Friday, March 12, 2010

Mahjong Lemon Angel

Naxat Soft / Fairy Dust / Home Data
Super CD-ROM

Lemon Angel provides three separate fun-filled adventures for you to enjoy. Of course, the first thing you have to do is select an anime girl to go adventuring with...

...and then the two of you go skiing, camping, swimming, partying, and merrymaking.

Once you arrive at a location and exchange a few words with your gal pal, you have no choice but to play some mahjong with her, as winning at mahjong is the only way to ensure that matters in the universe will proceed harmoniously.

The game is an ace in all areas of presentation: the artwork is appealing, and the music is excellent. All of the girls are likable, and you can hang with each of them through lots of different trips and activities. The only question, then, is whether or not the mahjong action is handled adequately. Dignified Duomazov ally and mahjong master M1Savage had warned me before I started playing the game that its chicks are ruthless.

"For young girls, they sure do know their mahjong," he said.

Indeed, these ladies mean business.

But while its women possess the, uh, "mahjongal acumen" to win very quickly, the game is incredibly kind to the player. I really couldn't believe my "luck" with a lot of the timely tiles that turned up and amazing hands that were dealt to me. Basically, Lemon Angel would like you to have fun and would like to keep things moving along, and to those ends, it makes sure there's a winner pretty much every round. Sure, it's not exactly realistic in this respect, but it's a hell of a lot more enjoyable than mahjong games that make you endure unwinnable hands or slag through stalemate after stalemate. You won't hear much "NOTEN!"/"TENPAI!" here.

With the mahjong aspect taken care of in welcome fast-paced fashion and plenty of other virtues in tow, Lemon Angel doesn't need any kind of gimmick to remain entertaining. I'm sure most people would expect some "naughtiness" given the premise, but the game never gets all that naughty, nor does it really need to. Sure, you get the occasional panty shot and silly "stumbling into the shower" bit, and you can "check out" the chicks in their bathing suits and assorted silly outfits, but that's as far as things go.

It's mild material, and the game is really, really good, definitely one of my favorite PC Engine mahjong titles. And since it plays out so quickly and smoothly and is so easy to get into, it would make for a great introduction to mahjong gaming if you're intrigued by the genre but haven't gotten your feet wet yet. It should be inexpensive and easy to track down, so check it out!

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