: Bigbig Studios
: Sony Computer Entertainment
: PlayStation Vita
: February 15, 2012
Whether you received it with your first edition Vita bundle, or strikes your interest, Little Deviants is a mixture of numerous games in one package. More than likely the game is tailored to display just what the Vita is capable of doing, so if thatís something youíre curious about, the game will show you whatís what for your shiny new handheld.
The story of Little Deviants is not one to hold your attention, if you could even call it a story that is. Since the game is mainly driven by its arcade style mini-games, all you need to know is that the Deviants need your help to reconstruct their ship, as you can see from the moment you get started. Parts of their ship need to be attached to the bare skeleton of steel that serves as the outline of their ship. The poor little Deviants have their work cut out for them as they are continuously terrorized by the Botz, a group of robots that delight in bringing dastardly harm to the little alien creatures. Thatís where you, the player, come in and help the Deviants fight their adversaries in the hopes of escaping them for good.
The world of Little Deviants is a colorful one. An extensive color palette will be the focus of your attention as you move from one mini-game to the next. While nothing groundbreaking is seen in your play through, Little Deviants definitely shows off the high definition clarity of the Vitaís large five inch screen. That being said, Little Deviants looks like a colorful cartoon in video game form.
All the gameís quirky characters are brought to life with detail, though all the silly exclamations such as yelps, growls, and giggles blend together. Itís to be expected though.
One of the more entertaining aspects of the game is its soundtrack. It was a treat for this old school gamer to hear some tunes that seemed inspired by the 8bit and 16bit music of the Nintendo Entertainment System and SEGA Genesis gaming days long past. So if thatís youíre kind of music, Iíd highly recommend that you try playing the game with a good pair of headphones.
The PlayStation Vita has an innovative amount of hardware features that Little Deviants aims to introduce to you in an equally creative way. You can expect to use the Vitaís touch screen, rear touch, a combination of both touch sensitive areas, the Vitaís gyro sensors, the microphone, and the Vitaís built in camera.
The point of Little Deviants is to move from one mini-game to the next. Mini-games have different possible rewards, such as a gold, silver, or bronze award. Successful completion of a mini-game will allow for more games to open up simultaneously, so you wonít always have to move from one to the next in a certain order, rather, youíre free to choose as you see fit.
Before each mini-game youíre presented with instructions on how the given mini-game works. Now if the goal of Little Deviants is to showcase the Vitaís hardware, they succeed there without a doubt. However, its execution stumbles over itself within a certain amount of mini-games. I can tell you that the mini-games that are worthwhile involve the gyro sensor being used to track down and shoot down robots that ďflyĒ around your room. In these mini-games the Vitaís camera uses your immediate surroundings as the setting for the mini-game. Robots will teleport, as if from another dimension, to drag away the flying Deviants and itís your job to shoot them down. Provided you have a wide open space, these shooting type games are pretty fun. Additionally the segments that involve tilting the Vita from side to side to steer a rocket ship through narrowing corridors is also fun, not to mention the skydiving segments in which you fall through a series of hoops in the air, speeding or stagnating your fall as you go. With a great number of mini-games, you can expect that Little Deviants will go your way all the time, but thatís not necessarily the case.
There are some mini-games that couldíve used more polish. Before the game launched there was no doubt some gameplay videos that showed off the various games you could play and the features that allow those games to work. One such game that didnít handle as easily as it looked were the games involving the rear touch pad. The rear touch pad is touched and it simulates pushing the environment up, as if you were trying to pass your finger through the Vita itself. So moving your finger across the rear touch pad allows you to roll a ball sized Deviant across the screen simultaneously. However, the physics could get a little wacky, and it was very easy to lose your control, not to mention fast. Accidentally touching the touch pad with another finger wouldnít help the problem either, so it becomes a chore more than a pleasurable experience. Your fumbling around, trying to understand what youíre doing wrong, also leaves you open to attack from enemies and it gets increasingly frustrating when you canít get the physics to work in your favor. On top of that thereís a time limit, and these types of games require you to move from point A to point B, etc.
Another feature that didnít work too well involved the Deviants in a boxing ring and youíll have to use a combination of the front and rear touch panels to make a slingshot gesture and bounce them off the ropes of the boxing ring and into a swarm of robots. Gripping the Vita from the front and back at the same time didnít register very well. At times it did, but more often Iíd be left a sitting duck until the game managed to pick up my touch. Again, it got frustrating when more and more enemies entered the boxing ring, all ready to gang up on the little Deviant. This kind of mini-game ended rather quickly.
Thereís a fine line between learning curve and buggy software, so the demands for diverse mini-games may have clouded the proper hardware execution that makes these games work. There are loads more mini-games to be enjoyed though, but youíll be able to pick up on some that just might not go your way. For that you just need to keep on trying until you incidentally succeed.
The Vitaís near feature allows you to find other players who happen to play the game too. Should you come across another PSN profile through wi-fi or 3G, you can send them a friend request.
As previously mentioned, itís possible to earn anything from a gold, silver, or bronze medal for each mini-game. Many of these games will demand the utmost skills in dexterity to get the gold. If youíre one who needs to collect everything in the game this should suit you, but usually one play through is enough, unless a particular mini-game really stuck out for you. Additionally there are plenty of trophies that need unlocking so that will also keep your eyes glued to the screen even longer. Other than that, thereís not much else to keep you going, even if you do decide to go for all the medals and trophies.
Little Deviants has a variety of mini-games. Some will entertain you, urging you to try again. Some games will be a little more boring than others. Finally, some mini-games may just suffer from questionable software programming, to the point where you just want to put the Vita down and take a breather from getting really irritated. Thereís still some fun to be had of course, it just takes some getting used to, and a little patience wouldnít hurt either. Iíd recommend renting it first to see if it appeals to you, then make an informed decision about whether you want to own it.