Game Center CX Season 10 – Back to Contents
A Long Time! "Super Donkey Kong"
The show hasn’t really been featuring a lot of "classics" lately, but that changes with this episode. With most of the Mario games taken care of, it’s now time to explore Nintendo’s other big series of the ’90s with Super Donkey Kong — or, as you may know it, Donkey Kong Country. Arino starts up the game, and watches the opening logos, noting that the glittery Nintendo logo is "pretty," then finding it hard to believe he said that about a Super Famicom game.
The challenge begins at that famous first level, Jungle Hijinx. Arino gets a feel for the controls, releases DK’s pal Diddy, and continues on, acquiring Rambi, the rhino friend. He rides Rambi through a secret cave into a bonus stage, grabs a 1-UP at the end, and then grabs four more when he collects the letter "G" emblem that finishes spelling "KONG." Not a bad start so far!
Onto the next level, Ropey Rampage. The repetitive jumping from rope to rope proves difficult for Arino, as he accidentally lands on bees quickly wastes several lives. He gets through by the skin of his teeth, and luckily has a better experience with the cave level Reptile Rumble, breezing through thanks to finding multiple bonus stages.
Then it’s the first water stage, Coral Capers. It shouldn’t be that hard, but Arino still manages to repeatedly bump into Croctopus enemies and lose a few more lives. Eventually he gets to the halfway point and acquires Enguarde, the fishy friend — and immediately loses him after getting hit by a Croctopus again. He gets him again later on, and soon gets to the end.
Next is Barrel Cannon Canyon, a stage with — get this — a lot of barrel cannons to fly through. But Arino barely gets to see them, as he keeps making stupid mistakes just in the first section — running into enemies, missing jumps, you name it. Before long, his last life is lost, and he gets a Game Over. He’s really feeling the hurt, claiming he wasn’t this bad when he was 22!
And then comes the bad news: none of his progress was saved, so he has to start all over at the beginning of the area. However, we go right back to the Canyon, where Arino starts actually going through the barrel blasting. He’s very careful, but when the barrel ride ends, he’s back to slipping off ledges. Another Game Over. He retstarts, then gets to the second half of the level, where he has to get past bees while properly timing the barrel launching. Needless to say, he undershoots it quite often, and very nearly gets another Game Over. But after a while, Arino realizes that he should be patient, and after some long, tense moments of trying to nail the timing, he does get past everything and finally make it to the exit.
Before the next level, Arino stops at Candy Kong’s Save Point, a much-needed relief. He saves, then continues on to the first boss, Gnawty. A few jumps on his head is all it takes to defeat him, which surprises Arino quite a bit. But that’s one area down!
Now onto Winky’s Walkway. As the name suggests, this is the first level where you can get the frog pal Winky. Unfortunately, he proves to be hard to handle, as Arino soon hops Winky right off the walkway and into death. A couple more stupid mistakes later, and it’s Game Over time. At least he was able to save last time. Arino restarts, beats Gnawty again, then breezes through Winky’s Walkway.
Next is Mine Cart Carnage, and this is where things get tricky. Arino needs to jump the broken-up track while inside a fast-moving mine cart, and though he starts off fine, he soon dies when trying to jump the diagonal slices of track. More lives are lost, and he’s down to his last one. Miraculously, he clears the jumps, and stays alive long enough to get another 1-UP! But he loses anyway, and wastes the last life.
Following the Game Over, Arino returns to the second area, but then realizes he didn’t save, so it was all for naught. The challenge passes the six-hour mark, and we’re barely done with the second world. Mine Cart Carnage continues to be a pain, as Arino continues burning through lives by bouncing, falling and ramming. At some point, the practice finally helps, and he manages to slip through to the end with Diddy. That’s nearly cause for celebration itself.
Arino attempts to go back to world 1 to save, but finds out he can’t just yet, because he hasn’t reached Funky Kong’s airline again. So, he has no choice but to push on to the next level, Bouncy Bananza; another cave level. Arino lasts about 10 seconds before dying, and loses his second-to-last life. The next one doesn’t last that long either, as he jumps right off a cliff. Gaaaame Over.
But back to Bouncy Bananza. It’s a little rough due to all the bouncing (no kidding?), but Arino makes it through in much less time than it took with the mine cart. Next up: Stop & Go Station, another cave with "traffic light" barrels that dictate the movement of the speedy Rockkrocs, who can kill Arino in one touch from any angle if they’re active — stopping them shrivels them up for a few seconds. But what kills Arino the most is simply missing jumps. He needs to work fast, but also act fast.
After some tense running, Arino gets to a point where he needs to hit a barrel that’s above a Rockkroc on a small, moving platform. The timing needs to be just right so that he can jump, hit the barrel, then fall to safety before the ‘Kroc wakes up. Arino starts running, then… runs right off the cliff. Well, that was embarrassing. On the next try, Arino makes it, to the first platform, but the red light doesn’t last long enough! He panics, then runs right off the edge again. Game Over. … And he didn’t save, either.
