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When the first Final Fantasy arrived on Windows Phone, all of its Achievements were secret and thus couldn’t be viewed by players. We quickly posted a Mini-Achievement Guide to help get players on-track.

Now Final Fantasy III has appeared on Windows Phone, once again with Xbox Achievements. This time, the Achievements aren’t secret. But they do require plenty of time and effort to unlock. You just might need a guide! And wouldn’t you know it? Windows Phone Central is proud to present our latest Achievement Guide, filled with tips and resources for dedicated RPG players and Achievement hunters.

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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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Windows Phone Role-playing fans welcomed Square-Enix’s remake of the original Final Fantasy with open arms last year. At last, we had a lengthy and well-made RPG in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup. But the RPG genre has advanced dramatically since the first Final Fantasy dawned on 8-bit Nintendo consoles. The remake’s modest enhancements couldn’t prevent the game from feeling dated.

Thankfully Square-Enix did not choose the equally dated (but still good) Final Fantasy II as its next Windows Phone RPG. Instead, the publisher followed up with a port of Chaos Rings. Originally released on iOS in 2010, Chaos Rings is an original Japanese RPG (JRPG) designed exclusively for mobile devices. How does it stack up against modern RPG standards? Read on to find out!

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Square-Enix’s Chaos Rings is easily the cream of the single-player Role-Playing Game crop on Windows Phone. With an intricate storyline spanning alternate dimensions and timelines and four teams of playable characters, it’s also one of the vaster and most complex games in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup.

Windows Phone Central has spent countless hours exploring Chaos Rings’ every cranny and secret, and now we’ve got an exclusive Achievement Guide to share with you. Learn which team to start with, the best equipment and skills to use, where to find the hidden bosses, and lots more – after the break!

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We didn’t exactly get a new Xbox Windows Phone release this week, but Windows Phone 8 gamers DO get something new to play. Square Enix’s Chaos Rings, one of the highest profile games on the incompatibility list, is finally Windows Phone 8 compatible!

The game launched only for Windows Phone 7 back in March, hugely disappointing Windows Phone 8 RPG fans. Earlier this week it started showing up in the Store on Windows Phone 8 devices, but couldn’t actually be downloaded by most users. Just an hour or so ago, several of us managed to download it at last. The game's Store web page was down all week and just came back up as well. At last!

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This is GDC week, so you can count on some cool developer interviews and hands-on stories as the conference progresses. But it’s also just an exciting week for Windows Phone releases. First we had the release of Sims Medieval for Nokia devices, and now general users can look forward to two regular Xbox releases on Wednesday. We’re looking at one Windows Phone 7 game and one for Windows Phone 8. The former will also be the most expensive mobile Xbox game to date, but at least it’s a good one: Chaos Rings from Square-Enix!

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Last week, Gameloft kicked off their much anticipated wave of Xbox releases for Windows Phone 8 with Asphalt 7, a game I call the best racer on the platform in our review. They’ve followed up this week with the very strong The Amazing Spider-Man and the not-so-strong and highly skippable Real Soccer 2013. With at least 9 more games coming, including first-person shooters, action games, and even an MMORPG, it’s safe to say that Gameloft will keep Windows Phone gamers pretty busy this year.

Similarly, Electronics Arts and its subsidiaries Chillingo and PopCap have produced a ton of fine mobile Xbox games as Nokia exclusives within the past few months. All of the Nokia EA games are expected to become available to general Windows Phone audiences six months after release, so they really do benefit the platform as a whole.

However large and prolific they might be, publishers Gameloft and Electronic Arts can’t keep the Xbox Windows Phone lineup afloat all by themselves. The world of smartphone gaming is vast indeed. iOS and Android thrive thanks to many game developers and publishers, both great and small. Today we continue our ‘How Microsoft can save Xbox Games for Windows Phone’ editorial series with a look at the game makers that our platform needs in order to thrive.

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Xbox Windows Phone has absolutely no shortage of puzzle games and physics puzzlers. These types of games are easy to create and easy to port, plus they work well in short play sessions on the go. I don’t blame avid mobile gamers for tiring of puzzlers as a whole, as our platform certainly needs a wider variety of games. Still, puzzle games inarguably have their place on smartphones, so we can’t expect them to stop coming along.

Of course KooZac is a puzzle game, but it’s noteworthy for several reasons. First, it comes Square Enix, the prolific Japanese developer responsible or Final Fantasy and many other mobile RPGs. Square-Enix’s continued support can only be good for Windows Phone. Two: KooZac might look like a standard falling block puzzle game, but it actually plays unlike its brethren thanks to the inclusion of my most bitter enemy: math. Also, Facebook integration!

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You could be forgiven for not expecting a new Xbox release this week. After Skulls of the Shogun’s long-awaited debut last week, there really aren’t too many upcoming Xbox Windows Phone games that we actually know about. But Microsoft told us the release drought would probably end this month, and it looks like they were right. A shiny new game has popped up for all Windows Phone 7 and 8 users today: the oddly named KooZac.

Almost as exciting as receiving a new release at all these days, KooZac comes from one of our favorite mobile publishers – Square Enix, makers of Final Fantasy. We actually heard whispers of this game coming to Windows Phone at E3 last year, but the representative was so noncommittal about it that we didn’t bother to get our hopes up. Looks like Square Enix hasn’t given up on Windows Phone yet!

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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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