Saturday, 4 February 2012

PS Vita Minis: What's In Store?

With only a few weeks to go until the launch of Sony's PS Vita console, Mini Gamers decided to take a sneaky little peak at the interesting collection of mini games that will come preloaded on the day of the PS Vita's launch.

The mini game selection has been carefully compiled under the rather sweet title of the PS Vita 'Welcome Park' [*translated from the Japanese, and may be subject to change] and is designed to show off and guide users through different aspects of the PS Vita, as well as challenge gamers in a variety of different tasks.

One of the first games in the Welcome Park, is called Digit Chase. The idea is that players use the PS Vita's rear touchpad, touch and multi-touch functions in order to pop virtual 'bubbles' that will appear on the screen.

This may sound simple, until the bubbles start overlapping and numbered bubbles with the same number start to appear, causing the player to work his/her fingers around the different touch sensors of the console at rapid speed. In addition, the game is timed and keeps track of the players best time.

Once they are through with the bubbles, players are treated to a moving carousel of numbers to try and defeat and another numbers game involving the Rear Touchpad, but we wouldn't want to spoil the surprise... All in all, quite a fun little game.

Sound Loop will appeal to the musicians amongst you - or at least it tries to. Record a sound-clip, using the console's in-built microphone and it will be placed as a little looping orb, which circles the centre of the screen.

Moving the orb around to a different position will affect how often the sound-clip is replayed, and with a bit of practise, the 'looping' effects can be used to create rhythmic beats, similar to those found on a DJ's mixing decks.

Players can choose to change the backing music with the simple tap of a button. We have to say though, this one will probably send even the most hardcore DJ Hero fan a bit 'loopy' by the end of the game. Not a particular favourite.

Snap + Slide is the first of two camera-themed games in the Welcome Park. The objective is simple: Snap an object using the PS Vita's in-built camera, and this game converts the image into a delightful little sliding titles game for players to complete.

Players can choose to use either the front camera or the rear camera in order to obtain a suitable image. Furthermore, the player can decide exactly how many tiled pieces the image will be broken into, thus altering the difficulty of the game. A good reinvention of a classic puzzle game.

Skate Axis helps to introduce the Tilt Sensors, which we predict are set to become an important component of many future PS Vita gaming titles.

Players must control a tiny skateboarding stick figure. The idea is that players must tilt the console to either the left or the right in order to successfully avoid several ball-shaped obstacles that appear to block the skater's path.

Each successful dodge is rewarded with a number of points. This is a fun mini game, and very innovative. Definitely worth a try (or even several tries) in our opinion.

 Hello Face is another game which uses the PS Vita camera functions to its advantage. In this game, players must snap a picture of anything that looks like a face (teddy bear,Smiley-based fridge magnet, etc) and the 'face' will appear on the screen in the shape of a transparent cube, and then the game will add slightly animated features to it, such as large cartoon eyes, and the face will appear with various phrases and quotes, depending on the picture it is based on.

This game is very creative, even if it does border on the 'slightly trippy' side of life. This is definitely another Welcome Park success.

In conclusion, the PS Vita Welcome Park is an interesting and varied collection of games, which will be very useful for all those cash-strapped gamers who cannot afford the main launch games at the moment.

Plus, all of the mini games featured in the Welcome Park have unlockable trophies and rewards, so there is even more reason to replay this set of interactive tutorials.

 So there you have it - details of the various PS Vita mini games that you can expect to find when the console launches in the UK on the 22nd of February 2012. We hope that you have found it useful.

Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blog for more news of this handheld console in the weeks leading up to, and after, the UK launch. We promise you all an in-depth review of this apparent 'Next Generation' console.

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