Retronauts Episode 518: Mega Man Feature Phone Games


You there, reader! The odds are high that you're staring at a pocket-sized screen right this second, as smartphones have all but replaced traditional "mobile phones" due to their broad range of capabilities. As tiny computers, smartphones can easily handle high-resolution graphics and high-speed inputs, making them ideal devices for video gaming.

Yet even before we had phones that could compete with consoles, there were companies making video games for these handhelds which had a sizeable audience as more and more people got used to the idea of carrying a phone around with them at all times. Nowhere was this more common than in Japan, a nation with a fondness for gadgets and a robust public transportation network where commuters could easily spend two or three hours each day staring at a small screen.

On this episode, host Nadia Oxford welcomes RockmanCosmo and Naoya Shinota to shine a light on this seldom-celebrated gaming platform, detailing the many competing services that dominated the Japanese market, outlining why preserving these games is so difficult, and eventually focusing their conversation on Capcom's efforts to interpret Mega Man for number pads.

Description: How do you archive Japan's unique feature phone games when so many—like Capcom's many Mega Man titles—are bound to dead overseas networks? Preservationists RockmanCosmo and Naoya Shinota talk all about it.

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

MP3, 43 MB | 1:30:49 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Audioboom

Artwork for this episode by John Pading and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.