Saturday, 29 January 2011

Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz 2011 Review

Unfortunately, announcements about various new handheld consoles from Sony and Nintendo over the last fortnight has meant that our hands-on with this game was unintentionally delayed. Nevertheless, the Mini Gamers blogsite has now tried and tested Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz (PSP) in order to bring you the good and bad points of this music-themed game.

Firstly, fans of the Buzz series of quiz games will quickly notice that this game has been given a snazzy makeover from the previous PSP games.

The game features several different quiz rounds to test your music knowledge and two different single-player game modes - Chart Climber (in which players have to play several different quiz rounds in order to win points and gain their place at the top of the charts,) and Quick Quiz whereby players have to play a random quiz from one of the rounds in the Chart Climber section.

There is also several Multiplayer modes to be had in this game. As well as the usual Pass Around and Player-to-Player Wi-Fi modes, there is also an Online Multiplayer mode so that players can now test their musical knowledge with other people from all over the country.

The quiz rounds themselves are quite varied, and range from general knowledge about all diferent types of music,  to naming music stars or identifying various tunes, and even trying to beat the clock in timed quizes.

Buzz himself has also had a bit of a makeover. See the irrepressible host don a number of hairstyles throughout the quiz, from an Elvis-style Quiff, to a J.S. Bach wig. Buzz has the lot!

The usual Bronze, Silver and Gold awards have also been changed to Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum records, and the way they work has also been changed. Now, the awards are also given a points multiplier, which range from 1x to 4x your original score. The faster you correctly answer questions, the more of a multiplier you will gain.

One of the most impressive features in this game is Buzz's personal commentary, which allows Buzz to call you by name. This was originally featured in the Buzz: Quiz World game, but the names which were featured were very limited and meant that many people were unable to choose their name from the list.

 In Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz (PSP) the 'Personal Commentary' feature has been enhanced, and it now features a wide range of nicknames and unusual names to choose from. Hearing Buzz call out your name at the end of the quiz is really satisfying and makes the game much more interactive.

So, what are the bad points?

Actually, there are relatively few bad points in this game. The main problem with quiz-based video games in general is that the questions can be repeated after a while. However, we played twenty different rounds of Chart Climber and only had three repeated questions during that time, which is a lot better than some other quiz games we could mention.

Online Multiplayer was also a bit of a problem as we couldn't find anyone to quiz with, dispite searching for players on five different occasions, nevertheless, this may not be the case for everyone.

Overall, this is a very entertaining and interactive game. The new format and style changes are very impressive. If you are a fan of quiz games, then this is definately the game for you. Overall rating: 9/10.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Introducing the Sony NGP (AKA 'PSP2')

Sony's new handheld console called The Sony NGP, (which stands for Next Generation Portable,) was revealed at an event called the PlayStation Meeting in Tokyo yesterday.

The launch puts an end to several months of speculation about the possibility of a new console, which the gaming community had nicknamed the PSP2. However, Sony was very reluctant to admit that they had been working on a new design - until now.

The Sony NGP is similar to the original PSP consoles, but boasts a few enhancements including dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, a five-inch OLED display and Augmented Reality Software as used in the PSP game, Eyepet.

The console is apparently going to focus more on Social Gaming and interactivity. The Sony NGP will feature a capacitive touchscreen for easy access to the console's main features, and will also have a 'live' area where NGP users can communicate with each other. This area will also contain links to the PlayStation Network store.

Some of the games which have been planned for the new console include Killzone and an as yet un-revealed title in the Uncharted series, which has never featured on a handheld console before.

The Sony NGP console is also set to feature 3G connectivity. However,  Sony Europe's CEO, Andrew House has recently admitted to members of the press that only one of the various launch models will actually feature 3G capability. Furthermore, the 3G service will cost the owner each time it is used.

This is a potential 'sour note' in what is actually shaping up to be a very interesting console. The Sony NGP is set to debut in time for Christmas 2011 and is expected to cost between £187-£219. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news as it develops.

So that is Sony's new handheld. What do you think?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Nintendo 3DS: Has Nintendo Broken Its Promise To Gamers?

It has only been a few days since the  European release date for Nintendo's 3DS console was announced, but already the rumour mill has been circulating, and it seems that some gamers may not be getting exactly what they expect when the console launches in March this year.

Mini Gamers takes a look at the promises that have been made by Nintendo over the past year, and compares them to what the console is set to offer us in reality...

