Monday, 29 August 2011

Super Mario 3DS Games Should Grace UK Stores By November 2011...

Yet more good news for Super Mario fans. Earlier this month, Mini Gamers reported that the first batch of 3DS Super Mario games had been given a December 2011 release date, including Mario Kart 7, which is now due for UK release on the 2nd of December 2011.

However, it seems as though Mario and co will actually be appearing on the 3DS a few weeks earlier than we originally anticipated.

The first Super Mario game has now been confirmed as Super Mario Land 3D, which  utilises a lot of the gameplay mechanics of the older Super Mario Land games, which were first developed for Nintendo's Game Boy console, but for the first time ever in a Super Mario Land game, the backgrounds and characters will appear in REAL autostereoscopic 3D, (as opposed to the chunky3D-looking characters of yesteryear,) adding a greater sense of depth and realism into the game.

New 3DS features for the game include use of the gyroscopic sensor, however, we are unsure exactly how this will be used in the game at present. Mario will also get an impressive Somersault attack move, and will be able to run even faster with the 'dash' button feature.

Both Super Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario Land 3D will also be joined on December 2nd 2011 by another 3DS game, this time starring Mario's brother in Luigi's Mansion 2 3D.

With all three games being released in time for the UK Christmas market, it looks like December 2011 is set to be a busy time for everyone's favourite Italian plumber!

There are still no confirmed UK release dates for the remaining two Mario 3DS games, Paper Mario and Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, but Mini Gamers is sure that they will be scheduled for release some time next year, giving Mario fans even more 3D gaming fun to look forward to.

Remember to check in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news updates on these games as they occur.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call Gets November UK Release Date!!!

It has been a long and anxious wait for Professor Layton fans in the UK, but at last a scheduled UK release date for the fourth Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call, (AKA the last specter/specter's flute) has finally emerged.

According to the website, Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call should be heading to  UK stores on the 25th November 2011.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with  the Professor Layton seriesProfessor Layton and the Spectre's Call is a prequel to the other games in the series, and tells the story of how Professor Layton came to meet his young apprentice, Luke Triton.

In this adventure, the pair seek to uncover the secret of the 'Spectre's Flute', an ancient artifact that is used to summon a Spectre who, it is said, helps to protect a local village from harm...

The game contains many familiar faces from previous Professor Layton games, such as Granny Riddleton, and also introduces a few new characters into the mix, including Professor Layton's new assistant, Emmy Altava.

Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call is exclusive to the Nintendo DS and DSi, but will also provide an interesting interlude before the Professor and Luke make their debut on the 3DS in the fifth game of the series, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle next year.

Mini Gamers is very pleased that the official UK release date has been announced. We are seriously keeping our fingers crossed that the date will not be changed between now and November. Remember to check in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news on this game as it develops.

Monday, 22 August 2011

3D Classics Review: Are These 3DS Retro Gaming Titles Any Good?

They have pixelated graphics and cheesy electro-pop background music, nevertheless, the 3D Classics series on the Nintendo eShop still managed to seriously impress us.

Here, Mini Gamers outlines the first three games in the series and discusses why we reckon they are all worth your money.

Each of the games in the 3D Classics range has been adapted from popular NES games and suchlike, but have all been given an updated autostereoscopic 3D look.

Each game can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop for under £6 each, which in our opinion is quite a bargain under the circumstances.

3D Classics: Excitebike

This Motorcross racing title first made its debut as a NES launch title back in 1985. In the 3D version of the game, players must race around a three-lap track, avoiding obstacles and trying not to fall off their bike or overheat the engine.

The game itself is very simple to play. Use the 'A' button to accelerate and 'B' to apply a turbo boost when tackling various jumps or barriers. Be careful to only use your turbo boost when you really need it though, as overheating your engines will cost you valuable seconds on your overall lap time.

The main object of the game is to complete the course as quickly as possible and achieve a highscore rating which beats the previous 'best time'. The quicker you race, the higher your overall ranking will be.

When you have completed all the courses on offer, you can also create and race around several of your own tracks, using the in-game track creator tools. The creator has several obstacles and templates to choose from, all presented in a simple and intuitive format, so that even gaming novices can create some challenging courses in only a few minutes.


Graphics Rating: 3/10 - very small graphics, highly pixelated, with a garish blue, yellow and green colour-scheme.

Gameplay Rating: 8/10 - tracks get more difficult as you progress through the game and the chance to create your own tracks adds to the replay value.

Value-For-Money Rating: 7/10 - at £5.40, this game is definitely worth the money, although some gamers may be put off by the old-style graphics, but definitely worth a look.
3D Classics: Xevious

Xevious is a vertical-scrolling arcade shooter game, which was originally distributed by Atari in 1982.

Players take control of an aircraft called a Solvalou, and must try and shoot at enemies whilst avoiding strange but deadly objects. The player gets two chances to complete each level before the 'Game Over' screen appears, which makes it very challenging.

Unfortunately, Mini Gamers found it a bit of a struggle to complete the first level, so we did not see as much of the game as we would have liked, but from what we did see, it was a very good game.

The new 3D graphics are very good, and really does add depth to the environment. The main ships and objects are relatively small and pixelated, but this is to be expected given the age of the original game.


Graphics Rating: 7/10 - objects and ships are pixelated but still distinguishable from each other. The background environment looks amazing in autostereoscopic 3D.

Gameplay Rating: 8/10 - Although this game proved very challenging, it did encourage us to play it over and over again to try and progress further through the level, which we think is a good thing, lots of replay value.

Value-For-Money Rating: 7/10 - at £5.70, this game is relatively expensive, but the game itself is very good and has various levels to explore, so we think that you will not be disappointed if you do choose to purchase it for your 3DS.

3D Classics: Urban Champion

This side-scrolling beat-'em-up was first developed by Nintendo in 1985 for the NES. It has already appeared in the Wii's virtual console, and has earned a slightly tarnished reputation for being boring and repetative.

Nevertheless, it is a neat little game, which has simple but humorous gameplay, complete with detailed and colourful graphics. As a result,  Urban Champion is also our favourite 3D Classics game to date.

Players can choose whether to compete against the computer or against another player (using the 3DS' wireless settings) please note, however, that if you do use the multiplayer function, both players must have purchased and downloaded a copy of the game.

Your character must fight his way against an opponent in order to reach the next level. The character starts with the rank of 'Lonley Champion', but will recieve a new rank after each successful level.

As well as defeating his opponent, your character must avoid certain traps and obstacles during the brawl. For example, flowerpots are periodically dropped from appartment balconies. If your character gets hit on the head by one of these, it will instantly reduce his stamina and make him easy to beat, so be careful!

Police Cars also patrol the area from time to time. If your character is caught throwing a punch when the car is in the vicinity, your character will be arrested, leading to an automatic 'Game Over'.

The 3D graphics are fantastic and suit the cartoon-style of the game, which is slightly reminicent of the late 1980s Amstrad graphics. The detailed backgrounds in this game are really impressive, but can feel a little bit repetative on occasions.


Graphics Rating:7/10 - Cartoon-style, but very clear 3D graphics, however a bit repetative after a while.

Gameplay Rating: 9/10 - simple, funny and surprising. Tons of replay value. Good for those odd few minutes when you are searching for something to do.

Value-For-Money Rating: 10/10 - This game was excellent, especially when played against another person. Very amusing and entertaining. At £4.90, this game is definitely worth your time and money. Not to be underestimated.

So, that's our review of the 3D Classics series. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the games that we tried. These games are unlikely to appeal to many hardcore gamers, but for a bit of inexpensive, time-filling, these games are the perfect solution.

Trailers and screenshots of each of these games can be viewed now in the Nintendo eShop.

Have you already bought any of these games? Why not let us know what you think by leaving us a comment? We'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

PS Vita Will Have Downloadable Games Confirms Sony...

Sony has announced that all games on the new PS Vita handheld will be available in a download format.

Whilst showcasing the latest device at Gamescom 2011 earlier this week, Sony confirmed that the latest addition to Sony's handheld gaming consoles features no UMD slot, and as a result, all PS Vita games will have the ability to be purchased and downloaded directly from the Playstation Network Store.

However, unlike its predecessor, the PSP Go, which was criticised for not having enough downloadable software in the PSN store, ALL PS Vita games will be made available for download from the store upon their release.

Sony also announced that older PSP titles would be available for download onto the new PS Vita console as well, making it fully backwards compatible with previous PSP  downloadable games and software in the Playstation Network Store.

However, for gamers who were worried that they would not be able to purchase their software in a highstreet store, Sony has also revealed that it will now be producing games on a special memory stick, called an NVG Card, which will now replace the old UMD format, which was used on the older PSP handhelds.

It has not been revealed what 'NVG' actually stands for yet, but we can tell you that the cards look like normal memory sticks, but will contain game data and extra space for save information etc.

