Spectral Souls MOGA Pro Controller for Windows Phone 8
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Spectral Souls gets MOGA Pro Controller support on Windows Phone 8

The story of MOGA Pro Controller support for Windows Phone 8 has consisted of little else other than disappointment in the months following its March announcement. Microsoft touted Windows Phone 8’s support for the peripheral at the Game Developer Conference, where we actually played Drift Mania Championship 2 using the controller.

Somehow, the MOGA-enabled version of the game didn’t become available until June, several months after the controller arrived in stores. And since then, exactly zero Windows Phone games and emulators have included MOGA support. It’s like the March announcement was just a cruel joke.

The cruelty of that joke has just diminished, because a second game now supports the controller! Spectral Souls, the massive strategy RPG from HyperDevBox has been updated to work with the MOGA Pro Controller. We also know of at least one other app that will definitely support it upon release. Details after the break!

Spectral Souls

Spectral Souls for Windows Phone 8

HyperDevBox’s sole Windows Phone 8/Windows 8 release actually started its life as a Playstation 2 game. As such, the developer chose to implement console-style virtual controls when porting it to touch screen devices. A more mobile-specific control scheme would have felt more natural, but it got the job done.

Those console-style controls are a blessing now that Spectral Souls supports the MOGA Pro Controller, however. Sync the game with the controller and you’ll be able to move characters and navigate menus with ease. The game uses four main buttons, and they map perfectly to the face buttons of the controller.

Spectral Souls is the only Japanese-style strategy RPG for Windows Phone 8. The detailed story revolves around a three-sided conflict between the established human army, a new rebel army, and an invading force of demons. As the tale unfolds, players will be thrust into battles against both humans and monsters alike.

The combat takes place on small battlefield maps. Each character has a certain range of movement and a unique assortment of attacks and skills they can draw upon in battle. It feels very much like Final Fantasy Tactics. The intricacies of combat can get pretty complex, but thankfully the game has both a tutorial and an extensive built-in manual.

Check out our original article for a more expansive analysis.

  • Spectral Souls – Windows Phone 8 – 575 MB - $12.99 – Store Link

QR: Spectral Souls

MOGA Pro Controller certification issues

Spectral Souls for Windows Phone 8

Neither Microsoft nor MOGA’s producer Power A have explained why so few Windows Phone 8 games support the controller just yet. Based on what we heard at GDC, you’d think that adding support would be quick and easy. And if that was truly the case, we’d see more than two controller-enabled games five months after the peripheral’s release. In fact, Power A tells us the controller doesn’t officially support Windows Phone 8 yet!

Spectral Souls’ recent MOGA-enhanced update does at least provide a clue into the quagmire. According to HyperDevBox:

“The MOGA controller coding was very easy to add and accomplished inside of two hours. However, Microsoft's review process [took] very long with little or no information returned, [delaying] this release over one month.

I'm not [exactly] sure where the fault lies. It has to do with the MOGA and/or Microsoft documentation on Bluetooth being incorrect. I do not know if Microsoft's documentation was incorrect [and caused] MOGA to generate incorrect documentation. [Our update with MOGA Pro Controller support] almost did not get released due to this documentation bug.”

If HyperDevBox is correct, a Bluetooth issue of some sort seems to be the root of the MOGA support problem. Perhaps the issue came to light after GDC and neither Microsoft nor Power A is willing to open up about it.

We’ve reached out to Power A for comment and will update if they reply.

EmiPSX

EmiPSX Vagrant Story
Vagrant Story running on EmiPSX

We recently wrote about EmiGens Plus, a Sega Genesis emulator from Andre Botelho. It turns out that Andre’s upcoming Playstation One emulator EmiPSX could be the third Windows Phone 8 game/app to support the MOGA Pro Controller! The private beta version already supports it, in fact. Unless the emulator runs into certification issues like Spectral Souls did, you can count on EmiPSX debuting with controller support when it launches.

Update: EMU7800, the Atari 7800 emulator, supports MOGA too. That makes three games/apps at present!

Thanks to Mark “Tippy” Tepper for the Spectral Souls tip!

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Reader comments

Spectral Souls gets MOGA Pro Controller support on Windows Phone 8

35 Comments

That's my hope. Indie games on Xbox One are getting the go-ahead for achievements and Xbox integration, why not Windows Phone? My prediction is that the policy change will happen soon and the certification process will dramatically decrease. Maybe a fools wish, but a good one.

Boo, I want a refund. I can only play angry birds on my damn phone... Where is Halo Wars like Advance Wars?!?!?

Seems like they're shooting themselves in the foot. Either they're delaying certification because Microsoft is an old dinosaur or purposely sabotaging the product. If Xbox One controller has direct WiFi to phone capabilities we dont know about maybe its the later. Either way it makes no sense to hype up MOGA support only to have two games available. I even have Spectral Souls but i won't consider buying one until 20 games are supported.

Hopefully EmiGens Plus is also updated with MOGA support, I'd buy the controller for that alone to play the Desert Strike series of games.

I could buy this controller for DMC2 alone, If i knew where to buy one. Can't WPC have it in there store?

I never used Amazon. So much regional stuff. Sweden isnt the most warmest spot in Amazon's vision. But Audible works at least. :)

Wait a minute... are you talking about Devil My Cry 2? Isn't that the only one of the series that is universally panned?

Hehe, no, Drift Mania Championship 2. Love the game. Such great response in the game. They may not have burning all they could in to graphics. But the controls and control of the car feels real.

I would love to get a clear answer from Microsoft on the issue, game sales would increase with the support of the controller and would dominate the PS Vita, and the WII U in a heart beat what's the deal MS (I refuse to own a Wii anything) give us anything to get us out of the dark!

I got this game and it great, you get 100 hours of gameplay. However i wish they would add a feature to save your game to the cloud rather than supporting a controller that no one has got. After playing for so long im really scared i my phone will mess up somehow. I already have the 'other storage' problem and i haven't been able to reset my phone to free up space because of this game.

+920 agreeing. Started game 15hours in and phone developed screen flicker issue. I begrudgingly sent it in for repairs due to all the games that i would have to start again. Please devs, more cloud support please.

This is one of the major reasons I hardly ever play games on WP. MS needs to implement a standard cloud save system for games badly.

Microsoft it's a f...ng big corporation. Day by day will be eat Nokia like a Rockefellers corporation. Then again a lot of moneys will be go for sponsor some war.

This news is great but pisses me off at the same time. Why in the world doesn't WP8 have an official controller add-on or universal drivers for Bluetooth and wired controllers? Huge missed opportunity to differentiate early on. MS is only playing catch up. Why aren't they playing to win at least the gamers? Why all the unanswered questions and secrecy? The competition is so far ahead... :-(