Mobile does what Nintendid
Nintendo may not have any plans to make games for mobile devices any time soon, but that doesnt mean you cant already play Nintendo games on your phone. No. Were not talking about emulators or any of those programs that let you play Pokmon on your Nexus. We mean games that first got their start on Nintendo consoles and handhelds and are now available on iOS and Android. So if youre dying to play some Nintendo on your phone, you already can. Sort of.
Weve put together a list of some of these ports and remakes to give you an idea of how they stack up to the originals. Mario may not be on our list (talk to Miyamoto about that), but if you grew up playing SNES or even owned a DS, you might recognize a few of them. How do they fare on mobile? Find out.
10. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Free)
A rhythm game on a mobile device makes a lot of sense since youre essentially tapping your screen to the beat of the music. Its no surprise then that this 3DS game is just as fun on your phone or tablet. Theatrhythm is essentially a music anthology, featuring notable melodies from games in the series. Its music to every Final Fantasy fans ears, but a wall of in-app purchases may make it hard to fully enjoy all the nostalgia.
The iOS version is free to play and comes with two songs. Controls work seamlessly as you play through each track, holding down your finger during side-scrolling songs or tapping in quick succession during battles. However, if you want more music, its going to cost you. Packs are available that unlock all the songs from each game or you can simply download your favorites individually. Considering the game doesnt come with all the features of the 3DS version and can get pretty pricey if you download a bunch of songs, youre better off playing the original. But, if you dont own a 3DS, paying a dollar per song isnt so bad considering you can control what you hear. So if you want to play through an endless stream of "One Winged Angel", who's there to stop you?
9. Mega Man X ($4.99)
The X series started on the SNES and took advantage of Nintendos 16-bit processors, giving us a game that not only looked good but also offered plenty of depth and replayability. The iOS version is essentially the same and contains every power-up, Maverick, and stage as the original, but it does offer a few added features that fit its more compact nature.
Fans may or may not like some of the auto-firing options, for example, or the segmented stages that provide checkpoints in case you die too early. The 16-bit art style has also been swapped out in favor a sleeker design that looks great on Retina displays. And despite its $5 price tag, in-app purchases are available if you want them, so if youre having a hard time getting past the last stage in Sigmas fortress, you can always buy extra energy tanks. The original is definitely better, but download it to your phone if you need some more Blue Bomber in your life.
8. Chrono Trigger ($9.99)
Chrono Trigger is a JRPG thats seen as many ports as some Final Fantasy games out there. Instead of receiving a 3D remake like Final Fantasy IV did, the DS version of Chrono Trigger kept its classic look but did manage to include two additional areas to explore. Featuring an intriguing time-traveling story and characters with their own pasts and problems, it's no wonder this classic game has been ported so often.
If you decide to pick up the iOS version, youll be getting the same game but with added touch-screen support and some adjusted visuals. You cant tap enemies in battle to select them, unfortunately, so you need to scroll through lists instead. Some of the visuals havent made the transfer from DS to mobile quite seamlessly either, so expect to see some muddy graphics during battle. The soundtrack, however, is same 16-bit goodness from the original and makes battling through bosses all the more nostalgic. If you havent played it yet and want a great RPG to play with on your way to work, Chrono Trigger has your name on it.
7. Conduit HD ($4.99)
Conduit came out exclusively on Wii back in 2009. This sci-fi shooter takes place through 9 action-packed levels in a gritty world where aliens are trying to take over the planet. Not many of you probably got to play it, so if youre one of them and you own an Android device, do yourself a favor and download it now. You can play the first two chapters for free and then unlock the game if you end up falling in love with it. And you just might.
The main difference between this one and the original is that this one uses a virtual stick in place of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Moving around and aiming your rifle to shoot aliens in the head is never a problem despite this change. You always have ample room on your screen to see whats going on. They dont call it HD for nothing either, as the games visuals have been enhanced and feature crisp textures, more detailed resolutions, and better lighting effects. Not only does the game look so much better than the original, but these changes give you a much more atmospheric experience each time you turn a corner or shoot an alien in the head.
6. The World Ends With You: Solo Remix ($17.99)
The World Ends With You was unique in that it used both of the DSs screens during battle. The bottom screen let you control Neku and utilized touch-screen controls to select pins youd use to attack. The top screen let you control your ally using the DSs face buttons. Pulling off combos together and staying in sync was key to defeating some of the stronger enemies youd have to face in the game's version of Shibuya. But how does this translate to a single-screen mobile device?
