TGS 2007: Capcom goes mobile with BioHazard 4 and Devil May Cry

While I’d guess that the Biohazard 4 and Devil May Cry: Dante/Virgil mobile titles weren’t the result of a public outcry or an Internet petition, far be it from me to speak on the demand of cellular phone-based games in Japan. As a foreigner, I’m not only astounded by the number of cell phones used throughout Tokyo, but I was also stunned to find out that mobile games made up the highest percentage of titles shown at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

I had a chance to play the mobile versions of both titles on the show floor, with varied results. Hit the jump for the skinny on two games that are not quite as cool as Google’s free “Google Map” application, but better than most phones’ built-in web browsers.

The demo of Biohazard 4 was fairly impressive, sporting some pretty sharp 3D graphics and textures that kept the feel of the console editions. Control-wise, the game is blessed in its simplicity, with movement controlled by the phone’s menu pad, one button used to draw your gun, and another to fire.

The TGS demo of Biohazard 4 only had me finding and firing at hidden blue coins in the game’s “Coin Shoot” mode, but it appears there’s a full game in there somewhere, with enemies and all. The demo also contained a non-playable demonstration of what seems like a more fleshed out gameplay mode, featuring the same axe- and pitchfork-wielding villagers you’ve come to know and love. Provided this is not just a shooting gallery, and there are some story elements, Biohazard 4 could make for an interesting mobile diversion. Devil May Cry on the other hand was a confusing wreck, with far too many buttons required to play. After skillfully navigating a series of what appeared to be way too many damned menus screens (all in Japanese), I set eyes on an ugly, mobile 3D Dante model, ready for action. Movement with the menu pad wasn’t quite as smooth as it was with Biohazard 4, so killing actual enemies was not nearly as fun as shooting stationary coins. How they managed to screw that one up is anybody’s guess.

Chances of these games coming to North America are slim, but don’t cry yourself to sleep at night over it. Neither of the demos shined like their console counterparts, and it’s doubtful you’d find them replacing sending naughty text messages to total strangers as your game of choice.

Nick Chester