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Windows Central Podcast 37: Windows 10 Mobile is still dead

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rayman

Ubisoft and Pastagames’ Rayman Jungle Run was that perfect one-two punch: an excellent platformer, and a high quality mobile Xbox game. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run had a lot to live up to, and it almost felt like Ubisoft didn’t want to share it with us. The game soft launched in limited territories, appeared to fully launch worldwide a few weeks later, and then quickly disappeared that same day.

At last, Rayman Fiesta Run is properly available with fully working Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and Windows RT. Though we had to wait a painfully long time for Fiesta Run, the wait was worth it. Even if you found Jungle Run too challenging, this one is forgiving (and beautiful) enough that it might just win you over. Read on for our full review.

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Rayman Fiesta Run has had a storied time in the Windows Phone Store so far. The game soft-launched in early February, but was only available in a few regions like India. Then in mid-February the game appeared in the Windows Phone Store for everyone, but was pulled shortly after that. Now it looks to finally be back in the Windows Phone Store for those who haven’t picked it up yet.

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It was nearly a week ago when Rayman Fiesta run showed up for Windows Phone…in India.  Users who tried to download the game elsewhere were greeted with an error message, noting that it was not available in their region.

Luckily for us, it is now live, at least here in the US and UK and we’re guessing your region too. The game runs for $2.49 and there is no Trial listed. Lame! We’re buying it anyway, because it’s Rayman. Those games have always been awesome, so we’re taking a leap a faith here. Plus, Xbox Live, baby.

Update: The game quickly disappeared from the Store again and is no longer available to buy. Bummer!

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It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually this past September that we first learned that Rayman Fiesta Run would be coming to Windows Phone. At the time, game maker Ubisoft said we’d see the game during the fall on Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. Well it’s not exactly fall anymore, more like mid-winter, but it looks like we’re finally about to get Rayman on Windows Phone. Head to the Windows Phone Store and you’ll see Rayman Fiesta Run sitting there and with a surprise.

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Video game maker Ubisoft has announced that they will be releasing a follow up to their hit game Rayman Jungle Run this Fall on Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android. Rayman Fiesta Run will consist of 75 levels of running and jumping through a foody, fruity party-filled world. Along with the fast-paced running and jumping that we have come to expect, Rayman will also add the ability to swim, shrink and punch.

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Despite his games’ typically high quality, limbless hero Rayman is generally lesser known than his contemporaries like Sonic and Mario. Starting out on the Atari Jaguar, Playstation One, and similar platforms in 1995, the original Rayman stood out thanks to its beautiful 2D graphics, unique atmosphere, and excellent soundtrack. Two strong 3D sequels followed – you can even get 2003’s Rayman 3 on XBLA, in fact.

Rayman kept a low profile after that, only showing up in the spin-off Rayman: Raving Rabbids minigame collections. Soon the Rabbids games left Rayman behind to become their own series, most recently with Rabbids Go Phone for Windows Phone 7. It seemed like Rayman had forced into retirement, doomed to live on only in the minds of nostalgic gamers.

Luckily for platform gaming fans, Rayman came back from obscurity with 2011’s sleeper console hit Rayman Origins. The fourth mainline Rayman game returned to 2D graphics, and how! Origins boasts one of the most striking visual styles in all of gaming, not to mention pretty much everything you could want in a platformer. And now Rayman Jungle Run from Pastagames and Ubisoft brings that same 2D goodness to Windows Phone 8 in a truly killer mobile adaptation.

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Last month we were excited to learn that Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run would be coming to Windows Phone at some point in the future. The combination of endless runner with actual levels and the lovable Rayman is just what our favorite smartphone platform needs. What we didn’t know is that Jungle Run would also be coming to PC and tablet via Windows 8 and RT. Happy surprise - it’s out now and Xbox Live-enabled!  Plus it gives us a great idea of what to expect when the phone game comes along.

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Ubisoft is a major force in the console and PC world, owning such powerful franchises as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and the Tom Clancy games. They’ve had a mild presence on Windows Phone so far, with two Gameloft published Xbox games: Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles and Splinter Cell: Conviction, the self-published Babel Rising 3D (a bad game on any platform but particularly abhorrent on Windows Phone), and a couple of companion apps for console titles.

Still, one terrible game is far from the best that Ubisoft can do for Windows Phone. They publish a fair share of quality mobile titles on other platforms that we have yet to see on our own. Blessedly, that appears to be changing quite soon. Ubisoft’s 2012-2013 Sales Report has quickly leaked three upcoming Windows Phone titles, which I think is cause for a little noise! Read on for our descriptions and predictions.

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