As I mentioned in my posts about the Catfood Bowl tournament, work has brought me to Los Angeles for a few days, and because of how my flights ended up, I got to spend a whole day here with no work obligations to worry about. After my breakfast at a 24-hour diner, I got a ride to downtown and spent the majority of my day in Little Tokyo.
The very first spot I hit was Retro Game Camp. This is the Japanese retro gaming shop I mentioned in my Game Buying Guide for import mahjong games. Last time few times I was there, staff was pulling down stacks and stacks of mahjong games. I had to carefully choose which games I brought home due to cost (at a certain point, most of the games I don’t already have end up costing $15-30 each) and space in my luggage. Today, though, they struggled to find anything outside of the usual Famicom and Super Famicom stuff. Maybe my posts have really have done something after all. ヽ(ˇヘˇ)ノ
Let’s start off with this little guy for the PC Engine: Sengoku Mahjong. Or at least, I think it says “Sengoku”. This Hu Card has more wear on it than potentially any mahjong game I’ve ever seen. I’ve certainly come across games in worse condition, but not from actual usage. It makes me pretty excited to try it out, since it probably wouldn’t get much use if it wasn’t a decent game.
Speaking of Hu Cards, if you’ve never used a PC Engine, or TurboGrafx-16 as it was known in America, the games came on these thin cards that slide into the front of the system. Eventually they would use these to store BIOS and other code to make use of additional hardware, like the CD-ROM attachment. The cards are significantly smaller than cartridges of the same era, and were even smaller in some ways than the PCBs inside the cartridges.
I also picked up The Mahjong 2 (I would type it out in Japanese but I’m using my work laptop and haven’t set it up with a Japanese keyboard yet) to go along with my original copy of The Mahjong, so now I have The Mahjong, The Mahjong 2, and Mahjong 2, which is a different game entirely. I’m not really expecting anything out of this game, but it was looking really sad in the $1 bin, so it had to be rescued.
Also from the $1 bin is this copy of Mahjong Goku Tenjiku, which I think I already have, so this one might just get donated or given away at some point.
In an effort to, uh… fulfill my duties as a mahjong game collector and curator, I occasionally need to buy things that are, well, morally questionable. The first of those games, at least for today’s pick-ups, starts with Love Mahjong. I think I have Love Mahjong 2 at home, so it only makes sense to get the original, too, right? The screenshots on the back of the case are pretty shameless, but at least it let’s you know what you’re getting into, and speaks pretty loudly about who their target audience is (probably someone who can read fluent Japanese).
The last mahjong game I picked up today was, according to SegaRetro, “Mahjong Gakuensai DX: Zenjitsu ni Matsuwaru Funsenki”. I don’t know anything about this game, other than the characters look nice and it’s rated 18 and up.
It’s not mahjong, but while I was there I noticed a grouping of Evangelion games that I wasn’t familiar with. Upon closer look they were Evangelion pachinko games, which… was confusing at first, but made all too much sense after the shock wore off. To be clear, I’m not a fan of pachinko, especially pachinko video games, but I just couldn’t resist. They didn’t just have this one, either, but also volumes 10 and 11, which means there were at least 3 of them in this series, if not more. Doing a very small amount of research for the game, I also stumbled across officially licensed Evangelion strip mahjong games released for Windows 95/98. Three different releases, to be specific, so that’s one curiosity I might need to hunt down one of these days. Apparently the art books they came with were quite graphic, as well.
If you’re interested in the art in the background, they’re t-shirts I bought from Pop Killer in Little Tokyo. Specifically, this shirt, which I think is an in-house design, and this one by Sci Fi Girl.