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Namco Bandai

When console gamers think of Namco Bandai, they probably think of Pac-Man or Dragonball Z. But you might not know that Namco also publishes quite a few racing games – they have no less than three racers planned for Xbox consoles later this year. Let's look at that lineup!

Project CARS will make a big splash on Xbox One this November. On Xbox 360, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2, Digimon All-Star Rumble, F1 2014, and MotoGP 2014 all arrive this fall. Finally, Dragonball Xenoverse and Tekken 7 are coming in 2015. Read on for impressions and trailers!

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Galaga Legions DX wasn’t the best Xbox game on Windows Phone. In fact, I named it as one of the five worst Xbox games of 2012. But still, it was that very rare thing: an exclusive Windows Phone game from a major publisher that never showed up on other mobile platforms (though it originated on Xbox 360). I even managed to get all of Legions DX’s Achievements and write a guide for them.

You’ll notice I speak of Galaga Legions DX entirely in the past tense; that’s because it was delisted from the Windows Phone Store within the last few days. That makes it the fourth Xbox Windows Phone game to disappear this year. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Tower Bloxx New York, and 3D Brick Breaker Revolution were all delisted in January. Only three new Xbox games have made it to Windows Phone in 2014, so we’re actually one down for the year.

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The Earth Defense Force series of third-person shooters started out as budget titles on the Playstation 2 in Japan, though they also made it to Europe with new branding as either Monster Attack or Global Defence Force. Americans didn’t have a chance to experience the series until the third main game Earth Defense Force 2017 launched on Xbox 360 in 2007 (and later, the Playstation Vita). The fans of niche titles who were fortunate enough to play 2017 quickly fell in love with its bizarre fifties sci-fi vibe, huge hordes of enemies, and massively destructible environments.

The American developed sequel, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon unfortunately didn’t fare as well as its predecessor. Smaller hordes of bullet-sponge enemies, a slow and painful grinding system, too few levels and enemy types, and awful writing and voice acting all led to disappointment for series enthusiasts. Now at long last, Sandlot and publishers D3 and Namco Bandai have delivered the true follow-up to 2017 as Earth Defense Force 2025 on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. 2025 is one amazing game if you give it a chance.

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Your friendly neighborhood Games Editor is a huge Pac-Man fan; I once called Pac-Man Championship Edition DX one of the five best Xbox Windows Phone games. So naturally I jumped at the chance to meet with Namco Bandai during E3 2013 to discuss this year’s upcoming Pac-Man titles.

The meeting started out with a look at the upcoming CG animated series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures that begins airing on Disney XD on Monday, June 17th. The 26-episode series revolves around a young Pac-Man and his friends Cylindria and Spiral as they fight to protect Pactopia from an onslaught of evil ghosts. It actually looks like a great show for kids and adults who dig Pac-Man. Bandai will be selling a snazzy line of toys to coincide with the show.

We already knew that a Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures game would be coming to Xbox 360 this year, but Namco’s announcement of two more Pac-Man titles – one for Windows 8 came as a happy surprise. Read on to learn just how Xbox 360 and Windows 8 users will be getting their Pac on in 2013!

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Namco Bandai has put two of its Xbox for Windows Phone titles on sale, PAC-MAN and PAC-MAN CE DX. As the name suggests, they're faithful ports of the vintage arcade game from the 80s where players control a character who enjoys eating yellow dots. The famous ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde attempt to prevent the dots from being gobbled up. The gameplay is both addictive and humorous and has been tried and tested as a definite purchase.

Both titles have been available on Windows Phone for some time now, but it's good to see them made more affordable.

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Flight Control Review: The seed of proliferation

Let’s face it, all the cool Windows Phone gamer kids are playing Skulls of the Shogun right now, but we can’t review that game until we’ve spent a little more time with it. Instead, we'll take a look at a classic title. Some people felt left out with last week’s Flight Control: Rocket review since that fine game is a Nokia exclusive. As such, it’s high time for our review of the original Flight Control, a game that all Windows Phone 7 and 8 owners can play. Flight Control comes from developer Firemint (now known as Firemonkeys) and Namco Bandai games.

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Any gamer who has owned an iOS device knows that publishers love to offer their games for significant discounts and even free during the holidays. Here on Windows Phone, we’re used to seeing 3-6 games on sale during special occasions, such as the current Countdown to 2012 sale.

Two games from the same third-party publisher on sale at once though? It just doesn’t happen. At least, it hadn’t happened until Namco Bandai’s Galaga Legions DX (review) dropped to 99 cents on Friday night. Like Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, this title regularly sells for the way too high price of $6.99. But both games are now on sale for 99 cents – truly a killer deal from the good folks at Namco Bandai.

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Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is that rarest of things: an exclusive Xbox Windows Phone game... Well, exclusive among the smartphone market, as it’s a port of the popular XBLA game. And man, what a good one! I even included it in my Five Must-Have Xbox Games list back in May.

But one thing has long kept the wider WP market from embracing the finest Pac-Man mobile game of all time: its steep price. Despite the fact that Pac-man CE DX contains just under a third of the XBLA game’s content, it has always cost only one third less - $6.99, as compared to the beefier $10 console version. In a market in which seemingly everyone (somewhat unwisely) values everything at one dollar no matter what, the $7 price tag just doesn’t fly.

Today that changes because Pac-man CE DX has finally had its first price drop/sale since launching in May 2011. What’s more, it’s now only 99 cents!

