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fusion sentient

Over the last couple of months, Windows Phone Central has been highly skeptical and/or critical of Microsoft’s dedication towards Xbox games for Windows Phone. As the weeks without a new Xbox release (excluding Nokia exclusives) have grown, so has our certainty in an underlying problem. This culminated with a game developer stepping forward to explain Microsoft’s reticence towards approving new Xbox projects, not to mention the conspicuous snubbing of Windows Phone in the announcement of the multiplatform WSOP: Full House Pro.

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Last Wednesday the price of Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition dropped, sparking speculation that the Xbox Live Deal of the Week might have restarted. As it turns out, the Deal of the Week did not restart last week. No, it’s starting up again this week – today, even. That’s the good news!

Before I break the bad news, a history lesson: the very first Windows Phone Xbox Live Deal of the Week was Frogger back in March of 2011. At the time, I plead with the Xbox Live team not to give up on the program if Frogger didn’t sell like hotcakes (it’s not very good). This week I had to make a similar entreaty because the game going on sale today is no less than Fusion: Sentient from Wahoo Studios.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Fusion: Sentient

When Microsoft announced that downloadable Xbox 360 title Fusion: Genesis would receive a Windows Phone companion game, Fusion: Sentient, my eyes lit up. Sentient comes from Wahoo Studios, makers of some charming and creative XBLA titles. And what gamer doesn’t enjoy the promise of cross-platform connectivity? Imagine my surprise then when I finally played Sentient and discovered it to be a dull, arduous cash-in of a game.

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Xbox Live - Fusion: Sentient connectivity demonstration

Few things inspire as much excitement in dedicated Windows Phone gamers as connectivity between mobile Xbox Live titles and their Xbox 360 counterparts. Having logged a number of hours with the latest ‘connected’ Windows Phone game, Fusion: Sentient, as well as its Xbox 360 big brother Fusion: Genesis, I thought a demonstration might be in order.

As explained in the video, Fusion: Sentient players can auction or transfer (gift) Sentients (mechs) to Xbox 360 players. In the console game, Sentients provide a number of useful services, including attacking enemies, healing and buffing players, mining for resources, and grabbing loot. Not all Sentients are created equal, and the rarer, more useful types can command a high price in the Auction House.

Windows Phone players don’t benefit much from shipping and selling off their Sentients other than earning credits. What do can you do with those credits on the go? Nothing at all. But there is an Achievement for selling over 200,000 credits worth of Sentients. That would take either tons of raising and selling the little guys, or simply getting somebody to big crazy amounts on one or more of your auctions.

The most ideal connectivity between a console and mobile game would involve both the Windows Phone and Xbox 360 versions benefitting equally from the exchange of data. Fusion: Sentient’s connectivity could be better since it leans heavily towards the console game. Still, Fusion: Genesis players will appreciate the influx of rare Sentients that the phone game brings to the table. Let’s hope future Xbox Live titles on Windows Phone evolve the cross-platform connectivity even further.

Fusion: Sentient costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. Score it here on the Marketplace. Fusion: Genesis for Xbox 360 costs 800 Microsoft Points ($10) right here. We’ll have a full review of Fusion: Sentient soon.

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Fusion: Sentient, the mobile tie-in game to new XBLA release Fusion: Sentient is now available. For those keeping score, this marks two weeks in a row of Windows Phone-exclusive games that feature connectivity with an Xbox 360 title. Not too shabby!

After spending an hour or so with Fusion: Sentient, I can tell it's going to be addictive. It plays like a real-time strategy game, as players direct up to five units around each map. But you can also pause and issue orders at any time, making it a bit less hectic and more mobile-friendly. The graphics (excluding the general darkness from the black fog of war) are great, with highly detailed mechs, AKA Sentients. An interesting story told through digital comic panels captures some of the console game's witty humor and promises to expand on the origin of the cybernetic Sentients. With five planets worth of missions and the Ghost Fleet, an endless encounter area built for grinding, Sentient will keep strategy fans busy for a long time.

I only have two gripes so far. First, the pre-mission load times are excessive, ranging from 30-60 seconds in some cases. Not ideal for a mobile game, especially since Fusion: Sentient isn't Mango-compatible out of the gate (just like Kinectimals). Fast App Switching will hopefully cut down on the wait when resuming after visting the Home screen, etc.

Also, the game appears to have tons of choice loot to win after completing missions. But you can't tell what anything does without selecting a Sentient and finding whatever items in your inventory might be compatible with it. An auto-equip feature and a way to browse your entire inventory would make item management much easier.

As I mentione before, Fusion: Sentient connects to Fusion: Genesis on Xbox 360 in a unique way. Phone-grown Sentients can be sold or traded from the Auction House, where they then become useful AI partners in the MMO-like console game. It's a promising feature which we'll explore in greater detail after we've sunk a few more hours into both games.

Fusion: Sentient costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. Score it here on the Marketplace. Fusion: Genesis launches today at 800 Microsoft Points ($10).

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Microsoft is really starting to make true on the promises of connectivity between Xbox 360 and Windows Phone titles. This week’s Xbox Live release, Kinectimals allows gamers to transfer their personalized kitties to the console version and vice-versa. Next week we’re getting another ‘connected’ title in the form of Fusion: Sentient from developer Wahoo Studios (aka NinjaBee) and Microsoft Studios.

Fusion: Sentient is the portable companion to Xbox 360 title Fusion: Genesis (developed by Starfire Studios). Both titles release on the same day, but unlike Full House Poker, the Fusion games are much more distinct from each other. Sentient is a third-person strategy game. Visually, it closely resembles The Harvest but the gameplay is closer to BioWare RPGs like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic thanks to the turn-based nature of the combat.

Head past the break for more details on connectivity between Fusion: Sentient and Fusion: Genesis, screenshots, a trailer, and a free MP3 soundtrack.

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