Sunday, 7 December 2014

What Did We Learn From The Playstation Experience?

So, the first PlayStation Experience has just taken place in Las Vegas, but what did we learn about upcoming PlayStation video games for 2015 from the two-day event? Well, amongst the barrage of trailers for some upcoming PS4 titles, including the ever-popular Uncharted 4, Tearaway: Unfolded or No Man's Sky, there were some quite interesting offerings for PS Vita owners too. The following five games are just a taster of the brilliant PS Vita titles that are scheduled for release some time throughout 2015:

Super Time Force Ultra - This game is a fun leap through time and space. Using a 'world select' format, players can jump in and out of six unique periods of time, each complete with its own game modes, playable characters and bonus collectibles. The game also comes with a special 'Time Out' function that allows players to stop or even rewind time in order to go back through a level that has already been played.

Severed - In Severed, players take control of a one-armed heroine who uses a living sword to fight her enemies. It is a strange and yet innovative concept.  Using touch based mechanics, players are able to employ an array of offensive and defensive techniques against a variety of enemies. Defeating 'Boss' characters provides the main character with 'Totems', which she can wear like armour. Each Totem will also provide the character with a new ability. The game is expected to be released in Spring 2015.

Darkest Dungeon - This game adds one important factor into the classic RPG genre: Stress. In the game, players control a band of unlikely adventurers. Everything that these characters see, hear or experience in the game will have either have a positive or negative effect on the group's stress levels. Every negative stress moniker will lead to a succession of stress-driven behaviours from the characters, such as abusiveness, hopelessness, irrationality, selfishness or masochism, which will affect their decisions and performances in the game. Family heirlooms that are collected in the game via various successful quests can be used to furnish the characters' base, where they can indulge in some stress-reducing activities such as flagellation, drinking, gambling and even praying. Darkest Dungeon will be available in 2015.

 Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Yes, the Resident Evil story is set to bring its own familiar brand Zombie-action to the PS Vita in February 2015. This trailer has so far been released of the game, which is sure to whet the appetite of many Resident Evil fans:

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Broken Age - The 'point-and-click' adventure game series is being developed by games studio, Double Fine, which is founded by American videogame producer, Tim Schafer, who is best known for his games, Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, which are also expected to be remastered for the PS Vita in early 2015.

So there you have it - some top-quality games that will be making their way to the PlayStation Store throughout the coming year, but what do our fellow gamers out there think of the announcements? If you have any thoughts about these games or any other articles on the Mini Gamers blog, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know. We love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas: Christmas Wonderland 4 Preview [3DS]

Yes, it is that time of year again! Christmas is swiftly approaching, and the fourth edition of our favourite festive game has just appeared for download in the Nintendo 3DS eShop. For those of you who are not familiar with the Christmas Wonderland series on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, it is a series of Hidden Object games, all with a Christmassy theme.

In Christmas Wonderland 4, we again join Bill and Mary as they attend the Christmas parade, whilst Mrs. Claus, Santa and the elves try and get all the toys ready in time for the big day!

The game is very easy to play, but hard to master. Players must try to spot all of the items on the Christmas list at the top of the screen. Points are accumulated by finding the listed items as quickly as possible. This sounds easy, but there are many items to find and each one is intricately hidden in a beautiful festive scene. There is a handy Hint function for anyone who feels a bit lost, but players must wait for the hint meter to refill before it can be used again.

As well as the hidden object lists, players will have to solve a number of puzzle mini games in order to progress to the next level. These include tasks such as arranging a set of Santa heads in the correct order or helping Mrs. Claus to finish decorating the Christmas cake.

The game has some beautiful graphics, including some in 3D, but it has to be said that the 3D function of the game is extremely limited as most of the graphics are displayed solely on the bottom screen, which is a tad frustrating.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun festive game to play in the run up to Christmas, then this title is just perfect for you.  Furthermore, at only £4.49, it is a bargain to download from the Nintendo eShop and will keep most casual gamers interested for quite a long time. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 7/10.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Why Today Is A Great Day For Nintendo Fans...

Yes, the 21st of November 2014 is a great day for Nintendo fans! Not only is Nintendo releasing its latest Pokemon title - Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS throughout North America and Japan today (European gamers will have to wait until the 28th of November 2014 for their version the game), but today officially marks the release of Nintendo's first wave of Amiibo figurines.

 The NFC Amiibo figures are expected to retail for around £10 each, and can allow users to add their favourite Nintendo characters to some of exciting Wii U, 3DS and New 3DS console games in the future. However, these figurines will be initially used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4, which also debuts today!

Thus, whether you are a 3DS or Wii U gamer, there is definitely a lot to celebrate. Well done, Nintendo!

