Mahjongg Artifacts Review (PS Mini)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Jul 19, 2010 11:33

Mahjongg has been the main theme in loads of games. Mahjongg Artifacts, from Shape Games and G5, as the name suggests, is another of those titles. There’s not really all that much that’s new in the game. You’re offered three ways to play, classic, endless and Quest. Quest is basically just a level-by-level game with a story woven around it. There’s no change in the gameplay really.

The story unfolds in static comic book-like panels with an interface not unlike that of the digital comic reader on the PSP where you can zoom in and move about the page as needed. The story tells of an adventurer/ artifact hunter traveling the world in search of, well, artifacts (now you know why it’s in the title).

To gain the pieces of the artifacts you have to, yep, you guessed it, finish levels of Mahjongg. See how it all fits together rather nicely now?

There are some gameplay variations included in the game play. For example wild tiles, seasons and themed tiles, Mighty tiles which can be matched with any other tile and Great Tiles which remove all instances of whatever tile they are matched with. To complete a level you don’t have to get all of the tiles cleared, you just have to uncover and clear the Golden Tiles. So it’s an altered, more arcade-like version of the game really.

There are three modes, the story mode, which is described above, the Classic mode (obviously) and the Endless mode, an never-ending tower of blocks to clear. The endless mode is cool but it’s not really more challenging than the classic mode. It’s just for people who have a lot of time on their hands and really love Mahjongg.

The graphics in the game are good. On less than a 32-inch television you might have to squint to read some things but will be able to muddle through. Plus there’s a cool zoom function that works quite well.

Really, this boils down to just another Mahjongg game with some extra tiles and features. Sure it’s cool, but there’s nothing all that new here. Story mode features 25 layouts, classic has 100 and the endless mode has one, a massive tower of tiles. The backgrounds add some visual pop to the game but you start focusing on the tiles so much that you might not even register them. The sound is also well done and helps to keep you interested as much as it can.

The thing that doesn’t work all that well on the Playstation 3 is the controls. They’re counter-intuitive at times. You use the the D-pad to choose the tile which locks you into having to move from tile to tile in order to choose your matches. Much better would have been a free-roaming cursor that allows you to pick your tiles. The left stick moves the gameboard around and the right stick does nothing. There are absolutely no control setup options. They could have easily allowed you to map the controls to the sticks of given multiple control options. In fact, speaking of options, the only options are the volume for sound and music. The game automatically plays in widescreen mode as if they expect everyone does have a large LCD TV. Of course, not everyone does and this only works to shrink the entire gameboard. However, as I said, you can zoom in and out which is extremely useful and keeps the game from being unplayable on sub-27-inch televisions.

Overall, there’s not a lot going on here that hasn’t been seen before. There certainly is a lot of game here to play if you get engrossed in Mahjongg. The story mode just seemed uninteresting to me as all it really did was break up the levels with something to read. It didn’t actually add anything to the gameplay.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Mahjongg Artifacts Review (PS Mini)
9.0 Replay
It’s Mahjongg, there’s always a reason to come back and play Mahjongg, right?
8.0 Graphics
They’re nice but seem made for larger televisions. Lots of tile and background options mean you can change the look to your taste.
8.0 Sound
It’s nothing extraordinary but certainly does a good job of setting the atmosphere.
6.5 Gameplay
The controls are cumbersome with all of them being on the left side (D-pad and left stick) so you can’t change tiles and move the gameboard simultaneously. A free roaming would have done wonders for the game.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
7.5 Overall
It’s Mahjongg with a story mode that really adds nothing much to the title. But if you love Mahjongg then you’ll love this game. The visuals and sound are nice but the controls leave much to be desired.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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