Little Deviants

LD-Boxart
6 Overall Score

Makes plenty of use out of the Vita's features | Some of the minigames are a blast

Feels like a tech demo | Other minigames just don't excite

Written by on February 16, 2012 in [, , , , , , ]

Usually, when a new console hits the market, gamers can expect two types of launch titles.  The first are those awesome “must have” titles that have been carefully crafted with great skill and design to provide early adopters with an experience that single-handedly justifies every ounce of hype that has built up to the moment you finally break open the box on your new system and stare longingly at it as if it were the briefcase from Pulp Fiction.

And then there are the games like Little Deviants

Okay, so let me start this off by saying that Little Deviants isn’t a terrible game by any stretch.  The problem with it is that it doesn’t really feel like much of a “game” at all.  Instead, Little Deviants feels like a glorified tech demo for the PlayStation Vita, shouting “HEY!! Look what I can do!!” like a six year old who just learned to slap a few things between a couple of slices of bread to make a sandwich.  Sure, it’s cute at first and half the time you might feel a little proud of what they’ve put together … but other times, it’s just feels like one more mess to clean.

Little Deviants is a collection of little minigames which gives players indirect control of a group of oddball aliens battling against evil toy-ish robots and other overly cute enemies.  The game is broken up into cube-shaped worlds made up of different sections containing the actual minigame stages.  By earning medals in the minigames, players earn a piece of the aliens’ spaceship and unlock new stages.  After earning enough spaceship parts, players can move to another part of the world to start the cycle over again.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  This is considered the game’s “Story” mode, but to be perfectly honest, there’s not really much of a “story” to be found.  In fact, most of the games don’t even seem to be connected by much of a common theme.

Of course, a game like Little Deviants doesn’t really need to be the Citizen Kane of video games if the minigames are actually any fun.  The thing is, Little Deviants‘ minigames are all over the map.  Some of the games’ levels are ridiculously addictive.  Take, for example, the augmented reality shooter stages.  Players, armed with a 1950s styles sci-fi raygun, have to spin around looking through a simulated visor, and blow up the evil robots trying to kidnap the Deviants flying around the room.  It’s a frantic and fun shooter that makes great use of the Vita’s motion controls, front touchscreen, and rear camera.  Although I look like a complete goof playing this particular game, I just can’t get enough of it.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other minigames that I’ve had to suffer through just to advance the game, which I have no intention of repeating if I can help it.  One of these had Deviants diving out of an airplane, tasking players with tilting the Vita forward, back, left, and right, in order to maneuver the Deviant’s freefall descent through floating rings and targets.  Now, having played with other titles, and even other minigames found in Little Deviants, I know that the Vita’s Sixaxsis controls are extremely responsive.  The problem here is that you have to start the game at just the right angle, otherwise your Deviant flies way off target and you forced to restart right off the bat.  Making things worse, when you do finally make it to good ol’ Terra Firma, you’ve got to quickly get the Vita back into position before the next round starts.

I focused on these two particular minigames to illustrate just how wide the enjoyment factor is in Little Deviants.  It feels like for every good minigame, there’s one that just as bad.  And every time you come across a great minigame, there’s an absolutely horrible one waiting in the wings to balance out the scales.  While achieving balance might be good for the soul, this sort of balance just leaves Little Deviants stuck in the middle of the road.  It’s not particularly good … but it’s not particularly bad either.  Still, if you can look at the game as more of a tech demo, it serves its purpose well enough.  Little Deviants definitely shows off all the features of Sony’s new handheld.  Unfortunately, in trying to be a jack of all trades, these little critters never quite get around to excelling at one.

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Author: David Chapman View all posts by

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