One of the fun benefits of Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7 is that users can view and edit their avatars on the go. Some avatar items are free, while many of them cost money.
A quartet of avatar goods are currently on sale for fifty percent off. These must be purchased through a PC or Mac web browser or an Xbox 360 console before equipping them to your avatar.
- Ninjas - Black Horned Samurai Outfit (Male or Female) - 120 Microsoft Points ($1.50) - 50% off
- Star Wars - Chewbacca Wookie Costume (Male or Female) - 160 Microsoft Points ($2) - 50% off
- Fantasy Pets - Minotaur Companion - 120 Microsoft Points ($1.50) - 50% off
- Fierce Moves - Break Dancing - 160 Microsoft Points ($2) - 50% off
Avatar pets are not currently viewable on Windows Phone 7. The Fierce Moves item is actually a break dancing animation for your avatar. We can’t confirm whether premium avatar moves are actually viewable on Microsoft’s mobile platform, but we’ll update if we find out.
The sale runs through April 1st, no fooling. A ton of Xbox Live Arcade games (Xbox 360 only) are on sale during the same time period. Head past the break for the full list.
We're all aware that the Metro UI is now the shiny baby at Microsoft and that they've been implementing their simple typographic design on their online properties too. There have been some Windows 8 setup screenshots leaked on the web that display an incredibly attractive installation, and we all know how Microsoft love their setup dialogues.
Many Windows Phone owners also have Xbox 360s, so we’re bringing you this bit of Xbox 360 news.
We're getting word that users in the UK on Three are getting NoDo too. As can be seen to the right, developer Jay Bennett received his NoDo (7389) to his Omnia 7 this afternoon. However, our own Richard Edmonds is still waiting on his, so it looks to be a trickle update so far.
So long as the carriers delay the NoDo update, it looks like people will find a way to force it to happen. Earlier we showed you how to do it on the T-Mobile US HD7, now some folks have figured out how to force it on unbranded/carrier unlocked devices, including the Omnia 7 and 7 Pro. [Update: but others are reporting it not working on the Surround or Mozart, in short, your mileage may vary]
While not hard per se, it is a bit tricky and involves evidently spoofing the Zune server into pushing you the update. One thing is certain, timing is everything as you need to make sure your data connection is turned off at the right moment.
We obviously haven't tried this ourselves, so we encourage you to be careful, but it at least appears many are having success in using this method. Check out the directions after the break and read what others are saying at XDA about it here.
Rowi Lite has been on the Windows Phone Twitter scene for awhile and it's a pretty solid, lite Twitter app.
Lots of folks may be upset with Microsoft and the update process (we're getting a little tired of the drama ourselves) but you have to give them credit: they're listening and trying to make things right. You may not like their response, but at least they're giving a response.
To recap: this week we saw the beginning of the NoDo update, then came the outrage that it could take "weeks" to get it people, then Microsoft gave us a way to check our update status. Last night on Microsoft's Channel 9, Joe Belfiore gave a cheery interview which though entertaining, didn't reveal too much. However, lots of people were miffed to see him saying things were going well and appearing a bit out of touch.
Fast forward 24 hours and he's responding to the criticism, which like we said above, is good damage control. The message, re-posted in its entirety after the break, is quite forthcoming and sincere. A lot can be said about the update process but we do appreciate Microsoft's position in trying to reach out to consumers and developers alike. Like before, sound of in comments on your thoughts.
Indie developer Karios Games’ MonsterUp is a jumping game, much like DoodleJump. Unlike DoodleJump, though, MonsterUp is a Windows Phone 7 exclusive. Our review praises its controls, character designs, and cheerful atmosphere. The dashing, eloquent reviewer just wished for more environments to jump through. With MonsterUp’s version 1.7 update, his pleas for variety have been answered.
Game designer Marios Karagiannis claims that version 1.7 is “the most important and feature rich” revision so far. He’s not lying!
First off, the new update adds something no other jumping game (not even DoodleJump) has seen so far: the Dynamic game mode. Traditionally in these games, when the player character jumps off one side of the screen, it comes out the other side, much like Pac-Man or Asteroids. Dynamic Mode mixes things up by centering the camera firmly on the player’s monster. Instead of jumping off one side and coming out the other, the game’s platforms simply loop around the player. Gameplay does not fundamentally change – the same difficulty and game logic remain. Yet it does add a drop of flair that I quite enjoy. Standard and Dynamic Modes are selectable before each game, and they also share the same Leaderboard.
Fresh and tasty environments
The platform arrangements in jumping games are randomly generated, so each playthrough is different than the one before it. Still, without the visual variety of different environments, it can feel like you’re just playing the same level over and over. MonsterUp now has two brand themes (environments) to bounce around. Lemonade Madness drops the monsters into a giant lemonade glass, while Sweet-o-mania contains a colorful array of cupcakes, cookies, and lollipops. Both stages retain MonsterUp’s signature bright and gleeful aesthetic, plus they just taste great. The original theme, Countryside, is also selectable. I recommend against eating the countryside.
Hop past the break for more details on the update and a video of Dynamic Mode.
There was a time when we didn’t know what games were coming out on Xbox Live until the night before they launched. Those dark ages are behind us now, thank goodness. Lately we’ve been alerted to Xbox Live release dates more and more in advance. Now, it seems we may have learned about the release date of two Xbox Live titles more than two weeks before the fact!
Has my intensive course in astrology finally paid off? Venus isn’t in the right house to say for sure. Instead, the Xbox.com Windows Phone 7 page has provided a possible glimpse of the future. We’ve mentioned before that the page’s Too Many Games section lists a few unreleased games along with most current Xbox Live titles. The release dates of upcoming games are usually left blank. While pouring over each game’s product pages, however, we discovered two games with April 13 release dates listed. The date could be a placeholder or an error, but it’s tantalizing to think about.
What do we know about these April 13 maybes? Head past the jump and all your questions will be answered.