The BEST episodes of GameCenter CX
Every episode of GameCenter CX ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of GameCenter CX!
GameCenter CX (domestically imported as Retro Game Master) is a Japanese television series where Shinya Arino, a member of comedy duo Yoiko, plays Japan's most popular classic video games and records his progress. From shooters (his worst genre) to puzzles (his best) and anything in between, Arino tackles an amazing variety of games. He is supported by his Assistant Directors (ADs) and staff, who offer moral support, tips and tricks, and occasionally take the controller and play themselves. He also gets the chance to interview game designers and to visit arcades all over Japan.
#1 - Ninja Ryukenden II: Ankoku no Jashinken (Ninja Gaiden II) (2)
Season 12 - Episode 8 - Aired 2/10/2010
Part 2 of the Ninja Gaiden II challenge. Arino continues to fight his way through the brutal game. In order to help him, Tojima returns with multiple AD's from past and present at his side. It will take the all of their combined power to finally put an end to Jaquio. In January of 2010, Game Center CX held a company day trip which doubled as a fan appreciation event. 120 lucky people were taken by bus to the event where they were greeted by Arino before moving on to a bowling alley, a picnic and finally a wrestling match which would be considered bizarre even by Japanese standards. In A Waste Of Color the first game that Arino plucks from Kibe's supply is the unique card focused RPG, Monster Maker. He then selects the Ghosts 'N Goblins spin-off, Gargoyle's Quest, a game that eventually went on to spawn a console exclusive series. The last game he chooses is a personal favorite of Kibe, Space War Of Mu.
#2 - The Kacho Goes to the Cannes Film Festival
Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/2/2008
First there was South Korea, now the Chief is hitting the red carpet at the Cannes film festival to sell the show at the international film and TV market. It's not all business however as Arino visits a number of local stores and arcades. At one particular store Arino looks at their selection of Japanese games before blowing the mind of the owner with a little surprise. When they hit a local arcade, Arino and Tojima get the thrill of their lives in a full body roller coaster experience. Even with all of this we're introduced to a new segment for season 9, the Famicom Mange Café, which will focus on comic series devoted to video games. This first segment shines a light on one of the better known series of this type, Famicom Rocky.
#3 - Super Mario Land
Season 18 - Episode 8 - Aired 7/17/2014
For his first portable challenge Arino will be taking on the Game Boy classic, Super Mario Land. Released alongside the Game Boy in 1989 this Mario outing did an admirable job of emulating its console counterparts and is perhaps best remembered for its fantastic soundtrack. While very short Arino will have to contend with a unique aspect of this particular Mario game, shooting stages. More recreation center and less arcade, Chichibu Muse Park is today's TamaGe destination. While the park does offer a variety of activities Arino would rather take part in some virtual competition with the staff. Arino picks the perfect game to cool off after a hot bath in the latest NES Box segment when he sits down to play some Ice Climber. Arino sets himself a goal of beating 10 stages in 10 minutes which could prove tough in this slippery platformer.
#4 - Skykid
Season 17 - Episode 11 - Aired 9/19/2013
A shooter! As the show enters its 10th year it's finally time that Arino conquers his fear of the shooting genre and the challenge that will hopefully help him transition is Namco's Skykid. With such a cute aesthetic and a grinning plane as a protagonist Skykid seems like the perfect starting point but it's not longer before Arino begins to experience some turbulence. The attendees of 2013's United States Of Odaiba event were once again treated to an on stage live challenge. This time out Arino wanted to right a wrong that occurred during the recent Power Pad: Jogging Race challenge. In Project: Game Version 3 Arino shares some ideas with the staff at G.rev including an ingenious pitch for a versus game.
#5 - Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden
Season 17 - Episode 9 - Aired 8/8/2013
#6 - Super Donkey Kong 2 (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest) (3)
Season 17 - Episode 8 - Aired 7/18/2013
In what is a first for the show Arino's challenge of Donkey Kong Country 2 was stretched into a third day. With only the last world standing between Arino and victory he'll be praying that this challenge won't throw up any more surprises than it already has. For this week's TamaGe Arino is tipped off about a miraculous toy store. First up Arino plays a class beat-em-up before speaking to the owner in order to discover the true nature of the miracle of which the postcard spoke. Arino will have to deal with a special guest who's quick on the draw if he hopes to guess the game in Famicom Sniper. This Project: Game Version 3 segment brings us what will undoubtedly be the first of many production meetings to discuss ideas for the third Retro Game Challenge title.
#7 - Budokan Backstage Access
Season 17 - Episode 16 - Aired 1/9/2014
With the triumph that was the Budokan live challenge still fresh in the memory we're granted a behind the scenes look at how it all came together. From begging to end see exactly what went to plan and what didn't in this all access look at Arino's challenge in Budokan. Kibe is not easily deterred and so the SG-1000 anniversary party keeps on rolling. This week Arino will deliver his verdict on 3 genuine classics, the Yuji Naka made Girl's Garden, Flicky and Zaxxon.
