Little Deviants isn’t so much a game as it is a series of demos that allow you to see what the Vita can do. If ever there comes a time when we return to the days of new hardware including a game, Little Deviants should be the game with the Vita (there is a bundle that you can buy with the game included, but it is part of the cost).
Bigbig Studios and SCEA designed games that are specifically for the Vita, and could only really exist on that system. One game uses the rear touchpad to alter the game’s landscape and roll a ball around. Another uses the camera for an augmented reality shooter, while another still utilizes the six-axis nature of the Vita to position yourself properly while skydiving through hoops. And so on, and so on. Each game is built around a Vita function.
There is the shell of a story about the Deviants crashing and trying to repair their ship, but that is little more than lip service. The story mode does play out like a campaign of sorts, though. Once you complete a challenge, it unlocks another game. When you complete enough challenges you unlock another area, where you will inevitably repeat a few of the challenges you just completed, but in a slightly different setting and with a bit tougher difficulty. Once you have completed a new challenge, you can then replay it and try for a higher score, or you can play it individually via a selection at the main menu.
The thing about this title is that there isn’t much to it. Sure, it is nice to play a mini game where you use both the front and back touchpads to complete objectives. And yes, it is neat to use the Vita like a steering wheel. But the games quickly begin to repeat themselves and you’ll soon find yourself playing the same mini games again and again. Within an hour you’ll have seen everything this game has to offer, and then the repetition begins.
Most of the games are excessively simple, but some can be frustrating, mainly because failure means you have to replay the entire mission — the races as you are being chased spring to mind. There are no checkpoints, so losing means starting at the very beginning, every time.
The games aren’t bad, but they aren’t engrossing either, and there isn’t much to them. Once you’ve played each game once, playing them again doesn’t really add anything. In general this game is sorely lacking in content. The best mini games are those you play with your friends, and there is not multiplayer to speak of, which is a shame. There aren’t any modes beyond the mini games either, which means there isn’t much replay value.
While it is nice that there is a game out there that will allow you to see all that the Vita can do, the games themselves end up amounting to little more than gimmicks. That could be forgiven if they were fun gimmicks that you are eager to try again, but they really aren’t.
If this game were included with the Vita as a demo, it would be spot on, and an excellent addition to the hardware’s launch bundle. Little Deviants will show you more about the Vita than it will about itself, making it a questionable buy.
Score: 6 of 10
(This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita on a copy provided by Sony Computer Entertainment)