full house poker

We dished out praises like crazy to the original Full House Poker game for Windows Phone. It was the first Windows Phone 7 game to have proper avatar support and is still the only one, really. A picture of the user’s avatar on their stats screen like AlphaJax and Wordament have doesn’t really count; users want to play games as their avatars.

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It might seem like only yesterday for some of us, but Microsoft’s Xbox Live service launched 10 years ago this month – a year after the original Xbox debuted. Xbox live was a major differentiator between the Xbox and the Playstation 2 and GameCube. Some PS2 games could connect to the internet via optional modem, but Sony’s console lacked a proper online system. Nintendo’s GameCube had only a handful of online games, something the big N did little (virtually nothing) to rectify with the GameCube’s successor, the Wii. Only the Xbox had a fairly standardized online system with each game required to support voice chat.

Ten years later, the Xbox 360 is the world’s most popular console (especially in North America) and the Xbox Live service extends to Windows Phone and Windows 8 games. Read on to discover Microsoft’s plans to celebrate the anniversary, including giving everyone a free XBLA game!

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Last week, Sonic 4, Full House Poker, and Assassin’s Creed all went on sale for half a day before mysteriously returning to full price. Those three Xbox Live titles are now officially on sale for the week of November 22-28, apparently as part of a Black Friday sale.

Sonic 4: Episode 1 is a 2-dimensional platformer starring the world’s fastest hedgehog. Our review praises its similarity to the XBLA version as well as the touch screen controls, which are the best we’ve encountered in a mobile platformer. Sonic 4 regularly sells for $6.99, but it’s $4.99 this week. Marketplace link

Full House Poker (review) is a single-player Texas Hold ‘Em simulator. Not only was it the first Windows Phone title to feature full Avatar integration, it also shares excellent connectivity with the Xbox 360 version of the game. Full House Poker is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99. Marketplace link

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles (review) is a 3D platformer/action title set in the middle ages. With great graphics and full voice acting (though the acting is atrocious), it feels like a DS game squeezed into a mobile title (‘cause it is). The controls are fiddly and the platforming can be frustrating, but the story and action mostly make up for it. Assassin’s Creed is on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99. Marketplace link

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Microsoft has pulled off a nice little surprise this week. Not only does the puzzler Enigmo get a discount, but three other titles are also getting price breaks, two of which we recently seen as Deals of the Week:

Not bad deals at all, especially if you missed past DotW or you really want Assassin's Creed for some reason.

via: Plaffo

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Full House Poker updated to Mango

Good news for players and especially those who managed to grab this title when it was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week not so long ago. Full House Poker has been updated to Mango, which brings the usual goodness with fast-app switching and more. But the interesting feature that's now included is unlockable ringtone achievements, which is something we haven't seen yet in a game on Windows Phone.

You can download Full House Poker from the Marketplace for $2.99, be sure to check out our full review!

Thanks Will for the heads up!

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Now that we’ve had a huntin’ sale, it’s time to relax with some poker. And by that, I mean that Full House Poker is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. On Wednesday it will be on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Full House Poker is a single-player Texas Hold ‘Em simulator. Even though it sadly lacks multiplayer, it does boast a few cool features. It was the first mobile Xbox Live game to feature avatar support, for one. Even more impressively, it sports full connectivity with the Xbox 360 version of the game. Money and experience earned in one version transfers to the other seamlessly. Let’s hope more games connect to each other so well in the future.

If you like Texas Hold ‘Em (the most enjoyable variation of poker in my opinion), the only thing you should really ask yourself is whether or not you’d enjoy it in a single-player setting. As our review states, Full House Poker does have a good leveling and unlockable system, but not the best opponent AI. I would hope for a Mango update to add some asynchronous multiplayer, but considering that the developer, Krome, has been out of business for a while, I doubt we’ll see any updates besides perhaps the addition of fast-app-switching.

Full House Poker will be on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Cash in your chips here (Zune link) to make the purchase.

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Two Microsoft Game Studios titles recently received software updates – Full House Poker (review) and Hexic Rush (review). We’ve worked tirelessly from the moment they were updated to find out just what was changed, and it has finally paid off. Don’t say we never did anything for you!

The following issues were fixed in the Full House Poker version 1.1 update:

If listening to Zune music while playing the game, and you turned the game music volume all the way down (in the game settings), after exiting the game, you could no longer turn up the volume on your Zune music without rebooting the phone.  The game music slider no longer controls the Zune music volume as that’s what the phone volume buttons control.

If you tombstoned during a tournament at the right time, when you went to continue your game the blinds would reset to 5/10.  This was very frustrating in a high buy in game or late in a tournament where they should be much higher.

It’s great to have both of these issues fixed. However, Our own George Ponder has recently experienced a separate problem with his temporary save game (not the permanent one) disappearing, so we hope to see that tackled in the future.

Hexic Rush version 2.3 update:

The Hexic update was to fix a NoDo media playback change in XNA. 

What’s that, you want more details? It’s pretty technical … Microsoft XNA developer Nick Gravelyn’s blog explains that post NoDo update, Windows Phone applications and games are no longer able to mute or alter the volume of the Zune media player, should audio files be presently active. Not a very exciting title update, but it’s nice to see that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about Hexic Rush.

There you have it! You can get Full House Poker here and Hexic Rush here. Both games cost $2.99 and have free trials.

Thanks to WPCentral’s Richard Edmonds for help in deciphering the XNA blog post.

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Full House Poker - Review

One of the most exciting benefits of Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7 is the possibility of connectivity. Crackdown: Project Sunburst unlocks a few bonus features in Crackdown 2 on Xbox 360, but that’s only the tip of the ice berg. Full House Poker, developed by Krome Studios and published by Microsoft, integrates more fully with its Xbox 360 counterpart than any game yet.

Full House Poker is a Texas hold ‘em poker simulator. Poker is very well-suited to mobile game play as you can play a hand in no time at all. Full House Poker’s affordable price and the fact that practically everybody loves poker means the game was bound to sell well on Windows Phone 7 no matter what. Thankfully the developers went the full mile and made not just a mobile poker game but a top-notch one as well.

Head past the break for our full house review.

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It’s not often we learn about a Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live title’s release date more than a few days before the game comes out, so this announcement comes as a special treat. Full House Poker, developed by Krome Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, is the March 16 Xbox Live title!

Full House Poker is a special release for a number of reasons. First, it will be the first Xbox Live title on WP7 to have full avatar support (we won’t count Avatar Gadgets). That means you can play the game as your Xbox Live avatar. Even more exciting for Xbox 360 owners is the mobile version of Full House Poker’s integration with the console version. The Xbox 360 game launches on the same day as the WP7 game. Experience and money is shared across both platforms, so progress made in one game automatically transfers to the other. It’s the most complete console-to-WP7 integration so far. Will all that be enough to get WPCentral's Daniel Rubino excited for it? Only time will tell!

Full House Poker on Windows Phone 7 will cost $2.99. The Xbox 360 version will cost 800 Microsoft Points ($10). Each game has its own set of Achievements worth 200 points. Both will launch on Wednesday, March 16.  

See our video hands on from CES after the break...

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