Promise One: A Price Range Under £200?

Back in August last year, Nintendo's Marketing Manager, James Honeywell gave an interview to gaming website Electric Pig, where it was hinted that the new console might cost under £200 to buy.

Although no actual price was mentioned at the time, Honeywell did say that:"The DSi is around £129.99, the DSi XL is around £159.99, so obviously it [the Nintendo 3DS] is going to fit somewhere around that kind of architecture..." [sourced from:]

Furthermore, a 3DS console for under £200 did indeed seem possible when the Japanese pricing figures for a 3DS were revealed to be around 25,000 Yen, which equates to approximately £192.

However, at the recent 3DS preview conference in Amsterdam, Nintendo claimed that the actual price of the console would be set by retailers and that European gamers would have to refer to in-store prices.

This actually translates to a price range that is anywhere between £217.85 (in places like Asda and Zavvi) and £229.99 (Game).

These prices then skyrocket towards the £250 mark when the console is bundled with one of the 3DS launch games, which are themselves priced around £39.99. This makes the 3DS one of the most expensive handheld consoles ever produced.

Promise Two: Complete Backwards Compatibility With Older
DS and DSi Consoles?

Although the Nintendo 3DS WILL definitely be backwards compatible with your old DS and DSi games, the new console will also feature a Region Lock, which means that 3DS gaming software purchased from one country will not be compatible with 3DS consoles purchased in another.

Nintendo recently defended their decision to make the 3DS region-locked.  Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton gave an interview to Eurogamer  in which he claimed that the region-lock was due to many different factors including the Downloadable Content support that will be offered with the new console, and the difference in international age rating systems.

Yarnton said: "If we look at it at on a regional basis, we have to be very conscious of - the customer may not really care about this - but different territories have different ratings. We're very conscious of making sure we toe the line as far as government goes. In Europe we've got PEGI. In Australia there's a different rating. America's got a different rating. Japan's a different rating." [sourced from;]

The region lock is nothing new and has also been used in Nintendo's DSi console. However, the truth remains that gamers who prefer to purchase and play games from other countries such as America (where they are usually cheaper) will no longer be able to do this on the new 3DS console.

Promise Three: The 3DS Will Feature Its own eShop and Internet Browser?

Nintendo has promised that the 3DS console, (which is said to have its own Internet Browser,) will also have an eShop for downloadable content. The eShop will support some of the old DSiWare, as well as offer demos, videos and user ratings and a handheld version of the Wii's Virtual Console, which will be dedicated to Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles.

According to Nintendo, purchases will no longer be made with virtual currency. Nintendo Points which have previously been purchased on other systems like the DSi and Wii will not be usable on the 3DS eStore, which will use a 'real cash' system instead.

Nevertheless, there seems to be doubt amongst the gaming community as to whether the aforementioned eShop will actually be available for use when the console launches in March.

Nintendo of America's marketing manager, Bill Trinen recently suggested to that the eShop was very much a secondary concern to the retail launch of the new console, with full 3DS games not yet planned for download availability. He said: "I think, right now for us, the digital shop content is focusing on growing the digital ... distinguishing from the retail content in terms of what it offers."

Trinen also went on to suggest that the eShop may not in fact  be released simultaneously with the 3DS itself, but maybe offered later in a firmware update. "In terms of specific announcements or when it's going to actually be available, we'll go into more detail on that as we get closer to the launch date."

Nintendo seemed to suggest during the European Preview Conference that the 3DS would come with a fully-working eShop, which they implied was one of the revolutionary new features that would set the 3DS apart from the other Duel Screen consoles.

Nevertheless, at this moment in time, it seems as though gamers may have to wait many months before they can begin to purchase fresh downloadable content for their new device, which is more than a tad disappointing.

It has to be said that the Nintendo 3DS does feature an impressive array of specifications  including its twin motion-tracking cameras, 3D depth slider and a good selection of 3DS game titles in development.

Nevertheless, even with its March deadline getting closer, Nintendo seems unable to fully commit to an answer about the actual content that gamers can expect to see on launch day. Here at Mini Gamers we remain optimistic about the 3DS and we look forward to bringing you news on specific 3DS launch games within the next few weeks.

However, we are also interested in hearing what YOU, the handheld gamers out there have to say about the new console. How much would YOU be will willing to pay for a 3DS?

