A return to the Windows Phone, and memories of the heyday of Xbox-enabled gaming on the WP
My True Achievements friend feed has, in recent weeks, become a static celebration – and, depressingly, a memorial – to Windows Phone-based Xbox enabled gaming.
The past two weeks has brought with it seven WP game completions. It probably sounds more impressive than it really is, given that a few of those completions have been for games which last a couple of hours at most – Beards and Beaks, Butterfly, Guitar Hero, WWTBAM.
And the unexpected return of a reliable WP7 Xbox server (and there may only be one, no-one is sure) has allowed me to finally complete WP7 “ancients” like Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles and Farm Frenzy 2 - the latter only 2000 or so days after I started it!
You know what, it has taken me back to that time not so long ago where WP-based Xbox gaming provided a massive amount of joy. And, after all, joy, enjoyment … that’s what gaming is about, isn’t it?
I’ve led a public transport-based commuter lifestyle for the past 15 years, catching the train to and from work most days. And for six of them, various incarnations of a Windows Phone have accompanied me.
My first WP was my trusty Samsung Omnia 7 – a WP7 – received in mid-August 2011. I still remember the delight, the novelty, of being able to switch on a Windows Phone, play Xbox-enabled games and get achievements.
I remember downloading Flowerz (for free! Free achievements!!) and playing. My first achievements on the WP were in this game … though it then took me another three years to complete.
First WP completion? Da Blob Revolution only a couple of weeks after getting that Samsung Omnia.
Like many WP fans here on TA, I remember fondly the days of weekly Xbox-enabled WP game releases, the wait to download them from the store – how someone would always find that elusive Microsoft Store link to the new game and share it for everyone to access, how much I looked forward to getting into a new game, popping some achievements (often at my work desk during a break) and then continuing my progress on the train home.
That Omnia 7 … man, it took some beatings and bumps. And it did some hard hard work. I look at it today – in my work bag, still functional, still working, still solid (when the WP7 servers let it) and I can’t help but smile because it must’ve hosted 60 or 80 games in its time.
I remember playing Lode Runner to within an inch of its life in order to complete all the levels. Burn the Rope, Orbital, the original Wordament (boy did the phone take a hammering with that one), Zombie Attack 2 (one of the great underrated WP games) … so many others.
Still now some “legacy” games remain – Glyder, Plants vs Zombies, Ken Ken, Gravity Guy, Little Acorns (with those awful unresponsive controls), iStunt (with two extra achievements earned but not “popped” due to server issues), Crimson Dragon (pre-patched and still, much to my amusement this week, still giving me lots of gems for defeating Level 5 over and over) …
Yeah, never going to complete all of them. But they’re there, and I’ve looked every day over the past two or three weeks and actually felt like taking a shot at a couple of them.
My Silver Nokia 925 (or 928, I can’t remember, it is WP8.1) isn’t in as good a shape. Cracked screen, and some bits of glass actually missing completely – confined to indoor use in many ways!
But the hard yards it has done – and the games it has hosted … some of my best overall gaming experiences have been on this phone. Tentacles Open the Mind, Spy Mouse, Max and the Magic Marker, Real Racing, Runemals, Asphalts, Contre Jour, Tiny Troopers.
Really really solid games that provided a heap of enjoyment (or, as someone who completed Panzer Geekz, frustration and then a massive sense of accomplishment).
Of course there was, and there is, a great WP community here at TA. The shared enjoyment from playing some of these games, the knowledge and tips we could share, the genuine achievement we felt when we saw someone overcome a tough challenge or finish a challenging game – these things were a core part of that enjoyment too.
Unfortunately of course, long gone are the days of those weekly release WP games and weekly sales and specials and news of Nokia exclusive games not being exclusive anymore.
My WP10 doesn’t see a lot of Xbox-enabled gaming. Gimme Five was, and is, fun. But there’s not a lot of games left around now. So many delistings and so many games with awful bugs.
These last two weeks have just reminded me of how much fun Xbox-enabled WP gaming was in its heyday, the enjoyment I got, the community we built around it here at TA … and how much I miss it.
Posted by Chris8875
on 29 June 17 at 02:52
| Last edited on 29 June 17 at 02:57 | There are 4 comments
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