Friday, 14 November 2014

PlayStation TV: Is It Worth The Money?

PlayStation TV (AKA PS TV, or PS Vita TV) launches in Europe today. Sony's micro-console is said to cost around £90, but Mini Gamers asks what does it actually allow users to do, and is it really worth the money?


Firstly, for those of you who are unfamiliar with PlayStation TV, this device is like a non-portable version of the PS Vita handheld console. It connects to most standard TVs via an HDMI cable. It allows PS4 users to stream some games content onto a secondary TV, which is a great bonus for those gamers who wish to extend their PS4 gaming  beyond the living room, especially if someone else is needing to watch the main TV.

PlayStation TV can also be used as a dedicated gaming device. However, in order to do this, players will have to invest in additional memory cards, as the micro-console itself only comes with 1GB of storage. However, the system does come with a games bundle, including a Playstation Store voucher for three downloadable games - OlliOlli, Worms Revolution and Velocity Ultra, so users can start having fun with PlayStation TV right from the beginning.


The device is Plug 'n' Play, so it is fairly simple to set up. If you are familiar with the PS3 or PS4 consoles, you should not have any trouble in setting up and accessing this device. The system uses the standard PS Vita operating screen. The traditional touchscreen 'swipe and flick' functionality of the PS Vita is now duplicated by pressing the 'O' button on a DualShock 3 or 4 controller.

PlayStation TV is great for playing PS Vita games on a standard HD TV too, but one of the major downsides of this is that not all of the PS Vita games currently on the market are compatible with this device. Sony has included a list of compatible PlayStation TV software on its website though, so it might be worth checking this before deciding to part with your hard-earned cash. PS Vita titles can either be downloaded onto the system via the PlayStation Store, or played by inserting the game card into the available slot.

The answer to this is both yes and no. It is currently possible to rent and watch some films or TV programmes through the Sony Entertainment Network app, but unfortunately, the system seems to sadly lack Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV or the other great entertainment or audio apps found on the PS4 and even on the older PS3 systems at the moment, which is a bit of a shame, and a definite drawback for those users who were hoping that PlayStation TV would act as a multimedia streaming device. These entertainment applications will not work using the 'Remote Play' function either.

Truthfully, that depends on exactly what you were hoping to do with PlayStation TV in the first place. For PS3 and PS4 gamers who just wish to stream their content in a different way, rent a few films or TV shows and have a further use for the 'Remote Play' function on their other PlayStation devices, then the PlayStation TV micro-console is absolutely perfect!

If you are a PS Vita owner, being able to stream your favourite PS Vita titles to a large television certainly has its appeal, but as discussed, the drawback here is whether or not your favourite PS Vita titles are actually compatible with the PlayStation TV system at present. Many original PS Vita titles will not be compatible, nevertheless, future PS Vita releases are likely to be developed with the micro-console in mind. Thus, it may be worth purchasing a PlayStation TV micro-console when a larger catalogue of compatible PS Vita games becomes available. 

If you were hoping for a miniature multimedia streaming device, then you are likely to be most disappointed by what the PlayStation TV system currently has to offer. Nevertheless, there is huge scope for development here. Now TV and Netflix were added to the PS3 after its original development, so there is no reason why a version of these applications could not be developed for use with PlayStation TV at a later date. Moreover, the recently hinted at PlayStation Vue application would definitely go very nicely with the PlayStation TV system should it be added at a later date. Nevertheless, at the moment, with its skeleton multimedia functionality, PlayStation TV is unlikely to appeal to those people who prefer video and film streaming over gaming.

The PlayStation TV micro-console has both its good and bad points. It is small, easy to set up and use and offers new and exciting ways for PlayStation gamers to access and stream their media. However, it seems somewhat lacking in content at the moment and will not appeal to all PlayStation users. Unfortunately, it may not be worth its £90 price tag for some people right now.

Nevertheless, with more content and multimedia applications sure to be added to the device in the future, we have no doubt that PlayStation TV will eventually be a great addition to the PlayStation range. If you are in any doubt about whether or not to purchase Playstation TV, then the advice from us here at Mini Gamers HQ  is to wait until there is more PlayStation TV compatible content available. Watch this space!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Tales Of Hearts R Headed To The PS Vita This November...

Namco-Bandai's long-running Japanese RPG series, Tales of Hearts has now been remade for the PS Vita. The new game, called Tales of Hearts R, follows main protagonist Kor Meteor. Kor discovers a woman named Kohaku Hearts and her brother Hisui near his home town. When Kohaku is infected with a monster called a Xerom, Kor attempts to cure her using an ancient sword designed to fight the monster. In the process, he ends up shattering Kohaku's spiria - the essence of her heart and emotions - and scattering the pieces across the world. Kor, Hisui and  Kohaku embark on a quest to restore Kohaku's spiria before it is too late.

