Thursday, 5 December 2013

The 6 Games of Christmas: Which One Will Be On YOUR Christmas List?

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Yes, Christmas is now fast approaching, and for many gamers, it brings hope of finding a brand new game or two (or quite possibly ten) at the bottom of their stocking, but with so many games currently available, how can you possibly know which games are the most suitable ones to buy?

Well, fear not, because Mini Gamers has spent the last year learning about the best handheld titles of 2013, in order to provide you with our list of the six top games for handheld gamers this Christmas.

As well as giving you our verdict on why the games featured are likely to be worth buying, Mini Gamers has also compiled a selection of full reviews for you to read, so that you can get a proper overview of the games before you decide which ones you might like to buy. So, let's get started...

1. Tearaway [PS Vita]

 This game is ideal for creative, imaginative and innovative gamers of all ages. Created specifically for PS Vita, and utilising many of the handheld consoles touchscreen features, the tactile world of Tearaway is beautifully-crafted with many different environments for gamers to explore.

 Better still, the game is designed to give the impression of a world which is made out of paper, and many of the objects look and take on the characteristic properties of actual paper.

Our verdict: A good, fun and creative little game. If you loved Little Big Planet but are looking for a new but equally challenging and quirky game, then this is the ideal choice for you. 10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

2. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds [2DS/3DS]

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds indirectly follows on from the 1991 Super NES title, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, in this game, the usual villian, Ganon, has long since been sealed away by a group known as the Seven Sages, and peace has seemingly returned to the land of Hyrule.

However, an evil wizard called Yuga has recently begun tracking down the descendants of the Seven Sages and turning them into paintings, in order to use the power of the Triforce for himself. It is up to Link to locate Yuga and find a way to rescue those sages who have been turned into paintings before it is too late...

This game is really good for people who like adventure and puzzle games as well as platformers. It features several interesting places to explore and even the chance to play as a 2D painting in some parts of the game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds  does have a 7+ PEGI rating, so parents and guardians should be warned that it might not appeal to very young gamers (under 7 years of age) who may find some of the dark dungeons and mysterious monsters a little bit too scary.

Our verdict: The game will be instantly familiar to fans of A Link to the Past, but has enough new content to make it enjoyable to both old and new fans alike. If you liked the previous  games, then this is definitely a must-have for your collection. Overall rating:10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition       [PS Vita]

With its 16+ PEGI RatingInjustice: Gods Among Us, is most definitely one for the older gamer. This game is a port of a previous gaming title, but the Vita version is pretty interesting despite its disappointing lack of graphics quality and cross-play features.

Nevertheless, this game is perfect for the truly hardcore gamer and is  also more likely to appeal to older fans of the Superhero genre or gamers who prefer challenging and plot-driven fighting games.

Created by the same developers behind Mortal Kombat, The game tells an original story set in a world where the lines between good and evil have become impossibly blurred.

Split into several engaging chapters and filled with one-on-one matches, players can choose to switch between different heroes and villains, who each possess their own unique strengths, fighting styles and of course, super powers.

The game features several well-known superheroes and villains, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman or the evil Lex Luthor, Deathstroke and Harley Quinn.

Our Verdict: Ever dreamed of stepping into the shoes (or tights) of your favourite superhero? Think you have the skills to outsmart your rivals? If you love one-on-one battles of epic proportions and wish to try out your virtual combat skills in a whole new way, then this is most definitely a good game for your collection. 8/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now.

4. Pokémon X and Y [3DS/2DS]

The Pokémon video game series has always proven to be very popular amongst gaming fans of various ages, and the latest instalment Pokémon X and Y is no different, having sold over two million units in America alone within its first few days of release.

As fans of the series will know, each Pokémon game is released with two separate versions. E.g. Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, or in this particular instance Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, but both versions of the game (whilst featuring slightly different starter Pokémon - Xerneas (in Pokémon X) and Yveltal (in Pokémon Y,) are essentially the same.

