I’m quite the fan of mahjong games, or at least the sorts of mahjong games you get on consoles, which are generally two-player versions of mahjong where you get to play against cute anime-style girls in skimpy outfits. Not really “proper” mahjong at all, but I like it.
The console mahjong scene has gotten pretty quiet since the glory days of the Saturn -I don’t think it’s so much that the market for scantily clad anime-style girls has gotten any smaller in the intervening years, it’s more that the big mahjong franchises have moved to the PC where there’s less censorship.
So, modern games are pretty few and far between, but I do see the occasional release, and that brings me, in a rather awkward way, to the rather awkwardly named Chu~Kana Janshi Tenho Painyan Remix.
This is a remake of a PS2 game from a couple of years back, which I think is related to the Suchie Pai series somehow. It’s got the Kenichi Sonoda character designs, it’s got Kanai Mika doing the voice of the main character, I don’t know if it actually fits in to the Suchie Pai universe anywhere but it’s at least a spiritual sequel.
The plot, as best as I can interpret it, involves a rather bratty mahjong master who wants to collect a bunch of mystical stones for the purpose of defending the world from a menace, the nature of which may or may not be specified, but there’s an awful lot of kanji I don’t recognize and really it’s not that important.
You meet people, who are almost all cute, young, and busty, you have a conversation, you play mahjong with them, and when you win you unleash an energy attack that co-incidentally blows most of their clothing to shreds so you can properly search them for these mystical stones.
No naughty bits are exposed, this being a DS game and all that.
Then you explain WHY you had take their mystical stone, they see the light, team up with you and you go off to search for more of the mystical stones together.
Like I said, the plot’s really not that important. It’s mahjong with a dose of cheesecake and Suchie-pai-style over-the-top special attacks and powerups.
Oh, and there’s a Tanuki girl and a seven-tailed-fox-girl in it, which aren’t exactly common moe’ style characters, so it gets some points there.
On the other hand, there’s really no reason to play through it more than once, because there seems to only be one path through the story, and the power-ups and special attacks kind of detract from the actual playing mahjong, so I can’t really recommend it unless you’re a big Kenichi Sonoda fan or you’re enough of a mahjong fanboy that you’ll try anything.
Unfortunately, that describes me pretty well.
Update: This post gets an awful lot of hits for “Tanuki Girls” and “Cute Tanuki”, so, for those of you who came here looking for that, here’s a scan of Tanuko’s character page from the manual. Knock yerself out.