final fantasy

On the whole, it’s been a rough year for Xbox games on Windows Phone. Most weeks go by without new releases, and several publishers like Gameloft have stopped publishing their games as Xbox titles. And yet, a couple of new Xbox releases have turned up in the last few weeks: Temple Run 2 and Rabbids Big Bang.

Today another Xbox Windows Phone game showed up out of the blue as something of a late Christmas present for Xbox fans: Final Fantasy III from Square-Enix. This makes the third Japanese role-playing game the publisher has released on Windows Phone, following the first Final Fantasy and Chaos Rings. Final Fantasy III runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8, but it carries a hefty price tag… Check out our hands on video, impressions, and Store link after the break!

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For many gamers, Xbox Live functionality is one of Windows Phone’s most compelling selling points. Windows Phones allow people who already own an Xbox 360 to log in with their existing Xbox Live/Microsoft ID and receive instant access to their Xbox Live profiles, friends lists, messages. Existing users can customize their Xbox avatars directly from their phones, while new users can create them. The SmartGlass app can even sync with a handful of Xbox 360 games and apps right now, with more titles to support SmartGlass in the future.

Sure, you can many of those features on iOS as well, but they aren’t nearly as integrated as on Windows Phone. Most of the functionality is built right into WP8; WP7 users need the Xbox Live Extras app. The SmartGlass app requires a quick download on both WP7 and WP8. After that, you’ll find it all conveniently located in the Games hub.

Head past the break for more of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live primer plus our picks for the best Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012!

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Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Go To Games

This week's Roundup deals with Go To Games for your Windows Phone. For the lack of a better term, Go To games are the ones that always find their way on to your Windows Phone and really never grow old. These games are amongst your favorites but always seem to rise to the top of that list. They are the games you go to for entertainment that are great time wasters that never disappoint.

The Windows Phone Central staff were polled on which two gaming titles are their Go To Games. We see a lot of games come and go on our Windows Phones but these titles seem to always be around. The Roundup contains a wide range of games that include a beauty salon, chickens and rainbows as well as a healthy selection of Xbox Live titles.

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42

Final Fantasy: Xbox Windows Phone Review

For more than a year, the Xbox Live lineup on Windows Phone languished without the presence of a single traditional RPG. Thankfully Japanese publishing giant Square Enix has finally tossed their hat into the Windows Phone arena with Final Fantasy, a remake of the original NES classic that vaulted their company to stardom. The first Final Fantasy may not have some of the finer trappings of its sequels, but it remains a vast and remarkable adventure that mobile gamers shouldn’t miss.

Head past the break for our extremely detailed review!

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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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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.

When we revealed the first screenshots of the Windows Phone version, we were slightly disappointed that the game still runs in the same aspect ratio as the iPhone game it was ported from as opposed to the wider ratio of the PSP and Windows Phone screens. The screen remains off-center, a seemingly odd decision – until you notice the clock occupying the black space. Tap that area and the phone’s battery life, wireless, and cellular signals appear as well. Considering the length and addictive nature of Final Fantasy, having instant access to the time and your phone’s battery life is actually quite useful.

Strategy

Since many of you are new to this installment of Final Fantasy, we’ve got a few tips to get you started. The first decision you make upon starting a new game, that of which character classes to take along, is very important as you’re stuck with those for the rest of the game. Choose poorly and you’ll face a much greater challenge. The default selection (Fighter, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage) is actually one of the best parties to go with. At any rate, you absolutely must have a single White Mage or Red mage on hand to heal the rest of the party.

Saving is another important area to wrap your head around. Whenever you exit to the title screen, press the Home button, etcetera, that creates a temporary save file. To start back where you left off, simply pick Resume from the title screen. The file is temporary though, as resuming, choosing to Continue a permanent file, or starting a New Game will overwrite it. To create permanent saves, simply enter the menu by tapping the names of your party in the lower-right corner of the screen while outside of battle. Then choose the Save option at the bottom of the screen. (Thanks to Cadwr for the correction!)

One last thing - pressing and holding on the party status indicator in the lower-right corner of the screen while outside of battle brings up the overworld map. You'll need it!

For more Final Fantasy tips, check out the following resources:

Now that you're prepared...

Final Fantasy costs $6.99 and there is a free trial. It clocks in at a whopping 91 MB. If you love RPGs, don’t wait for a sale. Head over here to the Marketplace and start adventuring!

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Battling the Kraken

The mobile Xbox Live lineup is getting better and better lately. This week we got Battleship, the first Live game with true online multiplayer, and next week’s game… Wait for it… Final Fantasy I from Square Enix! Why Microsoft chose not to demo the game at E3, we’ll never know.

Final Fantasy will be the first traditional RPG in the Windows Phone lineup. A direct port of the iPhone game which was a port of the PSP game which was a remake of the original Famicom version – it’s like seven degrees of Kevin Bacon but with black mages and imps. Players will assemble a party of four warriors from a pool of iconic classes and then set out to save the world from the dastardly Elemental Fiends. Overworld and underworld navigation utilizes a funky-looking virtual pad for movement while the battles are more tap-focused. Numerous hours of role-playing goodness will ensue.

Windows Phone Central received these exclusive first screenshots of the mobile Xbox Live version of Final Fantasy I in action. You might be wondering about the black bars on the sides of the screens... It seems that Square Enix simply increased the lower resolution iPhone version of the game to match Windows Phone 7's vertical resolution without tweaking the the aspect ratio or UI elements for a wider display (I even did some resolution tests to confirm this). In other words, the original game ran at 480 x 320. The Windows Phone game's display has been resized to 720 x 480, leaving 80 pixels of dead space. Let's hope the screen will at least be centered in the final build - we'll find out in less than a week.

Final Fantasy I launches on Wednesday, June 13th and will cost $6.99 (two dollars less than on iPhone).

Garland the rogue knight has kidnapped princess Sarah.

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Just a week ago, we looked at a number of Xbox Live games whose Achievements were discovered by avid French gamer Zebrasqual: Mirror’s Edge, Battleship, and Fling. I daresay Mr. Squal’s sleuthing rivals my own, as he has uncovered two more future games’ Achievement lists. Both titles will surely appeal to console gamers: Final Fantasy and Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition.

Head past the break for full details on both upcoming games.

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All right you Final Fantasy nerds, if we know one thing, we know the following video footage will get you all giddy.

Somehow, someway, Final Fantasy VII is evidently running on Windows Phone 7.

When we look back at those 50 Xbox launch titles, we don't recall seeing anything from Square Enix, so we're thining "Homebrew" here. Then again, what's with those official looking Windows Phone logos? What is even more exciting is the tease at the end of the video where it says "Rejoice. It's coming. And maybe not only this one PSOne Classic" obviously alluding to other major titles. Odd timing too, what with that utterly craptastic Playstation Phone becoming more of a reality tonight. The poster does say this:

This is some footage of the current progress of "FFWP7". In this version it still looks like the timeless classic for the PlayStation 1, but maybe there'll be a graphical upgrade.There's a lot of power in a WP7-Device and so the highly-anticipated remake of FF7 could be the result :)

Could this be some awesome, side loaded emulator? Or is it the real-deal? We'll leave that to you. Discuss.

Thanks, Diablo, for the link

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