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Galaga Legions DX

Last year, Namco Bandai released a Windows Phone-exclusive port of XBLA/PSN hit Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. I was concerned about the amount of content that was needlessly cut from the port and its high price, but still gave it a positive review and named it a Must-Have title. More than a year (and several intermediate releases) later, Namco follows up with Galaga Legions DX. Like Pac-Man CE DX before it, this latest release is an exclusive port of a console title and it carries the seldom-used $6.99 price. However, this version of Galaga doesn’t quite reach the same standards of quality as Pac-Man CE DX, making it a much tougher sell.

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The most challenging Xbox Live Achievements in the Windows Phone version of Galaga Legions DX involve reaching high score milestones on Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, and Championship. These goals are no easy task, and it seems that the developers forgot to factor this version’s terrible movement controls into account when choosing the scores - let's hope for a patch. That said, none of the Achievements is impossible and we’ve got some tips to make things easier.

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Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Pool Pro Online 3

Namco Bandai’s Windows Phone output has been somewhat uneven so far. Some of their games like Puzzle Quest 2 are great, many are overpriced (Pac-Man Championship Edition DX anyone?), and a few like More Brain Exercise are simply duds.  Their previous release, Pac-Man Kart Rally, fell somewhere in the middle of the quality spectrum, but I respected the developer’s boundary-breaking use of local Wi-Fi multiplayer. Now Pool Pro Online 3 pushes things even further, becoming the first mobile Xbox Live game with true real-time online multiplayer. While its online mode is unparalleled, a few fouls keep Pool Pro Online 3 from being a truly great pool game.

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As we promised yesterday, Namco Bandai’s Pool Pro Online 3 is now on the Marketplace. And guess what? It’s surprisingly good!

Pool Pro Online 3 offers a realistic simulation of three pool games: 8-ball, 9-ball, and snooker. Foggy on the rules (like me) or new to pool? The built-in tutorial and reference section make learning a snap. Seriously, I have no real-life aptitude for pool but I’ve still managed to win several games so far.

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At the start of the month, Windows Phone Central provided exclusive first details and images of Namco Bandai’s Pool Pro Online 3 for Xbox Live. Now we’re back with first word of its release date: tomorrow, August 1st. Windows Phone gamers will be shooting pool in no time!

Pool Pro Online 3 offers a realistic simulation of three pool games: 8-ball, 9-ball, and snooker. All three can be played either single-player or online. According to word from Microsoft, gamers can view and join online lobbies, so you won’t be restricted to playing with friends as with clunky ol’ Battleship.

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Xbox Live - Pool Pro Online 3 exclusive preview

Namco Bandai may be best known for their Pac-Man and Katamari Damacy titles on Windows Phone, but the publisher does dip into other genres from time to time. Case in point, their next game centers on the sport of pool. Pool Pro Online 3 comes to Xbox Live very soon, and Windows Phone Central has exclusive first screenshots to prove it.

Head past the break for our full preview and more screens!

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We mentioned Pac-Man Kart Rally was heading to the Windows Phone Marketplace on May 2, 2012. Well... it arrived just a wee bit early.

The Windows Phone game from Namco Bandai went live just a little while ago and brings all the goodness of Wifi Multiplayer to your Windows Phone. Pac-Man Kart Rally is the first Xbox Live title with local Wifi multiplayer which allows two players to compete against each other in the same room using two phones connected to the same network and two copies of the game.

Pac-Man Kart Rally includes ten characters, thirteen tracks, and plenty of power-ups and upgrades. There is a trial version available with the full version of Pac-Man Kart Rally running $4.99. You can find Pac-Man Kart Rally here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Keep tabs on the site and we'll have a full review up as soon as we can get Paul off the race track.

Thanks, Zebrasqual, for the tip!

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When you play every single Xbox Live game that comes to Windows Phone, it’s easy to become jaded. I mean, how many physics puzzlers and Angry Birds clones do we really need? Still, today I write about a genuinely exciting game that I can’t wait to play: Pac-Man Kart Rally from Namco Bandai. It comes out this Wednesday; and WPCentral has some exclusive details to whet your appetite.

First, a little history. Pac-Man Kart Rally originally debuted on older mobile phone platforms in 2010, including Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The title drew inspiration from Pac-Man World Rally on Playstation 2-era consoles, but was not a direct adaptation. In late 2011, Pac-Man Kart Rally received a serious graphical upgrade when it made the trip to the Android platform, exclusively for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play handset.

Head past the break for the full scoop on Pac-Man Kart Rally's characters, tracks, and multiplayer!

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Namco brings Tekken Resolute to Windows Mobile

Namco Bandai announced today that the Tekken game franchise was going mobile with the game Tekken Resolute.  The mobile version of the popular arcade game is available for Java, Windows Mobile, BREW and RIM platforms.

Tekken Resolute promises to bring intense graphics and fluid animations to the mobile platform. Players can choose between the Iron Fist Tournament with the Arcade Mode or fight through various stages of a Story Mode. Tekken Resolute also has a Tekken Force Mode where you battle multiple enemies.

Tekken Resolute can be purchased for $6.99 through various wireless provider's app stores such as AT&T's Media Mall or through Namco (still billed through your wireless provider).  Namco is slowly updating their website so if Tekken Resolute isn't listed under your carrier and device, check your wireless provider's app store.

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