Tuesday, December 9, 2008

LittleBigPlanet Reviewed | PlayStation 3

Growing up I always wanted to do two things: make my own videogames and build my own rollercoaster.

LittleBigPlanet (LBP) lets me do both. From the very beginning until the... well there is no end, personality gushes out of LBP that's not only charming, but inspiring. The mascot, Sackboy, too is the perfect avatar to match the whimsy, and downright enchanting allure of this beautifully realized game. Mario has never made me smile this big.

At first glance, the entire game looks like a Michel Gondry musicvideo. Every thing in the world has its curtain drawn back to show you exactly how it was made. Playing through the story mode shows you how diverse the physics-based platforming can be. Each stage engages even the hardest of hardcore platformer-fans, but is also accessible to those less-dexerous with a joystick. My girlfriend and I, for one, found no problem keeping up with one another, and even found the game a little easier when we playing together. Only phsycologically though, the emotive sackpeople bekon you on with their playful glare. The game sinks its hooks in you before you realize it, providing a muse for when you want to start creating yourself, by showing you how fun and simple creation can be.

When you do sit down to create your own level, it's overwhelming the amount of options you're given. First thing I did was try and build a giant Ferris wheel. I wound up the bolts, attacked some sponges (so my little sackboy can hold on), and let it go. I had fun for hours just constructing this machine, and really, I don't plan to do anything with it. I was just goofing off. And LBP really supports that. When you do want to get technical and design a serious level, check out the literally thousands of levels already created and uploaded to the internet from other players. There's a lot of crap out there, but there's also stuff so inspired, so brilliant, that you'll almost not even want to attempt. In the few weeks since its launch, I've already seen not only excellent stages proper, but other stuff like a working calculator, a re-creation of the side-scrolling shooter Gradius, and a photo gallery. But keep your uploads free of someone else's intellectual property. The developers are yanking down any level that has something in it that resembles anything that makes a buck. Wanna make a Solid Snake statue for the intro to your level? Don't, it'll get deleted from the servers faster than you can say "Metal Gear?!?"

LBP is one of those rare games that never gets old. And with a steady flow of new levels created by players around the world, you'll have a very big sustainable planet.

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