One of the major changes to Tales of Hearts R is the battle system. Battles now occur randomly within different arenas throughout the game. Consecutive successful hits can stun an enemy and they can then be thrown up into the air, causing extra battle damage when they are knocked back to the ground.

Players can also juggle between the standard melee type attacks to using incantations known as 'Artes'. Players can use 'Soma' points, which are collected during successful battles, to level-up their chosen character and improve their battle stats, weapons and a whole host of other customisation options.

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

There are some puzzles which also need to be solved along the way, which helps keep things interesting. The game comes with new and sharper graphics, a nice audio soundtrack and detailed voice acting. Unfortunately though, the game's producers have chosen to forgo the usual English Dub process and have decided to merely to use English subtitles over the original Japanese voices instead, which is a bit of a shame.

Another negative point for this game is the lack of a local multiplayer function, as this is the type of game that lends itself well to co-op play between friends. That said, the detailed plot will keep most RPG fans interested in the single player mode for quite a long time.

One of the major pluses to this game is that it is compatible with the PlayStation TV device, which is due to launch in Europe next week. This will allow users to play the game on a television screen (with a Dualshock Controller), rather than on the PS Vita itself.

In conclusion, Tales of Hearts R is a very good game. The improved battle system, crisp graphics and a detailed, immersive plot help to engage players in the story. It is a shame that there is no English-dubbed voice-acting as reading the subtitles can sometimes be a little distracting, nevertheless, this is a worthwhile addition to the Tales series, and a must-buy for hardcore RPG fans. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 7/10.

Tales of Hearts R will be available to buy from the 14th of November 2014.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS Remake Announced!

Nintendo has today announced that it will be again remastering one of its most popular Legend of Zelda titles for the 3DS handheld. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask  is the sixth game in the Legend of Zelda series and was released on the Nintendo 64 in the year 2000.

The gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D follows on from the events shown in The Ocarina of Time, which was itself remastered for the 3DS back in 2011. Thus, a lot of the gameplay mechanics from The Ocarina of Time are still in use, including the ocarina songs, the dungeon puzzles and Link's weapon-based combat, which will be instantly recognisable even to newer fans of The Legend of Zelda franchise.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is considered by many critics to be a darker tale than some of the other Zelda titles. The game works on a unique three-day cycle. In the main story, which takes place in Termina, which is an alternate version of the usual setting of Hyrule.

The  main antagonist,  the Skull Kid(shown above) has stolen  a powerful ancient artifact known as Majora's Mask. Harnessing the dark energy of Majora's Mask, the Skull Kid causes the land's moon to slowly fall towards Termina, where it crashes after three days. Our hero, Link, has to travel back and forth through time in order to reset the beginning of the catastrophic three days in which the mask was stolen, and find a way to stop the moon from destroying the world.

As with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, this game has been rendered in stereoscopic 3D and the cutscenes look breathtakingly beautiful as a result. Furthermore, in Europe, the game is set to be packaged with some seriously rare goodies too, including a silver The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask pin badge, a double-sided poster and a special steelbook cover for the game, making it a must-buy for many true Zelda fans.

The game is set to make its 3DS debut some time in Spring 2015. As well as the hard copy of the game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D will also be available as a Nintendo eShop download upon its release. If you wish to know more about the game, then the latest Nintendo Direct broadcast should help to answer your questions:

Having trouble viewing this video? CLICK HERE

2015 is fast-approaching and with big releases such as The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask and a brand new 3DS console on the way, it is already shaping up to be a great year for gaming. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blog for more exciting news and previews about this game over the coming months, but for now, watch this space!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Coming Soon To A PS Vita Near YOU... The Muppet Movie Adventures!

The Muppets are back! This time, Kermit the frog and the rest of his furry puppet friends are set to take on Hollywood in a brand new title for the PS Vita called The Muppet Movie Adventures. Help Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal and Gonzo the Great as they take leading roles in their own blockbuster movies.

The game sees some of our favourite Muppet characters battling movie bad guys across five different movie genre locations, including the Wild West and Outer Space amongst others. Can they manage to be the hero of their story and save the day? Along the way, our heroes will face some challenging foes, and they will also meet some other classic Muppet characters who are determined to make a cameo appearance!

The game is due to be released on Friday the 7th of November 2014. It can also be downloaded from the Playstation Store for just 19.99! If you are a fan of the Muppets, then this is a wonderful addition to your memorabilia collection.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Game of the Week: Disney Magical World [3DS]

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live amongst some of your favourite Disney Characters? If so, then this game is absolutely perfect for you...

