Perhaps the most unique game shown off for Playstation vita at E3 2011 was Little Deviants.
Two distinct parts of the game were on display. The first was a platform-like marble game with an isometric viewpoint. The player could use the back touchpad to create mountains/hills to push the marbles through the level, collecting gems and reaching the goal.
This was a neat usage of the back touchpad, and did a great job of showing how it could be integrated as a major gameplay diver. There were times that it responded strangely, and the Sony rep had tips on how to get the best results out of the back touchpad. It worked best by placing a finger on the back touchpad and rotating the finger, much like leaving fingerprints. This, as opposed to doing swiping motions or more robust actions. Additionally, the back touchpad responded strangely when it was touched in more than one place at once, which happens often as it makes up a majority of the back of the unit.
The second phase of the game was an AR application. By using the front and back cameras of the Vita, robots appeared all around the E3 demo area, that needed to be destroyed. By using the Vita’s screen like a view-finder, the player could shoot the robots who were floating around the area. Around them were good guys that the player had to avoid shooting. It was a fun little use of the Vita’s cameras and high resolution screen to create an immersive AR game.
It’s encouraging that Sony showed off two different original IPs as part of the core five games on display at E3 2011. While it will be great to have faithful ports of full console games, it’s great to see smaller or new and experimental games that can utilize the wide variety of Vita features.