Games

Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game on Twitch for one hour and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. We took last weekend off from streaming because I was all kinds of sick with a cold. But I'm almost over the cold, so this week I'm back, baby!

Saturday 11/22 at at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific), we played not one, but two games! To start with, we knocked some balls around in Pinball FX2. See the recently released South Park tables in action, plus several more! After that, we played an hour of Grand Theft Auto V's campaign.

We gave out Pinball FX2 "South Park Pinball" codes for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Steam to many of the readers who participated in the stream! It was a lot of fun, and you can catch up on the whole thing by watching the archived videos embedded in this post.

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One year ago today, Microsoft launched the Xbox One in 13 markets around the world, including the US. While we thought that Microsoft's third game console was an excellent gaming machine as well as good video playing device in our extensive review back in December, the truth is that the Xbox One is a much better product 365 days later.

In fact, a case could be made that Microsoft has worked much harder to make the Xbox One a better buy than Sony has done with the PlayStation 4, which launched a week before Microsoft's machine. In this article we offer five reasons why the Xbox One is better than it was a year after its launch.

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Pompei Apocalypse is a fast paced arcade styled game for Windows Phone where you race to save the ancient city of Pompeii from balls of fire that is spewing from the volcano Vesuvius.

Available for low-memory devices, Pompei Apocalypse has Facebook integration for sharing your scores and formidable game play. The only hold back to the game is that sometimes the screen isn't responsive that results in a building getting smashed. Otherwise, it has the potential of being a fun time waster of a Windows Phone game.

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Designed with Steam in mind, the Alienware Alpha console is now shipping and available through Dell or select retailers. Starting at $549, users can configure the Alpha with Intel's fourth generation Core i3, i5, or i7 processors along with NVIDIA's GTX Maxwell GPU. The compact box ships with an Xbox 360 wireless controller and comes with a few freebies if you are an early adopter and decide to take the plunge, including full versions of a number of titles valued at $100.

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#IDARB or It Draws a Red Box Is easily my most anticipated ID@Xbox game of the year. Developer 'Other Ocean' describes the game as a "chaotic 8-player eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game that is as inspired by Bomberman, Smash Bros., and NBA Jam." That said, the game is constantly changing and evolving as Other Ocean crowd-sources ideas from passionate users.

Xbox One owners will be able to download #IDARB sometime before the end of the year. In the meantime, we interviewed Mike Mika, game designer at Other Ocean. Mike spills the beans about a new #IDARB feature, the history about Other Ocean, and even shares some moving words about the recent Atari dig that he attended.

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Hero Forge, a puzzling RPG game for Windows Phone

Hero Forge is a RPG game for your Windows Phone that combines puzzle solving with combat rounds. The game is also a Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) mode where you not only can skip battling computer opponents and seek out other players globally to rough up.

Your gaming character will advance in experience, improving their skills with each battle and you'll have opportunities to customize your character with weapons, armor and more. Hero Forge is available for low-memory devices and after playing the game over the past couple of days, we can see why the game is pulling down a 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store.

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Update: As of 7 pm ET, the MCC patch is now available and comes in at 1437 MB in size. Thanks, Thomas W., and others!

343 Industries, the developers behind Halo, have published the massive changelog that's coming in today's patch update to The Master Chief Collection.

The game launched last week but has had severe matchmaking issues for the majority of players. A patch was scheduled for yesterday but was delayed until today (11/20). Today's patch should alleviate all issues that resulted in extended matchmaking times and low matchmaking success rates. Plus there's a bunch of fixes for the different campaigns and a few UI tweaks.

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Last month, a unique little puzzle platformer called Chronology made its way to Windows Phone. Chronology wowed us with its time-traveling mechanics that allow players to travel back and forth between time and even stop it, all in the name of solving puzzles and saving the world. It also features beautiful art and music.

Denmark-based developer Osao Games recently released a Windows 8 version of Chronology, and has even been thoughtful enough to make it an in-app purchase. I took advantage of that and played the Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Steam versions of the game (the latter is a separate purchase), in order to bring you this in-depth review.

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Amazing Brick is a simple Windows Phone game that calls upon you to bounce a brick up through a maze of portals while avoiding obstacles that are placed along the way.

The game is another simple title in the Windows Phone Store that has plenty of challenge. Amazing Brick also requires a little patience and timing, otherwise the game could drive you crazy. Available for low-memory devices, Amazing Brick is a fun game to have in your library for those occasions you need a little help passing the time.

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First look: GTA V on Xbox One

The Xbox One big launches continue to come thick and fast, and they don't come much bigger than GTA V. Rockstar's epic, open-world, crime sim never made it to the Xbox One or PS4 when it initially launched in 2013, but what a difference a year makes. The time has been spent on giving it a new-gen makeover and it looks all the better for it. Updated visuals, new cars, new weapons, a new first-person mode, there's a lot to love.

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Berry Hill, a smashing puzzle game for Windows Phone

Berry Hill is a Windows Phone puzzle game where you have to remove all the berries from the gaming screen by smashing them together. The concept may sound simple but the challenge comes into play with a limited number of moves and movement restrictions.

Available for low-memory devices, Berry Hill has over 100 levels of play and five game modes to keep you busy. It is a deceptively addictive game for your Windows Phone and not a bad time waster of a game.

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Never Alone is a cooperative platformer for Xbox One that stars a young girl named Nuna and her mystical Fox companion. The pair must traverse the frozen climes of Alaska as they seek a way to stop the endless blizzard that plagues Nuna's village. Never Alone is a unique and beautiful window into the folklore and culture of the Native Alaskan Iñupiat people, and also an entertaining game in its own right.

First announced back in May, Never Alone now available on Xbox One and Steam. Before you grab the game (or after!), be sure to read our in-depth interview with Grant Roberts, Lead Game Designer from E-Line Media, the publisher of Never Alone. We've got lots of behind-the-scenes details, concept art, and an exclusive gameplay video that highlight just what an uncommon game Never Alone really is.

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If you've just picked up a copy of GTA V for Xbox One you may be encountering some issues with transferring your previously created characters for GTA Online. Some players are reporting that their online characters can't be transferred if they haven't played the multiplayer mode since 2013. Fortunately, Rockstar is aware and is investigating the issue.

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Some of the best things in life are the simplest. The same can be said of Windows Phone games and Brain Rush!!! may be the simplest game on Store shelves.

You are tasked with matching incoming shapes with the shape at the bottom of the screen. The longer you survive, the quicker the shapes move down the screen. Brain Rush!!! is available for low-memory devices and while the game presents itself in a simple manner, the game is a challenging title to have in your Windows Phone gaming library.

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We have reached the finish line everyone! This week is the last batch of big AAA titles to the Xbox One this holiday season. This week is jammed pack with action adventure games with the releases of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Grand Theft Auto 5, and Far Cry 4. Continue reading to find out the other games including a highly anticipated indie game launching this week.

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