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More amazing cellular games.
Another fun filled update showing off the really incredible cellular games released recently in Japan. Some of these have apparently seen release in other countries as well, such as Kemco's Prince of Persia, but most of these will remain in Japan for the foreseeable future. You might remember the old pages showing off the Japanese game libraries, part one and part two. i-mode has caught up with Vodafone and is now offering larger, hi-res games that show off the luscious quality of the 240x320 screens that come with pretty much all new Japanese phones.

Here's the gallery

Recent Konami releases
Konami's a big supporter of cellular gaming, and many of their 8-bit classics have been ported. They've done an especially good job bringing games to Vodafone's high-res 256k-appli platform. They have just released a very good looking pinball game based on Rumble Roses. If it's anything like Taito's SpiderMan 2 pinball game it's pretty but slow and boring. Konami also recently released Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which looks fantastic. They had already released Metal Gear, complete with the original graphics. Some of their other recent releases include an Gradius 2, Salamander, the original Gradius and a really neat Gradius Imperial (A sequel of sorts to their other remix, Gradius NEO) where you control an enemy boss and fly right to left. They've also dragged out our favourite vampire hunting game, Akumajo Dracula, Contra, Yie Ar KUNG-FU and a whole bunch more.

Taito's new stuff
Taito's quite prolific, bringing outstanding high-res games to the scene. Naturally Bubble Bobble received the star treatment, , as did their popular Derby Memorial, a game that's almost certain never to see release in any other country. They also released an RPG of sorts, called Fighting Fantasy. Not for the faint of heart, or anyone without a very good English/Japanese dictionary! Their answer to Konami's Gradius is the equally popular Darius DX, which looks absolutely stunning. Elevator Action also got an upgrade, the cellular version looks far better than the arcade original! Their as-yet unreleased System-X brawler Chaos Breaker has been released for phones, and it looks really impressive.

Sega's cellular library
Sega burst out of the gate with an astonishing library of games, but has since slowed down quite a bit. They don't release much, and they scatter it amongst their many divisions. Sonic Cafe is usually the most active, but their last release was on the first of December, 2004. The other divisions tend to release low-res games...

Hudson Soft
Hudson's new to the Vodafone bandwagon. They jumped on when Vodafone was the fastest up and coming carrier, but now they're sliding Hudson's releases have slowed to a trickle. They have released two Adventure Island games (also known as Wonder Boy, Also known as Takeshi Meijin no Boukenjima...) Here's the first and the second, called NEW Takeshi Meijin no Boukenjima, but we'll just call it Wonder Boy 2. The've also brought out Project A-Train IV and my personal favourite, a very respectable version of Nectaris.

The rest...
It's all about Taito, Konami and the independants right now. Hudson's making quality stuff, but not enough of it. Capcom's output was incredible when the screens were small, but they're slacking with the new 256k games. Sega's output has all but stopped, concentrating on a few ports of their "let's make!" sports sims. Success, G-Mode and Kemco, three of the most prolific independants, are responsible for most of the original titles being released. The big names are relying on ports almost exclusively. Both approaches are necessary for pushing the quality and playability to new heights. Most of these games totally suck to play. Cellular pads and buttons are second only to concrete bricks for total unsuitability as game controllers.