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.