#8 - Pilotwings Live In Iwate
Season 16 - Episode 7 - Aired 7/5/2012
The story of Arino and Pilotwings is not a happy one. This game was meant to serve as a victory lap during his 40th birthday challenge and instead it humbled him for the second time. Arino is not one to let sleeping dogs lie, and so he will once again challenge Pilotwings, but this time he'll be doing it in front of a live audience of hundreds in the city of Iwate. Before we get to the challenge proper it's decided that it would be remiss not to have the first ever TamaGe in Iwate. He stops by the Shizukuishi Retrospective Store which is brimming with nostalgic food, games and paraphernalia. Arino picks up some goodies, plays some games with local kids and then checks out some more traditional games being played in the store.
#9 - Tom Sawyer no Bouken (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
Season 17 - Episode 3 - Aired 5/9/2013
Today Arino will be challenging a video game adaptation of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. While this action adaptation is far less infamous than the RPG interpretation produced by Square it is far superior in the weirdness department. Arino needs to beat all 6 stages and save Tom's girlfriend Becky if he wants to close the book on this challenge. To escape from the insanity of the challenge Arino heads to a pinball heavy arcade called Neverland for a TamaGe trip. Inside Arino tries to ascend to the peak in the classic Mountain Climbing Game before he closes out his visit with an education in pinball basics from the owner. Arino has two men, a bicycle and a white cartridge in his sights in Famicom Sniper. Will Arino be on the mark with his guess or will it be another near miss?
#10 - Trip to Korea by Economy Class
Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired 7/11/2007
It's the 50th episode extravaganza! Game Center CX is finally hitting the big times and going abroad to South Korea for their first ever international trip for a TamaGe In South Korea! Watch as Arino and staff visit the best of Korean arcades and stores including a stall jam packed with games of a questionable and mysterious origin. Arino even gets the chance to interview a professional StarCraft team when he isn't buying odd souvenirs at the many local vendors lining the streets. But that's not all as in the finale Arino risks the show's budget on a single round of roulette! It's an ending that can't be missed.
#11 - Super Mario World (2)
Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired 7/23/2005
We pick up right where we left off as Arino struggles to conquer Super Mario World. Watch as he ventures closer to Bowser's lair in what will prove to be the most dramatic episode yet! But if you can't handle all the stress you can calm your nerves with a little Ring Ring Tactics where we find Arino struggling to decipher a string of random letters.
#12 - Quiz: The Feudal Lord's Ambition
Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired 12/14/2005
It's all hands on deck for the first quiz challenge in show history when Arino takes on Quiz: The Feudal Lord's Ambition. Hopefully everyone is up to date on their early 90s Japanese pop culture. Arino visits an arcade with the unusual gimmick of having games priced as low as 10 yen but soon finds that it's too good to be true. Arino doesn't sweat that detail though as he enjoys taking down kids in Virtua Fighter 4 and Final Furlong. For a change of pace things get loud on Secret Trick Jet Stream when a listener requests a hot jam from Raid On Bungeling Bay. Secret Trick Jet Stream quickly segues into Project: DVD as Arino announces the final details about the launch of the first DVD box set.
#13 - Nintendo: Super Mario Bros 1 & 2
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 3/31/2004
Arino is faced with the difficult challenge of beating Super Mario Brothers 2 for the Famicom Disk System. He first practices is skills with the original Super Mario Brothers before moving onto Super Mario Brothers 2; will he be able to beat the game? Or will he be defeated by one of Nintendo's own?
#14 - Ninja Ryukenden (Ninja Gaiden)
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired 2/22/2006
In this episode, Arino returns to another classic NES game. This time it’s the fan-favorite Tecmo game Ninja Gaiden. With a victory here, he can bring his record for the season to a tie, but the Ninja Gaiden series is considered one of the hardest game series ever made. After some time Arino comes to the realization that it may be the hardest game he's ever played in his life... even harder than Ghosts 'n Goblins and Adventure Island! Arino pays a visit to a nostalgic little arcade with a odd name which is enjoyed by children and adults alike. There he discovers a prize machine filled with a cornucopia of pop culture icons and some strange decorations adorning the outer wall.
#15 - Rockman (Mega Man)
Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/16/2007
It's time for Arino to step into the boots of the Blue Bomber once again as he challenges Mega Man. Being the first entry in the venerated series, Arino will have to contest with some of its less refined aspects and what some fans call the highest difficulty level to be found in the original 6 games. In the second instalment of Project: Game Version Arino visits the developer of the game, indieszero. Once there, Arino grills company head Masanobu Suzui about his mouse and the history of the company. The Game & Watches that can't be left alone this week belong to the Silver Series of games.
