If you’re a big publisher in Japan and want to give a franchise token support what do you do? Make a cell phone game. Capcom applied this strategy to Breath of Fire and now Square Enix is trying it with Hanjuku Hero. The first game in the series was put in the Famicom section of the Virtual Console last year and now it has a full cell phone remake. Square Enix decided to keep the feel of the original game for Ganso Hanjuku Hero (Pioneer Hanjuku Hero), but went back to the drawing board for graphics and gameplay balancing. Had the Hanjuku Hero series been an international blockbuster this remake would probably be for the Nintendo DS or PSP instead all Hanjuku Hero fans get is a mobile phone game.
It really is interesting to see how Japanese developers use mobile phones. It’s almost as if they’re testing the waters with their niche franchises. Sometimes Square Enix even takes their mobile phone games a step further and give them a proper retail release like Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness. I wouldn’t count on Ganso Hanjuku Hero getting the same treatment though.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.