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:




Friday, 9 January 2015

Ubisoft's 'Child Of Light' Comes Top Of The Polls At The PlayStation Blog Awards 2014...



The results of the Annual Playstation Blog Game of the Year Awards 2014 were published last night. Almost 400,000 Sony console gamers have cast their votes for their favourite PS4, PS3 and PS Vita games online since voting first began on the 18th of December 2014,

Although results in the PS Vita category were incredibly close, it was Ubisoft who finally picked up the Platinum Award for their game, Child of Light, narrowly beating games such as Freedom Wars and The Binding Of Issac: Rebirth for this honour.

For those of you who haven't had the chance to experience the Child of Light game for yourselves, the trailer below gives you a small taster of this beautiful title:


Problems viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE


For those of you who wish to know which games made the top spot in the other categories, a full list of all the winning titles and runners-up can be obtained by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Nintendo Today, Ebay tomorrow: How 'Loyal' Fans Sell Exclusive New 3DS Consoles At Way Over The Original Price!



In a continuation from our 1st of January post about an exclusive early UK release for Nintendo's New 3DS console, reports are now emerging that some of the special limited-edition New 3DS consoles that have been offered to selected Club Nintendo members are today being sold on the auction site EBAY for almost four times their recommended retail price.

According to an article on Eurogamer earlier today, over fifty New 3DS consoles have now been listed for sale, with the 'Buy It Now' prices reaching as much as £400 in most cases, which is a massive markup on the bundle's original £179.99 price tag. Furthermore, many of these consoles have yet to be shipped to their intended original owners by Nintendo.




Whilst Nintendo's exclusive invitation was a very clever idea, the New 3DS consoles were supposed to be sent to loyal Nintendo fans only, but today it seems as though loyalty counts for nothing when there is a quick profit to be made. Nevertheless, with the New 3DS reaching its official release dates in Japan and Australia, it is likely to be only a matter of time before these models end up for sale on the UK site as well.

For non Club Nintendo members in the UK, the choice is clear: either fork out for a massively overpriced limited edition version of the New 3DS console, or wait for confirmation of a release date for the official one. 

Nevertheless, with no official release date confirmed in the UK, fans of the handheld console are in for a long wait and Mini Gamers cannot help but wonder how many of them will succumb to the idea of an early look at what promises to be a great addition to the existing 3DS range, even if it means paying a lot extra for the privilege...


Saturday, 3 January 2015

New 3DS UK Price Range Confirmed, but January 12th Release Date Only For Club Nintendo Members So far, it seems...


Happy New Year! Well, with the start of 2015, comes some interesting information regarding the New 3DS handheld console. Nintendo has revealed that the average price range for the latest addition to their 3DS range will be around £155.99 in the UK later this year.

The price was revealed in an email sent to select Club Nintendo members inviting them to get their hands on a New Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Edition Bundle, a special edition bundle featuring a white New Nintendo 3DS along with exclusive Ambassador Edition cover plates, Super Smash Bros. cover plates and a charging cradle.

The exclusive offer will open on the 6th January 2015, but only those members with an email invitation can purchase the handheld device early. The Ambassador Edition Bundle will cost £179.99 in the UK, with Nintendo pricing the value of the console at £155.99, and the cover plates and cradle at £7.67 each.




Surprisingly, Nintendo has confirmed that Club Nintendo members who which to take advantage of the exclusive invitation could in fact receive the new console as early as next week, but for the rest of the Nintendo fans in the UK, no official release date has yet been given.

The early release of such a console by Nintendo is a very smart move as it is likely to swell the numbers who wish to pre-order the device for themselves, as well as encouraging more fans to sign up for Club Nintendo membership in order to capitalise on any future console deals.



HAVE YOUR SAY...

What do you think of the limited-edition Ambassador New 3DS bundle?

Will you be taking advantage of the offer? 

If you have any comments about this article and you wish to share your opinions with other readers, then please feel free to leave us a comment and let us know.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

What Did We Learn From The Playstation Experience?



