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Gydar Industries has been busy updating People Search for Windows Phone. The update bringing the Windows Phone app to v1.2 has been submitted to the Marketplace for distribution and v1.3 is already in the works.

For those not familiar, People Search is the result of Ronny Gydar (the man behind Gydar Industries) needing to find a simple way for his Mom to find and call contacts on her Windows Phone. Seeing the need for something fast and easy to use, Ronny developed People Search.  People Search is a feature rich contact search engine that is based off the T9 dial pad instead of the full QWERTY keyboard. Using the T9 dial pad speeds things up a little and makes one handed use a little easier as well.

People Search for Windows Phone

Version 1.2 brings the following improvements and features into the mix.

  • Improved search speed, Cyrillic search characters added
  • Ability to share contacts with QR Tags
  • Various adjustments and tweaks to improve overall performance and appearance

All in all, the version 1.2 update gives People Search a bit more zip and the internal QR generator makes sharing contact easy between Windows Phones, iPhone, or Android phones.

There is a free, 24-hour trial version of People Search available with the full version running $.99. You can find People Search here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. If you are already enjoying People Search, you should be seeing the notification for the update any time now.

Oh... and speaking of the next update, hit the break to catch what Gydar Industries has in store for version 1.3 of People Search.  Look for this update to hit the Marketplace in a few weeks.

QR: People Search

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WP Central

Does your Lumia 900's WiFi occasionally go dead?

We're getting a few reports that at least for some users their Lumia 900 behaves a bit oddly on WiFi. The reports vary as to the experience but most of it seems to revolve around the idea that when the device goes to sleep, the WiFi data connection doesn't re-connect properly upon waking.

From one description on Nokia's help forum is thus:

"When my Lumia 900 is connected to my house's WiFi (airport extreme), it will connect fine.  However, when my phone goes to sleep (or when I don't use the connection for awhile), I can't connect to the web even though my phone saids that it is still connected to the network.  It seems like some other people are also having the problem.  http://forums.wpcentral.com/lumia-900-ace/189504.htm

Sometimes a soft-reset will fix the problem, and sometimes it will take some time before I can browse the web with my WiFi network.  I tested with my other phones / laptops / PDAs, so I am sure that it is not my router's problem."

Others reported the same issue as well even after the latest update. Admittedly we had this problem with our review and purchased units but it seemed to have been fixed with the first patch. However, even our WiFi got a little funky after the latest update just a few weeks ago. It's not an "all the time" bug and it's a bit hard to replicate but we've certainly experienced some odd data issues with our 900, though rare.

So the question for everyone here: do you notice any dropped data issues with your Lumia 900? Is it with WiFi, cellular or both? Take our poll after the break and/or leave a comment. Thanks, səlɹɐɥɔ sɯıs, for the tip

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103

Microsoft's Mysterious Monday Meeting

Microsoft's Mystery Event on June 18th

Microsoft is holding a press event in Los Angeles on Monday, June 18th. That much we do know.

What we don't know is why Microsoft is holding an event on Monday.

The invitation distributed by Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's PR agency, reads,

"You are invited to an exclusive Microsoft Media event in Los Angeles, California on Monday, June 18th. Doors open at 3:30 p.m."

We can say with confidence and confirmation that this isn't a Windows Phone event. That press event will be held  two days later in San Francisco (which we'll be in attendance at). But what could it be?

Xbox related? Maybe more information about Xbox Music?  Maybe something SmartGlass or Windows Tablet related? Could we see a few Windows tablets revealed? Maybe Microsoft has changed it's mind and is going to buy Nokia after all? Okay... that one might be too much of a stretch.

At this point, your guess is as good as ours.  Should we hear anything definitive we'll pass it on. The nice thing about this mystery is that we don't have long to wait for the event.

Source: ZDnet

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AMC

AMC Theaters, who were just sold to Wang Jianlin, a Chinese multi-billionaire, has finally jumped on board with Windows Phone by releasing an official app. AMC has been around since the 1920's and it swallowed up many theater chains along the way including Loews Cineplex and Sony Theaters to become one of the largest distributors in the US.

And truth be told, it's a fairly nice app.

Well designed and fast loading with a gorgeous layout the app is well done. Focusing on movie posters for graphics with stripped down text for areas, the app gives you a wide assortment of features including:

  • My Profile where you can store your favorite theaters and movies
  • Get synopsis of the latest films including watching previews
  • Pin movies and your favorite local theater to your Start screen
  • Get offers (there were none when we tried)

You can buy tickets but it just launches IE9 and pushes you to Fandango which is a little rough for our likes. We would have preferred to buy our tickets directly. Heck, you can't even manage, use or interact with AMC Stubs, their rewards program, which is a bit of a let down.

But for a version 1.0 it's not too shabby. Being free also helps so if you frequent AMC you'll want to certainly pick this up. Or just use the Fandango app.

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WP Central

We'll file these under "bug fixes" but two very popular apps have just received some 1.1 love from their respective developers.

The first is Nokia's "The Dark Knight Rises" app which of course focuses on the newest Batman film due out in a few weeks. The app has a built in augmented reality scanner for playing the location-based "game" (you choose to be Bane or Batman, claim areas via checkins and then defend those spots), trailers and clips, a countdown clock and method to find theaters around you.

No word on what v1.1 fixes but it seems to load a tad faster though the app is still sluggish when swiping through. If you have a Nokia Lumia Phone, you can grab version 1.1 for free here in the Nokia Collection.

WP Central

Likewise, the popular Photosynth app (see our review) managed to pick up a small update as well. No discernable changes are reported though we'll see if it still crashes on our Titan II in a bit. Once again we're betting these are minor bug fixes and optimizations to the popular photo-stitching app.

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Feed Me Oil

Feed Me Oil from Holy Water Games, Chillingo, and Electronic Arts (phew!) is one of the more charming Xbox Live physics puzzlers for Windows Phone. It packs delightful, colorful art, tons of levels, and copious amounts of everyone's favorite natural resource. However, it also launched with a glitchy Achievement that threatened to put a plug in the fun. Thankfully the version 1.1 update fixes that and other issues.

Feed Me Oil version 1.1 release notes:

  • Updated localizations
  • Fixed ‘Oil Spiller’ achievement 
  • Improved touch response for some devices 

After installing the update, the ‘Oil Spiller’ Achievement should unlock at the main menu, assuming you’ve completed its requirements. If you haven’t spilled enough oil yet, just play Level 1-2 until you’re allowed to turn on the oil. Then let it spill continuously until you have the Achievement. (Note that some people may simply have to reinstall the game if the above doesn’t work.) Our thanks go out to the developers for fixing the formerly glitchy Achievement!

Feed Me Oil costs just 99 cents and there is a free trial. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

QR: Feed Me Oil

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Cheaper Nokia phones make give Android a run for their money

Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, said today in a conference call that the Finnish manufacturer is looking to take on Android in the fight for mobile dominance, especially when it comes to low-price devices. Its primary weapons, Windows Phone and the Nokia Lumia line of handsets.

"We need to compete with Android aggressively," said Elop. "The low-end price point war is an important part of that."

When prompted about whether Nokia planned on putting out phones with lower price points than the entry-level Lumia 610, Elop responded, "Absolutely." He added that, together with Microsoft's help, Nokia found "ways to go even further" to "broaden the price point range that we're pursuing with Lumia.". With a strong commitment to Windows Phone, he two tech behemoths are vigorously fighting to break into emerging markets like China and India.

Elop did not elaborate on their plans, nor how it relates to the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 8, aka Apollo. However, with the Windows Phone Summit right around the corner, we would think some details may come to light then.

Source: TheVerge

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13

Logoarama reachs version 1.2, adds more gaming levels

Logoarama Updated to Version 1.2

Logoarama is a trivia game for your Windows Phone where you have to correctly identify company logos. Version 1.1 offered eight levels of logo identification challenges. The version 1.2 update not only adds a second and bonus stages with more levels to the game but also gives Logoarama a new, clean looking redesign.  The update also offers a little more forgiveness towards spelling the logo's name.

Logorama

All totaled more that one hundred new logos have been added to the mix. Some logos are partial, making the game a bit more challenging in identifying things.  The update also brings a few performance tweaks and bug fixes to the mix.  Overall, the update does a good job of improving an already nice game for your Windows Phone.

Logoarama may not appeal to everyone but we found it to be an enjoyable time waster when you have a few minutes to blow. The full version of Logoarama is running $.99 and you can find it here at  the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Yammer

The big rumor flying around today is that Microsoft is looking to buy Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a hefty $1 billion dollars making it one of the largest acquisitions by Microsoft of late (the other being Skype). 

For those who don't know, Yammer is a social messaging network built for enterprise. It may seem kind of niche but in this services area, Yammer is the top provider and we can see why Microsoft would want to acquire the company.

For one, between Skype, Lync, Messenger and GroupMe, Microsoft is gobbling up a lot of social media services and building quite an messaging empire. Combined with their close relationship with Facebook and LinkedIn and you can see how Redmond is angling against Google for both consumers and enterprise.

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NY Times

The NY Times official app version 2.0 for Windows Phone

If you're a fan of the "Old Gray Lady" aka the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), you'll want to make sure to grab version 2.0 of the app which should be hitting the Marketplace soon. The official NY Times app for Windows Phone came out last July 1st and hasn't had an update until now.

The app has had a nice revamp with the latest version, bringing it up to date with some of the latest functionality in Windows Phone. We've been running it a couple of days now and really like the added performance, new scrolling and video feature which lets you watch special clips of certain news events and cultural pieces. Here's the full changelog of what's new:

  • Live Tile Integration - users can pin any of the sections and blogs as Live Tiles to quickly see the latest headlines at a glance
  • Pivot Navigation – users can see articles, videos and blogs in each section
  • Cloud Integration – users may save articles to the cloud for access from multiple devices
  • Updated and refreshed design
  • Improved performance and fast application switching

Of course the only downside is the "pay wall" for some articles--while you can get the latest headlines and videos for free the rest will require a NY Times membership. But even for free the app is worth taking a look at and a must-have if you already subscribe.

    NY Times

We'll have a more full-featured review coming up a bit later when the app hits the Marketplace.

Full press release after the break...

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8

Windows Phone Game Round-up: Doodle Games

Windows Phone Central's round-up of doodle styled games for your Windows Phone

WP Central Doodle Game Round up

The Windows Phone Marketplace is full of quality apps and games. Each week Windows Phone Central will round-up a handful of applications or games that fit a certain theme. For example last week we looked at panoramic photography apps. Future round ups may deal with sports games one week and news apps the next.

This week the round up focuses on doodle styled games. These are games where the animations and graphics are doodled on to your Windows Phone, often with a graph paper backdrop. We have games where your running a line, dodging balls, and jumping from a perfectly good airplane.

As with every round-up or best of list, we choose the titles that stand out to us. If a title doesn't make the round-up it shouldn't reflect poorly on that title. If we've missed one, feel free to speak up in the comments.

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WP Central

Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.

In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).

Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.

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WP Central

This morning, Nokia has announced that it has acquired imaging firm Scalado for an undisclosed price. Nokia will be picking up everything including their specialists, intellectual property and technology from the company and will be incorporating them into the company sometime in Q3 2012.

Scalado has been working with Nokia for the last 10 years but they've also done work with HTC and most recently RIM on their upcoming BlackBerry 10 and it's new camera functions. That is certainly interesting because RIM itself is in dire straits and they just lost what many considered to be a key partner for re-igniting their brand. Of course what RIM already had in motion with Scalado will probably remain but the Waterloo company should start looking elsewhere for future camera development.

The good news here of course is that Nokia is clearly aiming to get some of the best camera functions on Windows Phone. Currently, HTC is in a bit of a renaissance with their ONE series which focuses heavily on cameras and media capabilities, giving Nokia and others a run for their money.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Scalado's know-how pays off on future Windows Phone 8 devices.

Read the full press release after the break.

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WP Central

Alleged photo of a Nokia prototype running Windows Phone 8

As we get closer to finding out about Windows Phone 8, more leaks are expected to happen. Such is the case on WPXAP where some alleged shots of a Nokia Vertu Windows Phone have shown up.

Vertu was Nokia's "high end" fashion phone division which is currently up for sale. The phone here, only partially displayed, shows Windows Phone 8 OS including some new features like native "Cloud Storage" (SkyDrive) support and what looks to be a whopping 54GB of storage (some presumed it to be a 64GB device).

The photos are reportedly only 3 weeks old and the leaker alleges that Nokia now may not being selling the Vertu division as evidenced by these photos. However, Nokia is reporting this moring that they have sold Verto to EQT VI.

Another interesting bit leaked is that " existing models all can be upgraded to WP8, but the function reduction (including the second generation functions) will be reduced" (translation). That backs up the current thinking of many that indeed current phones can run Windows Phone 8 but with more limited functionality e.g. no NFC or multi-core support.

What makes all of this frustrating of course is we cannot even see the phone (and what we can see looks...odd). Hopefully we'll see more of what's coming this fall soon.

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Nokia Lumia 800 now available in Venezuela on Movistar

WP Central

Good news for those in Venezuela, the Nokia Lumia 800 is now available exclusively on Movistar for Bs 4,399 on contract.

The Lumia 800, featuring a 3.7" screen, 1.4GHz CPU and 16GB of storage has been taking the world by storm, hitting numerous Latin and South American countries in the last few weeks. The launch of the Lumia 800 follows Microsoft's recent launch of the Windows Phone Marketplace in the same country back in early May, allowing users in that country to gain access to the nearly 100,000 or so apps and games.

Source: Lapatilla; Thanks, Andrés, for the tip!

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WP Central

Another rumor we want to squish is that there will be a new version of Windows Phone for "low-end" devices called "Neon".

The information first popped up on TWiT's Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley and Leo Laporte.  On Episode 264 (June 7th) at around 1:47:45, Thurrott brings up some developer documentation pertaining to Windows Phone 8 with four main points:

  • Avoid free for all multitasking, aka Android and Windows Mobile
  • Allow Mango customers to upgrade to Apollo (later mis-reported as "A lot of Mango customers won’t get upgraded to Apollo")
  • Allow Mango apps to support Apollo resolutions
  • Lower end devices support for Neon

The site Insideris then received an "anonymous tip" on the 13th with the same list and they reported that "Neon" may be the next version of Windows Phone for non-Apollo devices. This resulted in numerous emails here at Windows Phone Central and various people contacting us to comment on it.

So true or false?

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WP Central

We're getting a flood of emails from users noting that on Yahoo! News, specifically the "Upgrade your life" segment, Becky Worley is stating that current Windows Phones with Mango won't be able to get Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".

So did Yahoo! News just spill the beans on Microsoft's plans?

Not quite. For one, very few if anyone in the media knows what Microsoft has planned for current phone. More on that later. So the notion that someone from Yahoo! got the scoop is a bit funny.

Second, pay attention to her wording in the video segment: "...and Mango phones won't be able to upgrade to Apollo's new features"

Well, technically that is true. Windows Phone 8 is confirmed as supporting two new high resolution displays--768x1280 and 720x1280--in addition to the current 480x800 (Microsoft recently dropped support for 480x640--you heard it hear first). In addition, things like multi-core and NFC support will also be included. All of those features are new and no current Windows Phones will support them, obviously.

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28

LinkedIn email marketing for their Windows Mobile app?

LinkedIn for Windows Mobile?

LinkedIn, the service, is a professional social network that boasts a membership of over 160,000,000 that spans over 200 countries and territories.  The LinkedIn app for Windows Phone ties it all together and delivers the network rather nicely to your Windows Phone.

LinkedIn is apparently marketing the LinkedIn app through bulk emails but there's one slight problem. The graphic shows the app running on a Nokia Lumia 800 but references "LinkedIn for Windows Mobile". Not only once but twice.

Now we can understand that typos occur so we can cut the ad agency a little slack. But come on... it's been almost two years now since Windows Phone 7 took over as the Windows mobile platform.

The good news is the LinkedIn Marketplace description references Windows Phone. If you're a LinkedIn member or look to join the network and want a mobile solution, check out the free LinkedIn app here at the Windows Mobile...err.. the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

QR: LinkedIn

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It looks like Nokia in the UK are all set to start a new TV marketing campaign in the very near future as the above Lumia 610 commercial popped up on their YouTube channel a short while ago.

While the Lumia 610 may not be the 'daddy' of Windows Phones it does offer pretty good value for money and sits at a price point where it can compete with many low end Android and BlackBerry Smartphones. Vodafone currently is offering the Lumia 610 for £150 on Pay As You Go.  All of which isn't bad when considering that along with the typical Windows Phone features you also get Nokia Maps for local searches and also Nokia Drive which eliminates the need for a separate sat nav system.

Now we just need to see when the new advert airs. Will Nokia pay the big bucks and go for prime time at the weekend?

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Xbox Live Companion App for Windows Phone

Microsoft has updated the Xbox Live Companion app for iOS and released a version for the Android system. While there was no movement on the Windows Phone version, the iOS update may be a good indicator on what might be in store.

The Xbox Live Companion update for iOS takes that app to version 1.5 and adds the following features for the iPhone or iPad.

  • Discover fresh content from the iPhone
  • Connect to and control content on your Xbox console from the iPhone
  • Authentication improvements for the iPad
  • Retina display support for the iPad

Xbox Companion App for iOS

The Android version of the Xbox Live Companion is limited to:

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...I'm a WP7! getting a face lift and name change

I'm a WP7 getting a name change

Changes are coming to the popular Windows Phone app ...I'm a WP7!. Changes that will give the app a name change and a few design changes.

For those not familiar ...I'm a WP7! is a popular Windows Phone app that lets you locate Windows Phone users in your area, interact with them, share tips and tricks, have access to daily and weekly wallpapers, tap into custom ringtones and tons more. ... I'm a WP7! has grown so much since it's launch in April of 2011 that a core group of users have put together the "Uber Outsiders Guide for Noobs" to help guide everyone through the ...I'm a WP7! environment.

Outsider for Windows Phone

With Windows Phones moving to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 right around the corner, the developer has decided to change the name to better capture the nature and intent of the app. The version 3.12 update has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and will give ...I'm a WP7! a new name and slightly new look. With the update, ...I'm a WP7! will become Outsider for Windows Phone.

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Final Fantasy Achievement Guide

Final Fantasy is finally available, and we’ve already provided some beginner tips and resources to help players get started. Even advanced players will need help with the game’s Achievements, though. Why? They’re all secret, meaning players can’t view them in-game or through Xbox Live prior to earning them. This led many to speculate that the Achievements would all be story-related. As it turns out, that did not prove to be the case.

We know this because Achievement hunter-extraordinaire Zebrasqual managed to uncover Final Fantasy’s full Achievement list. Windows Phone Central then broke those Achievements down into categories for your convenience. Not only that, we’ve got tips and resources for the more challenging ones that will set you on the right track. It won't be easy though, so prepare for a lengthy journey!

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WP Central

Is this Windows Phone 8? We think so...

With less than week before Microsoft is expected to show off Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco, some leaked (and terrible looking) screenshots have appeared on the site Nokia Innovation.

The shots supposedly show off integrated Skype, including an incoming video call as well as a data usage app. You may also note the mention of "RCSe" near the bottom which stands for "Rich communication suite", an important feature coming to WP8. The next screen shot shows the camera app with a new button. Nokia Innovation does not know what that lower button is but we can tell you that it's for the "Lenses" function, which will most likely be revealed next week.

In fact, the only reason we're giving these sceenshots some credibility is the fact that Lenses button is 100% accurate. The rest we cannot vouch for but it does jive with what we've learned and seen ourselves.

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25

Official CNN app now available for all Windows Phones

CNN for all

"This is CNN...on all Windows Phones"

Well look at that, it looks like Nokia's 90 day exclusive on the official CNN app has finally expired--certainly a rare sight to see. The CNN app, which was developed in conjunction with Nokia and announced back at CES 2012, embraces the Metro design with unique features like the iReporter function for reporting news on your own.

For many on Windows Phones, the stranglehold on "exclusive" apps by Nokia was a thorn in the side--well, at least for those without a Nokia Lumia. But now you can download the exact same app with push notifications and local news to your non-Nokia device, resulting in what we imagine to be a loud cheer.

The CNN app ranks up there with the USA Today app as far as elegance and functionality. It's great to see it displayed on other Windows Phones for all. 

Pick up the official CNN app for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Scott H., for the tip!

QR: CNN

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Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy, one of the most-anticipated Windows Phone games ever, is now on the Marketplace! Why so popular? First off, it’s the only straight-up RPG (or JRPG) in the mobile Xbox Live library. Besides, while the Final Fantasy series is extremely popular the world over, Final Fantasy (part I) is only the third entry for Microsoft platforms, the first two being Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 on Xbox 360 (if we count the online-only XI, that makes a total of four). Windows Phone gamers finally have a chance to experience the series’ origin.

While the first Final Fantasy initially appeared on the 8-bit NES system, the mobile version is based on 2007’s enhanced Playstation Portable remake. Players will assemble a party of four warriors from a pool of iconic classes and then set out to save the world from the surprisingly unhelpful Elemental Fiends. Overworld and underworld navigation utilizes a funky-looking virtual pad for movement while the battles are more tap-focused. Mainstay RPG elements like grinding for experience and money to purchase new equipment and a huge danger-filled world to explore promise hours of entertainment.

Final Fantasy

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