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ONM Remembered – #41

“Like trying to read a Japanese book!”

from N64 Pro issue 6 (April 1998)

You know how I said the old Ninty mags highlighted and reviewed Japanese games on occasion? Yeah, I never said they were all good reviews.
I admit, I gotta admire them for having the gusto for picking up and reviewing endless Mahjong games, seemingly in a futile quest for one that magically made sense to us baka gaijin.

I do wonder, though: In the olde days of the anime and manga fandom, before scanlations and fansubs, people would produce translated transcriptions of the stories for readers or watchers to look at while reading or watching whether it was they were reading or watching. An unsophisticated but passable method of translation.
Did import gamers ever attempt such a thing back in the day? Nowadays, of course, we’ve got translation patches, and at the very least, GameFAQs occasionally has quick translation guides for easy gameplay accessibility… but this was 1998. How many resources were there? You’d have to be pretty dedicated to shell out mad cash for these games that might totally and utterly impenetrable to English speakers.
Food for thought.

And because I’ve startlingly little of worth to say today (what else is new?), let’s get some plugs in here! Subatomic Brainfreeze, alongside some great anime, video game and general fandom writings, has some good lessons about Mahjong. It’s all Greek to me, but I dig the man’s dedication.

Hardcore Gaming 101 has a page on Wonder Project J, but amusingly enough, it has a scan of the review that N64 Pro is making fun of. How about that!