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Review

Little Deviants Review

  • First Released Feb 15, 2012
    released
  • Reviewed Feb 13, 2012
  • VITA

Mild-mannered minigames and varied controls make Little Deviants a solid introduction to the PlayStation Vita.

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The launch of a new system always brings games that are keen to show off the capabilities of the new hardware. The PlayStation Vita boasts a suite of nontraditional control inputs, and Little Deviants is more than a little obsessed with them. Touch screens, motion sensors, cameras, and a microphone are all put to use in this decent minigame collection that lets you control the antics of bland blobs in a generic cartoon world. The skill-based games pair nicely with the focus on high scores, but even the best activities are only mildly fun. Though it lacks charm and has a few duds, Little Deviants serves as a fine showcase for the Vita's more unusual control inputs.

There are 16 game types spread over 30 levels, and you won't need to touch an analog stick at any point throughout the few hours it'll take you to complete them all. Some of the more familiar challenges include tilting the Vita so that your balled-up Deviant rolls through a maze, tipping the system side to side to navigate down a meandering mine shaft, and using the touch screen to aim and fire a cannon. Slingshotting your Deviant around a wrestling ring and raising a hill with the rear touch pad to roll your Deviant around are two of the more creative options.

Many of the games can be played while holding the Vita in the standard, horizontal fashion, but some require a vertical orientation. In one game, you tap the front and rear touch pads to knock robots out of a grid of windows, and depending on your finger length, you may need to resort to some strange grips to better position your hands for success. Little Deviants encourages you to rethink the best way to hold your handheld system, and sometimes a minor adjustment can make a big difference in your score. The majority of the games respond well to the various control schemes, but some have problems that a different grip can't fix.

The primary offenders are the herky-jerky races to escape a robotic sperm whale. As you flee on a rocket down narrow corridors, shifting camera angles and unclear obstacles make safe steering needlessly difficult. Worse, the courses have a disorienting habit of forcing you to turn around large bends rather than leaving you in full control of your ship. Picking out three pitches that the Vita will differentiate during the singing minigame is also tricky, and spinning a gear with opposing touch pad swipes is awkwardly imprecise. Fortunately, of the seven repeated game types, only the races suffer from serious problems.

We eventually aced this activity with the help of Epona's Song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
We eventually aced this activity with the help of Epona's Song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The majority of the games work well, and they are generally complex enough that it is increased skill rather than dumb luck or brute force that yields better scores. Most levels contain obstacles to avoid or enemies to destroy, bonus stars to boost your score, and a box-faced cat to add to your collection. While it is fun to try out the various activities, much of the novelty wears off quickly, so the only replay incentives are improving your control dexterity and earning higher scores.

The bronze/silver/gold thresholds and displayed scores of your friends encourage some score-chasing fun, provided you can maintain a connection to the PlayStation Network. Neither the game nor the Vita makes it easy to have multiple players on one system, so though you can still hand your system to your friends to play, they won't be able to record separate scores. Furthermore, if you lose your connection to the Internet mid-game, an obtrusive message window pops up to tell you about it, but it doesn't automatically pause the game. These irritations aren't major, and the incentive to top a friend's score can be a strong motivator for just one more try.

The novelty of using the various Vita control schemes is a fun reason to play Little Deviants, but score chasing generates most of the game's lasting appeal. The Deviants themselves add little to the package; their generic brand of wackiness and the insipid looping soundtrack are easy to ignore and mute, respectively. Though there are a few misses, most of the games here provide enough entertainment value to make Little Deviants a solid way to put your shiny new Vita through its paces.

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The Good
Good use of many different inputs
Cultivates chasing of high scores
The Bad
Racing game is poorly designed
Deviants are bland and boring
Unpleasantly generic soundtrack
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Chris enjoys aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent.
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snova9308

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mscrisostomojr2

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This should have been reviewed by a young casual gamer, this game is awesome! Great Graphics, responsive controls. I love it and my kids love it, too.

