Friday, 12 September 2014

Super Smash Bros Demo Codes Available to Club Nintendo Members NOW!

 Nintendo of America began distributing special demo codes for Super Smash Bros for  the Nintendo 3DS to eligible Club Nintendo members. At first, umembers believed they would be getting one free code, but they in fact were treated to four separate codes.

 Each code, once registered on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, allowed official Club Nintendo members to download a playable demo version of the portable 3D fighting game weeks ahead of its official release.

Although these codes were issued free of charge to all Club Nintendo members, some of the codes have already found there way onto the popular auction site, EBAY, where they have been sold for up to $25, (around £15,) which seems a ludicrous amount to pay for a free demo, but which serves to show the popularity of the Super Smash Bros series.

If you are desperate to try the demo, then you should definitely mark the 19th of September 2014 as an important date in your diary, as that is when the demo version becomes available for all other Nintendo users on the Nintendo 3DS eshop. Best of all, it is completely FREE to download as well!

The demo release date was announced during today's eight-hour long Nintendo Treehouse livestream, which will feature gameplay from six games including Super Smash Bros. The demo will feature some popular character's from the Nintendo universe, including: Mario, Link, Pikachu, Animal Crossing Villager and Mega Man along with the 'Battlefield' stage.

Super Smash Bros is set to debut on the Nintendo 3DS on the 3rd of October 2014, and is scheduled for release on the Wii U some time in December 2014. Remember to check back with Mini Gamers after the 19th of September for our review of the playable demo.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Tomodachi Life: Marriage & Babies Guide - Your Questions Answered...

Warning, this post does contain spoilers!

Marriage and child-rearing are just two of the many events that occur in Nintendo's wacky and ever-popular 3DS game, Tomodachi Life. Throughout these events, players are expected to perform a set of mini-games, which are fun, but which can also prove quite tricky and frustrating at times. Thus, we here at Mini Gamers HQ have compiled this list of handy hints and frequently asked questions that may help you through your Miis' first experiences of marriage and parenthood.

1) How do Miis get married in the game?

Any adult Mii who is in a relationship with another adult Mii in the game may express thoughts of marriage quite soon after the two of them have become sweethearts. They will come to you and say something like: "I want to propose to ... Do you think I should?" 

If you encourage your Mii to go ahead and propose to their beloved sweetheart, you will then be asked to select from a variety of different options, including how your Mii should propose, where the proposal should take place, and whether they should change their clothes before proposing or not. Once these things have been decided, your Mii will request your help to propose at the right time. This is essentially what the Proposal mini-game centres around.

You join your Mii and his or her possible future spouse on their date. During the date, your Mii will be given three separate chances to propose to their intended sweetheart. These chances are represented as three floating love-hearts above your Mii's head.

During the date, your Mii will try to lead up to asking the all important question. Whilst your Mii is planning what to say, your Miis intended spouse will have a variety of thoughts going through their mind. These thoughts are displayed as images in little thought bubbles. When this thought bubble shows the face of the Mii who is trying to propose, you must tap the 'Now' heart icon on the bottom screen, to tell your Mii that it is the right time to propose.

The images in the thought bubbles can change very rapidly and it is easy to get the timing wrong. This will lead to an unsuccessful proposal if it happens too many times. Thus, you must try and tap the 'Now' heart icon as quickly as possible when you see your Mii's  face appear in their sweetheart's thoughts.

If you successfully identify your Mii's face, you will get a thumbs up and your Mii will start his or her proposal. If you can successfully identify your Mii's face and tap the 'Now' icon in time three times, then you will have conquered the proposal mini-game and your Miis will get married and will go on honeymoon together before moving into one of the special 'Mii Homes' for married couples.

2) What happens if I get it wrong during the proposal mini-game, does this mean my Miis will break up?

No, if you are unsuccessful at the proposal mini-game your Miis will remain as sweethearts for now. Provided that they remain happy together, your Mii will get another chance to propose to his or her sweetheart at a later date.

3) My Miis got married! How soon can they start a family?

This can take between 3-7 days after the marriage has taken place, depending on your Miis. Once your Miis are ready to start a family they will come to you and say something like: "I have been thinking of having a child with ... What do you think?"

If you are happy for your Miis to have a child together, then choose the positive option. If you wish to delay their parenthood, then choose the negative option. Once encouragement has been given, it will take about another 2-3 days for your Miis to actually have their baby. You will receive a phone call and will go to your Miis' home, where they will present their newborn baby to you.

4) I don't like the way the newborn baby looks, can I customise it?

Yes, the game comes with several customisation options for babies. Your Miis will ask you several different questions regarding the baby's gender, personality, name and looks, all of which you will be able to customise if you choose to do so.

5) How quickly do babies grow up?

Babies grow up very quickly in the game. It will take between 3-7 days for a baby to grow up into an independent Mii who is capable of moving into their own apartment on the Island. Whilst the baby is growing up, you can visit the baby at its parents house and you will even get requests from your adult Miis to help babysit the baby at least once per day whilst it is growing up.

6) Help! I can't get the baby to stop crying! What am I doing wrong?

Babies in Tomodachi Life come with three separate mini-games that represent each stage of the baby's development from newborn, to six month old baby, to toddler, after which they will grow into an independent Mii.

In the newborn baby 'rocking' mini-game: You must rock the crying baby to sleep in your arms. This is done by gently moving the 3DS system around to simulate a rocking motion. The baby should then calm down and eventually go off to sleep.

  Mini Gamers found this game particularly frustrating at first, as any movement we made seemed to unsettle the baby more. In the end, we found that holding the 3DS like a book and gently tapping the side of the 3DS rhythmically to make the on-screen arms rock gently seemed to work very well, although do bear in mind that some babies prefer to be rocked more gently than others.

The 'Peekaboo' mini-game represents the baby's second stage of development. You must tickle or pat the baby gently to make it stop crying or play a game of 'Peekaboo' with it. As with the newborn baby mini game, this game has many variables, so it may be worth trying a different combination of tickling, patting and 'Peekaboo' to see which one the baby responds to best.

Some babies prefer to play 'Peekaboo' but don't want to be patted or tickled, some will prefer to be tickled instead of patted or vice versa, and some babies will only calm down if a combination of 'Peekaboo' and either tickling or patting is used, it depends upon the baby's individual personality.

The third and final 'Swing around' mini-game occurs when your new baby Mii has reached the toddler stage. It is by far the easiest of the three baby mini-games to complete. Simply swing the toddler around by moving the stylus around in a circle on the bottom screen. Do this until the toddler laughs and becomes cheerful again.

You will receive an award for helping your Miis to babysit the baby. Please note, you will be given this reward regardless of whether you are successful in getting the baby to stop crying.

7) How many children can my Miis have?

This is unknown at present. Original Japanese reports of the game suggested that households were limited to only three children each, but there have since been reports of Mii couples who have had five or more children born to each household, so it seems that the actual number can vary depending on the size of your existing Island population. Each Tomodachi Life island can only hold a maximum of one hundred Miis, which includes all children born in the game.

8) My Mii has grown up, what happens now?

Once the baby has become an independent Mii, you will be given a choice: Allow the them to remain on the island as a permanent resident, or send them away on an adventure via the 3DS' StreetPass function.

If you choose to let your Mii remain on the Island, they will move into their own apartment separate from their parent's house. Please note, all children born in Tomodachi Life are not given a birth year when they grow up. This means that you can choose their age when they move into their own apartment, so you may wish to make them into an adult who is capable of getting married and having a child of their own, or prefer to keep them as a young child Mii instead. It is entirely up to you!

If you choose to send the Mii on an adventure, they will visit other Tomodachi Islands via StreetPass, but will still write letters to their parents and may even return home to visit them once in a while. Sending kids on adventures is a great way of communicating with other Tomodachi Life users whilst also keeping your Island population low.

Remember to check out the new 'Kid Info' section in the town hall, which becomes unlocked once your child Mii has grown up. Every kid gets a special book which is worth looking at every now and again!

So that concludes our Tomodachi Life Marriages and Babies guide. We hope you found it useful. If you have any other questions about the game that are not covered in this guide, then please do not hesitate to contact us via our comments link at the bottom of this post, and we will do our best to try and help answer them for you.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Nintendo's Amiibo Figures Given UK Recommended Retail Price...

A UK retail price for Nintendo's first wave of Amiibo NFC figurines, has been announced today! Nintendo's official online store lists the figures for £10.99 each, which makes than an average of three to four pounds more expensive than the first wave of Skylanders figures when they were first released. There are currently twelve figurines available for pre-order, including Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong, but no actual release date for the figurines has been given yet.

 The interactive figures can be used to save stats and other data from various compatible games. Super Smash Bros for  the Wii U and 3DS will be he first game to make use of them.  Keep checking in with Mini Gamers for more news about the Amiibo figurines as it occurs!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Introducing the NEW 3DS...

Nintendo have today officially announced a new handheld console in its 3DS range via a Japanese-exclusive Nintendo Direct broadcast. The console, which so far has the working title of 'New 3DS', boasts a SNES style colour-scheme for its four main buttons, and is expected to come with several new features, including a small circular analog stick, called a C-stick, and in-built Near-Field Communication, which will be used in conjunction with Nintendo's Amiibo range.

However, for those of you who were expecting an NFC peripheral to adapt your existing 3DS console for use with Amiibo, Nintendo are still planning on releasing a 3DS NFC adapter some time in 2015, but the advantage of the new 3DS is that this technology will already be available within the console itself.

There have been two models of New 3DS announced today: The standard model and a new XL model, which has been called New 3DS LL. both models will be slightly larger than their current 3DS counterparts. This all sounds very appealing, but rather controversially, the console features a whole new CPU and therefore, the new 3DS titles will not be compatible with the older 3DS systems. This means that gamers who wish to play the new titles will be forced to upgrade to the new system.

One of the titles which has been announced for the system is a new Xenoblade Chronicles game, although details of how the game will use the features of the New 3DS console are unknown at this present time.

The New 3DS will launch in Japan on the 11th of October  this year and is expected to launch in Europe and the US some time in 2015. The news of a new 3DS is a slight 'mixed bag' for those fans who have already invested in a 3DS or 3DS XL, but the New 3DS will be much more advanced than its predecessor, and thus may well tempt gamers to either trade in their old consoles, or splash the cash on the New 3DS when it becomes available.

So, what do you think of the New 3DS? Are you tempted to buy one? If you have any thoughts about the new console and wish to share them with us, then please feel free to get in touch via our comments link at the bottom of this post.

It looks as though 2015 is already shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of handheld gaming. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news about this console as it develops.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

PSN Down After DDoS Attack?

 Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) is reportedly down for maintenance today after a DDoS attack. DDos stands for Distributed Denial of Service, whereby hackers make several computers on their network all contact a specific website or server repeatedly. The unexpected and sudden increase in traffic can make the website load very slowly for genuine users, or in extreme cases, can shut the site down completely for a while, which seems to have been the case here.


                                           ©2007 HowStuffWorks

 According to an article by ShackNews, the PlayStation Network and several other gaming servers have fallen victim to various DDoS attacks recently including: Blizzard's servers, which run some very popular online games such as Hearthstone, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft. It appears that the attacks started with the Blizzard servers before swiftly targeting Riot's League of Legends, Grinding Gear Games' Path of Exile, and then moving onto Sony's PlayStation Network.

The attacks are reportedly the work of a group of hackers who are calling themselves Lizard Squad. The group have posted several Tweets over the last few days taking responsibility for the attacks. The situation is ongoing as all of the affected servers attempt to get their services running again.

There was  a routine maintenance already scheduled for Monday the 25th of August 2014, but now the server and its relevant services could be down for even longer than Sony had originally planned.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sony Announces Adventure Mega Pack Bundle For PS Vita...

The SCEE (Sony Corporate Entertainment Europe) have today announced a new Adventure Mega pack bundle for the PS Vita, which is expected to be released some time in Autumn this year. The bundle will feature five popular PS Vita adventure games:

  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
    Join Nathan Drake on his only PS Vita adventure so far, and help him to uncover the dark secret behind the massacre of a Spanish expedition to Central America around four hundred years ago.
  • Tearaway
    The vibrant papery world of Tearaway unfolds in your hands, allowing you to reach into the game with your godlike powers and help your new messenger friend, iota or atoi, complete a very special delivery.
  • Gravity Rush
    Take part in an epic adventure with abilities that use the PlayStation Vita system’s unique control methods.
  • Escape Plan
    Help Lil and Laarg escape from a dangerous factory by tapping the rear touch pad, blowing into the microphone and much more to confuse enemies.
  • TxK
    Play through 100 levels of colourful and vibrant blasting action, complemented by a stunning music soundtrack.

As with other Mega Pack bundles, The PS Vita Adventure Mega Pack comes in two forms:

1) The PS Vita Adventure Mega Pack: This comes with an 8GB Memory card and a voucher with download codes for each of the five games. This is perfect for gamers who already own a PS Vita and who just wish to add some new titles to their game collection.

2) The PS Vita + PS Vita Adventure Mega Pack: This comes with everything listed above, but also contains a Wi-Fi enabled PS Vita console to play the new games on!

Tearaway is just one of five full games included in the Adventure Mega Pack

Both packs are very good value for money. The solo Adventure Mega Pack is expected to cost around £39.99, which is about the average price of a singular full-priced PS Vita title, whilst the PS Vita + Adventure Mega Pack version is only £199.00, which is the average cost of a PS Vita console, so users are essentially getting five free games.

If you like adventure games but couldn't afford to purchase them from the PS Store, or you are new to the PS Vita and are looking for a good starter collection of games, then this is one deal that you simply cannot afford to miss out on.

Still not sure if a PS Vita Adventure Mega Pack Bundle is right for you? Check out some of the other 'Mega Pack' bundles in this series that might appeal to you:

PS Vita Action Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 18+]

PS Vita Sports and Racing Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 7 or older]

PS Vita Kids Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 7 or older]

PS Vita LEGO Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 7 or older]

 PS Vita Disney Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 7 or older]

PS Vita Indie Games Mega Pack [PEGI Rating: for persons aged 7 or older]

Friday, 15 August 2014

Super Smash Bros Wins Most Wanted Consumer Award at Gamescom 2014!

It's official: Super Smash Bros for the Wii U and 3DS are the gaming community's most anticipated games of 2014. Both versions of the game have been awarded the prestigious 'Most Wanted Consumer Game' award at Gamescom 2014.

Voting opened on the 9th of August 2014 via the Gamescom Facebook page and the voting booths available live at the event itself, which kicked off on the 13th of August.

It's an impressive win for the games, especially as Gamescom is the biggest gaming expo event in Europe and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Super Smash Bros is set to debut on the 3DS in October, with its Wii U counterpart being released in December this year.

Super Smash Bros 3DS was also awarded the title of  'Best Mobile Game', whilst the Wii U version was nominated for 'Best Action Game' by the Gamescom  Judging panel. A full list of Gamescom  panel-voted awards along with the winners is available HERE.

The public and panel Gamescom  awards have already proven that Super Smash Bros 3DS is a hit with fans ahead of its release, which will no doubt be reflected in the sales figures when the game finally hits the shelves. Well done, Nintendo!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Game Of The Week: The Swapper [PS Vita]

The Swapper is a 2D side-scrolling sci-fi platform game, which was originally developed for PC, Linux and Mac operating systems, but which has been recently adapted for the PS Vita and PS3 by Curve Studios.

The game essentially explores the issue of human cloning. Players take on the role of a person stranded on a damaged space station from which they are desperately trying to escape. Players must explore the station and find orbs that are used to activate certain doors, allowing them to progress further into the game.

Players will be given a handheld cloning device early in the game. This eponymous device is called 'The Swapper', which has two main functions: firstly, using the device will allow the player  to create up to four simultaneous clones of the original playable character, and secondly, the device gives players the ability to swap control to any of these clones as long as they are within the original character's direct field of vision.

Clones will mirror the original character's movements exactly throughout the game unless they are blocked by the various coloured lights that can be found throughout the environment. Each coloured light has a different affect on the clones:

Blue Light - Prevents players from creating any new clones, but clones who were created before the blue light area can walk through the blue areas without any difficulty.

Red Light - This prevents clones from being able to jump, which can be especially tricky in certain sections of the game.

Purple Light - This light causes a combination of the red and blue light effects upon the clones. Thus, new clones cannot be created whilst in a purple area, and already created clones will be unable to jump whilst in the area of purple light as well. Successfully navigating the coloured lights and other environmental obstacles such as gravitational reversal is a player's primary concern within the game and it is not an easy task to achieve. 

As well as the lights, there are a number of puzzles which will have to be solved. Each puzzle is difficult enough to make players think, but not so brain-taxing that the game feels boring or impossible to complete.

The game does allow players to go back and forth between already explored areas of the game. This is useful as it does allow players the chance to solve all of the game's puzzles in whichever order they choose to do so, which means that they can apply the knowledge gained in latter portions of the game to any of the earlier puzzles that they have not yet completed.

In conclusion, the game has a visually atmospheric graphic style and a simple but pseudo-philosophical narrative, which will keep most players adequately entertained. The only disappointing factor about the game is that it does seem a little too short, but on the other hand, the game never seems to lag or get boring either.

The game is available to download now from the PS Store. If you are looking for a nice new sci-fi game that will not leave you badly out of pocket, then this may just be the game for you. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Friday, 8 August 2014

New Japanese Joystick Peripheral Unveiled For 3DS XL Consoles.

Nintendo's 3DS XL console has certainly been no stranger to peripheral enhancements, with the Circle Pad Pro launching just last year and the new Amiibo Peripheral expected to launch some time in 2015, but now Japanese gaming peripheral designers, Cyber Gadget, have announced their plans for a new joystick attachment for the console as well.

The joystick, which is known as the Cyber Arcade Stick, is designed to make it easier for 3DS XL users to play their favourite arcade-style games, without having to resort to some tricky D-pad controls. The joystick is expected to cost around 3,002 yen (approximately £17.24), and is set to launch throughout Japan on the 31st of October 2014.

Unfortunately, those of you who were hoping to get your hands on the Cyber Arcade Stick before the European release of the new Super Smash Bros game look set to be disappointed, as no Western release date has been announced at present. Watch this space!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Thai Ban On 'Tropico 5' Video Game Amid Fears To National Security...

A new city-building game called Tropico 5, which was due to be released in Thailand has now been banned by the country's Ministry Of Culture, because it is felt that the game may "impinge upon national security[sourced from:]

The game allows players to take on a Presidential role on a fictional tropical island,  player can colonise new lands, draft political rules for their new colony, and, if they so wish, they can also choose to declare military rule and create their own dictatorship.

It is not yet clear why the fifth installment of this franchise has been banned when previous games in the series such as Tropico 3 and 4 were considered appropriate for public viewing, However, there are rumours that the game may hit just a little too close to home for some people's liking.

Thailand's military has been ruling the country since General Prayuth Chan-ocha staged a millitary coup in May 2014 – the country's eighteenth coup in eighty years – effectively overthrowing the democratically-elected government and taking control of the country as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

According to New Era, Thailand's marketing manager, Nonglak Sahavattanapong, censors at the Ministry Of Culture banned sales of Tropico 5 as they believed it would "impinge upon Thailand's national security, and deeming it a public threat to peace and order...We've had licences to distribute Tropico 3 and 4 before, but in the fifth instalment, the storyline has developed further and there might be some part of it that's not appropriate in the current situation."
[sourced from:]

The game was due to be released in May this year, but was subject to approval by authorities under the 2008 Films and Video Act, which requires that officials screen all games before they are distributed in the kingdom, where it was subsequently banned. The game's developers will not be appealing against the decision to ban the game.