[I ♥ The PC Engine] Wai Wai MahjongPosted on April 16th, 2010 4 comments
Maker: Video System Ltd.
Release Date: 6/19/89
Price: 5800 yen
Media: HuCard (2 Mbit)
PC Engine FAN Score: 19.92 / 30.00
Kōgien: “A two-player mahjong game with normal and tournament modes. Normal mode lets you select from three difficulty levels, while tournament mode pits you against opponents that gradually get harder.”
In a few years, I’m going to be drowning in crap PCE girl-mahjong games. I know it all too well; I’m completely aware of the inevitable perfect storm of tiles and boobies lying in ambush for me, and yet I feel powerless to stop its advance. Ohhh, if only I had paid more attention to that how-to-play-mahjong feature in the first issue of GameGO! Then I wouldn’t be faced with this catastrophe in the waiting!
Even if I were completely up on the rules of mahjong (the last time I seriously tried to play was in 2001), I would likely not be too excited by Wai Wai Mahjong, a board-game sim with very few amenities. It’s straight two-player mahjong, with a cast of weird-looking challengers and a shop offering a variety of “helper items” (i.e. ways to cheat the random tile generator), but no real story to glue it all together. From the presentation to the gameplay, everything’s pretty bland and 8-bittish.
If anything’s noteworthy about this release, it’s that Kyoto-based Video System is behind it, one of three PCE games they published. For the longest time, I thought Video System was a Korean outfit, and I really can’t explain why I labored under that misconception except that Super Volleyball looked like a B-league Asian game to me back in middle school. I’ve since fully savored the charms of what’s inarguably the best 2D volleyball sim ever made, but not even that classic was enough to save the company (an offshoot of Japanese arcade distributor Visco founded in 1984) from obscurity for its long history. If anyone in the States knows them now, it’s for the Aero Fighters series of arcade shooters — which aren’t bad, of course, but c’mon, they ain’t Super Volleyball.
I don’t see how mahjongg qualifies as an action game. Is there a time-limit to mimic the arcade versions? Also this has to be the shortest review ever, hardly three sentences. I understand that writing reviews about games one doesn’t like at all is important, but this is pushing it a bit in my opinion and feels kind of forced. It lacks the usual passion you apply to writing about the better titles out there.
No offense though, I like this category and will just re-write my memory so that I remember this entry as a short one about Video System (what else would have brought me to reading their wikipedia article?).
As you said, I am an American who knows Video System originally because of Aero Fighters, and more recently Turbo Force.
I’m much more familiar with Psikyo, the folks who left Video System to make vertical shmups.
My favorite game by Video System is the quirky, flawed Rabio Lepus Special for PCE. As for Wai Wai Mahjong, well, how is the music? Perhaps there is a brief, but brilliant song hidden in that HuCard somewhere.
I need some Rabio Lepus to wash the Wai Wai Mahjong out of my mouth.
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