games from mandarake!

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is going to be slightly different from my usual game reviews or playthroughs. In fact, I’m rather excited to share about this.

At the end of 2014, I travelled to Japan with my family and boyfriend. We went to Osaka and made a day trip to Kyoto. The entire trip went swell and was great fun. But, what I will be sharing from that trip is a few games I picked up. 😀

My boyfriend and I had heard about Mandarake when we went to Tokyo previously. Unfortunately, as we were on a trip with a society from uni, we did not have much time to check it out. We were really excited when a friend told us about the Mandarake in Shinsaibashi in Osaka.

For those who do not know of Mandarake, it is a massive chain store that sells action figures, game consoles, magazines, games, etc. Their goods are mostly (if not, all) pre-loved. It is tons of fun going through their stock since it changes and can include some rare finds. I wouldn’t really recommend taking children along though as adult material is stocked alongside idol goods and not separated or cordoned off like in some other shops. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the actual Mandarake store but, I think there are images of it on Google if anyone is particularly curious.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I enjoyed going through the merchandise and seeing some cool action figures. From memory, one of the things that I liked was a Persona 4 figure of Yukiko’s persona. I thought that was pretty awesome. Besides that, I was hunting for Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side goods but the store didn’t seem to have any in stock. I asked the cashier as well and she wasn’t sure whether there was anything available. I eventually gave up and bought some games. ^___^;;

I bought Hana Yori Dango: Another Love Story and Atelier Marie for the Gameboy Color and Prince of Tennis Driving Smash! side Genius and side King (not photographed) for the Nintendo DS. For the two Gameboy Color games, I still have my old Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance SP in working condition. I found these while I was packing up during my move several months ago and thought it might be fun to play them again. However, if you are keen to purchase old games and do not have a working console, Mandarake also stocks secondhand consoles. Some of which were limited editions and really awesome-looking.

I found the games very reasonably priced since most, if not all, are pre-loved. The prices do vary game-to-game and based on the condition of that individual piece. Each game is graded from A to C on the condition of the game casette, box and the game manual with A being in the best condition and C in less ideal conditions. I have photographed a little tag that was on my games with information about the particular piece I bought. I had already tossed one and only have one to show. I have also added some translations and hope they help people who intend to make purchases from Mandarake in the future! 🙂

Now, let’s talk about these games! Given that these games are older and mostly played on older consoles, I don’t think they will photograph too well for me to post actual screencaps from the game. Hopefully, you guys can make it out from the back of the boxes. 🙂

The first game I was really excited to try out was Hana Yori Dango: Another Love Story. I opened and started that the first day I returned home and hence, it is photographed unwrapped. I have also included photos of the contents which include a game manual. The game manual includes basic instructions on gameplay like saving and controls. It has some other cute information about the characters and a little omake bit at the end but was not particularly detailed about the game. This game was the most expensive of the lot at ~Y1260 (or Y1280?). There were a few copies in stock and I chose the cheapest one since I wasn’t fussed about the condition.

I have not played through the game and have only seen the prologue. From the prologue, I believe that the Japanese in this game is not going to be overly difficult. I could understand most of it and make out the bits that I didn’t quite understand, though that might be because I have watched the drama and inferred from the images. 🙂

For anyone who is reading my blog for the first time, I am a fan of the Atelier series. I managed to snag a few of the games on the PSVita while it was on sale on PSN and fell completely in love with the entire game. The graphics are completely gorgeous and the gameplay is addictive. I could not get enough of it. Anyway, I found this Atelier game that was not released outside of Japan for Y300. It seemed like a really good deal and so I decided to get it. I don’t think the games from this series is quite as straightforward to play when I don’t understand the language so I haven’t really played this game yet.

This game was tagged to have a C grade box and B grade game manual. However, I did not have any issues with the condition of either. The game manual is a little munted but not unbearably so. I don’t see anything wrong with the box at all but, perhaps I don’t really know what to look for. I think the general condition of games at Mandarake is pretty decent and so I wouldn’t be too critical of a game which is not in perfect condition. But, I can’t say for certain since I only got these two games. ^___^

The last game that I will talk about from my haul is the Prince of Tennis Driving Smash! side Genius game. I actually managed to buy both side Genius and side King but have since given away the side King copy to my sister since she is also a Prince of Tennis fan. I forgot to get a picture before I gave it to her and hence, it isn’t shown above. The casing also isn’t shown above as this game came without one. This meant that it was heavily discounted. I paid Y300 for each game, if I remember correctly and I thought it was a steal. Again, I wasn’t particularly fussed about the box since I have a case for my 3DS/DS games.

I bought this because I was interested to find out more about this Prince of Tennis game since I have played a couple previously. There used to be one ages ago on the Playstation 2 which involved actually playing tennis in-game. I also recently started playing the Prince of Tennis Girls! Be Gracious game and was curious what kind of game Driving Smash! would be.

After buying the game, I watched a trailer online that showed that it’s about managing the respective teams (Seigaku and Hyotei) and competing against rival schools. I have yet to play the game or figure out what the gameplay is like but, it does look really cute and I look forward to playing this sometime. 🙂

That is the end of my small haul from Mandarake. I hope everyone liked this post as much as I enjoyed sharing all this with everyone!

Have fun and keep gaming!