Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Also on: N/A (PLAYSTATION 3 Exclusive)
Release Date: Friday October 24th 2008
Rating: PEGI 7
Some platforming games come and go. In recent years, we have had some great platforming games for the PlayStation like Naughty Dog’s Jak and Daxter series as well as Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank, one of which is now on the PLAYSTATION 3.
But as great as the games in them series’ are, nothing has kicked up so much hype and fuss more so then LittleBigPlanet. While the PlayStation has had it’s mascots throughout it’s 13 years as a platform such as Crash Bandicoot (Back when Naughty Dog developed it), Solid Snake, Kratos, Lara Croft, Cloud/Sephirtoth and the IP’s above, Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank, it hasn’t had a official mascot throughout it’s lifespan…’till now, with Sackboy.
Sony are without a doubt pinning their hopes of the PLAYSTATION 3 on this one character, not just on Old Snake or Nathan Hale this Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a system seller and so will Resistance 2 when it goes on sale but Sony have laid all of their chickens eggs on this one game to make or break the system.
And to think, all this pressure is being piled onto a small studio from Guildford considering it was only a year and a half ago that the game was only shown for the first time to the public at GDC in San Francisco during the keynote speech of then president of SCE’s Worldwide Studio’s Phil Harrison.
And the irony of it is that it could have easily become something so small as the game was set to become a £4.99 game on the PlayStation Store. But in the end, the game is what it is today thanks to Sony and it’s incredible hype machine for the game, question is, was the hype, the money and the time absolutely worth it for LittleBigPlanet?
In one word – Yes.
In three words – God Fucking Yes.
LBP just runs with it’s own flow of it’s concept of Play, Create, Share and runs with the wind in it as the game is just an absolute joy to play. From the minute you pick you pick up your SIXAXIS and control your Sackboy, it brings an great smile to your face knowing that you are in control of a character that, despite being made out of fabric or wool, is so so cute.
The game has just roughly over half a dozen levels built into the game by Media Molecule but the game is all about it’s community especially in user made levels for the game. It’s here where you imagination can just run wild and this is where most of this review will fall on, the creation and sharing of levels in the community of LittleBigPlanet.
You get so many ideas at one time trying to decide which level should I make this level into etc etc and as such, what you do with the game and how you create your level is completely up to you, there are no boundaries, the only limit is how far your imagination can take you.
You have so many tools there to help you get started in creating that masterpiece of a level…or that crappy level you didn’t need to make. But you don’t get all of your tools right off the bat, instead, you earn them through the tutorials you get throughout the game, narrated by comedian, Stephen Fry and boy, Fry’s performances in LittleBigPlanet suit him and the game very well, whoever suggested Fry for the role, give that person a payrise.
And considering the amount of levels that was in the beta, you never know what can take your fancy. Expect levels such as the 2 parter Heist and more to return for the game as Media Molecule have said that all of the levels from the beta will stay on for the full release.
So if your not the type that likes to create stuff for you, there is always playing the levels the community have already built for you to play which is very nice indeed.
The basic idea to play LBP, other then creating and sharing, is basically run, jump and collect special bubbles which go towards your score at the end of the level but also when you play MM’s levels on the Blu-Ray. The game has a 2D meets 3D thing going on with 3D graphics and 2D gameplay which is all nice but the controls do get a bit fidgety at times so beware.
The Single Player of LBP is all well done and if you want to play the game on your own for a while, that’s alright. But it’s the multiplayer mode which makes this game absolutely unique in ever shape and form.
Alright, it’s only 4 players not the 16 player type you get with Halo or Metal Gear Online or 5vs5 on Gears of War 2 even but the amount of people that is in the game doesn’t matter, it’s what you do with 4 people and it’s give the game some of it’s charm.
LittleBigPlanet shows that a big community which can come together and get some great creative juices going publish a level which has part some heart into it, it really is a community experience to endour and endeavor.
It’s also a game which shows that in a generation where graphics are everything, gameplay is everything in LBP. And while they do look nice in the game, like I said, gameplay is everything gameplay is what it’s all about in LittleBigPlanet, it charms you, it soothes you somewhat.
And no matter what, if your feeling down, had a bad day or you just want to play the game, you can almost guarantee a smile on your face with Sackboy. He just makes the game really warm and fuzzy and just wants to grab you and give you a hug.
Final Thoughts: Simply put, the game does have it’s flaws such as the control scheme as such but they are only tiny flaws and I mean very tiny flaws. LittleBigPlanet, that game that could have easily been a £4.99 PSN game, is simply one of the most groundbreaking and innovative games in the past 10 years in my opinion certainly and is without a doubt in for a shout for GOTY.
It’s a game which you’ll play till the wee small hours and even when you decide you want to put the controller down, you’ll just say to yourself “one more and I am off” yet you keep saying it and you keep doing it, that’s how addicting this game really is.
Quite simply, PlayStation has found it’s Mario and Sonic and it’s name is Sackboy.
Gameplay: 10 – It’s 2D gameplay approach is simply brillant, just brillant.
Presentation: 10 – It’s concept of Play, Create, Share is alot more to it then that term, simply a play it to experience moment.
Lifespan: 10 – Creating levels which has no limit bar one, your imagination? You tell me how long this game can go on for. Simply incredible plus a great soundtrack which includes Jim Noir and The Go! Team.
Overall: 10 – Simply put, Media Molecule haven’t just made a game which is anything like Ragdoll Kung Fu, they have made a game which combines the strength of community, great imagination and some of the finest levels seen in gaming. And the best part is, they may not just be from Media Molecule, they are from you.
The game is without a doubt contender for GOTY but is without a shadow of a doubt the most innovative game of the year and probably the most innovative in decades.
Media Molecule has found something which they can truly, truly be proud of and in the end, Sony’s decision to put all of it’s eggs into the one basket has paid off.
LittleBigPlanet may have just saved the PLAYSTATION 3.