FunTown Mahjong Reviews

106,861 (47,385)
TA Score for this game: 932
Posted on 04 May 09 at 03:00
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Review on a glance: (Overall 4/10)
+ Traditional game for a console.
- Empty Lobby awaits
- Ridiculous achievements
? Can we gamble our Gamerscore or even Microsoft Points? :D

Have anyone know there is a theory suggesting Mahjong is invented by
Confucius, one of the greatest Chinese philosophers while the red, green
and the white dragons all have their own meanings and roles in the game?
And no matter who is responsible for inventing this game, no one can argue
Mahjong is a very fun game that involves skill, strategy and lucks.

Unlike the traditional 13-tiles Mahjong that we are familiar with, Funtown
brings us the 16-tiles Taiwanese Mahjong that features bonuses for dealers
and not allow multiple players to win from a single hand rules. I would not
spend too much time to discuss the rules of Funtown Mahjong here and want
to discuss a bit deeper on the game play and plus/minus on this console
variation of the traditional game.

Like UNO, Poker or Monopoly type games that have simple rules but with
depth, one of the very important and essential key of success while they
are making a console adaptation is --- Game need enough players if it is
highly rely on the online session~!. I downloaded this game when it first
released with high expectation that I can at least have some good time with
my money spent, all I can do is waiting for other players to come on Live
to have a game. The approximate wait time for a ranked game is around 5 –
10 minutes minimum. I had once spent 30 minutes just to wait for one game
to start and then have to wait for another 30 minutes until the next game.
I could not think of any other game that having a empty lobby like this.
The killer is, probably you should know if you are interested enough to
look for a review on this game, Mahjong is a game that needed FOUR players
to start. Waiting for another player to show up is a pain in the butt
already, and waiting for another 3 players is 3 times the torture.
Why the game developers do not have an option to put two gamers can play
with 2 CPU players?

Another thing worth mentioned is Funtown is a Taiwanese based company (A
lot of gamers think there was a Japanese original), they have a very
successful franchise of online Mahjong (PC) in Asia. For the graphics, they
just created a 3D animation off the 2D PC avatars to 360. And the avatar
that u can choose from is very limited and worst thing is, from the game
that you are playing, you cannot see your own avatar playing. Why not
making a good use of the Live Avatar from Microsoft? Graphic for this
game…some very disappointing cartoon character that have some silly
movement (swinging hands blindly or shaking head in disbelief) in-game, you
viewers can put a score for yourself.

Every successful game need some decent BGM to back up with, MIDI or some
similar music is what gamers get for this game. I would not score on this
category as well.

This part is for achievements whore including myself. As a veteran Mahjong
player, I still could not figure out how to earn some of the achievements
and some of the achievements are ridiculously time consuming. For instance,
the definition of the “Legend Badge” is pretty vague. “Win a mahjong 8
times by self-pick in a single game session”. Is it referred to do it in
one single session?

Let’s do some math here. Four rounds of Mahjong including 16 games
normally. If you are good enough to recurring dealership 2 times in each
round, that makes it 24 games in total. Off that 24 games, you not only
have to win, but win by self-pick 8 times. How could that possible? Let see
another achievement here “Trump Badge”, the condition is “accumulated
10,000 scores in ranked match”. I have almost 100 ranked games and have a
big-hand win with 60% winning%. I can only get around 2000 points. For
getting the achievement without boosting, it requires around 3-400 games
played. (If others are still playing this game)

DLC – Of course this game have a downloadable content .160 Microsoft points
for Chinese Festival theme – I downloaded it without knowing what that is.
Are you smart enough to figure out from it’s description? “Visit the temple
and play Mahjong during the Chinese New Year to bring good luck for the
whole year.” Secret reveals - This basically provide gamer a different
theme with different table cloth and a nice background (yes, I am trying to
be sarcastic :D)

As a conclusion of this review, I really not intend to scare players off
this game (I still need players to play with for my “Trump Badge”. But I
believe you can spend your hard-earned 800 MS elsewhere.
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