfall (sandfall?), but it’s not quite a coast for Arino, as he still needs to avoid annoying sandworms that hone in on him. Like clockwork, he dies just as he comes within mere pixels of the exit.
Arino survives on the next attempt and makes it to stage 3-5, where he must fight a green meanie riding on a sandworm. Its tiny projectiles are just enough to disorient and kill Arino multiple times. He jokes that his daughter will be in college by the time he’s done with this one, but it’s a little less than a generation when he finally beats the damn thing. He can see his girl into adulthood after all!
On the next stage, 4-1, Arino grabs a helpful "Back Option" item; a little drone that follows and protects him. 4-2 is much more confounding, though, taking place on a giant green formation that moves up and down, potentially squashing Arino in between the ceilling. It also auto-scrolls (of course!), but Arino just can’t manage to survive long enough to reach the boss.
Before long, he’s handed the clock. He has five more lives, so this will have to be his last chance for the day. On the next try, he makes it to the end of the stage to face the boss, but it jets in and out and eventually kills him. With three lives left, though, Arino finishes the stage.
In another psychedelic stage, though, a clone of Mamee appears and kills him immediately. And again. And two more times. Game Over. After a moment to think about where to go from here, Arino decides that it’s important to have confidence… but he’ll give up, instead.
Remember when Arino went to a grungy batting center? Well, the Ikebukuro Batting Center is a lot nicer, and that’s where we are today. It’s on the roof of a general sporting center, and of course, has a sizeable game center inside.
Arino starts with the games, and notices a wall of autographs by the entrance, slightly implying a desire to his own name up there. But the first game he tries is Tsukan de Pon, a prize game where you grab the balls coming up throug a hole and then try and toss them into the pig’s mouth, the challenge heightened by the narrow arm holes you have to poke through. Arino does okay, but is more concerned with his arm hurting.
And yet the next game he tries is Sonic Blast Man. You may know it as a Super NES beat-em-up, but it started as a mechanical game where you use all your might to punch a soft target representing a boss monster. Arino winds up for the first stage and whacks the pad, only registering a weak 78-ton punch.
He steps back for a bigger shot, but only gets 89. On the final try, he registers 56t. He then has AD Watanabe (who he jokingly refers to as "Majin Buu") put on two gloves and see how well she does. Watanabe practically dives into the pad, and her first try is 73t.
By now, it’s time to hit the cages. Arino steps up to the "plate," bat in hand and helmet on head. The first ball startles him with its quickness, as does the second. After that, Arino checks the tape — turns out the center can videotape your performance. "It’s been a while, video!" He says to the VHS tape. He brings the tape to a monitor, and everybody has a good laugh watching Arino fumble around on the grainy footage.
Back inside, Arino meets the manager of the center, who graciously offers a sheet of paper to record an autograph on. Arino’s happy to oblige, of course, and the manager also asks one of AD Emoto, who is visibly surprised at the offer.
A Waste of Color
Kibe’s bag of Game Boy goodies is slightly smaller this time. but he still has good stuff for Arino. First up is Hatena no Daibouken, the original version of the Capcom quiz game Arino played a few years ago. As before, you play Hatena and face quiz challenges from Capcom characters. Kibe points out this is one of the early games worked on by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.
After failing the Final Fight world, Arino moves on to GB Genjin, a.k.a. Bonk’s Adventure. It’s a simple quasi-port of the original game, but there’s not much else special about it.
Finally, there’s Donkey Kong, the amazing revival of the arcade original, and one of the best Game Boy games. Arino dies early on the first stage, but Kibe explains that it has all the stages, plus a few extra worlds worth.
With three games in front him, Arino surprisingly decides not to draw a picture! I guess none of the games really appealed to him.
Game Collections: 1990: April