Ubisoft

Last week the Xbox One picked up a fair helping of new games. At retail, we got the realistic martial arts simulation EA Sports UFC. And to download came the affordable twin-stick shooter Sixty Second Shooter Prime and the surprise release of cult-horror hit Outlast (both ID@Xbox releases). You'd think the new releases would slow down for a bit after that terrific threesome, but you'd be wrong!

This week at retail, Activision brings the movie tie-in/cross-over Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. Rebellion will publish tactical sniping game Sniper Elite III on Friday in the UK, with a US release following on July 1st. And to download we've got the World War I-era adventure Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft. All three games are coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Need help deciding what to pick up? Check out our new trailers and impressions after the break!

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We're still trying to take in the full range of ID@Xbox titles that Microsoft and third-parties showcased during E3 this week. The Xbox 360 has an impressive library of downloadable games already, but the Xbox One will surpass that library sooner rather than later once the games start releasing on a steadier schedule.

It's not only indie developers that have exciting downloadable Xbox One titles in the works. Even giants like Ubisoft have gotten in the fray. Ubisoft actually pushed Valiant Hearts: the Great War during their press conference and on the show floor, a sure sign of faith in the gorgeous World War I-era adventure. Valiant Hearts launches on Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this month. And a little farther off, Tetris Ultimate will arrive on both Xbox One and 360 in late summer. Check out both games' trailers after the break!

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Ubisoft is launching a new fitness game called Shape Up exclusively on Xbox One that will hopefully get you into better shape. The game uses Kinect's camera tech to project the user into the game, sort of like bringing a user into a virtual world. This way, Kinect isn't staring and leering at you in the hopes of making you feel guilty about being a couch potato.

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Watch Dogs is a great-looking console and PC game that just came out, and alongside it is a companion game that allows mobile players to compete against others live online for free. Anyone on an Xbox, PlayStation, or PC plays as a vigilante bringing justice to a futuristic Chicago by hacking the world with their phone. Meanwhile, players on Android or iOS act as the police force, viewing the pursuit of the criminal from a bird's eye view.

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Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Ubisoft to launch the first ever Assassin’s Creed gamin title on the modern web with HTML5, 3D WebGL graphics and JavaScript. The Assassin’s Creed Pirates web-based experience is available today for free play in five languages worldwide.

The gameplay is based on the popular iOS Assassin’s Creed Pirates (ACP) game and allows you to step into the shoes of Alonzo Batilla, a young captain, racing his ship through the Caribbean seas, evading mines and other hurdles, amidst searching for treasure.

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We usually try to spread our console coverage out a bit since we know some of our readers don’t play console games. But a batch of exciting Xbox One games have been announced within the last day, and that doesn’t fit in the same article as an Elder Scrolls Online delay. So let’s turn those MMO frowns upside down by concentrating on these games that will arrive on Xbox One within the next few months!

First up, Ubisoft will be bringing a striking adventure game called Valiant Hearts: the Great War to Xbox One and 360 on June 25th. Shortly thereafter, VooFoo Studios and Ripstone will release Pure Pool – the first pool game on Xbox One. Jumping forward to Fall, Alaska-based Upper One Games and E-Line Media have a puzzle platformer called Never Alone in store for Xbox One. Details and trailers after the break!

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Ubisoft and Pastagames’ Rayman Jungle Run was that perfect one-two punch: an excellent platformer, and a high quality mobile Xbox game. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run had a lot to live up to, and it almost felt like Ubisoft didn’t want to share it with us. The game soft launched in limited territories, appeared to fully launch worldwide a few weeks later, and then quickly disappeared that same day.

At last, Rayman Fiesta Run is properly available with fully working Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and Windows RT. Though we had to wait a painfully long time for Fiesta Run, the wait was worth it. Even if you found Jungle Run too challenging, this one is forgiving (and beautiful) enough that it might just win you over. Read on for our full review.

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Last year Ubisoft released its first Xbox game for Windows Phone, Babel Rising 3D. Mando Productions created the original game while Advanced Mobile Applications ported it to Windows platforms. Babel Rising arrived just a month before Windows Phone 8. Once the new mobile OS launched, the game turned out to be Windows Phone 8-incompatible.

Luckily for Windows Phone gamers, Ubisoft did the right thing and brought Babel Rising 3D back as a new, separate Windows Phone 8 version earlier this month. Not only that, they also published a Windows 8 version. All three versions are content identical, with the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 versions naturally running smoother and in higher resolutions. It’s high time for our full review.

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Last month, the Windows 8 version of Rayman Jungle Run received a sizable update. Ubisoft added 20 new levels to their beautiful 2D platformer, and for free. New levels are all very well and good, but what about the Windows Phone 8 version of the game? We assumed it would receive the same update at some point, but Ubisoft couldn’t confirm it for us.

Looks like we assumed correctly! The Windows Phone 8 version of Rayman Jungle Run just got updated with 20 new levels. The update pushes the game’s download size from 49 MB to 78 MB, but that’s still not a bad size for a AAA downloadable title. Head past the break for details and screenshots of the new stages.

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We first caught wind that Ubisoft was planning on releasing a Windows Phone 8 specific version of Babel Rising 3D back during Casual Connect 2013. But the word on the street was that it wouldn't be Xbox enabled due to the lengthy certification process.

While we aren't sure what happened between then and now, Babel Rising 3D was released today and as an Xbox Windows Phone gaming title.

