Monday, 13 July 2015

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Dies From Cancer Aged 55

Nintendo has today confirmed the sad news that its CEO and much-respected videogame programmer has died at the age of 55 from cancer. Rumours of Mr. Iwata's failing health first began to circulate back in 2014 when he was advised by doctors not to travel to E3, Los Angeles premiere gaming conference. Nevertheless, he underwent surgery and returned to work after a brief respite.

During his time as CEO, which began in 2002, Satoru Iwata was credited with the launch of many of Nintendo's successful products, including most notably its DS, 3DS and Wii consoles. He had recently began to refocus Nintendo gaming away from the console market and towards the 'mobile gaming' market, which is expected to double Nintendo's expected profits by providing quality Nintendo titles to the growing market of smartphones and tablet devices. Earlier this year, Nintendo signed an exclusive deal with mobile gaming company, DeNA, who will be tasked with bringing Nintendo's vision of high-quality Nintendo mobile games to life.

The untimely death of Mr.Iwata has shocked many of the company's fans, who have taken to social media sites to voice their tributes to the man who brought some truly innovative and creative products to the gaming community. Even Nintendo's closest rival, Sony Playstation paid its respects in a simple tweet, which reads: "Thank you for everything, Mr. Iwata." [sourced from:].

With the loss of its treasured CEO, Nintendo faces a difficult time ahead in its search for new Leadership. One thing is certain, however, Satoru Iwata was a man of rare talent and vision. His leadership helped Nintendo to produce its popular line of easy-to-use, family-friendly consoles, which brought the joys of videogaming  to even wider audiences. He will be sadly missed by the gaming community and he has left some very big shoes for his successor to fill.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Lego Jurassic World Review [PS Vita and 3DS]

The creative geniuses at TT games have produced yet another game under their tried and tested LEGO format.  Universal's dinosaur extravaganza Jurassic World is the latest blockbuster movie to undergo a LEGO metamorphosis, and we have to say that the results are looking good!

The game encompasses storylines from all four films in the Jurassic Park series, from the park's humble beginnings under its original creator, John Hammond, to the bone-chomping action of the ferocious Indominus Rex, which actually means 'Untamable King' in Latin.

As well as the usual LEGO gameplay, including solving various puzzles and collecting several coloured studs etc, players can create their own custom dinosaurs from various body parts collected throughout the game's twenty levels, each divided over four story chapters.

 More than twenty species of standard dinosaur breeds and over one hundred human characters can also be unlocked during the course of the game.One quirky unlockable character is Mr. DNA (the chatty, animated DNA strand who we see guiding tourists in the first and fourth films) he can be used to provide in-game hints and tips once unlocked.

The main human characters also have their own special abilities, which can help at various points during the game. For example, Nick Van Owen, the wildlife photographer from Jurassic Park: Lost World (played by Vince Vaughn,) can now use the flash on his camera to temporarily daze and confuse the attacking dinosaurs!

As well as the Story Mode levels, the game also has two open world settings, Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna.  One of the most exciting features of the open-world gameplay is the ability to play as a rampaging dinosaur in certain areas. Furthermore, the game does feature a two-person Co-Op Mode, which means that your friends can also join in the fun.

LEGO Jurassic World also brings some interesting features such as a brand new Weather mechanic and a whole day and night cycle, which helps to vary the gameplay a little. Nevertheless, this game follows the tried and tested LEGO format that we are all familiar with pretty closely, and the new mechanics do not vastly add anything to the playable portions of the game.

Another aspect of the game is the various 'Chase' sequences, which involve rapidly pressing buttons in order to avoid being eaten by some large carnivorous dinosaur. Although these chases look visually impressive, the actual gameplay mechanics can make them seem a bit boring after a while.

Having Trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

In conclusion, this is a very good, funny, visually-beautiful addition to the LEGO games franchise. If you are already a fan of the LEGO games, then this title will fit very nicely into your collection and the gameplay will be very familiar to you.

If you are an adult gamer who has yet to experience a LEGO video game, you may find that LEGO Jurassic World is not the best title to start with as the chase sequences and fairly simple puzzles may become repetitive after a while.

Nevertheless, LEGO Jurassic World's simple mechanics help to make it an excellent game for children or adult casual gamers who are looking for something entertaining but uncomplicated to play. LEGO Jurassic World is a quirky game, packed with humour that should appeal to the whole family. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 7/10

Monday, 13 April 2015

Resident Evil Revelations 2 Gets PS Vita Release But No Plans For 3DS!

With Capcom already releasing the popular Resident Evil Revelations 2 on the major gaming platforms including: PC, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, handheld gamers have been left wondering whether they too would be treated to some more Zombie-shooting action. Well, today the wait is finally over.

Capcom has indeed confirmed that Frima Studio will be responsible for porting Resident Evil Revelations 2 onto the PS Vita some time in Summer 2015, although no actual release date has yet been announced.

The game will feature all four episodes of Resident Evil and all DLC items released so far. Sony has also promised some interesting touchscreen and gyroscopic control features, which will play an important part within the game.

Nevertheless, the PS Vita release has sparked annoyance from some sections of the 3DS community who are wondering why Resident Evil Revelations 2 has not been adapted for use with the Nintendo handheld too, when the game was originally exclusively available in this format. Capcom has cited "Technical problems" as the main reason for why the game will not be returning to the Nintendo 3DS any time soon. A spokesperson from Capcom has said:

"It's partly a technical reason. We have our own custom engine called the MT Framework, and as the mobile and home console versions are quite different technically, given that we were taking the home console versions as a starting point, it just led somewhat naturally." [Sourced from:]

The news has come as a big disappointment to fans of the original Resident Evil Revelations 3DS game, but for the time being at least, the idea of a Resident Evil Revelations 2 port for the New Nintendo 3DS console seems like little more than a pipe-dream.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Nintendo's Gold Mario Amiibo Sells For Triple Figures on Ebay...

The Gold Mario Amiibo figurine has been very successful in terms of sales in America, where it is on sale as a Walmart exclusive. Nevertheless, it looks as though it is set to be just as popular in the UK, with third-parties regularly selling the figurines at £100 each on the popular auction site, EBAY

The Gold Mario Amiibo figure may differ aesthetically from the standard Mario Amiibo figurine, but it functions in exactly the same way as its original counterpart. There was rumours of a Silver Mario Amiibo, but this has yet to be confirmed. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Nintendo Direct Broadcast Brings Happy News To Fans Of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and a lot more besides...

If you are a big fan of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS/New 3DS or 2DS consoles, then you would have been delighted by the latest Nintendo Direct Broadcast, which aired yesterday. Nintendo have announced that they are planning to release a new spinoff interior design simulator, which is themed around the Animal Crossing series, called Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.

Have you have ever wanted to create the perfect home for your Animal Crossing: New Leaf  buddies?Well, this is your chance. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer lets you design custom interiors for all the characters in the classic game. They tell you what kind of room they want, and you collect items of furniture, wallpapers and carpets that help to turn their dream homes into a reality.

Nintendo also mentioned that this would be the first ever Animal Crossing game to come with Amiibo NFC supported content. However, instead of the Amiibo figurines that have been produced for Super Smash Bros. 4, (which have often been accused of being impractical and too bulky to use when carrying them around with the portable New 3DS console,) Nintendo have announced that Animal Crossing: Happy Home designer will use Amiibo cards instead, which work in the same way as the Amiibo figurines, but which are easier to store and collect. This obviously has a lot of scope for use with other future Nintendo titles as well. 

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is expected to be released in the USA and Europe some time in Autumn 2015. However, there was even more Animal Crossing news, as Nintendo also went on to talk about the new Animal Crossing DLC course which is now coming to Mario Kart 8 on the 23rd of April 2015.

As well as a course which looks to be every bit as cutesy and quirky as the original Animal Crossing game, including different seasons every time the characters race around the track, Nintendo will also add a free update that adds a 200cc speed class, which  means that players who have mastered the existing races get a brand new challenge.  The update also adds support for more Amiibo characters.

For those of you who are not fans of Animal Crossing, there were further announcements including (amongst others), a  trailer for for a new Fire Emblem game, which is due to be released in Europe in 2016, an announcement about a special Amiibo peripheral which will allow existing 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS consoles to use the Amiibo figurines, and an announcement about the fourth wave of collectible Amiibo figures, which can be expected over the next few months:

MAY 2015:

* Pac-Man
* Wario

JULY 2015:

* Dark Pit
* Palutena


* Zero Suit Samus
* Ganondorf
* Olimar
* Dr. Mario
* Bowser Jr.

