|Evil, or just lonely?|
Retro Game Challenge for the DS is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a game where you try to beat challenges in retro-styled games within a game. The player is set on this quest when Arino, the antagonist, traps the player in the past until he can beat the challenges no one else could. The game implies that Arino was an unparalleled Game Master that awaits a worthy foe — but the more I play, the more it seems like Arino was just a lonely gamer.
|This challenge: jump on two enemies.|
|Arino grows attached to the player.|
Through refuting these two notions — that the challenges aren't that hard, and that the antagonist isn't really that maniacal towards the player — we are forced to consider that perhaps the evil mastermind is neither evil nor a mastermind. Why put a player through all this trouble? Because, like many gamers, young Arino would have enjoyed games more with someone to play with. He doesn't present these challenges for some sort of worthy opponent, but rather a friend.
|Grindy RPGs are one of many games|
Arino prefers with some company.
Using game challenges as a flimsy pretense and convenient excuse, Arino sends the player to the past with the hopes of making one lonely boy a little less lonely. So although his words and actions could come off as creepy, annoying, or even downright terrifying, it's hard to see him in too bad of a light. This, of course, begs the question of how many lonely people are perceived as evil in other games or movies. Haven't we all done something a little crazy just to be a little loved?