If asked to identify some console franchises that might be good candidates for Java conversions, SoulCalibur would not be the first name on our list.

A quick analysis of the defining attributes of the series - devastatingly fluid animations, fully realised 3D environments, lightning-fast swordplay - is enough to give any mobile developer pause for thought.

Seemlingly undaunted by the challenge of squeezing the SoulCalibur experience onto a comparatively tiny stage, Namco Bandai decided to have a crack at condensing its flagship fighter down to a more basic form.

The resulting game is an understandably limited but surprisingly enjoyable companion to its console-dwelling brethren.

Transcending history and the world

The SoulCalibur series has always been a visual treat, delivering rounded character models while Tekken was still composing its roster sheet from clusters of right-angles.

While obviously unable to recreate the eye candy that fans are accustomed to, the detailed visuals in this game do an excellent job of translating the essence of the SoulCalibur universe into two dimensions.

Series favourites like Mitsurugi, Taki, and Sophitia are easily identifiable, and, when prompted, execute some familiar attacks by way of some relatively complex animations.

Long multi-button combos have been abandoned in favour of two or three well-timed keypad strokes, forcing you to adapt to a somewhat clipped, but nonetheless engaging, fighting style.

A tale of soul and sword

There's a Story mode to carve through, which, when completed with all available fighters, will unlock the game's full complement of eight characters.

Fun can also be also be found in the stamina-testing Survival mode, and tackling the Tower of Lost Souls will earn you cash to spend on equipping your favourite character with the preposterously oversized Soul Edge.

The absence of a multiplayer option comes as no shock, and the significantly edited move list is predictably spartan, but there are enough attacks to carry you through the fast-paced rounds without too much repetition.

Undeniably crude though it may be, SoulCalibur Mobile does an impressive job of bringing the splendour - and the spirit - of an epic series to smallest Stage of History in the franchise's lifespan.