#16 - Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse)
Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/15/2006
One of the most revered and hardest series on the NES, Castlevania makes its challenge debut when Arino challenges Castlevania 3. Arino will have to call on everything he has learnt over the years in order to slay the prince of darkness once and for all. If that all sounds a but too heavy then there's a TamaGe to an establishment that is a mix of arcade and diner complete with sexy outfits for wall decorations. After some light gaming Arino decides to treat the staff to a meal of his choosing. A sexy moment from a decidedly unsexy game is shown in this week's The Romance Never Ends when we take a peek at the classic detective game, Murder At The Dragon's Temple In Kyoto.
#17 - Contra
Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/21/2006
The Konami classic Contra is the featured challenge for this episode and its renowned co-op gameplay may offer Inoko MAX a chance to redeem himself after his poor showing last episode. The TamaGe for this episode features a wonderful store with a variety of nostalgic candy and game machines. There's also a great cast of supporting characters including classic movie stars, robots, aliens and idols. Aces Of Hardware this time will focus on the the obscure Cassette Vision from the even more obscure manufacturer, Epoch. While most of its games require a lot of imagination to enjoy Pakpak Monster has a very recognisable protagonist.
#18 - Super Mario 64 (2)
Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 2/8/2006
Join Arino for the exciting conclusion of his Super Mario 64 challenge. Arino has it all ahead of him though as he takes on the games toughest levels to try to increase his star tally and open up the doorway to the King Of The Koopa's himself, Bowser. A new and exciting form of transport delivers Arino to this week's TamaGe location but that's not before he samples the local delicacies in Enoshima. Once at his destination Arino drives a virtual train before trying to trick AD Urakawa in a plan that quickly backfires.
#19 - Mighty Bomb Jack (Live Show Recap)
Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/10/2007
In front of a live audience, Arino tries to complete the game that he came close to clearing Mighty Bomb Jack. The immense pressure from hundreds of eyes watching his every move makes Arino and the staff much more susceptible to mistakes. Can Arino clear his first live challenge?
#20 - Hatena no Daibouken (Adventure Quiz: Hatena's Quest)
Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired 1/24/2007
The best that Game Center CX has to offer must once again join forces to topple the Capcom character heavy quiz game, Adventure Quiz: Hatena's Quest. In order to best this mix of adventure and quiz game the staff will rely on a certain method that has proven to be successful in the past. For a change of pace this week's TamaGe features not one but two excursions. The first has Arino visiting a prize game heavy arcade where he tries out a unique method for winning and makes a pun of spurious quality. The next stop is Home Ground which doesn't fit any typical designation. It's best described as a themed restaurant that tries to replicate the experience of playing games at home including draws full of games and some oddly personal items.
#21 - Umihara Kawase
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/7/2006
For the season 5 opener Arino must try to complete the cult classic, grappling hook platformer, Umihara Kawase. Perhaps the new AD can impress with his gaming skills and propel the Chief to victory. In the first TamaGe outing of the season Arino visits a quaint stationary store. With the sun glaring down he makes judicious use of the sun blockers so he is able to enjoy some Metal Slug co-op along side the elderly owner. This season will feature a new segment focusing on lesser known hardware called The Aces Of Hardware Won't Appear. The hardware Arino will be introduced to today is the Sega Mark III which had a number of notable titles including Alex Kidd In Miracle World.
#22 - Street Fighter II
Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/1/2006
The veritable masterpiece, Street Fighter 2, serves as the opener for season 6. Since this genre of game is atypical for the show it's decided that an ending that is as equally out of the ordinary is required. No arcade trip this episode but instead we have a report from the Tokyo Game Show including highlights from a Game Center CX stage show as well as Arino's visit to the show's merchandise booth. The new segment for this season will be The Romance Never Ends, a segment focusing on some of the most risqué moments in gaming. First up is a candid moment from the anime based game, Magical Taruruuto-kun.
#23 - Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen
Season 17 - Episode 12 - Aired 10/24/2013
#24 - Super Donkey Kong 2 (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest) (1)
Season 17 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/20/2013
Four and a half years on from his challenge of the original Arino is taking on Donkey Kong Country 2. Since DK himself has been kidnapped this time it'll be up to Diddy and his girlfriend Dixie to conquer the game's whopping 41 stages to save him. Today's TamaGe visit has a touch of sadness as the store being visited was conducting its closing down sale. This didn't stop Arino from enjoying himself with some light gaming and checking out some of the great bargains on offer. Arino may finally have a shot in Famicom Sniper when he thinks that there's only a single match for the shade of cartridge he's spotted in his sights. To match the size of his ice cream treat the news being delivered to Arino during his break is equally big.
#25 - Nintendo: Super Mario Bros Pt. 2
Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 5/30/2004
This week's challenge is a continuation of last week's and finds Arino attempting to finish Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Just as it looks as though Arino is no chance, Tojima presents him with a gift that could change the tides in this challenge.