Has the overall cost or region lock put YOU off of owning a 3DS?

Please leave us a comment and let us know.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

3DS UK Release Date Now Official!!!

"This isn't the launch of a new gaming device - This is the launch of a new Entertaiment era..." [Sotoru Shibata]

The UK release date for Nintendo's 3DS console has been officially set for the 25th March 2011.

 Speaking at the 3DS preview event in Amsterdam this afternoon, Nintendo's Managing Director of Marketing and PR, Laurent Fischer, spoke about the 3DS console which will be released in two colours - Aqua Blue or Cosmos Black (nothing was shown or mentioned about the Red 3DS console originally shown at E3 2010).

Fischer went on to describe the 3DS' new wireless communication features SpotPass and StreetPass.

SpotPass will allow users to download fresh content for their console such as news from Eurosport, TV items from SKY 3D and even short films like Aardman Productions' Shaun the Sheep, which will all be presented in stunning autostereoscopic 3D without the need for 3D glasses.

Meanwhile, Streetpass will download game data, statistics and content from other 3DS users even if the console is in Sleep Mode. This feature has already been Incorporated into games like Super Street Fighter IV.

Capcom's producer of the Street Fighter series, Yoshinori Ono discussed how StreetPass will allow users to engage in battles with other 3DS users everywhere. He said: "Street Fighter battles have always been head-to-head but now battles can take place anytime, anywhere, with anyone, immediately..." 

Ono said that Super Street Fighter IV will have a line-up of 35 fighters (including classic characters,) and it will also feature a Channel Live mode, which will allow 3DS users to watch battles between other 3DS users.

Other developers that were featured at the Amsterdam event included Ubisoft, who said that they would have up to eight launch titles for the 3DS including Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy, Rayman 3DGhost Recon: Shadow Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Battle of Giants and Driver Renagade.

Konami announced that they have developed Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 for the 3DS. PES' Producer Naoya Hatsumi spoke about how the 3D capabilities of the 3DS has allowed them to improve realism and express depth. Hatsumi said that a new camera angle called Player's View means that the camera is centred just behind the player and helps to immerse gamers in all the footballing action.

Team Ninja announced that they would be releasing a version of their popular Dead or Alive series for the 3DS. The Head of Productions, Yosuke Hayoshi said that:  "Dead or Alive: Dimensions [3DS] will be a kind of 'Best Of ' collection of highlights from the previous four Dead or Alive games" but he went on to say that it would feature some new content as well. He said that the new game would be: "A whole new dimension in 3D fighting games..."

Nintendo Europe's CEO and President, Satoru Shibata, spoke about the long-awaited PilotWings Resort and Nintendogs + Cats as well as the range of Pre-loaded Software that would be included in the console.

 The software will feature a Daily Activity Log which turns the 3DS into a useful pedometer, whilst the new 3D Motion Camera and Mii Studio will allow players to take a 3D photos of themselves and convert it into a recognisable Mii avatar for use in some games.

A new StreetPass game called Face Raiders will also be included in the console free of charge. The game will post pictures of players' Miis into a shooting gallery! The 3DS will also feature Augmented Reality software, which has recently been used in the PSP game, EyePet.

Furthermore, the 3DS will come with its own Internet Browser and E-shop which will allow players to access and download new Nintendo software more easily.

Shibata also gave details of the kinds of existing DS games that we could expect to see being developed for the 3DS over the coming months, including Animal Crossing, The Sims 3, Steel Diver, Paper Mario and many more...

Shibata claimed that there would be a "Launch window between 25th March and 30th of June 2011 where more than 25 games would become available to 3DS users..."

The preview event helped to answer several burning questions that fans had about the new 3DS and its capabilities. However, the end of March still seems a long way off. Nevertheless, the various games and features that have been developed so far have definitely piqued Mini Gamers interest.

Keep checking back with the Mini Gamers blogsite over the next few months for all the latest news concerning this revolutionary new console.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Game of the Week: Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded

Disney meets Final Fantasy once again in Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this video game franchise, Kingdom Hearts is a collaboration between video games developers' Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, and the game features a mix of Final Fantasy and Disney characters over a series of storylines.

The main character is a young teenager called Sora  who becomes separated from his friends when their world is invaded by evil creatures known as The Heartless in the first game. Sora obtains a powerful weapon known as The Keyblade, which is the only thing that can destroy The Heartless.

