[Arcade Obscurities is a bi-weekly column by Solvalou.com's Arttu Ylärakkola, probing some of the most interesting and obscure arcade games yet to be covered in the geek gaming press, thanks to Arttu's JAMMA board collection, and our insatiable quest for knowledge. This fourth column looks at Puzzloop and Pang creator Sega's 1998 ST-V mini-game fest Taisen Tanto-R 'Sasi-su!!'.]

There are some somewhat rare games that are so expensive that you delay the purchase by years, hoping for the price to come down. The exact opposite are games that, while cheap and relatively common, don't find their way to your collection simply because they're obscure: obscure in a way that nobody seems to know anything about them, the flyers and screenshots look weird - and since 90% of everything is crap, you stay away from such games.

However, sometimes you take a risk and buy such a game: by doing that I've had some disappointments, but also some very positive surprises, one of which is very obscure and also very Japanese Taisen Tanto-R 'Sasissu!'.

Taisen Tanto-R 'Sasi-su!!' (1998) by Sega is the last game in the Puzzle & Action minigame series. The other games in the series are Tanto-R (1992), Ichidant-R (1994) and Treasure Hunt/BoMulEul Chajara (1995). While the first two games run on a Sega Genesis/Megadrive-like arcade system named System C-2, the last two games use the arcade version of Sega Saturn: the ST-V Titan.

In Sasi-su!! two players compete against each other in attempt to win as much money as possible from their opponent ("Money is Power", says the card table around which the players sit). Money is won by beating your opponent in various minigames.

Shufflepuck - Situated in the Arctic Circle and surrounded by badly drawn penguins, players must play 3 rounds of shufflepuck. Just getting the puck through your opponent's paddle is not enough, as you have to break a wall - breakout style - before being able to score a point.

Aerial fight - Armed with a bow and arrows, players must float (with the help of a bunch of balloons) around a field attempting to shoot the opponent down by bursting all the balloons. The aiming and dodging is not as easy as one might imagine, as the arrows do not fly in a straight line.

Bombing - Players stand at each end of a bridge and roll bombs at the opponent. Roll too early and the opponent can return the bomb, roll too late and the bomb might explode at your end.

Quiz Show ... or something - A bit difficult for people like me who don't know any Japanese. Basically you're guaranteed to lose money if you select this game :)

Thief-Catching - Armed with what look like Japanese folding fans, players attempt to whack an escaping masked thief. When hit hard enough, the thief drops some jewels from his bag which the players must collect. Play dirty: Whack your opponent instead of the thief or wait him to attack the thief and collect the loot yourself.

Money Exchange - A store clerk displays the price of an item, and you must choose the correct coins to match that price - with more accuracy and speed than your opponent!

Rooftop Battle - Fight inside a rooftop arena by using various weapons such as machine guns, bazookas and whatnot and use barrles to give you some fire cover.

Racing - Ride faster than you opponent in this Mario Kart -like splitscreen racer. Narrow shortcuts are available, but using the is not risk-free: riding on anything else than pavements slows you down.

Minigolf - Minigolf courses are often very different from real golf courses, but in Sasi-su!! you have miniaturized versions of fairways and lakes and the works. Get your ball in the hole with as few strokes as possible - I bet you guessed that already...

Painting - In this minigame an artist shows you a color, and you have an empty white canvas which you must paint in the exact same color. Various paint tubes are available, so it's up to you to choose and mix the correct amount of correct colors. You can ask the artist's opinion about the color to check if it's close enough, but be quick, as if your opponent wins is you're not quick enough!

Mountain Run - Run from the mountain top to a goal on the ground. Collect as many jewels as possible while ducking or jumping over the obstacles at the same time. By staying ahead of your opponent you get a better chance of collecting all the goodies, but that also means that you have less time to react to the obstacles.

Garbage collecting - Apartment dwellers have a bad night and start throwing items out of their windows. By using your garbage can, collect as many flying items - some worth more than others - in attempt to score more points than your opponent.

Ant farm - Ants scuttle from their hidey-holes. Points are scored by getting the ants to take your sugar (or is it ant poison?) to their hive. Cursing ensues when the ants ignore your goodies and start hauling your opponent's candy.

Sasi-su!!'s lackluster presentation, with its unstylish Parappa-like 2d characters and unmemorable soundtrack doesn't divert from the fact that majority of the minigames are very playable. What some games lack in complexity, they more than make it up in pure fun and originality (painting, ant farm). The somewhat less original games' (racing, thief-catching, rooftop battle) saving grace is very smooth implementation and extremely good playablility. Sure, there are some not-that-good games (balloon fight, bombing) but for the couple of dollars I paid for Sasi-su!!, it's worth every penny.