Solo Remix contains the same core features of the original, but its combat system has been revamped to work with one screen. Instead of using your partner to sync attacks together, you can call on them for additional assistance and to chain even more damaging combos together. Of course, TWEWY is more than just battles, and its intriguing story, cast of characters, and even amazing soundtrack are enough reasons to give it a go. You wont lose anything playing it on one screen, except maybe a few hours and $18.
5. Final Fantasy IV ($15.99)
Final Fantasy IV came out more than two decades ago, so its no surprise that the game has seen a number of ports since its debut on the SNES back in 1991. It wasnt until the DS remake that the game first featured 3D graphics, voiced cutscenes, and CGI animations, elevating this classic RPG to new heights. The iOS version essentially takes what made the DS version so good and delivers a polished RPG thats great on the go.
The mobile version is worth $16, but if youre complaining about the pricedont be. Youre getting the full game without skimping on any content. And just because you lose a screen doesnt mean its any less good. Touch-screen controls let you tap commands during battle, and a virtual stick makes moving around the overworld a breeze. Plus, some sharp visuals and those classic Nobuo Uematsu tunes make it a great game to play almost anywhere. Final Fantasy IV is the best game of the series currently available on mobile devices, and even if you think Cloud is way better than Cecil, we recommend you give this one a try.
4. Secret of Mana ($8.99)
Unlike other Square-Enix titles on this list, Secret of Mana has never been released on any modern handheld, and its last release was on the SNES two decades ago. This iOS version is the original game in its entirety, and features convenient touch-screen controls and a widescreen view that makes it easy to revisit this classic action-RPG or completely experience it for the first time.
You wont miss using a controller either, as virtual controls are responsive and quick-select icons can be tapped during a fight. The AI controls your party members, but you still need to swap out your characters to survive some difficult boss battles. Grinding is also required, especially when you walk into a cave and realize youre way under-leveled to take on a menacing monster. Still, if youre looking for an RPG thats as robust as it is challenging, you have no better option than playing Secret of Mana on your phone, unless you want to dust off your old SNES, of course.
3. Phoenix Wright Trilogy ($16.99)
The Phoenix Wright games first were released on Game Boy Advance only in Japan but were later remade for the Nintendo DS and released in North America. These remakes were enhanced by touch-screen controls and even included an extra case that took full advantage of the DS. Its no surprise that the series fits in nicely on mobile devices, and considering you get three games for one low price, its almost a deal too good to pass up.
Trilogy includes the first three games in the series, so you get Ace Attorney, Trials & Tribulations, and Justice for All for $17. The first game is a direct port of the DS, so it even includes Rise from the Ashes, complete with Ema Skye and that lovable Blue Badger. Its a hard sell for anyone thats already played through the series, but if youre looking to catch up and see where this legal drama got its start, the iOS version is definitely worth checking out.
2. Tomena Sanner ($1.99)
Everyone knows that a Japanese salaryman just wants to bust a move after a grueling week at work, and Tomena Sanner makes sure youre aware of this. Like, painfully aware. This runner features nine levels that feature obstacles like elephants or dancing Egyptians you must overcome to get to the glorious finish line at the end. What happens there cannot be unseen.
Surprisingly enough, this game first came out on WiiWare but its pick-and-play format and the inclusion of an endless mode makes it so much better to play on the go. You simply need to tap on an obstacle as your salaryman approaches it. The closer you are to touching them, the more points you get. All that dancing and its smooth soundtrack are well worth the price of admission to this crazy Japanese game show of a runner.
1. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective ($9.99)
Ghost Trick follows the story of a ghost that has no recollection of how he died but realizes that the key to remembering who he was is by saving the lives of certain people. Now that hes dead, Sissel has the power to possess objects and use them to distract those he needs to save by changing the course of their lives. Every level is a giant puzzle with multiple solutions, but you only have a set amount of time before fate plays its role and your target dies.
Its no surprise that the iOS version has no trouble giving you the same experience, letting you use your finger this time instead of a stylus to create paths for Sissel to travel on. Its visuals have also been enhanced, meaning all its colorful levels and cool effects look even better on your mobile device. The iOS version comes with all the chapters from the original, and you can even try out the first two free of charge. For $10, Ghost Trick is a must-buy if youre in the mood for a quirky puzzler or just love cute Pomeranians.
Mobile Mario, anyone?
When will we see Mario, Yoshi, or Link on our phones? Who knows, but hopefully our list gave you an idea of what some of those games might feel like on mobile devices. The transition to mobile may not always be pretty, but who wouldn't appreciate a little Kirby in between calls?