Little Deviants fell into a trap. The release of Sony’s new hardware has triggered an influx of games that feel compelled to overuse the PlayStation Vita’s features. Bigbig Studio’s offering is the worst example of such forced design. As one of the cheapest PS Vita launch titles, this game is proof that you pay for quality. Like many other minigame collections, Little Deviants tries to do too much. The product fails to introduce a set of well-produced and quality challenges. This amounts to a throwaway experience that doesn’t advertise Vita’s capabilities well. As with LittleBigPlanet, Sony tried to establish a cutesy race of characters to rival the ever-popular Sackboy. While the deviants are expressive and worthy of a quick “Awww”, they lack the personality to have lasting appeal. Instead, the chirpy first impressions soon turn to annoyance, a description that fits the entire product. Attempts at a narrative are made, but the emphasis is very much on showcasing what Sony’s handheld can do. An army of evil “Botz” have struck, forcing the deviants into sudden action. Yes, “Botz”. If any hint is needed, this game is pitched towards the younger generation. Minors are sure to enjoy the various stages on offer, but even they will feel short-changed after a couple hours of play. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Little Deviants forces you try out Vita’s touchscreen, rear touchpad and tilt functions. Sony are inclined to stick with safe design, a decision that dismisses any intrigue. You’ll get used to rolling pests through mazes, destroying enemies with a quick prod, and flying through constricted courses in order to evade the threat of a robotic whale. Each section throws up a number of frustrations, and never feel as if any of them were crafted with optimism. Hints litter each level, but often appear at the wrong time. Sony waits for you to make a mistake and then kills the flow of the game, producing a continuously stop-start affair. One stage instructs you to caress the rear touchpad with a single finger tip. This manipulates the ground, pushing your character across an arena that houses extra-life, time, and even the odd weapon. Keys are your only hope of escape. Collect them and a portal provides sweet release from a combination of poor controls and terrible level design. If you’re going to succeed, a smooth, consistent motion is needed to keep your deviant away from trouble. Botz are not the main threat. Instead, hurling your Vita at the wall provides the most poignant danger. Unfortunately, this kind of irritation is a persistent theme. The developer reveals all of its ideas far too soon and with little imagination. I’d be extremely surprised to find a player who squeezes worth out of each challenge more than once. Certain stages echo the essence of a “Whack-A-Mole” carnival stall, forcing you to poke Botz via both the touchscreen and rear touchpad. This kind of simplicity is insulting. Other levels use Vita’s tilt function in a race to the finish line. Obstacles and scenery slow you down in a section that strives to emulate Sony’s competitors. At this point, a number of comparisons can be made. Lack of 3D makes the hazards of each location difficult to unearth, especially when you’re moving at speed. Similarly, stages that implement Augmented Reality are tiresome. Sony has included these just to highlight it can match Nintendo’s innovation, a notion that quickly dissipates. Even Apple will feel aggrieved, as Little Deviants traces over various templates for iPhone games and submits the result as something to be proud of. The copycat tactics fail every time. Conclusion “Touch, Tap and Tilt” is plastered onto the retail case. This moniker indicates what to expect, as Sony gets caught up in Vita’s potential. It would work nicely as a free gift for those who purchase the handheld, but such generosity is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Sony expects you to part with more cash for an investment that doesn’t have much to offer. Little Deviants imitates the experience of the iPhone App Store, repackaging age-old ideas into an expensive commodity. Devoid of originality and staying power, the only deviation this game provides is away from any sense of fun. Score: 40/100 Little Deviants was released for the PlayStation Vita on February 15, 2012. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of the review. Filed under: games
Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)
What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point.
As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.
In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?
PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
China Sustains Huge Ecommerce Development Investment Flows into ASEAN
What Asia Investment Research showed us that there were China outbound investments into several ASEAN markets, led by Singapore, and followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Collectively, these markets saw circa 30 investments n Q3, or about 15 percent of total Chinese outbound volume.
The Bachelor Japan Season 4 showcases Thailand
Bangkok, 2 December, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that Thailand features as the...
ASEAN commemorates Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day 2021
An intergenerational dialogue titled ‘Teaming up with You(th) for a Disaster-Resilient and Climate-Friendly ASEAN’, was moderated by the ASEAN Youth...
Thai Cabinet reverses CCSA relaxation of on-arrival Covid testing protocol
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s approval of the relaxed testing requirement has been overturned by the Cabinet in light...
Insights into the impact of COVID-19 on Thailand’s households
In April 2020, the Thai government passed a 1 trillion baht borrowing decree to address health needs, provide relief, and...
COVID-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand
International travellers, including returning Thais and foreign residents, who are above 18 years of age should get fully vaccinated for...