This one is painful. Arino sits in silent frustration, then beins again. It takes another two hours to get back to Stop & Go Station. He gets back to those little platforms, and this time makes it across, but there are two more Rockkrocs waiting for him just before the exit! At least, that’s what’s implied by the arrow sign ahead. Arino Goes for it, tripping the barrel and running through. But again, it only lasts about a second! He keeps dashing ahead, but this home stretch is longer than he thought. Before long, he panics in an attempt to trip another high-up barrel, but is eventually struck by a Rockkroc.
He goes for it again. This time, with the knowledge of the layout, he breezes through, hitting every barrel, pushing the tires correctly, and bouncing his way to the exit. And thank goodness the next dot on the map is another save point. Next is Millstone Mayhem, which is a fairly easy jaunt, and then it ends with the next boss fight against Necky, the giant vulture.
Necky instantly kills Diddy with a humongous nut, leaving Arino one more chance as DK. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite aim his jumps properly, and loses a life. It’s not until the third attempt that he lasts longer — long enough to finally destroy Necky after figuring out his pattern. That’s the second world down! And now for the third… after 10 hours of play. This doesn’t look good.
Before the third area, Arino naturally makes sure to save, and then it’s onward to Vulture Culture, the first forest stage. Despite some troubles adjusting to the physics (you need to launch yourself towards little Neckys in order to bounce up to the next ledge), Arino makes it through in just a few lives. Tree Top Town is another barrel-heavy level, and Arino gets another Game Over here after a mistimed barrel blast.
And several more after that, getting a second Game Over. Eventually, he gets past his one trouble spot… but moves on to another. The barrels are highly active in the rest of the level, but Arino remains patient, and manages to boost to the end. Funky Kong is up ahead, so Arino flies back to the nearest save point, and then forward again.
Forest Frenzy is next, and this one features a forest-sized gauntlet of Zinger bees to get past as Arino hangs onto an automatically-moving rope. The first section is bad enough, but when Arino gets past that, the Zingers start moving — up, down, and around. And yet, it’s another simple case of running into an enemy that earns Arino the next Game Over. After the Zingers, the Neckys start coming, and Arino nearly dies here, but miraculously finds the reflexes to dodge them. After losing another life by running into a Kremling, Arino finally gets to the end.
Temple Tempest is another temple level, so it’s a quick run. But following that is Orang-Utang Gang, where Manky Kong tosses barrels from far away, and quickly, making it head for Arino to make headway. No matter what, he just can’t seem to jump over them enough, and he gets another Game Over. But perseverance is key, as well as patience, and Arino manages enough succesful hops ‘n bops to make it to the end.
Arino pushes through the Clam City level, then comes upon the boss stage. But wait! He almost forgot! Save, dangit! A simple stroll over to Candy Kong’s takes care of it, and Arino engages the boss, Queen B. Barrels are needed to defeat her, but once she’s hit, she gets angry and can’t be hurt until she calms down again. Arino fails to realize this, and spends the rest of his lives. But thank goodness he saved.
Just before starting again, he’s given the clock — it’s past 12:20. After some joking around about giving up, Arino asks if he can just take the Super Famicom and practice over the New Year’s holiday. The staff agrees, and so, Arino switches off the console and takes it in his arms. It’s been a while since the last two-parter, anyway.
Suginami is where Arino is this time, to check out a restaurant called, simply, Fuji. It’s a teppanyaki place lost in time, with several tabletop video games around, and all sorts of retro pop culture memorabilia along the walls. Arino asks for the house specialty: the Space Invader-yaki. As that’s being made, he checks out the games.
First up is an ancient pachinko game called Graffiti, and then a roulette game, Piccadilly Circus. As has been proven, Arino has awful luck with these roulette games, but he tries it out anyway. As expected, none of the numbers he gets are anywhere near his predictions. He even gets 0 on the last attempt.
Across from that game is an interesting machine that involves taking over feudal Japan via a slot machine mechanism. Arino starts by getting 20 points, and 20 dots light up on the panel above. Then he gets minus 10 points. Then minus 5. Then 25 more! Then minus 20 — erp. Then it finally ends when he gets the skull and an instant Game Over.
The good news is that the Invader-yaki is ready. And why is it called that? Because it looks like an alien, of course! Arino asks the chef what kinds of game he likes, and he replies with Space Invaders, of course.
The Game-itization Project 2
We’re back in the recording booth as Arino records his little quips for Chousenjou 2. After finishing two pages of dialogue, he has just… 19 to go!
After that, we’re shown some new elements of Kacho wa Meitantei, including a bike race minigame where detective Arino faces off against cameraman Abe! More cameos are revealed, such as VE Suda and Tani.
Chousenjou 2 will also feature a "challenge-a-day" mode, where evil Arino tasks you with a predetermined challenge in all of the games.