Retro Game Master CX


I really enjoy streaming this show on Kotaku.

It is a Japanese show centered around the Kacho and his attempted conquest of some of the most difficult games of the 8bit and 16bit console eras.

The first streaming episode available on Kotaku has the Kacho taking on Ninja Gaiden for the NES, which if anyone remembers that game you will fondly recall that it is also one of the most unforgiving games of all time.

Difficult is one way to describe it, intentionally maddening is the way I prefer it.

That said, the show has helped to reignite my love for everything retro in video gaming.

8bit pixel art, soundtracks, games themselves, memes made from screenshots, all of these things take me back to a place and time when things were much simpler.

Videogames, like movies, make imprints on our memories. We remember where we were when we played it for the first time or saw it, particularly if it becomes a favorite. The music evokes our childhood, late nights of frustration trying to overcome some obstacle, and the sheer enjoyment of watching a digital masterpiece unfold. As we move further into the future I hope the analysts are right and that videogames continue to proceed forward as the entertainment medium of choice.

Videogames organically combine music, art, entertainment and interactivity all into one package. Unlike a book or a movie, the audience is usually an active participant in shaping the action on stage and characters cannot be understood outside of this interaction between the player and the game (which is probably why most videogame-movies suck). Retro Game Master (Game Center CX in Japan) may not be everyone’s cup of tea, because you’re basically watch some hapless Japanese guy play extremely tough games.

But it has its moments of comedy and it is a great insight into Japanese gaming culture. Above all, for this author at least, it transmutes childhood experiences into nostalgic gold in the form of a tv series. Kacho on!