Thus, it looks as though the next few months are going to be very interesting for Nintendo gamers.
The full Nintendo Direct Broadcast can be viewed below:

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Saturday, 14 February 2015

New Nintendo 3DS Hands-On Review: The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent...Is It really 'New' after all?

The latest edition to Nintendo's 3DS family was launched in the UK yesterday and Mini Gamers could not wait to get our hands on this impressive successor to the 3DS. However, are the New Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS XL consoles really as good as all the hype suggests? What exactly is so 'new' about them, and are they really worth the cash?

At first glance, the New 3DS looks pretty similar to the original 3DS console, but there are a surprising number of small aesthetic and functional changes, which we here at Mini Gamers HQ have decided to separate into three distinct categories called 'The Good' - all those changes that are a marked improvement on the old 3DS console, 'The Bad' - those things which are worse about the New 3DS than its predecessor, and 'The Indifferent', which are those additions or changes which don't really add or worsen anything from the previous model.

The Good:

  • The Volume Control: This has been moved from the bottom left-side of the console to the top left-side of the console, which is great for anyone who used to find that their fingers would sometimes accidentally push the volume slider on the original 3DS/3DS XL models when they were holding or moving the console.
  • The Sound: In addition to the change of position for the volume control slider, the speakers now seem louder and clearer than on the older 3DS models, and the volume can actually be set far lower than before in order to produce a good  level of sound.
  • Faster Operating System: Thanks to a faster and improved Operating System than the original 3DS, loading screens now load up much more quickly than before, and menu screens and download times have become a lot faster too.   
  • Larger screens and sharper 3D images: The 3D images on the New 3DS and New 3DS XL do seem a lot sharper and impressive than before. Furthermore, although this change will not be noticed by those gamers who have opted for the XL model of the New 3DS, (as both the new and the former and newer XL models have almost the same screen size,) there is a marked  difference in screen size between the original standard 3DS and the standard New 3DS, as the diagram below shows:

  • Face-Tracking and Stable 3D Software: As anyone who has previously owned a 3DS or a 3DS XL will know, trying to watch 3D images without glasses is difficult. On previous 3DS models, images would often become blurry when viewed at a slightly 'off-centre' angle or if the console was not held at a specific distance, which would often cause headaches, dizzy spells or tired eyes if viewed for an extended period. Not anymore! The New 3DS comes with some nifty 'Face-Tracking' software, which actually helps users to keep the 3D images at an optimised distance and angle at all times.The effect is called 'Stable 3D' by Nintendo and it definitely lives up to it's name. Blurry images and broken 3D effects are now a thing of the past!

  • Price: Actually, at £149.99 for the standard New 3DS model and £179.99 for the larger XL model, the New 3DS isn't actually too expensive considering its enhanced features, but Mini Gamers was slightly surprised at the 'Bundle' price for the Special Edition Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask console. This console is an XL-sized console with a special limited edition cover design, (as shown below,) which currently retails for £224.99 in the UK. It comes with a special pre-loaded version of the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask game. However, Mini Gamers discovered that we could buy the standard New 3DS XL console and a separate copy of the game for almost £14 cheaper than the advertised bundle price, which does seem a bit unfair, even with its limited edition status!

The Bad:

  • The Name: Yes, it is terrible. Adding the prefix 'New' to the start of a product may have indeed worked for Apple with their New iPad, but it doesn't really work in the case of Nintendo's latest console. Try typing in "new 3DS" or "New 3DS XL" into any search engine and you will instantly see advertisements for brand new original 3DS consoles, as well as the brand new New 3DS consoles, which actually look suspiciously similar to each other at first glance. So how has Nintendo made the difference between these consoles clear? Well, they haven't really, except to have 'Amiibo'-style sparks coming off of the word 'new' on the packaging. Not very helpful to a gamer who has never seen either 3DS consoles before.
  • Standard SD Card now replaced with a Micro SD card: Another potential downside to Nintendo's New 3DS console is that it can no longer take the standard SD cards, which is a pain when using the 'Data Transfer' function between an old 3DS and the New 3DS console. Previously, if one wanted to move saved data between 3DS systems, they would simply launch the 'Data Transfer' tool, wait for files to transfer from one system to another, and then swap the SD cards. Simple! However, the change to a Micro SD card means that this simple transfer is no longer possible. Nintendo have now offered 3 alternative ways to transfer saved data onto the New 3DS console, but one involves having to copy your saved data to a PC first, another involves the laborious task of re-downloading all of your games one-by-one from the online Nintendo eShop, or a 'wireless transfer' that can take several hours to complete. 
  • No Charger: As with the original 3DS, Nintendo have deemed the New 3DS charging adapter to be an 'optional' extra. This won't make a lot of difference to previous owners of the Nintendo DS, as its adapter will work with any 3DS or New 3DS system, but gamers who have never owned a Nintendo DS or 3DS system before, will now be forced to pay an extortionate £6.99 on top of the cost of the console for a charging adapter in order to charge the battery on their New 3DS system.
  • Battery: Despite hopes that a faster processor would help to improve the battery life of the New 3DS console, a side-by-side comparison with the original 3DS actually showed that the battery life was slightly shorter on the new system by just under an hour. 
  • Cartridge Slot and Power Button: The game cartridge slot is now situated at the bottom of the New 3DS. It looks odd and out of place there and it feels quite tricky to swap cartridges with it in this position. The power button's position on the New 3DS console has also been changed to the front edge of the console. Again, it is in an odd place and it doesn't feel as natural and easy to use as it did on the original 3DS.

The Indifferent:

  • C-Stick: The New 3DS now comes with an extra analog stick in the form of a small, round, grey C-Stick (shown above). This button is very useful in certain games like Super Smash Bros. 4, where certain attack moves are handled specifically by the C-stick, but in other games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, it becomes barely noticeable at times.

  •  Extra Shoulder Buttons:  As with the C-stick, the two small extra shoulder buttons on the back of the console, don't seem to do very much at present, as none of the software we tried with the console even required them. However, there is nothing to say that their function won't be important in future 3DS titles, of course.
  • Amiibo Support: One great feature of the New 3DS console is that it now enables 3DS users to interact with its NFC toy range, called Amiibo. However, whilst these toys are an interesting way to unlock special content in certain 3DS titles such as  Super Smash Bros. 4, or Mario Kart 8, there are very few 3DS titles currently available to support the use of Amiibo. If you already use them with your Wii U console however, the same toys will now be compatible with the New 3DS system, it's just that it would be nicer to see a wider range of compatible software than currently exists at present. However, this could again be developed in the future.

The Verdict: Is the New 3DS Worth Buying?

It could be argued that the New 3DS console is actually an improved version of the original 3DS with all the extra buttons and functions that fans have been asking for. If you have not tried a 3DS console, then the New 3DS is definitely a great purchase with lots to offer its gamers.

If you are the proud owner of an original 3DS or 3DS XL console, then the New 3DS does offer many enhanced features as mentioned above, but with very few 3DS software titles currently optimised for the special New 3DS functions such as: Amiibo compatibility, or the C-stick and extra shoulder button controls, it may be worth waiting a little longer before you trade in your old 3DS. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

New 3DS US Midnight Launches At GameStop and GAME in the UK...

There are only six more days to go before Nintendo's latest console, the New Nintendo 3DS and its XL counterpart go on sale in the UK, and many of us have been frantically pre-ordering the console with either our favourite Monster Hunter 4, or The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask 3D bundles. 

However, for 3DS fans in the USA, there has been an extra chance to get your hands on a new console, with popular video game retailer, GameStop, holding many midnight launches in stores across America. Gamers will be able to buy the console from precisely 12:01 am on the 13th of February 2015 and will also be able to take their pick of the aforementioned bundles as well! 

If you don't fancy waiting in line, US gamers can also order the New 3DS/New 3DS XL from the Best Buy website, ( but the retailer has warned that it has had to cancel some pre-orders of The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask bundle because it has proven so popular and is now out of stock.

Video game retailer, GAME has also promised some UK midnight launches in around a third of its stores. GAME is also the only UK retailer to stock the limited edition Monster Hunter 4: Special Edition New 3DS XL, which features an exclusive design.  

Furthermore, GAME has also have added an incentive for those 3DS owners who might be reluctant to trade in their old 3DS for the New 3DS/3DS XL console because of the "Data Transfer" function which requires both the old and new machines to port saved data across from one console to the other. 

According to GAME, anyone who now buys a New 3DS/New 3DS XL console and keeps the receipt, will be able to trade-in their old 3DS console  at the higher trade-in price, which is usually offered for only seven days after the launch of a new console!