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We’re nearly done with our Casual Connect gaming coverage. At the San Francisco-based gaming industry event, I interviewed a number of Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers. One of the largest of those developers is Advanced Mobile Applications (AMA). Founded in 2004 and based in London, AMA is a sister company to Ubisoft, who publishes some of their games.

During the event, AMA’s VP of Sales Jean-François Denis took the time to show us several of AMA’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 titles. Today we look at two of those: the recently-released Hills of Glory 3D (also available for Windows 8) and the upcoming Babel Rising 3D. Yep, a new Windows Phone 8 version of Babel Rising 3D is coming. Learn more and see both games in action after the break!

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Last month at E3, Microsoft and Wargaming.net announced World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition as the next free to play in development for Xbox Live Arcade. Both World of Tanks and Ascend: Hand of Kul (which also has a Windows Phone companion game in the works) are due out later this year. What we didn’t know is that another free to play game would actually be arriving much sooner.

Quietly announced a while back, Ubisoft and Kung Fu Factory's Spartacus Legends became available to download on the 360 last week. Free for all Xbox Gold members, Legends is basically a brutal one-on-one fighting game loosely based on the Starz TV series Spartacus. Usually when a publisher releases a game with so little fanfare, it indicates a lack of faith in the product. But Spartacus is actually fairly entertaining and visceral. Just be prepared for a bit of a grind.

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Despite his games’ typically high quality, limbless hero Rayman is generally lesser known than his contemporaries like Sonic and Mario. Starting out on the Atari Jaguar, Playstation One, and similar platforms in 1995, the original Rayman stood out thanks to its beautiful 2D graphics, unique atmosphere, and excellent soundtrack. Two strong 3D sequels followed – you can even get 2003’s Rayman 3 on XBLA, in fact.

Rayman kept a low profile after that, only showing up in the spin-off Rayman: Raving Rabbids minigame collections. Soon the Rabbids games left Rayman behind to become their own series, most recently with Rabbids Go Phone for Windows Phone 7. It seemed like Rayman had forced into retirement, doomed to live on only in the minds of nostalgic gamers.

Luckily for platform gaming fans, Rayman came back from obscurity with 2011’s sleeper console hit Rayman Origins. The fourth mainline Rayman game returned to 2D graphics, and how! Origins boasts one of the most striking visual styles in all of gaming, not to mention pretty much everything you could want in a platformer. And now Rayman Jungle Run from Pastagames and Ubisoft brings that same 2D goodness to Windows Phone 8 in a truly killer mobile adaptation.

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Today’s Xbox Windows Phone 8 release, Rayman Jungle Run might have left gamers who are stuck with Windows Phone 7 feeling left out in the cold. Hey, things aren’t as grim as they seem, old phone users! As it turns out, a second Xbox game came out today: Rabbids Go Phone. That’s right, two Ubisoft games in one day!

Rabbids Go Phone might make Windows Phone 7 users smile, but not the rest of us. For reasons unknown to science, Rabbids won’t run on Windows Phone 8. Considering that Microsoft’s new mobile OS has been available since November last year, it’s pretty silly to release an incompatible game at this point in time. Especially a really simplistic game like Rabbids.

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This morning we reported that Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run would soon launch on Windows Phone 8. Ubisoft first announced it back in February and released a nice Windows 8 version in March. Thus the Windows Phone 8 port was only a matter of time…

And here we are! Rayman Jungle Run is now available on Windows Phone 8. What’s more, it runs on devices with 512 MB of RAM, unlike last week’s Nokia-exclusive EA releases. With a highly manageable 49 MB download size, anyone who rocks a Windows Phone 8 handset should be able to enjoy this excellent entry in the Rayman series.

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Windows Phone 8 gamers who held out hope that N.O.V.A. 3 would be released in May will be disappointed to know that Gameloft’s sci-fi FPS definitely won’t make it out of the gate this month. We understand it's still undergoing Xbox Live certification and will release as soon as it passes. But it’s not all bad news. We do get a high-profile Xbox release for Windows Phone 8 today – this one from Ubisoft rather than Gameloft. Yep, the awesome platformer/runner Rayman Jungle Run launches later today!

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Last week, most of us were thrilled when Monster Burner launched as a free Xbox Windows Phone game. Surprisingly, a few days later Monster Burner is no longer free; it now sells for a dollar. The only other time an Xbox Windows Phone game has gone up in price (Angry Birds and ilomilo promotions excluded)  was Miniclip’s Fling jumping from 99 cents to a too-high $2.99 last year.

Monster Burner was free on iOS before it got pulled and relies heavily on In-App Purchases. Now that it costs a buck, should you still get it? Read on to find out...

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The Xbox Windows Phone version of Monster Burner started out as a free game before jumping up to 99 cents a few days later. Like most freemium games, it features In App Purchases that speed up player’s progress in the game. Using the in-game currency, you can buy upgrades to increase your firepower and life or single-use items to slow down the enemies and make tough levels a bit more manageable.

The game doesn’t force players to buy coins; you’ll earn some every time you complete a level. But while the first upgrade of any type sells for a reasonable price, subsequent upgrades cost astronomical prices. Even if you repeat an easy and high-coin level like Plains 3, it would still take hours of grinding to afford the best upgrades on your own.

Fear not! We’ve caught wind of a trick that reduces grinding times tenfold. Using this method, you could easily earn an average of 10,000 coins every two minutes! Read on for our full guide and video.

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