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Lord_Spanky

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Another harsh score for a vita game by gamespot. It seems suspicious somehow. Honestly, i really enjoy this game, and ive played it everyday since the 15th. For those that have been mislead to believe this is nothing more than a glorified tech demo, dont listen to the hate. Sure, the game has no real story, but neither does lumines. The fact is, it doesnt need one, any more than lumines, or stardust fo that matter. This game is a bonified scorechaser, just like the previously mentioned two games. Its a score chasing mini game compilation, and in that respect it suceeds dutifully. It packs a large and satisfying variety, much more so than many other games, which score higher, that i dont want to mention to avoid the flames. Maybe people were expecting something different out of the game, maybe they have a hard time adapting to some of the game functions, which all work well once you practice a bit, imho, i dont know. As far as graphics the game is crisp and charming. Im not sure where gs comes up with bland, because personally i "get" the art style and think its attractive overall. The game is a solid 7.5. Stardust is a 9. Escape plan is an 8. Uncharted is an 8. Rayman is a 9.5. Honestly i cant find a single thing wrong with rayman, but its hard to give a 10 to anything.

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Megavideogamer

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For a pack in game. It is alright. I kinda like it, but it given this mini game complilation is just meant to showcase the controls. Little deviants is able to do so.

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SCWoodson007

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@Pie_FOREVER @ad0234 I strongly agree with ad0234. I've been using Gamespot for a while now, and although they're not always spot on, I usually find myself agreeing with the major pros and cons they have for the games. Also, if you don't like it, don't use it, simple as that. That's a much better solution for everyone, you save time and we don't have listen to you complaining in comments.

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ad0234

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@Pie_FOREVER For one, I care for gamespot's reviews, for me to choose the right game to buy, and I don't get why this site is a joke, just because you seemingly don't agree with the score gamespot gave the game. And just to remind you, 6 is not a bad score, it's just no great one either.

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Pie_FOREVER

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This site is a joke. Places like Gamespot are exactly what is wrong with journalism today. It's flip flopping, self contradicting quote unquote "reviews" like this that make drag down the purpose of critiquing anything anymore if it is as poorly conceived as "a solid game" then proceeds to rate it a 6.0 Tell me, who actually cares what publications like Gamespot say anymore? Who ever declared them an authority on anything? They're people with opinions, just like you. Go make up your own mind instead of treating some other person's opinion like it's fact. You have your own standards just as they, don't equate yourself to them. That's degrading.

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carolynmichelle

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@SLjimbolian I think perhaps you don't quite grasp how our scoring system works. A 6 isn't a great game, but it's not a bad one, either; a game can be decent, fall into the 6 range and be "a solid way to put your shiny new Vita through its paces."

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zeldisco2009

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Vitas flopping continues!

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SaltyMeatballs

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Good score for what seems to be a tech demo.

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Kleeyook

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I think this game should get more polished. I suppose launched titles are usually like this. It's not like 3DS launch titles were very good anyway.

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white_wind

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for a totally new console/ handheld, it is hard to give scores without comparing them to different systems, even though you shouldn't. this is where a system of 5 stars should be used.

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SadPSPAddict

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Might well be worth a look then :)

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ChiefFreeman

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@SefrixSLjimbolian Read Tom Mc Shea's recent article about how 6's can be good.

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Gelugon_baat

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@soulless4now Blame that on the game designers who depended on the Vita's hype to sell their games, I would say.

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soulless4now

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It's starting to look like GS isn't too fond of Vita games...

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I want to like it, but just don't know. I'd rather it focus on one, two, or maybe three really good game types and not spread itself too thin. My favorite aspect is the rear trackpad terraforming the land. I wouldn't have minded more interesting things like that. But after watching a lot of gameplay of it, it didn't really look all that exciting in the end. Maybe a different game will come along that makes real good use of the rear trackpad. Look forward to it. I just don't think this is it.

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SLjimbolian

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Amuse me; you say it's a "solid" game, but only a 6.0 rating? It's one or the other there buddy.

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Little Deviants More Info

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  • First Released Feb 15, 2012
    released
    • PlayStation Vita
    Little Deviants is a minigame collection that uses the touch screens, motion sensors, cameras, and microphone to control weird blobs.
    6.3
    Average Rating80 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Little Deviants
    Developed by:
    Bigbig Studios
    Published by:
    SCEE, SCEA, SCEI, SCE Australia
    Genre(s):
    Party/Minigame
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief