Even As A Pack-In, Little Deviants Isn't Worth The Time
Little Deviants came packed in with every Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle. At first, it's easy to see why Sony would want this to be the first experience that consumers had with their Vita; much like Nintendo's Wii Sports, Little Deviants acts as an introduction to the system's numerous features. But after just a few minutes of play, it became abundantly clear that Little Deviants had neither the focus nor the simple charm that made Wii Sports great. Worse still, the game's awful controls actually made me question whether some of the Vita's more outlandish features, like rear touch and gyroscopic motion control, could ever function properly in a portable game.
Little Deviants is a collection of minigames, although that may not have come across in some of the game's marketing, which focused heavily on some of the more puzzle-oriented games. The titular Deviants have been stranded on a strange planet and need your help to rebuild their ship. Naturally, you'll do so by completing a bunch of minigames. To the game's credit, there are tons of these games, and they are easily accessible through a story mode that throws you right into the action. There's no Mario Party-styled board game aesthetic to dilute the experience. If anything, however, this easy access will only cause you to tire of the shallow, uninspired games even faster.
The first game that you'll play is the terrain-deforming minigame that was shown off when Sony first unveiled its new portable. By touching the rear touch panel, you will push the earth upwards, creating hills on the screen. You will have to use these hills to guide a round Deviant past enemies and into the numerous collectibles scattered about the levels. This game wraps up everything that's wrong with Little Deviants in a nice little bow. First of all, the core concept of the game isn't engaging enough to support any more than a minute of actual gameplay. You're supposed to roll around the level avoiding enemies and collecting keys, but with no additional controls or mechanics and no real challenge, the game gets boring before you've even passed the first area. The fact that there are multiple areas drags the game down even further. Little Deviants must think it's a lot of fun, because its minigames seem to drag on forever. It's a testament to jus thow boring most of the concepts are that this eternity is, in reality, just a few minutes. Finally, the rear touch panel is not nearly precise enough to shoulder such am important task as controlling your character. You'll find yourself bouncing all over the map in a wild attempt to regain control.
These complaints can be leveled at most of Little Deviants' minigames. They're boring to begin with, drag on for way too long, and will frustrate you with their unintuitive controls. A few, such as a Face Radiers-styled AR shooting gallery, are tolerable enough to rise from the muck of the rest of the game, but are by no means what I would consider fun. If you received Little Deviants in your First Edition Bundle, you can safely toss it in the closet somewhere and let it gather dust. But if you're considering paying actual money for this, think again. Even for children, the braindead minigames and piss-poor controls will quickly lead to boredom. There are plenty of great, family friendly games on the Vita already, and if you're in the market for one check out Modnation Racers or Rayman Origins. Leave Little Deviants on the shelf where it belongs.