With the help of a whole host of Disney characters including King Mickey (Mouse) and Donald Duck, Sora explores many classical Disney locations and some brand new environments, tracking down enemies and helping to free his people.

Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded takes place after the events in Kingdom Hearts II. Jiminy Cricket has just finished writing up his journal of Sora's latest adventures, but just as he gets to the end, his words disappear and are replaced by a single message: "Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it..." 

The digital journal has become corrupted by The Heartless. Sora must step inside the computer and correct glitches and find missing data chips in order to repair the journal, as well as fighting The Heartless and Nobodies.

As anyone who has already experienced a Kingdom Hearts game will know, the graphics are truly cinematic, which is something of a rarity for DS games.

The game controls are very simple. Most of the actions are controlled by the D-pad. Use A to attack with the Keyblade or to chat with the in-game characters, B to jump, and the directional buttons to move.

Battles are very varied and include everything from shooting fireballs at enemies to real-time battles to turn-based battles with various big boss creatures at the end of each level. This leads to varied gameplay and makes this title a worthwhile purchase for new fans to the series.

During the game, Sora will encounter several 'Data Blocks'. The Silver Star blocks contain special computer chips, which can be placed in the computer matrix (in the Main Menu) and these will increase Sora's abilities and help repair the digital journal.

The pink/yellow blocks contain health points to refill Sora's health meter and can sometimes include potions to restore health.

Red blocks are an indicator of corrupted data and must be destroyed with the Keyblade.

Glitches may occur in any location at anytime. Glitches are identified by a blue data stream appearing on both sides of the screen. Sora can find 'back door' compartments during these times. Here, he must face off against various evil data chip creations including a data block snake!

The plot is fairly simple, which makes it perfect for newcomers to the series. A helpful tutorial keeps you up to date with new elements during the game.

Nevertheless, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is the DS version of the existing videogame, Kingdom Hearts Coded. However, unlike the original (Japanese-only) release, this version will combine elements from all the previous Kingdom Hearts titles into a single game. Therefore, it does go over a lot of old ground from the previous games, which could be slightly off-putting to hardcore fans of the series so far.

Overall, this is a brilliant game. It has an easy-to follow storyline, great graphics and interesting gameplay. If you enjoy RPG games but have not yet experienced the Kingdom Hearts series for yourself, then this is the perfect game for you.

If you have already played the past titles in this series, you will still find some refreshing new content to interest you, but you will also experience some inevitable deja vu, which could spoil your enjoyment a little. Overall rating: 9/10.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

No Truth In DSi "Phase Out" Rumours says Nintendo...

Recent rumours concerning the future of the original DSi console have been quashed by Nintendo. A report which was published by the Kotaku website suggested that Nintendo planned to cease production of its DSi consoles after the Japanese 3DS launch next month.

However, Nintendo says that this is not true.In a statement issued to various members of the Press, a representative of the company said that: "We plan to still manufacture and supply DSi consoles in a range of colours in the UK in 2011, on an on-going basis, continuing supply is based on retail and consumer demand." [Sourced:]

Meanwhile, details about the European release dates for the upcoming 3DS console are expected to be announced on the 19th January 2011. Remember to check in with the Mini Gamers blogsite after the announcement has been made for all the latest details.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Nintendo 3DS: The First Launch Titles Confirmed

 The Nintendo 3DS console is set to debut in Japan on the 26th of February this year. The first Nintendo 3DS titles to accompany the Japanese launch were announced at a special public event in Tokyo yesterday.

Amongst the 'big name' titles mentioned were Super Street Fighter IVWinning Eleven 3D Soccer (known in the West as PES), and the latest Professor Layton title -Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.

More initial releases include Samurai Warriors: Chronicle  alongside 3D versions of Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble, Ridge Racer 3D, Combat of Giants from Ubisoft, (which were incidentally the only Western developers on the list), and three versions of Nintendogs + Cats.

Popular titles will be spread over the course of 2011-2012, with games such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of  Time, Steel Diver and Pilotwings being given a Spring 2011 release date, and games like Animal Crossing and Mario Kart coming later.

Nintendo also released details about the battery life of  the 3DS console, which is said to be around 3.5 hours on full 3D mode and maximum screen brightness. The console will also take 3.5 hours to charge.

 This is similar to the DSi XL consoles, which also give around three hours of gameplay when set on the maximum brightness settings, but which can provide approximately 17 hours of gameplay when the screen is set to minimum brightness.

Although no details were released at this time about the 3DS' European launch date or what the  European 3DS launch titles might be, an official  launch date is expected to be announced at a special preview event on the 19th of January 2011. Please CLICK HERE for the all the details.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Is British Gaming Losing Its Appeal?

According to the latest sales figures released by the UK's leading videogames trade body, UKIE, British sales of video games and gaming peripherals has fallen by at least 29% in the last two years.

The sales report shows that overall videogame sales for 2010 totalled just £2.875 billion. These figures mark a 29% drop from 2008's figure of £4.034 billion.

Worryingly, these figures also support claims from some entertainment retailers who say that the recent Christmas sales of entertainment goods including video games have been disappointing, prompting some stores to contemplate partial closure.

For example, retailing giant, HMV recently announced that they were planning to close around sixty of their highstreet stores due to poor sales, and they also admitted that they expected to miss their profit targets for the full year, which could have totalled as much as £60 million.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that whilst the latest UKIE report includes sales of videogame software, hardware and accessories across several different platforms, it does not include any information on the overall sales of social games (such as those found on social networking sites), mobile gaming Apps, Downloadable Content (DLC) and second-hand sales, which were all believed to be very popular in 2010.

UKIE's director general Mike Rawlinson stated that:  "The UK videogames market has something for everyone, with the market expanding into new areas, particularly online, on mobile phones and on other interactive devices... Thanks to continued innovation from games publishers and developers more and more people are playing games. With one in three people now considering themselves gamers, interactive entertainment is increasingly part of everyone's everyday lives." [cited:]

UKIE claims that it is optimistic about the videogames industry to date and also highlighted the record-breaking performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which shifted two million units and brought in £82 million during its first five days on sale.

Sony's PSP go console has already recognised the shift towards Downloadable Content. The PSP go has a built in hard-drive so that gamers can download various media including videos, comics and games onto the device via the Playstation Network Store rather than purchasing expensive UMD discs used by the older-style PSPs.

Thus, it could be argued that videogame sales are not actually falling, but that the nature by which gamers are choosing to purchase their video games and peripherals is beginning to change, with many gamers now choosing to purchase their games as downloadable content via the Internet.

This change may not have been accurately reflected in UKIE's findings, but it could represent a wider shift in the video games industry as we know it. However, the true rammifications of this shift towards internet-based gaming on the videogames industry is as yet unknown.


Is gaming becoming less appealing in your opinion? What might the shift towards Downloadable Content and Internet gaming mean for the rest of the gaming industry? As a gamer, do you prefer to buy or download games?

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year, New Games: January Release Dates For Your Gaming Diary!

Firstly, we'd like to wish all of the Mini Gamers blogsite readers out there a VERY Happy New Year.

 For many gamers, a new year means only one thing - even more top quality games heading to our consoles, and it has to be said that January 2011 is shaping up to be a very exciting month so far.

As well as many new gaming titles, an official European release date for the 3DS will soon be announced - keep checking in with Mini Gamers for more details!

January Release Dates For DS/DSi Gamers

The DS range of consoles have a few interesting titles out this month, including Bejeweled Twist, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, Bookworm and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

Bejeweled Twist has already proven itself very popular in many online pre-order charts. For those of you who are not familiar with the Bejeweled games series, The aim of this title is to swap various coloured gems with an adjacent gem to form horizontal or vertical chains of three or more identical gems. It may sound like a simple idea, but this game is actually very intriguing. 

Bejeweled Twist aims to build on the success of the original DS game. Instead of switching the positions of two gems vertically or horizontally, the cursor now rotates four gems clockwise on the gameboard, making successful chains more difficult to complete. 

Furthermore, successful chains of gems are now subject to a multiplier - this means that players will score higher points if they can continually produce successful rows of three or more identical gems. Nevertheless, the multiplier will be broken if  the player makes a move which does not line up three or more gems.  

The game promises some exciting new game modes, including a Challenge Mode which comprises of different challenges and timed games.

Bejeweled Twist is set to be released on the 14th of January 2011.

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is the DS version of the existing videogame, Kingdom Hearts Coded. However, unlike the original (Japanese-only) release, this version will combine elements from all the previous Kingdom Hearts titles into a single game, which makes this a perfect game for those who are yet unfamiliar with the series.

