There’s no better way of being introduced to the plethora of new functionality in your latest console than by a series of minigames which highlight these features. With the launch of the PS Vita
in late February, it was the turn of compilation title Little Deviants
to showcase the systems best bits.
Essentially, Little Deviants
is a series of mini games involving the titular characters as they try to fight off the evil Botz and some zombie things they have resurrected. Or something. In all honestly the plot is both nonsensical and irrelevant, serving merely as an excuse to put your Deviants into a variety of unusual situations.
The remit of the game is to help users become accustomed to the new features of the Vita
– the front and rear touchscreens, motion sensors and cameras for the most part. The regular controls are all but ignored, throwing you headfirst into the enjoyably tactile experience of the device.
The games themselves, as with every compilation title, vary wildly in quality and fun factor. The first game type you’ll be introduced to uses the rear touch panel to manipulate the landscape to help roll a deviant around the level. The controls are responsive and the concept is a good one but in practise it simply leads to frustration, as precise movements are all but impossible and later levels require precisely that.
Elsewhere you’ll get the chance to control a plummeting skydiver as he careens through a series of rings (again, precision was an issue here) and take part in a wrestling match where you’re supposed to fling your Deviant at the enemy with a pinch move that works less than smoothly.
It’s not all bad though – one game type tasks you with whacking bots on the behind as they appear in a number of doors. It’s basically whack a mole but the ability to use both front and rear touch surfaces adds some variety and makes things agreeably frenetic as the pace increases.
Our favourite game though has to be Botz Blast. It makes use of the Vita’s
rear camera to merge your actual surroundings with a bunch of enemy robots and Little Deviants to save by shooting things in the first person. Aiming is done by swinging the Vita around as though you were actually tracking enemies in the real world. It’s simple, effective and gives players a glimpse at the possibilities of augmented reality gaming on the device. It also makes you look mental when you play it in public.
is clearly a title that aims to showcase all of the impressive new features of the PS Vita
and it achieves that goal – helping to get users used to unusual aspects like the rear touch panel and giving them an idea of what they can expect from augmented reality. But the games themselves are often repetitive, and the levels surprisingly lengthy for something that is best played in short bursts. Awkward controls or lacklustre implementation can lead to frustration and the lack of a cohesive story of comprehensible characters doesn’t help. There’s some entertainment value to be had here but you might be better served learning about the Vita’s
features in other, better, games.