Disney Magical World is a new Life Simulation game, which allows players to explore the Disney universe in a new and exciting way. Players begin their adventure in Castleton, where they will settle in to their own room and be able to visit the local cafe. This is also where they will find the magical World Gates, which will allow them to journey to other worlds populated by over sixty best-loved Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Donald Duck and many, many more.  

Players can create a new character for the game or use an existing Mii character. They can then choose how they play the game, from collecting and using different materials for furniture and wallpaper, to eating various snacks, Do favours for your new Disney friends by fetching their requested items, or going on special 'ghost-hunting' quests to collect stickers and open up new areas of the map to explore.

Having Trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Disney Magical World has already launched in North America and Japan, and has so far been considered a successful addition to the Disney Videogame franchise, shipping more than 500,000 copies since March this year. [sourced from:]

Disney Magical World is a fun interactive game which will appeal to old and young Disney enthusiasts alike. The customisation options and expansive game map make it very enjoyable. Furthermore, there is the chance to gain further bonus items via Spotpass, such as new outfits and furniture, and there are also items which can be purchased from the Nintendo eShop, including an entirely new world to explore!

Thus,  Disney Magical World is likely to keep gamers interested for quite a long time. This is a fantastic title, complete with some very good animated cutscenes and voice acting. Definitely one for the top of the Christmas List this year. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Disney Magical World is available to buy from the 24th October 2014.

Friday, 10 October 2014

The PlayStation Experience Is Coming And You're Invited!!!

Sony has today announced that it will be holding its first ever PlayStation Experience. The community event is due to take place in Las Vegas between the 6th and 7th of December 2014 and will be open to anyone aged eighteen or over.

Attendees will get the chance to sit in on many in-depth panels, meet some of the industry’s best developers, get an exclusive first look at what’s coming next in 2015, and they will also have the opportunity to purchase rare collectibles directly from their favourite game studios,

 Ticket prices are still being finalised, but are expected to cost around $50 ( approximately £31) for a one-day pass, or $90 (approximately £56) for the two-day pass.

It certainly sounds like an amazing time for those gamers who are lucky enough to go! Nevertheless, for those gamers who won't be able to attend the event in person, the PlayStation blog will have live coverage of the event from start to finish, including breaking news and  live video streams through multiple distribution channels.

More news about the event, including the programming schedule, Streaming times and finalised ticket prices is expected within the next two weeks, so remember to check in with Mini Gamers for more news about this event as it occurs.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Introducing Some VERY Weird But Wonderful Super Smash Bros. 4 Characters...

 Nintendo's Super Smash Bros is an incredibly long-running franchise, but for those gamers who are still unfamiliar with it, Super Smash Bros. is one of the leading crossover fighting games, which is known for its wacky cast, who are all well-established characters from other Nintendo games.

With the fourth edition of the franchise making its 3DS d├ębut today, Mini Gamers thought we would take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the more obscure character choices for this edition of the game, and let you know what precise 'Special moves' they each have to offer in battle.

1. The Wii Fit Trainer:

It would not be usual to find a fitness trainer locked in battle, but this trainer has some seriously enviable battle moves. Originally from Nintendo's popular Wii game, Wii Fit, this average-looking female comes with some seriously impressive special moves, which, as you'd expect, are all based around the idea of fitness and exercise:

Wii Fit Trainer: Special Moves

  •  Sun Salutation: this attack is a powerful, savable projectile attack. 

  •  Header: the Trainer pulls out a soccer ball and headbutts it at a downward angle. It remains on the battlefield for others to hit. 

  • Super Hoop: a recovery move that entails the Trainer hula-hooping upwards. Applies damage to any opponents who are hit. 

  •  Deep Breathing: this attack raises the power of the Trainer's other attacks. 

2. Villager:

These little guys and girls (two each for each gender) have travelled from the world of Animal Crossing. Villagers have some very cute attacks, including catching opponents in their bug net, etc. However, Villager's special moves are quite impressive.

Villager's Special Moves:

  • Pocket: Villager can keep any projectile or weapon he collects during the game hidden in his pockets for later use. 

  • Lloid Rocket: a move with involves launching the Gyroid, Lloid, sideways. The Villager can choose to ride on him, which increases its damage. 

  • Balloon Trip:  Villager uses two balloons to fly. Villager will sustain some damage if the balloons are popped by opponents. This move does 4-7% damage. 

  •  Timber: Villager plants, waters, and chops down a tree, which hits opponents as it falls, even bouncing off near edges to lower areas. However, the tree can be destroyed by other characters, and is a fairly slow move to use altogether - using the move once only advances through one of the four stages (plant, water, first chop, second chop), so having it actually deal damage takes four total usages in the same location. The axe can be swung during the chop stages regardless of distance from the tree, as long as that Villager's grown tree currently exists on the map.