So, the first PlayStation Experience has just taken place in Las Vegas, but what did we learn about upcoming PlayStation video games for 2015 from the two-day event? Well, amongst the barrage of trailers for some upcoming PS4 titles, including the ever-popular Uncharted 4, Tearaway: Unfolded or No Man's Sky, there were some quite interesting offerings for PS Vita owners too. The following five games are just a taster of the brilliant PS Vita titles that are scheduled for release some time throughout 2015:

Super Time Force Ultra - This game is a fun leap through time and space. Using a 'world select' format, players can jump in and out of six unique periods of time, each complete with its own game modes, playable characters and bonus collectibles. The game also comes with a special 'Time Out' function that allows players to stop or even rewind time in order to go back through a level that has already been played.

Severed - In Severed, players take control of a one-armed heroine who uses a living sword to fight her enemies. It is a strange and yet innovative concept.  Using touch based mechanics, players are able to employ an array of offensive and defensive techniques against a variety of enemies. Defeating 'Boss' characters provides the main character with 'Totems', which she can wear like armour. Each Totem will also provide the character with a new ability. The game is expected to be released in Spring 2015.

Darkest Dungeon - This game adds one important factor into the classic RPG genre: Stress. In the game, players control a band of unlikely adventurers. Everything that these characters see, hear or experience in the game will have either have a positive or negative effect on the group's stress levels. Every negative stress moniker will lead to a succession of stress-driven behaviours from the characters, such as abusiveness, hopelessness, irrationality, selfishness or masochism, which will affect their decisions and performances in the game. Family heirlooms that are collected in the game via various successful quests can be used to furnish the characters' base, where they can indulge in some stress-reducing activities such as flagellation, drinking, gambling and even praying. Darkest Dungeon will be available in 2015.


 Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Yes, the Resident Evil story is set to bring its own familiar brand Zombie-action to the PS Vita in February 2015. This trailer has so far been released of the game, which is sure to whet the appetite of many Resident Evil fans:


Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE


Broken Age - The 'point-and-click' adventure game series is being developed by games studio, Double Fine, which is founded by American videogame producer, Tim Schafer, who is best known for his games, Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, which are also expected to be remastered for the PS Vita in early 2015.



So there you have it - some top-quality games that will be making their way to the PlayStation Store throughout the coming year, but what do our fellow gamers out there think of the announcements? If you have any thoughts about these games or any other articles on the Mini Gamers blog, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know. We love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas: Christmas Wonderland 4 Preview [3DS]



Yes, it is that time of year again! Christmas is swiftly approaching, and the fourth edition of our favourite festive game has just appeared for download in the Nintendo 3DS eShop. For those of you who are not familiar with the Christmas Wonderland series on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, it is a series of Hidden Object games, all with a Christmassy theme.

In Christmas Wonderland 4, we again join Bill and Mary as they attend the Christmas parade, whilst Mrs. Claus, Santa and the elves try and get all the toys ready in time for the big day!

The game is very easy to play, but hard to master. Players must try to spot all of the items on the Christmas list at the top of the screen. Points are accumulated by finding the listed items as quickly as possible. This sounds easy, but there are many items to find and each one is intricately hidden in a beautiful festive scene. There is a handy Hint function for anyone who feels a bit lost, but players must wait for the hint meter to refill before it can be used again.




As well as the hidden object lists, players will have to solve a number of puzzle mini games in order to progress to the next level. These include tasks such as arranging a set of Santa heads in the correct order or helping Mrs. Claus to finish decorating the Christmas cake.

The game has some beautiful graphics, including some in 3D, but it has to be said that the 3D function of the game is extremely limited as most of the graphics are displayed solely on the bottom screen, which is a tad frustrating.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun festive game to play in the run up to Christmas, then this title is just perfect for you.  Furthermore, at only £4.49, it is a bargain to download from the Nintendo eShop and will keep most casual gamers interested for quite a long time. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 7/10.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Why Today Is A Great Day For Nintendo Fans...



Yes, the 21st of November 2014 is a great day for Nintendo fans! Not only is Nintendo releasing its latest Pokemon title - Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS throughout North America and Japan today (European gamers will have to wait until the 28th of November 2014 for their version the game), but today officially marks the release of Nintendo's first wave of Amiibo figurines.

 The NFC Amiibo figures are expected to retail for around £10 each, and can allow users to add their favourite Nintendo characters to some of exciting Wii U, 3DS and New 3DS console games in the future. However, these figurines will be initially used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4, which also debuts today!

Thus, whether you are a 3DS or Wii U gamer, there is definitely a lot to celebrate. Well done, Nintendo!


Friday, 14 November 2014

PlayStation TV: Is It Worth The Money?

PlayStation TV (AKA PS TV, or PS Vita TV) launches in Europe today. Sony's micro-console is said to cost around £90, but Mini Gamers asks what does it actually allow users to do, and is it really worth the money?


  • WHAT IS PLAYSTATION TV?


Firstly, for those of you who are unfamiliar with PlayStation TV, this device is like a non-portable version of the PS Vita handheld console. It connects to most standard TVs via an HDMI cable. It allows PS4 users to stream some games content onto a secondary TV, which is a great bonus for those gamers who wish to extend their PS4 gaming  beyond the living room, especially if someone else is needing to watch the main TV.

PlayStation TV can also be used as a dedicated gaming device. However, in order to do this, players will have to invest in additional memory cards, as the micro-console itself only comes with 1GB of storage. However, the system does come with a games bundle, including a Playstation Store voucher for three downloadable games - OlliOlli, Worms Revolution and Velocity Ultra, so users can start having fun with PlayStation TV right from the beginning.

  • WHAT IS THE SETUP AND CONTENT LIKE?

The device is Plug 'n' Play, so it is fairly simple to set up. If you are familiar with the PS3 or PS4 consoles, you should not have any trouble in setting up and accessing this device. The system uses the standard PS Vita operating screen. The traditional touchscreen 'swipe and flick' functionality of the PS Vita is now duplicated by pressing the 'O' button on a DualShock 3 or 4 controller.




PlayStation TV is great for playing PS Vita games on a standard HD TV too, but one of the major downsides of this is that not all of the PS Vita games currently on the market are compatible with this device. Sony has included a list of compatible PlayStation TV software on its website though, so it might be worth checking this before deciding to part with your hard-earned cash. PS Vita titles can either be downloaded onto the system via the PlayStation Store, or played by inserting the game card into the available slot.




  • DOES PLAYSTATION TV HAVE OTHER MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS SUCH AS VIDEO, FILM OR TV STREAMING OR AUDIO APPLICATIONS?
The answer to this is both yes and no. It is currently possible to rent and watch some films or TV programmes through the Sony Entertainment Network app, but unfortunately, the system seems to sadly lack Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV or the other great entertainment or audio apps found on the PS4 and even on the older PS3 systems at the moment, which is a bit of a shame, and a definite drawback for those users who were hoping that PlayStation TV would act as a multimedia streaming device. These entertainment applications will not work using the 'Remote Play' function either.



  • IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?
Truthfully, that depends on exactly what you were hoping to do with PlayStation TV in the first place. For PS3 and PS4 gamers who just wish to stream their content in a different way, rent a few films or TV shows and have a further use for the 'Remote Play' function on their other PlayStation devices, then the PlayStation TV micro-console is absolutely perfect!

If you are a PS Vita owner, being able to stream your favourite PS Vita titles to a large television certainly has its appeal, but as discussed, the drawback here is whether or not your favourite PS Vita titles are actually compatible with the PlayStation TV system at present. Many original PS Vita titles will not be compatible, nevertheless, future PS Vita releases are likely to be developed with the micro-console in mind. Thus, it may be worth purchasing a PlayStation TV micro-console when a larger catalogue of compatible PS Vita games becomes available. 

If you were hoping for a miniature multimedia streaming device, then you are likely to be most disappointed by what the PlayStation TV system currently has to offer. Nevertheless, there is huge scope for development here. Now TV and Netflix were added to the PS3 after its original development, so there is no reason why a version of these applications could not be developed for use with PlayStation TV at a later date. Moreover, the recently hinted at PlayStation Vue application would definitely go very nicely with the PlayStation TV system should it be added at a later date. Nevertheless, at the moment, with its skeleton multimedia functionality, PlayStation TV is unlikely to appeal to those people who prefer video and film streaming over gaming.

  • CONCLUSION: 
The PlayStation TV micro-console has both its good and bad points. It is small, easy to set up and use and offers new and exciting ways for PlayStation gamers to access and stream their media. However, it seems somewhat lacking in content at the moment and will not appeal to all PlayStation users. Unfortunately, it may not be worth its £90 price tag for some people right now.

Nevertheless, with more content and multimedia applications sure to be added to the device in the future, we have no doubt that PlayStation TV will eventually be a great addition to the PlayStation range. If you are in any doubt about whether or not to purchase Playstation TV, then the advice from us here at Mini Gamers HQ  is to wait until there is more PlayStation TV compatible content available. Watch this space!


Friday, 7 November 2014

Tales Of Hearts R Headed To The PS Vita This November...



Namco-Bandai's long-running Japanese RPG series, Tales of Hearts has now been remade for the PS Vita. The new game, called Tales of Hearts R, follows main protagonist Kor Meteor. Kor discovers a woman named Kohaku Hearts and her brother Hisui near his home town. When Kohaku is infected with a monster called a Xerom, Kor attempts to cure her using an ancient sword designed to fight the monster. In the process, he ends up shattering Kohaku's spiria - the essence of her heart and emotions - and scattering the pieces across the world. Kor, Hisui and  Kohaku embark on a quest to restore Kohaku's spiria before it is too late.




One of the major changes to Tales of Hearts R is the battle system. Battles now occur randomly within different arenas throughout the game. Consecutive successful hits can stun an enemy and they can then be thrown up into the air, causing extra battle damage when they are knocked back to the ground.

Players can also juggle between the standard melee type attacks to using incantations known as 'Artes'. Players can use 'Soma' points, which are collected during successful battles, to level-up their chosen character and improve their battle stats, weapons and a whole host of other customisation options.

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE


There are some puzzles which also need to be solved along the way, which helps keep things interesting. The game comes with new and sharper graphics, a nice audio soundtrack and detailed voice acting. Unfortunately though, the game's producers have chosen to forgo the usual English Dub process and have decided to merely to use English subtitles over the original Japanese voices instead, which is a bit of a shame.

Another negative point for this game is the lack of a local multiplayer function, as this is the type of game that lends itself well to co-op play between friends. That said, the detailed plot will keep most RPG fans interested in the single player mode for quite a long time.

One of the major pluses to this game is that it is compatible with the PlayStation TV device, which is due to launch in Europe next week. This will allow users to play the game on a television screen (with a Dualshock Controller), rather than on the PS Vita itself.




In conclusion, Tales of Hearts R is a very good game. The improved battle system, crisp graphics and a detailed, immersive plot help to engage players in the story. It is a shame that there is no English-dubbed voice-acting as reading the subtitles can sometimes be a little distracting, nevertheless, this is a worthwhile addition to the Tales series, and a must-buy for hardcore RPG fans. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 7/10.

Tales of Hearts R will be available to buy from the 14th of November 2014.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS Remake Announced!



Nintendo has today announced that it will be again remastering one of its most popular Legend of Zelda titles for the 3DS handheld. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask  is the sixth game in the Legend of Zelda series and was released on the Nintendo 64 in the year 2000.

The gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D follows on from the events shown in The Ocarina of Time, which was itself remastered for the 3DS back in 2011. Thus, a lot of the gameplay mechanics from The Ocarina of Time are still in use, including the ocarina songs, the dungeon puzzles and Link's weapon-based combat, which will be instantly recognisable even to newer fans of The Legend of Zelda franchise.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is considered by many critics to be a darker tale than some of the other Zelda titles. The game works on a unique three-day cycle. In the main story, which takes place in Termina, which is an alternate version of the usual setting of Hyrule.




The  main antagonist,  the Skull Kid(shown above) has stolen  a powerful ancient artifact known as Majora's Mask. Harnessing the dark energy of Majora's Mask, the Skull Kid causes the land's moon to slowly fall towards Termina, where it crashes after three days. Our hero, Link, has to travel back and forth through time in order to reset the beginning of the catastrophic three days in which the mask was stolen, and find a way to stop the moon from destroying the world.

As with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, this game has been rendered in stereoscopic 3D and the cutscenes look breathtakingly beautiful as a result. Furthermore, in Europe, the game is set to be packaged with some seriously rare goodies too, including a silver The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask pin badge, a double-sided poster and a special steelbook cover for the game, making it a must-buy for many true Zelda fans.




The game is set to make its 3DS debut some time in Spring 2015. As well as the hard copy of the game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D will also be available as a Nintendo eShop download upon its release. If you wish to know more about the game, then the latest Nintendo Direct broadcast should help to answer your questions:


Having trouble viewing this video? CLICK HERE


2015 is fast-approaching and with big releases such as The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask and a brand new 3DS console on the way, it is already shaping up to be a great year for gaming. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blog for more exciting news and previews about this game over the coming months, but for now, watch this space!