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Microsoft has never released a portable console like the Playstation Vita or 3DS, instead opting to publish Xbox-branded games for Windows Phone and Windows 8… A wise choice given the modern trend towards smartphone and tablet gaming over handheld game systems. With the Xbox 360’s excellent lineup of downloadable games, Windows Phone users rightfully expected the chance to play many of their XBLA favorites on their mobile phones.

Unfortunately, the number of robust, XBLA-quality titles released for Xbox Windows Phone to date is incredibly small. I count only Final Fantasy, Puzzle Quest 2, Castlevania Puzzle, ilomilo, Plants vs. Zombies, Sonic 4: Episode I, and Sonic CD as games with full console-level production values and quantity of content. Crimson Dragon Side Story, Hydro Thunder GO, and Civilization Revolution would be on there too if not for their Playstation One-era graphics. Maybe 11 games out of Xbox Windows Phone’s over 150 titles feel like full XBLA games and not just smartphone/casual titles.

Well, add another game to the top-tier pile because Skulls of the Shogun from 17-BIT and Microsoft Studios fits right alongside the XBLA and Windows 8 versions that released alongside it.

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If there’s one mobile games publisher whose titles Windows Phone needs in order to appeal to mainstream gamers, it’s Gameloft. The Paris-based developer has made a massive business of cloning popular console games as smartphone titles, in addition to publishing actual licensed and wholly original titles. Sadly, Gameloft never fully supported Windows Phone 7. They released a few quality games (Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassin’s Creed) and several buggy and/or severely delayed ones (Let’s Golf 2, Asphalt 5, Brain Challenge, and Real Soccer), but none of their most popular franchises.

Thankfully that should be changing with Windows Phone 8, as Gameloft has just announced a whopping 12 games for Microsoft’s new mobile OS, most of which are true heavy hitters! Check them out after the break.

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