I thought this was going to be some kind of kung-fu brawler/platformer, because I had forgotten about it.
It turns out that Shanghai II is, in fact, Mahjong, the domino-esque tile game, for the SNES.
Why did they release this game? Was the first Shanghai an insufficient volume of mahjong? Why would anyone want to play mahjong on an SNES, with the clumsy 8-directional manipulation and lengthy intro screen of a dragon giving an invisible blowjob? Apparently the first Shanghai never made it to North America. I wonder what made them bring this one over.
I don’t even know how to play mahjong.
In my experience, boardgames-turned-videogames are often poorly cobbled-together money grabs. Sometimes you’ll get some really good translations that take advantage of the new medium, like Carcassonne and other recent offerings, and sometimes you’ll get an interesting new entirely digital game that is essentially a boardgame – Greed Corps and Culdcept Saga for the 360, for example, or Solium Infernum for PC.
Usually you just get a crappy version of real life that kids probably played because they wanted to play a video game and that’s all they had.
I don’t know how good this one is. I have seriously never played mahjong for more than ten seconds. It’s powerfully boring. There could be some really good mahjong going on here.
But I doubt it.