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Promotional Consideration: Arino's Advertising Challenge

Eric Caoili

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With XSEED recently revealing its intentions to localize Game Center CX: Arino's Challenge (U.S. name: Retro Game Challenge) for the North American market, we thought now would be an opportune time to feature an English-translated commercial for the Japanese game. Really, we'll make any excuse to post about this interesting title.

A quick rundown of the Game Center CX show and DS game, for those of you who didn't read about the release the first dozen times we posted about it:
  • Game Center CX is a Japanese television series in which comedian Shinya Arino plays popular "retro" games
  • In the Indies Zero-developed DS title, players are sent back in time to the 80s by Arino
  • Players have to complete challenges in eight Famicom-styled games, like Star Prince (Star Soldier clone) and Guadia Quest (Dragon Quest clone)
There are a lot of great "meta" touches to the game, too -- a child version of Arino befriends and cheers you on against his older self, you'll have access to instruction manuals and Game Fan Magazine issues with tips and cheat codes, and Arino will even ask you if you're going to the bathroom sometimes when you pause the game.

Anyway, jump past the post break for the commercial; we've also included photos from train advertisements and a segment from the show as bonuses!


"It's nostalgic yet new."

It's a quick commercial, but publisher Bandai Namco made up for it by plastering trains in Japan with Game Center CX ads:

In case you're wondering, those posters aren't limited to just a few cars on the train:

Wow! Retailers also kept their stores covered with TVs playing Game Center CX trailers and Arino posters when the title first hit stores in Japan last November:

Here's a photo of the Shinya Arino business cards that came with every copy of the game (hopefully XSEED has something similar plan for the U.S. release?):

Okay, as promised, we've embedded a five-minute clip taken from the actual Game Center CX show. In this episode, the second half of a two-part series, Arino is struggling to finish Super Famicom classic Super Mario World. Our hero actually has a bad record with 2D Mario games, having previously failed to complete Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Super Mario Bros. 3.

This video starts as Arino begins his third day with the game -- he has spent a total of 26 hours with the game already, and he's having trouble with Super Mario World's final encounter, a boss fight with Bowser. Apparently, Arino panics whenever Bowser stomps around and he ends up running right into Koopa King's clown craft.

Notice that after 85+ attempts, Arino has only one life remaining to beat Bowser. He actually clutches his heart from the stress of it! That cloth stuck to his forehead? It's a reikyaku sheet, an adhesive cooling pad for decreasing his temperature.


Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

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