Review by TheSAMMIES
"Let's do The Bubble Dance! Yeah!"
Warning! Pastel Gal is a pornographic arcade mahjong game. Nichibutsu made a lot of these back in the 80s and this is actually one of their better ones. If you are too young to play games with completely naked cartoon women in them or if you are offended by cartoon nudity, then you should probably skip this one.
So pornographic arcade mahjong games. Has any company contributed more to this sub genre's growth than Nichibutsu? It's doubtful. They made a lot of these things and Pastel Gal is one of the first ones released by Nichibutsu. There are even naked women on the title screen. The game itself is actually not bad. The computer doesn't cheat! There is not much reason to play this thing other than its silly quirks that make it stand out a little. Otherwise, you're better off with something like Taisen Hot Gimmick if you want to get your tiles and cartoon boobs fix (you dirty, dirty boy/girl).
Story- Pastel Gal doesn't have much of a story, but it's there. The attract mode shows three women doing something called The Bubble Dance over and over again before tearing off their dresses and revealing swimsuits underneath. It's actually a pretty funny animation and is very entertaining if you've been up all night because you can't sleep because of that dream again, but that's another story. Seeing dancers perform The Bubble Dance in less than 32 colors with a low animation count just looks cheesy and silly.
There are some women to choose from. They don't have personalities or anything. They only exist as clothed bodies you can disrobe with your mahjong skills. Oh, but you get their phone number after you beat them! That counts as character development, right? What do you mean it doesn't? It totally does, I swear!
Presentation- Pastel Gal has some interesting choices of colors for its palette. Pastel colors make everything look like it was made with the same set of colors as Care Bears, except instead of bears teaching love and caring it's cartoon women playing mahjong and showing you their no-no parts. There is very limited animation. Women will move their hands and legs every so often and there's also that Bubble Dance that amuses my sleep deprived mind so very much.
So, how's the nudity? The game's from 1985, none of it is hot in any way shape or form. Come on, this is a video game from the 80s, you're playing it because you want to laugh and play mahjong, not because you're feeling hot and bothered over video games like some kind of hormone addled preteen. For crying out loud, one of the women (Mai) has gray hair! If the graphics weren't so low resolution, you'd swear she was someone's granny! Do you really want to play a strip mahjong game with a naked granny in it with 8-bit graphics? If you answered yes to that question, you need to see someone about your very screwed up sexual health.
Pastel Gal sounds like an old XTC album. Oh wait, that was my music. Pastel Gal doesn't have any music, only forgettable beeps and boops for sound effects. We will never know what music those women doing The Bubble Dance were moving to. Maybe it is nothing at all and they're just crazy?
Gameplay- Pastel Gal doesn't cheat. That puts it worlds ahead of every mahjong game that does. Your goal is the same as just about every other mahjong game. Get three sets of four and two of a kind. If that isn't specific enough, there are plenty of places online that can teach you the more advanced rules.
Pastel Gal has a quirky atmosphere that makes it more likable than most pornographic arcade mahjong games from the 80s. It isn't particularly good, but it at least gets enough things right to be enjoyable. Go ahead and try it if you're interested, if anything just for that silly Bubble Dance. I can't get enough of that Bubble Dance.
Cool Fact- On the high score screen, you don't just type in your initials, you type in a whole message. If you could tell people one thing using ten characters including spaces, what would it be?
Also Try- Mahjong Erotica Golf and Taisen Hot Gimmick are great pornographic arcade mahjong games. They're better than Pastel Gal anyway.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/30/13, Updated 03/17/14
Game Release: Pastel Gal (JP, 12/31/85)
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