The NVG Cards will come in two sizes - 2GB for smaller games and 4GB for larger games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss. These cards will be sold in the highstreet for purchase, which is good news for all those who hate downloads.

There were still no announcements regarding the recommended retail price of the console or its possible European release date(s). Nevertheless Sony did announce that the PS Vita would utilise some free Social Networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter.

Furthermore, the company were also quick to deny recent rumours that the size of memory on the PS Vita had been halved from its original specifications.

Thus, it seems that plans for the PS Vita are shaping-up rather nicely at present. Remember to keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news about this topic as it develops.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Super Mario [3DS] WILL be scheduled for UK Winter 2011 Release...

Finally, there is some definite good news for existing owners of the Nintendo 3DS console, the long-awaited Super Mario for the 3DS should hit UK stores in December of this year after all.

Originally, Mini Gamers reported that the game had appeared on the website as being 2nd of December 2012,  but this has since been changed to 2nd of December 2011. This is fantastic news for all those 3DS gamers who have been hoping that some of the big-name franchises would be released by the end of the year.

It also great news for fans of Mario's brother, Luigi, as he will be making his 3DS debut in December 2011 as well. Luigi's Mansion 2 [3DS] should be available to buy on the 2nd of December 2011. The 3DS version boasts new unlockable items and different mansions to explore.

There are, of course, three more Mario games which are yet to be given accurate Nintendo 3DS UK release dates: Paper Mario, Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Mario Kart 3D are all expected to be out some time in early 2012, so watch this space!

It certainly sounds as though Nintendo is listening to concerns from 3DS gamers, who have been worried about the recent 3DS game cancellations and price drop.

Hopefully the first two mario-related 3DS games (if they are not delayed in any way) will inspire some more gamers to consider purchasing a Nintendo 3DS console in time for the Christmas rush, and also means that some lucky Mario fans might be waking up to find two new games in their stocking!

Remember to keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news on these games as it occurs.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London Riots Affect Sony...

Carpet Right ablaze: One of the many buildings set alight during the riots

A Sony warehouse has become the latest victim in the recent London riots. The three-storey, 20,000 square-metre warehouse, which was situated in Enfield, North London was burnt down during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The warehouse after the fire...

It is not yet known exactly what caused the fire as no-one has been able to enter the building which has been badly damaged by the flames. However, according to a recent article by GameIndustryBiz, it appears that the shop may have been looted and then set alight with petrol bombs. Thankfully, no-one appears to have been injured in the incident.

Looting destroys local businesses...

A spokeswoman for Sony, Yoko Yasukochi, has explained that the fire could possibly cause delays in delivery of stock to local inhabitants, including blu-rays, PS3 and PSP games and accessories as well as DVDs and CDs. She said: "There will likely be some impact on deliveries..."  (sourced from:

News of the warehouse fire has also caused a 2% drop in Sony's share prices on Tuesday. However, there has been a slight rise to 1.1% today.

Meanwhile, the riots continue to spread outside of  the Tottonham area where they first began. Our thoughts go out to all those affected.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Sony Will Not Make Its Winter 2011 PS Vita Debut Release Date...

Sony has announced that it will not be able to make its original PS Vita release date. The PS Vita was expected to be released by Christmas 2011 in many regions, in order to take advantage of the holiday sales. However, this is no longer the case.

In a  recent statement issued to the Associated Press, Sony's Executive Vice President, Kazuo Hirai confirmed that the American and European PS Vita launches would now be delayed until the beginning of 2012, and it is still not clear whether the PS Vita will even launch in Japan by the end of the current year.

Hirai claimed that the reason for the delay is so that the new console could launch with "solid game software offerings timed with the hardware launches." [sourced from:]

This will come as disappointing news to the many Sony PSP fans who were expecting to find a shiny new PS Vita at the bottom of their Christmas Stockings, but hopefully means that the new console can have a stronger launch campaign, which should help it to avoid the sales pitfalls that the Nintendo 3DS console has recently succumbed to.

More details about the PS Vita are expected to be announced at Sony's Gamescom conference on the 16th of August 2011.

Keep checking in with Mini Gamers for all the news on this story as it develops.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Nintendo's Ambassador's Programme Gets Started On 12th of August

Nintendo have recently announced details of their Ambassador Programme for the 3DS, which commences on the 12th of August 2011.

As well as an £80 price reduction in the price, in an attempt to entice new customers, Nintendo are also offering initial purchasers of the 3DS console the chance to download twenty NES and GBA games from the  Virtual Console section of the Nintendo eShop.

The twenty free games will include popular series such as Donkey Kong Jr., Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda, as well as games like Balloon Fight and Ice Climber.  Furthermore, these will be made available to existing 3DS users FOR FREE before the purchasable versions of these games are even in the eShop for new users to download, but will also stay free to registered users until later this year.

If you would like to get your hands on these games, all you have to do is to visit the Nintendo 3DS eShop just once on the 11th of August 2011, before 11.59pm (Central Eastern Time).

 3DS users who do this will automatically be entered into the Ambassador Programme and recieve the chance to download these twenty free games.

If you would like to know more about Nintendo's new Ambassador Programme, please CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Game Of The Week: Let's Golf 3D [3DS eShop]

There is a new 3D game in the 3DS eShop, and it really is value for money.  Unlike the two previous 3D games which have so far graced the eShop, Let's Golf 3D is both a very modern and graphically stunning little game. It also features a good range of modes, locations and customisable features.

Let's Golf 3D is a full golf simulation game, which is a 3DS port of the Let's Golf series by third-party developers, Gameloft.

Players can take control of one of eight colourful unlockable characters and test out their skills on the golf course. More characters, costumes, locations and objects can be unlocked as you progress through the game.

There are 2 main game modes to try, Single Player and Two-Player. Single Player mode also boasts 4 different modes of play, which are as follows:

 Instant Play - allows gamers to jump straight into a game of golf in any one of the six locations on offer.

Career Mode - choose to play as one character in a variety of tournaments and try to win all of the medals on the course. Medals can be unlocked for different successes throughout the game such as your first Birdie, etc.

Challenge Mode - Try various challenges within specific time limits in order to unlock more characters and customisable options.

Free Hole Mode - Play diffent kinds of matches and a various number of holes until your heart is content.

The Two-Player Mode allows for a friend or family member to join in the fun. Simply choose a location and then pass the 3DS console between players.

It might be a downloadable port of a pre-existing game, but Let's Golf 3D really does include a lot of virtual fun. As well as choosing between the four different game modes, players can also choose between two different styles of play.

Stroke Play allows players to take part in golf tournaments. Players must complete each hole in the shortest possible number of strokes in order to stay at the top of the leaderboard and win the tournament.

Match Play allows players to face-off against another opponent.

Both styles of play will reward players with additional characters, experience points, or custom clothing and objects.

The 3D evironments are based on areas around the world. Each of the 3D environments also includes a number of animals, which players must try to avoid. For example, in England, you might find horses, foxes or rabbits running across the green, whilst, in Kenya, you might find monkeys or elephants interupting your game instead. This helps to add to the fun.

This game is very easy to pick up and play. If you are looking for an inexpensive 3D game, then you could do a lot worse than Let's Golf 3D. The game costs £5.50 and takes 1,523 blocks of data to download. Let's Golf 3D is available from the 3DS eShop now. Overall rating: 9/10.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Nintendo 3DS and Wii U To Support Paid-For DLC, Says Iwata...

Nintendo President, Sotaru Iwata, has promised 3DS users that the console will have a paid-for Downloadable Content (DLC) Service by the end of the year.

According to the Andriasaang website, Mr. Iwata told investors at an earnings briefing in Tokyo, that Digital Downloads would be available for the 3DS by the end of 2011.

 According to the article, Nintendo are currently trying to create a paid item transaction system that would allow users to download purchasable items for 3DS games.

However, at this stage, it is impossible to know what kind of downloadable content would be featured in the service or how this might affect the type of features offered on the console at the moment.

The announcement comes after Nintendo announced that it was going to dramatically drop 3DS console prices from £219 to just £130, in order to combat falling hardware sales.

Furthermore, Mr. Iwata has personality taken a fifty percent cut in pay after accepting responsibility for the failing sales of the 3DS.

 Other members of Nintendo's Board of Directors have also taken a twenty-three percent pay cut, after a recent finacial report showed that Nintendo's estimated earnings may suffer a loss of up to eighty-two percent by the end of the fiscal year, resulting in a sharp decline of stock value.

It is hoped that the introduction of paid-for DLC will help to curb the current loss in sales, boost eShop usage and help make the 3DS more attractive to new respective buyers. Mr. Iwata also confirmed that digital stock will now be Nintendo's main focus for at least the next three years.

Mini Gamers is very interested in the introduction of the DLC service. Keep checking in with the blogsite for more news on this subject as it happens.