The Mii Fighters can be split into three distinct catergories, depending on their chosen fighting style:

  • Mii Brawler has more fist-driven special attacks.
  • Mii Swordfighter has more sword-based moves.
  •  Mii  Gunner uses guns.
The Miis all have various weapons and special moves at their disposal, depending on which type of Mii Fighter they are. Mii Fighters are entirely customisable - from their height and width, right down to their individual moves. Each Mii Fighter type has four special moves, and each special move has three options. This makes the Mii fighters one of the most unique class of fighters in the game. 

The fact that Mii Fighters can be a Mii of anyone that you can think of, also has the possibility of quite humorous match-ups. The Mii Fighters individual fighting styles can be seen in these following video:

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Mii Fighters can not be selected for the online multiplayer battles, but is available for local multiplayer battles against friends and family members. Female Mii Fighters can also wear skirts instead of trousers.

That concludes our introduction to some of the newcomers in Super Smash Bros 4. The 3DS version is definitely a great addition to the existing franchise, and it is likely to be a best-seller in the Christmas gaming market.

What do you think of the Super Smash Bros. newcomers? Who is your favourite? Please feel free leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

One To Watch: Fantasy Life [3DS]

Fantasy Life is a new 3DS game in which players can choose to play as not one - but twelve - distinctly different characters. The game has been brought to you by Level 5 inc. the team behind the hugely successful Professor Layton franchise, and it has all the makings of another massively popular game series. 

The game is set in the fictional world of Reveria. Players start out as by customising a generic Avatar. Players may alter the gender, body type, skin colour, hairstyle, face shape, eyes, and voice of their chosen character.

Once the new Avatar has been created, they will take on the role of an innocent young man or woman who has recently arrived in a brand new town. Players must choose a career path for their Avatar, (known as a 'life' within the game,) by which to earn their keep and pay off their new landlord, etc. Players must pick an initial life to start with from the twelve types listed below:

  • Hunter
  • Cook
  • Miner
  • Angler
  • Alchemist
  • Paladin
  • Magician
  • Woodcutter
  • Tailor
  • Mercenary
  • Blacksmith
  • Carpenter
This chosen 'life' will help you develop new skills, such as digging for fossils, precious metals and gemstones (Miner), or saw any logs that have been collected into snazzy new furniture and other items (Carpenter). However, the game's most interesting feature is that players can choose to swap between all twelve lives. Each new life is governed by a 'Life Leader', who will be instrumental in teaching the main character his or her new craft.

Once players have become reasonably proficient in their current life, they will be offered the opportunity to swap to a different life, whilst keeping any skills and materials that have been collected from their previous one.

For example, players who start out as a Miner in the game can collect rare metals and ores, and then they can swap to the Blacksmith life and learn to create weapons such as swords from the metal ore that they had collected as a miner, and then they can swap to the Mercenary life and use the swords they created to battle the town's most fearsome monsters, including a fire-breathing dragon! Thus, players can use the skills they gain from various lives to progress throughout the game.

The varied lives keep the gameplay interesting and engaging. When players are not busy slaying one of the local monsters, they must use their current life skill to help the various townsfolk with their problems, players can earn money and stars this way, which will gradually increase their skill levels.

There are three different types of currency in the game:

  • Dosh - this is the main currency in the game and is used to buy and sell goods.
  •  Bliss - is gained by swapping lives and visiting new areas of the game map. Bliss allows you to gain upgrades to weaponry and armour or allow you to get a pet for your home.
  • Stars - These are awarded to the player and allow a character to advance in his or her current skill level.

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Fantasy Life has a regular day and night cycle, which helps keep things realistic. There is also a massive game map with several new environments to explore and new monsters to battle.

Furthermore, the game features both local and online multiplayer 'Co-op' modes, so players can choose to  battle the fearsome monsters that threaten Reveria's safety side by side with up to four friends at any one time. Even better, online multiplayer has its own chat feature that lets you send messages to other players as you explore the realm together.

However, the fun does not stop there, because players can also choose to expand the experience by purchasing special expansion packs, which can be downloaded directly from the Nintendo eShop. These expansion packs are set to retail at around £7.18 and will provide players with new areas to explore, extra costumes for character customisation, new materials, ranks and recipes, new pets, plus much, much more.

In conclusion, Fantasy Life is a very enjoyable game that will appeal to RPG fans of almost any age. The colourful, quirky graphics and gentle plot will almost certainly appeal to younger gamers, whilst the subtle intricacies of the gameplay coupled with the lure of expansion packs and an online multiplayer experience are likely to appeal to the more mature RPG fan too. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Fantasy Life is available to buy from all good video-game retailers now.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wait Is Almost Over For Fans Of 'Minecraft: PS Vita Edition'?

It has been a long and difficult time for the many thousands of gamers who have been patiently waiting for the hugely-popular Minecraft franchise to finally make its debut on Sony's PS Vita handheld.

Mini Gamers first bought you news of Minecraft: PS Vita edition back in June, when the game was first revealed to the public during Sony's press conference at E3 2014. The game was originally given a release date of 'August 2014', but various game glitches and bugs  meant that the PS Vita edition was delayed.

Today, 4J Studios, the team behind the Minecraft: PS Vita edition, announced that the game is in its final testing at Sony. Whilst there is still no official release date for the game, the fact that the game is undergoing its final checks prior to release is still something to feel excited about.

Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for further Minecraft: PS Vita edition news as it occurs!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hands-On With The Super Smash Bros 3DS Demo...

It is now only a few short weeks before Nintendo's popular Super Smash Bros series makes its debut on the 3DS, and as promised, Mini Gamers has taken some time to try out the Free Demo version of the game, which we downloaded from the Nintendo eShop. The Demo is a good taster of the kinds of things that fans of the series can expect to find in the full 3DS version of the game, which launches on the 3rd of October 2014:

 Firstly, the entire battle roster of 49 character types was displayed in the demo version, although only four of the characters were actually playable in the demo - Mega Man, Mario, [Animal Crossing] Villager and Link.

The three returning characters in this series (Mario, Mega Man and Link,) all play very similarly to how they did in Super Smash Bros: Brawl, whilst the strangest newbie in the bunch, Villager, has a fun arsenal of wacky weapons from the cutesy world of Animal Crossing, including: some exploding fireworks, tree growing and felling, and 'accidentally' dropped gardening implements, which have never been seen in the Super Smash Bros universe before, but which work delightfully well within the mechanics of the game. Villager does have an active 'Boxing Glove' attack, but is otherwise as sweet and passive as they usually are in Animal Crossing.

Nonetheless, Villager is still a hugely entertaining and agile competitor.There are actually four different types of Villager for gamers to choose from - two male and two female - who all look very distinct.

As well as a new roster of characters and attacks, there are several new high-power items like the Blue Shell (Mario Kart), Fireball (Super Mario Bros.), and Bees (Animal Crossing), which can assist our competitor in inflicting the biggest percentage of damage on the other competitors. Most of these items are instantly deadly, but they can be evaded if characters move out of the way quick enough.

The demo showcases one of the stages which will be available in the full game, the 'Battlefield' stage. Even though there is only one stage, players do have the option to play it in its standard configuration (which includes three platforms) or in its basic configuration which is completely flat.

The only drawback to the Super Smash Bros demo  is that it is limited to thirty tries before it expires,(unlike the special Club Nintendo version that was released last week, which is unlimited,) but with the launch of the full game only a few weeks away, it is the perfect bite-size taster to whet fans appetites before the real thing arrives. Mini Gamers rating: 10/10.

The Super Smash Bros 3DS demo is available to download for free from the Nintendo eShop right now. Alternatively, you can access the demo by scanning the following QR code into your 3DS:

Friday, 12 September 2014

Super Smash Bros Demo Codes Available to Club Nintendo Members NOW!

 Nintendo of America began distributing special demo codes for Super Smash Bros for  the Nintendo 3DS to eligible Club Nintendo members. At first, umembers believed they would be getting one free code, but they in fact were treated to four separate codes.

 Each code, once registered on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, allowed official Club Nintendo members to download a playable demo version of the portable 3D fighting game weeks ahead of its official release.

Although these codes were issued free of charge to all Club Nintendo members, some of the codes have already found there way onto the popular auction site, EBAY, where they have been sold for up to $25, (around £15,) which seems a ludicrous amount to pay for a free demo, but which serves to show the popularity of the Super Smash Bros series.

If you are desperate to try the demo, then you should definitely mark the 19th of September 2014 as an important date in your diary, as that is when the demo version becomes available for all other Nintendo users on the Nintendo 3DS eshop. Best of all, it is completely FREE to download as well!

The demo release date was announced during today's eight-hour long Nintendo Treehouse livestream, which will feature gameplay from six games including Super Smash Bros. The demo will feature some popular character's from the Nintendo universe, including: Mario, Link, Pikachu, Animal Crossing Villager and Mega Man along with the 'Battlefield' stage.

Super Smash Bros is set to debut on the Nintendo 3DS on the 3rd of October 2014, and is scheduled for release on the Wii U some time in December 2014. Remember to check back with Mini Gamers after the 19th of September for our review of the playable demo.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Tomodachi Life: Marriage & Babies Guide - Your Questions Answered...

Warning, this post does contain spoilers!

Marriage and child-rearing are just two of the many events that occur in Nintendo's wacky and ever-popular 3DS game, Tomodachi Life. Throughout these events, players are expected to perform a set of mini-games, which are fun, but which can also prove quite tricky and frustrating at times. Thus, we here at Mini Gamers HQ have compiled this list of handy hints and frequently asked questions that may help you through your Miis' first experiences of marriage and parenthood.

1) How do Miis get married in the game?

Any adult Mii who is in a relationship with another adult Mii in the game may express thoughts of marriage quite soon after the two of them have become sweethearts. They will come to you and say something like: "I want to propose to ... Do you think I should?" 

If you encourage your Mii to go ahead and propose to their beloved sweetheart, you will then be asked to select from a variety of different options, including how your Mii should propose, where the proposal should take place, and whether they should change their clothes before proposing or not. Once these things have been decided, your Mii will request your help to propose at the right time. This is essentially what the Proposal mini-game centres around.

You join your Mii and his or her possible future spouse on their date. During the date, your Mii will be given three separate chances to propose to their intended sweetheart. These chances are represented as three floating love-hearts above your Mii's head.

During the date, your Mii will try to lead up to asking the all important question. Whilst your Mii is planning what to say, your Miis intended spouse will have a variety of thoughts going through their mind. These thoughts are displayed as images in little thought bubbles. When this thought bubble shows the face of the Mii who is trying to propose, you must tap the 'Now' heart icon on the bottom screen, to tell your Mii that it is the right time to propose.

The images in the thought bubbles can change very rapidly and it is easy to get the timing wrong. This will lead to an unsuccessful proposal if it happens too many times. Thus, you must try and tap the 'Now' heart icon as quickly as possible when you see your Mii's  face appear in their sweetheart's thoughts.

If you successfully identify your Mii's face, you will get a thumbs up and your Mii will start his or her proposal. If you can successfully identify your Mii's face and tap the 'Now' icon in time three times, then you will have conquered the proposal mini-game and your Miis will get married and will go on honeymoon together before moving into one of the special 'Mii Homes' for married couples.

2) What happens if I get it wrong during the proposal mini-game, does this mean my Miis will break up?

No, if you are unsuccessful at the proposal mini-game your Miis will remain as sweethearts for now. Provided that they remain happy together, your Mii will get another chance to propose to his or her sweetheart at a later date.

3) My Miis got married! How soon can they start a family?

This can take between 3-7 days after the marriage has taken place, depending on your Miis. Once your Miis are ready to start a family they will come to you and say something like: "I have been thinking of having a child with ... What do you think?"

If you are happy for your Miis to have a child together, then choose the positive option. If you wish to delay their parenthood, then choose the negative option. Once encouragement has been given, it will take about another 2-3 days for your Miis to actually have their baby. You will receive a phone call and will go to your Miis' home, where they will present their newborn baby to you.

4) I don't like the way the newborn baby looks, can I customise it?

Yes, the game comes with several customisation options for babies. Your Miis will ask you several different questions regarding the baby's gender, personality, name and looks, all of which you will be able to customise if you choose to do so.

5) How quickly do babies grow up?

Babies grow up very quickly in the game. It will take between 3-7 days for a baby to grow up into an independent Mii who is capable of moving into their own apartment on the Island. Whilst the baby is growing up, you can visit the baby at its parents house and you will even get requests from your adult Miis to help babysit the baby at least once per day whilst it is growing up.

6) Help! I can't get the baby to stop crying! What am I doing wrong?

Babies in Tomodachi Life come with three separate mini-games that represent each stage of the baby's development from newborn, to six month old baby, to toddler, after which they will grow into an independent Mii.

In the newborn baby 'rocking' mini-game: You must rock the crying baby to sleep in your arms. This is done by gently moving the 3DS system around to simulate a rocking motion. The baby should then calm down and eventually go off to sleep.

  Mini Gamers found this game particularly frustrating at first, as any movement we made seemed to unsettle the baby more. In the end, we found that holding the 3DS like a book and gently tapping the side of the 3DS rhythmically to make the on-screen arms rock gently seemed to work very well, although do bear in mind that some babies prefer to be rocked more gently than others.

The 'Peekaboo' mini-game represents the baby's second stage of development. You must tickle or pat the baby gently to make it stop crying or play a game of 'Peekaboo' with it. As with the newborn baby mini game, this game has many variables, so it may be worth trying a different combination of tickling, patting and 'Peekaboo' to see which one the baby responds to best.