Players take on the role of a trainee Pokémon master, and must travel the land of Kalos searching for new Pokémon to care for and train. As this is the debut 3DS exclusive title, there are some nifty new battle features, including the all-new Mega-Evolution.

Players will also be expected to care for their captured Pokémon with the Pokémon-Amie feature that lets players feed, pet and play with their Pokémon  to, which will ultimately strengthen the Pokémon's bond and improve their chances of winning more battles.

The Pokémon Global Link has been completely redesigned  to make it easier and quicker to use.

Our verdict: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are good additions to the Pokémon series and the new online mode enhancements help to make this a must have for any Pokémon fan. 3D usage could be slightly better though, as the game's only real use of auto-stereoscopic 3D occurs during the Pokémon battles. Nevertheless, this does not diminish what is potentially one of the best Pokémon titles to date. 9/10. 

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

5. Angry Birds: Star Wars [PS Vita]

For those of you who have yet to experience the Angry Birds series, it might be worth remembering that Angry Birds was first created as a comical and easy-to-play game for the Apple iOS, but its quirky style quickly popularised the game, prompting the developers, Rovio Entertainment to develop further console and PC versions of the game, which have all proved immensely popular upon release.

Players must use a slingshot to launch a variety of colourful cartoon birds at green pigs stationed on or within various structures in the level, with the intent of destroying all the pigs before advancing to the next stage of the game.

Angry Birds: Star Wars blends the visual-style and traditional gameplay of the original Angry Birds series with the iconic plot and legendary characters of the Star Wars franchise.

The birds of the Rebel Alliance must now battle the evil  pig empire using the traditional lightsaber weapons and various Jedi Powers, as seen in the Star Wars films. A new multiplayer mode has also been added, and the game itself has over 200 unlockable levels, which should keep most gamers happy for a long time.

Our verdict: The combination of two award-winning franchises is a pure stroke of genius for Rovio Entertainment. This game is simple, fun, addictive and hilariously funny. A real gem for gamers who don't want to be delving into plot-laden RPGs or complicated puzzle games this Christmas. 10/10.

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf [3DS/2DS] 

 It has to be said that Animal Crossing is not merely  a game, it's a whole new world in the palm of your hand. The game is played in a completely freestyle way. That's because time in the game mirrors time as in the real world, and players have no set goals to complete, but can truly have a kind of virtual 'life' inside this game, and every single day brings new experiences, friendships and surprises.

 The 3DS version - Animal Crossing: New Leaf - has continued the success of the previous games (one for each Nintendo platform, GameCube, DS, Wii and 3DS) and even allows players to take over the role of the Mayor in their town. This means that as well as living out a daily life as a resident of a virtual town, players also have the ability to dictate the laws which govern their town and also to plan and build new features for the residents of their town to enjoy.

 Fans of the original Nintendo DS version of the game will find that several new locations have been added for the 3DS, including a nightclub, a dream suite, a supermarket, a shoe shop, a flower shop, a clothes shop, a beauty salon and more... 

If players wish to soak up the virtual sunshine, (especially during the cold Autumn and Winter months of the year, then they can also opt to take a little boat trip out to their own private tropical island, where they can do a spot of tropical fishing or maybe even some bug-catching and even put on a wetsuit and do some diving, which is a brand new ability especially created for the 3DS.

Our Verdict: This game is both easy-to-play and engaging, which makes it appealing to both young and old gamers alike. The simulation of real-life weather conditions and changing times and seasons is awesome.  If you've ever dreamt about getting away from it all and starting a new life, or if you just like the sound of being Mayor to a bunch of cute talking animals, then this is definitely the game for you. 10/10. 

Read a FULL REVIEW of the game now

So, that completes Mini Gamers list of the six best PS Vita and 3DS games to buy this Christmas. We hope that you liked it and found it useful.
If you already own some of these games and want to share your own opinions with us, then why not leave us a comment in the Comment's Box (or by clicking on the 'Comment's' link under this post on the Homepage). We'd love to hear from you!


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