Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sony and the Great Disappearing Games Debacle... PSOne and PSP Classic Titles Added And Then Removed From The PS Vita.

Sony fans were delighted to discover that all of the classic PSP and PSOne titles were available for download on their PS Vita consoles on Tuesday the 22nd April 2014. These screens from PS Vita users on the NeoGAF forum show some of the games available:

However, it now appears as though the downloads may have been made available in error as they have all since been removed. According to the website, it appears as though the games may have been added in error as Sony has now withdrawn all the classic titles. However, the website also claimed that: "some of the titles still work following their removal." [Sourced from:]

There has been no official explanation from Sony as to why the titles were available for download in the first place, but the most plausible explanation is that there was an error during one of Sony's many software emulation tests, which made the games available briefly, but this has yet to be confirmed.


Were you lucky enough to get one of the classic games before Sony removed them from the PSN store? If so, why not leave us a comment in the comments box at the end of this post (or by clicking on the 'comments' link under this post in the Home page), and let us know. Mini Gamers is interested to know your thoughts and opinions on this issue.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mario Golf: World Tour [3DS] - Hands-on preview!

Join Mario as he competes in his very own golfing world tour! Choose to play as one of several characters from the Mario universe, including Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Luigi and many more. There are thirteen standard characters and a further four characters will be unlocked throughout the game.

The game starts with an interesting tutorial, which teaches the player all about how to correctly power their shot, alter camera angles and switch between auto shot and manual swing, which all becomes very useful as you progress through the game.

There are also several different courses to choose from including:

  • The Forest Course
  • The Seaside Course
  • Yoshi Lake
  • Cheep-Cheep Lagoon
  • Bowser's Castle
  • DK Island
  • Wiggler Park
All the courses come with their own colourful environment and different challenges to overcome. For example, Yoshi Lake golf course contains many pools of water, which are difficult to avoid, making it a more difficult course than The Forest Course, which is one of the more realistic type of golf courses in the game.

As with normal golf, the main objective is to get the golf ball onto the Green in the minimum amount of shots. Mario Golf: World Tour allows players to choose whether they play the course using manual swing, or auto shot. Having the auto shot function is great for beginners as it means that the impact timing is preset for them so they only have to work on setting enough power for their shot. Here at Mini Gamers, we found the auto shot to be preferable on some of the more awkward terrains.

Players also have a limited number of Power Shots. Power shots are very useful for when players wish to make the ball travel over long distances. The exact number of power shots available per course will increase over time.

Coins will also be awarded at the end of each game. The higher the player's overall performance, the higher the rewards they will reap. Coins can be used later to purchase upgraded balls, clubs and clothing.

As well as playing a round of golf, more experienced players can attempt several golfing challenges. For example, in the Ring Shot challenge, players must aim to hit the ball through a series of metal rings littered about on the golf course. In order to succeed, the player must hit the ball through every ring without fail. A successful challenge will result in unlockable bonuses and/or coins.

(Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE)

In conclusion, Mario Golf: World Tour is a fun game that will excite Mario fans of all ages. The game is quite similar to other golfing games on the market in terms of its overall format, but the colourful graphics, wacky character animations and inventive challenges make it very appealing to avid sports gamers as well. 

The game comes out on the 2nd of May 2014. If you are still unsure whether the game would actually appeal to you, then the demo version is available to try now from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 8/10.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Sony Sells Shares In Square Enix

Sony has announced that it will be selling all of its shares in the video game developer, Square Enix, who are best known for creating some of the classic RPG adventure series' such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Age.

The shares will reportedly net Sony an approximate £891,525 million by the end of the fiscal year. This is the latest move by Sony to 'slim down' some of its financial burdens, which has resulted in the company reducing operating costs by closing a number of its retail stores, selling off buildings, cutting ties with some of its less profitable game studios, and reducing its workforce.The company is also reported to be selling its PC business and spinning off its struggling TV division.

These recent changes may seem a little troubling, especially as Sony has not given any particular reason as to why it has suddenly decided to sell its Square Enix shares. Nevertheless, video games is a rapidly changing and fast-paced industry and perhaps Sony is merely trying to claw back some profit from its less successful business assets. No one really knows for sure.

Nevertheless, Sony's latest home console, the PS4 has soared to the top of the home console charts, outselling Xbox One by 7 million units to 5 million units worldwide, which suggests that Sony's popularity is far from dwindling.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tomodachi Life: Your Questions Answered....

Following the surprise announcement from Nintendo Direct, that another Japanese import, Tomodachi Life would receive its European release on the 6th of June 2014, we have been wondering exactly what this quirky game would entail. This is what Mini Gamers has managed to find out so far:

  • Like Animal Crossing, this game is played in real-time, making it very realistic in some ways.
  • Unlike other life simulation games to date, you do not directly interact with the in-game world as a playable character. You can put your own Mii into the game, but this Mii will function separately from you as the player. Instead, a players role is more like an external figure. It is your job to watch over the island residents, help them make some pretty life-changing decisions like how to tell their sweetheart that they want to marry them, etc., Take care of basic needs such as getting residents to take a bath or have some food, change their clothes etc, and much, much more!
  • Miis will sometimes ask you directly to play a selection of mini-games with them.
  • It is possible to create Miis of real-life celebrity figures by taking a photo of their face (from a poster, the TV or a magazine) and converting it with the 3DS Mii-Maker.
  • Miis can get married. Married Miis are eligible to move into some exclusive apartments on Chin Island. Married Miis can also have a number of children each. The Japanese reports of the game have listed this number as limited to only three children per couple, but this has yet to be confimed. There have even been some rumours of some baby-related mini-games
  • The Island can hold up to a maximum of 100 Mii residents. This includes all children born to married Miis on the Island.
  • Children born in the game are given the choice of moving into their own apartments once they are fully grown, or they can be sent on a special trip via the 3DS' Streetpass function, where they can visit Tomodachi Islands on other 3DS systems. Any children sent on a trip will send postcards to their parents and will periodically return to visit them at various times.
  • Players can alter the words that the Miis in Tamodachi Life speak to each other, suggest ways of responding to situations and even rewrite the words to the song lyrics that each Mii sings. 
  • Players can enter the dreams of any Mii on Chin Island - there truly are some weird ones too!
  • The screenshots and the Nintendo Direct trailer also showed cats and dogs, so it would seem as though pets will also be available in the game, but this has yet to be confirmed.
  • The game will not feature a multiplayer online mode. Tomodachi Life plays very much like a single player game. Nevertheless, the game will come with social media integration possibilities, so you can take pictures of your Mii and upload it to Facebook to share with friends etc.

It would seem as though there is a lot to do and discover in this game. The subtitled Japanese trailer does seem to show the various marriage and child-rearing elements of the game in much more detail:

(Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE)

Tomodachi Life seems a little hard to define at the moment, but it contains so many varied elements that its humour and quirky style is bound to make it very popular amongst the gaming community. The 6th of June 2014 cannot come soon enough!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

One To Watch: Tomodachi Life [3DS]

Nintendo has today revealed an exciting new  Life Simulation game, Tomadachi Life (Tomodachi is the Japanese word for 'friend'), which will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on the 6th June 2014. The game allows players to create Miis of almost anyone they can think of and bring them to life in their own virtual world.

The game takes place on Chin island,  a special place inhabited by various Miis, which the player can import from their 3DS Mii Maker or via the 3DS QR code reader. Miis can also be created by using the 3DS camera or the in-game creation tools.

 Once created, these little avatars can be given their own voice and then players can set about creating a unique personality based on some slider inputs. The game is open-ended and almost anything can happen as new Miis interact together to form their own virtual communities.

Miis can perform various actions, such as eating, trying on different outfits and doing many leisurely activities such as going to the beach or dining at a restaurant, etc. As more Miis are introduced into the game, different interactions will become available and new events will occur. Miis can develop new skills and experience social developments such as friendship, romance, and rivalry, as well as take part in some bizarre musical numbers.

If you are curious about how all these elements work together, then the latest Nintendo Direct broadcast seeks to answer your questions:

  (Having trouble viewing this video? CLICK HERE)

Tomodachi Life  cleverly blends together many core elements from other Life Simulation games. If you have enjoyed games such as The Sims 3, Enchanted Folk or Animal Crossing, then this may be the perfect addition to your collection. Mini Gamers looks forward to bringing you further news about the game as it develops.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

PS Vita Pets Gets June 2014 Release Date...

PS Vita Pets,  the first true pet simulation to emerge on Sony's handheld system, has today been given a proposed release date of the 4th of June 2014. The game, which merges together elements of the virtual pet simulation genre with some action-adventure elements thrown in as well, has a very family-orientated feel to it.

There has been some dispute among the gaming community of late as to whether the game's title of 'pets' is misleading, as it tends to suggest that there will be various domesticated animals on offer when in fact the game actually only features dogs.

 However, Kevin Oxland, Creative Director for Spiral House,  today explained that the high quality realistic animations and the task of making these dogs actually talk to the player has meant that the overall concept of 'pets' had to be kept simple, which is why only dogs have been included in this game. He said: "We could only include dogs. The fidelity of the dogs, the quality in the animation, the adventure and all the dialogue, which we translated and recorded in many different languages, require a lot of resources and time to get right and the team worked hard to bring you a quality experience..." [sourced from:]

Of course Spiral House are no stranger to pet simulation games as they were also responsible for bringing the PS3's loveable EyePet to Sony's original portable handheld, the PSP. However, it will be some time before we can see whether Playstation Vita Pets can equal Eyepet's success in the casual gaming market.

 Some new screenshots for the game have also been released, along with the main box art image (shown above). The screenshots appear to show some of the adventure parts of the game. More information has also been provided about the virtual dogs' ability to talk in human speech with the players. According to Kevin Oxland, the game will feature "a huge script of dialogue for each of the dogs. In total we have around 10,000 lines of spoken dialogue in the game."  [sourced from:] 

More detailed descriptions of exactly how the dogs will be essential in helping the player to unlock the secrets of the island's buried treasure, has also been revealed. It seems that the player's chosen puppy will help  by sniffing out clues, digging in unexpected places and crawling through areas of the game map that players could not otherwise be expected to access.  

Some gamers have already criticised the game, accusing Sony of  trying to copy Nintendo's success with the Nintendogs series. Nevertheless, PlayStation Pets has tried very hard to separate itself from other virtual pet games on the current market, and whilst cute pet simulation games will not appeal to everybody,  this game is very innovative  and helps to widen the appeal of the PS Vita by offering casual gamers and younger gamers an adventure title with a difference. This is definitely one to watch!