The participating GAME stores will be opening just before midnight on Friday the 13th of February 2015 in the following areas:

High Wycombe
Milton Keynes
Manchester (Trafford Centre)
Bristol (Cribbs Causeway)
Belfast (Abbey)
Mansfield (Outlet)
Glasgow the Fort
Manchester (The Fort)
Talbot Green
Leicester the Shires
Manchester (Denton)
Plymouth (Drake Circus)
Preston Deepdale
Leeds Headrow Centre
Stratford upon Avon
Bournemouth Castle Point
Bury the Rock
Bath Southgate
Sheffield Fargate
Manchester (Arndale)
East Kilbride
Stevenage forum
Nottingham (Victoria)
Bradford DS
Bristol Broadmead
Newcastle under Lyme
Liverpool Lord Street
Welwyn Garden City
Isle of Wight
High Wycombe

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sony Online Entertainment To Become DayBreak Studios...

 Massively Multiplayer Online publishing giant, Sony Online Entertainment, has today been sold to the private investment company, Columbus Nova, for an undisclosed sum. The company has since announced that it will be changing its name from SOE to Daybreak Studios, and will now primarily focus on producing video games for multi-platforms, including Nintendo, Xbox and some mobile platforms as well.

A spokesperson for Daybreak Studios has said: "We expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition, it also means new exciting developments for our existing IP and games as we can now fully embrace the multi-platform world we are living in." [sourced from:}

It is yet unclear what type of products gamers can expect to see from Daybreak Studios, but it is definitely an interesting and refreshing change for a company who have been so devoted to a particular platform. Watch this space! 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sony To Discontinue YouTube and Music Unlimited On Its PlayStation Devices, Including PS Vita...

Sony has today announced changes to some of its PlayStation applications. Amongst those applications affected are Sony's music-streaming app, Music Unlimited, which is due to be discontinued on the 29th of March 2015, and the popular video-streaming app, YouTube, which is set to be discontinued in April 2015.

The news has come as somewhat of a disappointment to fans of these two applications, but never fear: Sony has announced that it will be replacing its Music Unlimited service with a brand new music-streaming service called PlayStation Music, which will be powered by the extremely popular music-streaming service, Spotify.

Fans of the PlayStation YouTube app will also be pleased to hear that they will still be able to access the mobile web version of YouTube from their console's Internet browser, so they can enjoy all the videos that they used to get from the application itself.

Sony has also announced that they will be discontinuing the Near and Maps applications on the PS Vita console soon. This is expected to occur some time in March 2015 via a System Update. It is not yet known whether these applications will be replaced with new versions of similar applications or not but it is clear that some serious changes are afoot...Watch this space!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New Nintendo 3DS Console Gets Official North American and UK Release Dates!

The wait is finally over for Nintendo fans in the UK after a special Nintendo Direct broadcast at 2pm today has revealed some more information about the upcoming New 3DS, including the all-important European release dates!

Mini Gamers can now reveal that the console, which has already been released in places such as Japan and Australia will now debut in the UK and North America on the 13th of February 2015. Furthermore, both the New 3DS and its XL counterpart will debut in the UK on the same date, so there will be no need to upgrade to the larger model (which is equal in size to the current 3DS XL) at a later date. North America will only have the XL model of New 3DS.

Furthermore, there is good news  for Nintendo 3DS users who wish to use their existing 3DS games on the new system, which was initially considered incompatible with existing 3DS software as it has a different, more advanced processor.

Nevertheless, Nintendo yesterday revealed that some existing 3DS titles, including the ever-popular Super Smash Bros. 4, WILL receive a firmware update on the 13th of February that will make them compatible with the New 3DS system. However, Nintendo will still be bringing out some exclusive titles such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, (which is set to debut in April 2015,) which will work exclusively with the New 3DS systems only.

As well as being larger and having more processing power than the previous 3DS models, the New 3DS comes equipped with a new C-stick, for enhanced control, as well as a special 'Amiibo' button, which will allow users to sync their New 3DS with Nintendo's unique range of NFC figurines for the first time ever! Nintendo  also announced its second wave of Super Smash Bros. 4 'Amiibo' toys during the broadcast.

We here at Mini Gamers HQ are very excited by the news. Those of you who are desperate to own the New 3DS for yourselves will not have very long to wait at all! If you missed the broadcast yesterday, watch it below now: