Sunday, 26 September 2010

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Delayed Until 2011

Yes, it is sad but true - Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars will now be unavailable until at least the 25th of  February 2011.

The other Lego Star Wars  games have already proved themselves to be a massive hit with fans, bringing in combined sales of over 20 million units worldwide, and the third game also received a warm welcome when it was showcased at this year's E3 conference in Los Angeles.

News of the delay can only come as a disappointment to the many fans who have already preordered this game. Nevertheless, Tom Stone, director at TT Games still insists that the new title will be the best game in the LEGO series to date. He said: “The team at TT is working hard at making this simply the best Lego game ever with all new gameplay and features never before seen in a Lego game.”

Lego Star Wars III would indeed seem to be a huge undertaking.  The game will include all the characters from both seasons of the hugely popular animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as some fan-favorite characters from the beloved theatrical Star Wars Saga.

Furthermore, the game will feature brand new battle modes and an upgraded level builder, allowing the creation of customized bases and in-game battlefields.

Gamers can also choose whether to play as a Jedi or Separatist with all-new character abilities, such as Squad command, long distance Jedi attacks and Grapple Tie-Ups, all within a new, easy-to-navigate hub.

Mini Gamers is saddened to hear about the delay, but if this title is anything like its predecessors, then it is sure to take the gaming world by storm next year. Look for further news about Lego Star Wars III nearer the release date.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Further Delays For EyePet (PSP)

It has happened again. Mini Gamers has just received word that EyePet on PSP will now be delayed until the 5th of November 2010.

This game is one in a series of recent PSP titles to be delayed more than once. The fifth game in the hugely popular Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, was delayed from the 25th of May until the 2nd of July 2010.

Then the PSP version of Lego Harry Potter was famously delayed from the 25th of June until the 13th of August this year, causing distress to many of the PSP-owning  Lego Games fans around the world.

Next was UFC Undisputed 2010, which was delayed from the end of May until the beginning of September 2010, dispite the fact that the game had already topped the UK pre-order charts.

Now EyePet (PSP) is set to continue the trend. So what is happening here? Is it - as some sceptics have suggested - merely an attempt to delay the most popular titles until the 2010 Christmas rush, or could it be further evidence of Sony PSP's further decline in the current gaming market?

Whatever the reason, delays such as this often cause confusion and disappointment for millions of gamers and can even sour the experience of owning a delayed game when it is finally released to the public. Mini Gamers sincerely hopes that the reason for this delay (and any future delays) can be rectified soon.

 Remember to check in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news on this subject as it happens.


How has the delay of EyePet and the other games in this article made you feel? Why do you think that PSP games in particular seem to be suffering from long delays at the moment? Should games producers be allowed to change release dates on games without a proper reason?

If you have a comment and wish to share your views with other readers on this site then please feel free to click on the 'Comments' link below this post (or fill in the comments box if viewing this post in a separate window). We would love to hear your views.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Give Your Face A Work-Out With The Nintendo DSi

We've had Brain TrainingSight Training and Maths Training, now exclusive to the original DSi and DSi XL consoles comes Face Training, which is designed to strengthen and relax your facial muscles via a series of interactive exercises.

This game uses the DSi's built in motion camera to track the movement of your face as each exercise is performed. As with the previous 'training' games, the DSi must be placed like a book, so that the touch screen is on your right.

 This screen displays a camera image of your face, which acts like a mirror as you perform each exercise. The left screen gives clear animations and instructions on how each exercise should be performed. Players can also track their progress via the in-game calendar.

There are two training modes: Recommended Training and Intensive Training. Recommended Training features three different exercises which can be completed in about ten minutes. The Intensive mode allows players to target specific muscles in the neck and face, as well as allowing them to do all of the training exercises for a specified duration.

The main aim of this educational title is to reduce stress by tightening and contracting different sets of facial muscles and to strengthen weakened muscles.

However, one of the major downfalls of this title is the price. Although this game is set to retail at around £24.99, the exercises  do seem very easy to complete and it has to be said that most of them could be achieved by just sitting in front of an ordinary mirror and squeezing your cheeks, moving your mouth and  your eyes...Nevertheless, it is still fun to try and can help to fill a spare ten minutes or so during your lunch break. Overall rating: 6/10.

Face Training will be available to buy from the 24th of September 2010.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

EyePet (PSP) Delayed Until 29th October 2010

It was a big talking point during the Sony conference at E3 this year, but now it looks like plans to bring the cute little virtual EyePet onto handheld console may be delayed until the end of October 2010.

The game was supposed to be released in the UK on the 1st October this year, but as anyone who has preordered this game will already know, this date has subsequently been changed to the 29th October 2010.

 EyePet for the PSP has already come under heavy fire by critics because of the problem of getting Sony's portable camera, the PSP Go! Cam to fit to the new PSP Go consoles.

 This problem was first identified by the website Joystiq.Com, whose article on the subject claimed that the new console did not have an appropriate camera attachment to support the Go! Cam  function.

 Although, the article was quick to point out that a converter cable could be used to allow PSP Go owners to still use the Go!Cam - although as it will require the PSP GO to remain plugged in whilst the device is in use, which some people claim makes nonsense of the PSP Go as a portable device... 

Now the twenty-eight day delay for the game will only serve to fuel speculation even more. There has been no official explanation for the delay at present, but it has to be said that this situation also bears frightening similarity to the Lego Harry Potter PSP delay, which saw PSP owners wait several long months to own the game.

Mini Gamers only hopes that this delay is resolved and that Eyepet will be on the shop shelves very soon. Watch this space!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Game Of The Week: Last Window: The Secret Of Cape West

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West has finally arrived on the Nintendo DS. Mini Gamers first discovered that this game was in production in August this year was and we have waited with baited breath to see what the end result would be... Needless to say, we have not been disappointed.

Last Window takes place one year after the events of Hotel Dusk, with main protagonist Kyle Hyde once again on the search for answers. This time the ex-police detective finds himself in an old apartment building called Cape West - a mysterious place with links to Hyde's own past, but does it contain the vital clues that he needs to solve his father's murder?

The main audio and visual style of Last Window is instantly recognisable as the styles used in Hotel Dusk. Gameplay is quite similar too. The DS is still held like a book and the main events unfold like the plot of a mystery novel. However, a few minor features have been added in order to improve the interactivity of the game.

For example, players can now use the special Ignore feature when searching for clues or asking for information, which allows them to filter out any parts of the plot that they are not interested in. It also makes finding the correct clues slightly more random than before.

The In-Game Novel feature has been updated and improved from 'Kyle's Notebook' reminder sections in the last game. This function now each section of the game is converted to a novel-like text when completed and really does read like an actual story.

Furthermore, use of the Ignore function means that each decision the player makes will effect how the eventual story is played out, and in turn, this will effect how the final sections of the In-Game Novel will read. This function alone increases the replay value of this game by one hundred percent.

Of course, a game sequel means a whole host of  new characters as well as some familiar ones. Last Window certainly introduces us to some very interesting people.

Firstly, we are introduced to Kyle Hyde's parents. We discover that Hyde's father was a criminal who was mysteriously murdered twenty-five years ago - just as he planned to leave a life of crime behind forever. It is up to Kyle to solve what really happened to his father all those years ago and find the murderer.

Another mysterious character is Rex Foster, a  man who is interested in Cape West Apartment. However, he seems to know more than he says and there is evidence to suggest that he is also investigating events at Cape West.

Those of you who have already played the first game will also find a few familiar faces including Mila Evans, the young girl that Hyde first encountered at the Hotel.

However, although this game features a few old characters, it is a separate game to Hotel Dusk, rather than a continuation of it. Thus, this game is perfect for new gamers too.

Last Window is well-structured and the plot is equally as intriguing as its predecessor. The new features do help to make the game varied but the Ignore function in particular can lead to some very early 'Game Over' screens if not used carefully. Overall though, this is a really clever title and worthy of attention. Mini Gamers rating: 10/10.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Buzz! Embraces Its Childish Side...On PSP

 Jungle Party, which is due to be released in the UK on the 8th of October 2010, is the first Buzz! game in the PSP series to be aimed specifically at children. However, it must be said that this title already forms part of the Buzz Jr collection on the PS2.

Essentially, the game comprises of a set of mini games which are played against jungle animals. These include playing basketball with an elephant and even taming a lion.

Each game can be played by up to four players on one PSP using the 'Pass around mode' so brothers, sisters and Mum and Dad don't have to miss out on all the fun.

In Jungle Party you play as one of four cheeky little monkeys. You must complete a set of 15 challenges to be crowned King of the Jungle.

This is a cute little title with the emphasis on fun but for anyone over the age of ten it can quickly become repetitive. Everything is already unlocked at the beginning of the game and a lot of the features are very simple and easy to use.

Furthermore tasks such as throwing coconuts or completing daring tasks like stealing an ostrich egg to gain maximum points have already been seen in other 'party' type games (albeit with a different twist to the scenario).

Everything in this game title is colourful and bright, which will certainly appeal to very young gamers. This is definitely a family title, with traditional host Buzz being replaced by a sweet (and sometimes condescending) host, Becky Boxer.

However, that kind of hits the nail on the head really - in reshaping the Buzz! series for children, this title has lost the essence of  what the main series is really about. This could be one of the reasons why the Buzz! logo has been removed from the PSP version of the game's packaging...  

That is not to say that this title is not humorous or fun at all, just that it has not got the kind of energy and replay value of the traditional games.

Nevertheless, when you remember that the game's core audience is young children then Jungle Party makes absolute sense. It is just a shame that there could not be a little something included for older children or adults as well. 

If you know some 'cheeky little monkeys' of your own and want a quick way to keep them entertained during school holidays and at the weekend, then this game is definitely worth considering. Definitely one for the kids. 

However, if you are more a fan of  the traditional Buzz! games instead, then do not despair, as another title Buzz! Ultimate Music Quiz will also be coming to the PSP and PS3 on the 15th of October. Look for a review of it on Mini Gamers very soon.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Game Of The Week: UFC Undisputed 2010 (PSP)

   "So you want to be a fighter?" [UFC Undisputed 2010 Tag-line]
Today is an important day for fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) as the new video game UFC Undisputed 2010 comes to PSP systems for the first time ever.
Those of you who may not have seen the UFC on television could argue that this game is going to be very similar to  WWE Smackdown! VS. Raw or TNA Impact, but in truth, the UFC has one very unique selling point: Unlike other Full Contact Sports,  the UFC sees competitors battle against each other using a variety of fighting styles including Karate, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Judo and Kickboxing amongst others.

So, what can fans really expect from the video game?

Firstly, UFC Undisputed 2010 features a fully-playable roster of over 100 of the television show's best Mixed Martial Arts fighters, who have all been rendered using photorealistic technology to give them a truly accurate and lifelike appearance.

Moreover, the UFC fighters are also joined by many other well-known personalities from the show including the commentary team of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, veteran voice of the Octagon Bruce Buffer, those sexy ringside Octagon Girls and even trainers and referees. This really helps to make the video game feel like a natural extension of the television programme.

Furthermore, a total of nine different fighting disciplines are also included in this game - Karate, Sambo, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Muay Thai, Freestyle Wrestling, Kickboxing and Bazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Players can customize their own fighter with variety of moves from all the featured fighting disciplines to form an unbeatable 'ultimate fighter' of their choice. Players can also form unique personalities for created fighters and increase their cred, popularity and sponsorships via the interactions that are used during the weigh-ins and interviews.

There are plenty of game modes to choose from too. Firstly, you can play as one of your favourite UFC fighters in a standard Career Mode. In this mode, An intuitive new “Game Is Watching You” system tracks every action and uses this information to dictate the in-game commentary, opponent intelligence and overall career progression. The ultimate goal of this mode is to reach the UFC Hall of Fame, however, this can be enhanced through online co-op sparring sessions with respective fight camps.

In Title Mode  players must fight their way to the top of a given UFC weight class in order to capture the championship belt. The many fighting disciplines included in the game make this both a varied and very difficult task.

In Title Defence Mode you are already a UFC champion. Players must use their new fighting skills to defend the championship belt against other UFC competitors who wish to defeat them.

In addition to these modes, the game also features two multiplayer modes: Online Multiplayer allows players to find or host an online UFC match using the PSP WI-FI system, whilst the Tournament Mode allows for interconnectivity with up to 16-players via the PSP's Ad-hoc system. Utilize UFC fighters or any player-created fighters and compete until your heart is content.  

This game is primarilly aimed at fans of the television show of course, but wrestling or boxing fans will also find that there is plenty to enjoy in this title as well. The combination of so many fighting disciplines makes the game unique and challenging. If you are a fan of UFC or if you enjoy contact sport games and wish to try something a little different, then this is definitely the game for you. Overall rating 10/10.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Doctor Who Gets RPG Adventure At Last!

The Doctor and Amy Pond (As played by Matt Smith and Karen Gillan) are to brave the TARDIS once again in an effort to save Earth from invasion by some very well-known enemies.

Doctor Who: Evactuation Earth is a brand new adventure by Doctor Who novelist Oli Smith. The game will be a puzzle-adventure and will feature over a hundred mind-bending puzzles to crack as you guide The Doctor and Amy through dangerous alien encounters with both the Silurians and the Daleks.

The DS game's release will also be accompanied by a limited edition Sonic Screwdriver stylus, (whilst the Wii version will be given a Wii-Remote holder in the shape of a giant Sonic Screwdriver) which we think will only add to the fun!

Moreover, both Matt Smith and Karen Gillian have lent their voices to the game characters, so this title will both look and sound as close to the TV programme as possible.

The release of this game will be good news to the thousands of Doctor Who fans who were left feeling disappointed by the Top Trumps DS game which also featured The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones (played by David Tennant and Freema Agyman).

The game was supposed to be released in the UK at the end of October this year, but this has since been changed to the 19th November 2010. We at Mini Gamers are sure that it will be worth the wait!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Game Of The Week: Tetris Party Deluxe (DS)

The classic arcade game of the 1980's is back for another round on the Nintendo DS. For those of you who might not be familiar with the game - is that even possible??? - Tetris requires players to strategically place different coloured blocks of various shapes and sizes in rows to create several straight lines. Every successful line of blocks earns points and the speed of the falling blocks increases with each level. It might sound easy but anyone who has actually tried this game for themselves will tell you that it is both difficult and very addictive.

Tetris on the NES
Tetris was created by Russian computer engineer, Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov in 1984 and has been reincarnated in many forms during its twenty-six year history and was previously released on the Nintendo DS in 2006 under the name of Tetris DS and went on to sell 2.5 million copies worldwide before going out of circulation. However the original DS version remains a very sought-after item and can often reach up to £35 per time in online gaming auctions.

Tetris on the latest iPod system
The latest incarnation of the Tetris series is adapted from a downloadableWiiWare title, and promises to be even more successful than its predecessor.

Screenshot from Tetris Party Deluxe
With over twenty different modes of play, Tetris Party Deluxe is definitely worth a try. Some of the more interesting modes include Bombliss, which challenges players to create lines with pieces which contain animated bombs. The bombs then create chain reactions of Tetris points.

Sprint is a standard time-challenge mode. Players must try to clear forty lines of blocks in the shortest time possible.

Master is one of the most difficult modes in the game and should only be attempted by hardcore Tetris fans. In this mode, the game starts on the fastest speed and the highest level, which means that blocks merely appear at the bottom of the screen and players only have a few seconds to sort the blocks into lines.

Tetris Party Deluxe (DS) features several game modes
 The game also features different multiplayer modes for up to eight players on a single game cartridge. Furthermore, DS players who are connected to the internet can also communicate with other players via the DS microphone in the new Tetris Battle Lobby.

Tetris Party Deluxe Trailer

At its heart, this puzzle title is still the same old Tetris repackaged for the next generation of gamers, that said, this DS title may yet prove to be the biggest and best collection of Tetris games ever produced. Old and new fans  of the series are bound to enjoy hours of fun with this game. Overall rating: 8/10


Have you bought the new Tetris game? What do you think of the new game modes? Is Tetris still as appealing as it used to be?

Why not share your thoughts with other gamers on this site by leaving a comment in the comments box (or by clicking on the 'comments' text link in the main window)? We welcome your thoughts.