Super Real Mahjong is a series of strip mahjong games and, while later games were fleshed out as far as gameplay and characters, this early entry in the series is itself stripped down quite a lot. This review covers the version of the game found in Super Real Mahjong Graffiti, a collection of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th games in the series, as well as Super Real Mahjong PII●III Custom Special☆ for the PC-Engine CD². These versions of the game are both identical and opposite, which I will bring up here in a bit.
The game features a single girl, Showko, and the objective is to get her to remove her clothes by beating her in head-to-head mahjong. You each start with 1,000 points, and every time you win a hand Showko removes another article of clothing. If your point total falls below zero, it’s a game over and you start from the beginning. Thus, it’s not strictly necessary to go for large hands; the only benefit is additional cushion in case Showko wins a big hand and depletes your points all in one go.
Aside from some graphical changes and differences in video quality, what differentiates the Saturn and PC-Engine releases is that, in the PC-Engine version, there is no penalty for Showko winning hands outside of your point total inching closer to zero. In the Saturn release, however, each hand she wins reverses your progress by one stage. In addition to that, she seems to have some intense luck on the Saturn port, easily getting back-to-back haneman and baiman as dealer, quickly and unavoidably sending your points well into the negative, ending the game. I even have multiple recordings of this happening at the very beginning of the game, going from first-draw to game over screen in under 15 seconds.
The Saturn version is way harder, but is still possible to beat, though I’ve only done it once in maybe 15 hours of total play time. Contrast that with the PC-Engine version, which I beat on my first try in maybe 30 minutes. But you know what, it’s fine if the battle is difficult because the reward is worth it, right? You’ve noticed the 8th stage is Showko holding her underwear with her toes (the full animation shows her dropping it), and after that, oh yeah, the stuff we’ve been waiting for. Raw, uncensored production credits. That’s right, your final reward for this punishing game is a foot. Congratulations.
Between the two, it’s hard to say which is better. On one hand, you have a real (unfair) challenge with the Saturn version, but graphically it’s a generational leap in quality. With the PC-Engine version, you have a reward that’s fitting for the completely lack of challenge. In the end, it really doesn’t matter, because both of these games are bundled with Super Real Mahjong PIII, which is objectively a better game, and one that I’ll cover here shortly.
Just for fun, I’ve scanned the illustrations of Showko from the manuals.