Wednesday, February 11, 2009


LittleBigPlanet isn't quite the savior of the Playstation 3 that some hoped it would be, but it's still a fun and completely charming game that will theoretically never run out of new content. You know the game is going for a different audience than the Gears of War crowd when you first start it up and are greeted and told how to play with pleasant, humorous narration from Stephen Fry, who happily teaches you throughout the game. The graphics are very good technically as well as design-wise, and the fun of watching the characters and little creations interact is a lot of the appeal. It's best to think of the game as an ultra-cute playground, as the movement and interactions are all physics-based and are what make the level creation work. Every level in the story mode was apparently created using the tools that are available to every player, and the potential for what can come out of the community is amazing. There's already quite a lot of impressive toys and cool levels to be found, although really the best design I've seen is rightly the levels made by the guys who made the game.

The story mode serves as many things; an entertaining platforming game in its own right for any number of players, a way to collect tons of items to use when making your own stuff, and inspiration for all the different things that can be done. Some levels became more frustrating than enjoyable later on and that wasn't helped by the less than completely precise controls, but I was able to make it through out of affection for everything else about the game. There's not a lot they can't do with the creation tools, including some really cool bosses and unlockable challenge levels. There's a lot of reason to replay the levels too, tons of items to collect and use on your own stuff and special areas for multiple players. There's also a lot of great music from around the world to be heard as you play, scandal about lyrics from the Qur'an aside. The story isn't anything substantial, but sets up interesting scenarios to play through and fits the game's MO of being as cute as possible. I haven't spent as much time with the creation stuff as I'd like, but it's pretty simple and intuitive to do some complex things, and even if you don't have a grand plan for a great level it's still fun to just screw around with all the different pieces. And with things like the Metal Gear Solid level pack, I feel confident it's a game I'll be coming back to for a long time.

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