Some babies prefer to play 'Peekaboo' but don't want to be patted or tickled, some will prefer to be tickled instead of patted or vice versa, and some babies will only calm down if a combination of 'Peekaboo' and either tickling or patting is used, it depends upon the baby's individual personality.

The third and final 'Swing around' mini-game occurs when your new baby Mii has reached the toddler stage. It is by far the easiest of the three baby mini-games to complete. Simply swing the toddler around by moving the stylus around in a circle on the bottom screen. Do this until the toddler laughs and becomes cheerful again.

You will receive an award for helping your Miis to babysit the baby. Please note, you will be given this reward regardless of whether you are successful in getting the baby to stop crying.

7) How many children can my Miis have?

This is unknown at present. Original Japanese reports of the game suggested that households were limited to only three children each, but there have since been reports of Mii couples who have had five or more children born to each household, so it seems that the actual number can vary depending on the size of your existing Island population. Each Tomodachi Life island can only hold a maximum of one hundred Miis, which includes all children born in the game.

8) My Mii has grown up, what happens now?

Once the baby has become an independent Mii, you will be given a choice: Allow them to remain on the island as a permanent resident, or send them away on an adventure via the 3DS' StreetPass function.

If you choose to let your Mii remain on the Island, they will move into their own apartment separate from their parent's house. Please note, all children born in Tomodachi Life are not given a birth year when they grow up. This means that you can choose their age when they move into their own apartment, so you may wish to make them into an adult who is capable of getting married and having a child of their own, or prefer to keep them as a young child Mii instead. It is entirely up to you!

If you choose to send the Mii on an adventure, they will visit other Tomodachi Islands via StreetPass, but will still write letters to their parents and may even return home to visit them once in a while. Sending kids on adventures is a great way of communicating with other Tomodachi Life users whilst also keeping your Island population low.

Remember to check out the new 'Kid Info' section in the town hall, which becomes unlocked once your child Mii has grown up. Every kid gets a special book which is worth looking at every now and again!

So that concludes our Tomodachi Life Marriages and Babies guide. We hope you found it useful. If you have any other questions about the game that are not covered in this guide, then please do not hesitate to contact us via our comments link at the bottom of this post, and we will do our best to try and help answer them for you.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Nintendo's Amiibo Figures Given UK Recommended Retail Price...

A UK retail price for Nintendo's first wave of Amiibo NFC figurines, has been announced today! Nintendo's official online store lists the figures for £10.99 each, which makes than an average of three to four pounds more expensive than the first wave of Skylanders figures when they were first released. There are currently twelve figurines available for pre-order, including Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong, but no actual release date for the figurines has been given yet.

 The interactive figures can be used to save stats and other data from various compatible games. Super Smash Bros for  the Wii U and 3DS will be he first game to make use of them.  Keep checking in with Mini Gamers for more news about the Amiibo figurines as it occurs!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Introducing the NEW 3DS...

Nintendo have today officially announced a new handheld console in its 3DS range via a Japanese-exclusive Nintendo Direct broadcast. The console, which so far has the working title of 'New 3DS', boasts a SNES style colour-scheme for its four main buttons, and is expected to come with several new features, including a small circular analog stick, called a C-stick, and in-built Near-Field Communication, which will be used in conjunction with Nintendo's Amiibo range.

However, for those of you who were expecting an NFC peripheral to adapt your existing 3DS console for use with Amiibo, Nintendo are still planning on releasing a 3DS NFC adapter some time in 2015, but the advantage of the new 3DS is that this technology will already be available within the console itself.

There have been two models of New 3DS announced today: The standard model and a new XL model, which has been called New 3DS LL. both models will be slightly larger than their current 3DS counterparts. This all sounds very appealing, but rather controversially, the console features a whole new CPU and therefore, the new 3DS titles will not be compatible with the older 3DS systems. This means that gamers who wish to play the new titles will be forced to upgrade to the new system.

One of the titles which has been announced for the system is a new Xenoblade Chronicles game, although details of how the game will use the features of the New 3DS console are unknown at this present time.

The New 3DS will launch in Japan on the 11th of October  this year and is expected to launch in Europe and the US some time in 2015. The news of a new 3DS is a slight 'mixed bag' for those fans who have already invested in a 3DS or 3DS XL, but the New 3DS will be much more advanced than its predecessor, and thus may well tempt gamers to either trade in their old consoles, or splash the cash on the New 3DS when it becomes available.

So, what do you think of the New 3DS? Are you tempted to buy one? If you have any thoughts about the new console and wish to share them with us, then please feel free to get in touch via our comments link at the bottom of this post.

It looks as though 2015 is already shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of handheld gaming. Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more news about this console as it develops.