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.