As with the other titles in the series, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded features a whole host of well-known Disney Characters such as Micky Mouse, Goofy and Jiminy Cricket.

However, even though the game utilizes many elements of other Kingdom Hearts titles, the game developers promise that this title will feature a very interesting storyline and a more varied battle system,  including side-scrolling boss battles, 3D shooting and even Command Battles.

The game is due to be released on the 14th of January 2011. Be sure to check in with Mini Gamers for a more in-depth review when Kingdom Hearts Re:coded  is released to the public. Until then, the latest trailer provides an insight into the main plot of the new game:

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded UK Trailer

Bookworm is another unique little puzzle game from the minds behind the popular videogame series Bejeweled. It was originally released as a DSiware-only title, but has now found its way onto DS and DSi cartridges as well.

The main objective of the game is to try and make words from rows of random letters. The longer the word, the more points will be awarded to the player.

The game itself features three main game modes: Classic, Fast-Paced Action, and Multiplayer. Players can also unlock over twenty themed books and build out eighteen unique library rooms.

This game is perfect for wordsmiths everywhere. Bookworm is due for release on the 28th of January 2011.

 Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a long-awaited Adventure title from the clever brains behind the successful Phoenix Wright series.

The main character is man named Sissel who wakes up to discover he's dead, having no memories of who he was or why he was killed. Sissel eventually learns that, as a spirit, he has the power to possess inanimate objects and travel back to four minutes before a person was killed in order to change their fate. However he also learns that when the sun rises in the morning, his soul will disappear forever. Can he use his new powers to save others from suffering the same grisly fate?

The game boasts a very distinctive visual style, bright block colours and cell-shaded look, when in motion, the graphics are equally unique.Characters move in  a very lifelike way despite their overly cartoon-like appearances.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is due to be released on the 14th January 2011. This game promises to be a very interesting and thought-provoking title. Check in with Mini Gamers for a more in-depth review after the game has been released.

January Release Dates For PSP Gamers

Unfortunately, the release of PSP game titles continues to be thin on the ground this month, nevertheless Mini Gamers has managed to find a few PSP  gaming titles and downloadable PSP games which are worth a look.

Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz was supposed to be released in November 2010, but was subsequently delayed three times. Now it has been re-scheduled for release on the 14th of January 2011.

The Buzz series of quiz games have proven very popular over the years, and Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz seems set to continue the trend... if it does not get further delayed in the meantime, that is! The game will ask several different music questions in a total of 15 challenging rounds.

The character of Buzz has also undergone a makeover for this particular game but the developers are staying very tight-lipped about what this actually means. If you are a fan of music quizzes, then this is definitely a game to add to your collection.

  Angry Birds is a brand new 'Minis' game available from the Playstation Network (PSN) Store. In this crazy and quirky game, teams of angry birds and weirdly green pigs attempt to do battle against each other.

Players must fire the squawking birds into the enemy Pig fortresses in order to shatter them. The game contains many different levels and strange worlds to discover. However, unlike the PS3 version, Angry Birds (PSP) is a single-player only game and sadly features no ad-hoc or infrastructure Multiplayer mode.

Angry Birds will be available for download on the 5th of January 2011.

Gladiator Begins is an action game which incorporates various RPG elements. Players can increase their gladiator's vitality, strength, and endurance with special points earned by winning battles at the arena.

Players create a custom Gladiator - either male or female. They can select and change their avatar's body size, skin color, and facial details. The main storyline then starts with your newly-customised Gladiator working under his owner to pay off his slave debts by entering fights in multiple arenas.

In the arena, players can prepare their gladiator with the proper equipments and move sets and choose from the available matches to enter.

Gladiators can knock off other gladiator's weapons and armors and pick them up to use it in their favour. During different arenas and matches, there will be some replicated themes such as the battle aboard a ship and animals like tigers and elephants to fight against. After winning a match, the player will earn money and points which will help them to progress further in the story.

The game controls include the PSP analog stick for movement and the Square and Circle Buttons to attack left and right respectively, the Triangle Button can be used  for head attacks and X Button for low attacks.The D-pad functions as equipping and removing weapons and armors that are dropped on the floor.

Overall, this is set to be a brilliant RPG title. The official screenshots look absolutely stunning. Gladiator Begins is scheduled for UK release on the 28th January 2011.

There you have it, our look at the kind of games you can expect over this month. We hope you find it interesting. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more information and reviews as it happens.