Seiken Densetsu, or The Final Fantasy Adventure Mobile - Staff Retroview  

by Michael Baker

Mobile Phone
Less than 20 Hours
+ Nostalgia abounds.
+ Great music.
+ Improved graphics.
- Difficult to change volume.
- Small screen is hard on eyes.
- Awful controls.
Click here for scoring definitions 

A bit over two years ago I posted my first Japandemonium column, and in it there was a mini-review for Seiken Densetsu, or The Final Fantasy Adventure, which I had recently discovered on my then-new mobile phone. I always regretted not doing a full review of the game, so I shall remedy that now.

First of all, this is a remake. Obviously, that means that if the player is at all familiar with the GameBoy original, then the only issue that may arise would be that most of the item names are a bit different between the Japanese and English versions because of the space available. The story is completely untouched, with the same save-the-maiden-fair major plot and various intermediary events. It's still enjoyable almost twenty years later, but it wasn't pushing the envelope even back in the day.

No, I'M Batman! No, I'M Batman!

The music for this game, on the other hand, was excellent even on the GB speakers, and the improved MIDIs of this version, while best with headphones, are more than adequate on a mobile phone's speaker. The only sound-related complaint is that it's impossible to change the volume within the game itself. Any volume selection must be made at the start menu.

The most obvious improvement is with graphic quality. Seiken Densetsu has been fully realized with SNES-level graphics, while staying as true to the original's design as possible. While this limits it somewhat in comparison to its SNES sequels, the transition from GB screen to mobile phone is a smooth one design-wise.

Wark wark? Wark, wark?

What has not transferred so well is the control scheme. On this reviewer's phone, the O-ring button controls movement while the button in the center works as the A button. Of the four menu buttons surrounding the ring button, one is the B button equivalent, one is Menu, and a third is Exit. That last one was pushed more than a few times while trying to dodge down and right, which was very annoying. Thankfully the game will ask if the player wants to exit first, but it still hampers gameplay. Actually, so does the entire control setup, to the point that the hero's lunging sword technique becomes next to impossible to use on command.

Overall, this is a good remake that's been saddled with a clunky hardware control scheme. It possesses the same atmosphere as the original, with higher quality graphics and sound that stay true to its roots. Were it released on any other platform, the score would be a full point higher. We can only hope for an eventual Wii-lease or similar DLC version.

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