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Thursday | September 20, 2018
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LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

LittleBigPlanet has been the subject of much hype over the last year and rightly so, as the ambitious, almost revolutionary ideas of developer Media Molecule should propel this game into platform redefining territory.

Let’s get straight to the point, Little Big Planet is an absolute classic and it turned out better than I even imagined it was going to be. This is mainly because even with the wonderful community and creation elements, the core supplied content by Media Molecule is also first class.

When you first fire up the game the only option is to play the main story mode. The first three levels are great introductions to how you play the game. The mechanics are very straightforward and shouldn’t prove an issue for anyone. The X button is used to jump, R1 grabs the objects on screen and that is really all there is to it (without delving into the editor side of things).

The first batch of levels are very straightforward and amazingly each of the 20 main levels is unique in design which means you won’t feel like you are retreading old ground. Each of them is themed, such as the jungle areas which contain all sorts of giraffes and monkeys. My personal favourites are the wild west levels which have masses of explosives and mine cart rides but there is such detailed variety on offer here that it is very difficult just to pick a single favourite.

It is the variety of game play which makes this title stand out and Media Molecule should be commended for their hard work over the last year fine tuning and enhancing key elements of the game. Obviously it’s all based on a platforming concept but it works stunningly well and has pushed the boundaries from anything before.

People have been asking online about the gameplay time … I managed to completed the single player aspect in 9 hours but I am guessing if you rushed through everything it could be finished in around 5 or 6. To rush the game however would be doing it an injustice as there are masses of content which would be missed. Each level for example contains a plethora of collectables which are kept within prize bubbles and many of them are hidden away in places that require you to explore and then figure out how to get to them. These hidden objects are diverse in their content, ranging from simple decorations or stickers to fully fledged objects which you can use in the level editor. There are also clothes and add-ons for the cute Sack character you control.

Many of the levels contain a blank spot where a certain sticker needs to be applied so once you have found it you then unlock additional content to use.

On the surface LittleBigPlanet is a game of mismatched and interwoven ideas but as an integrated and complete package it gels together so well it is clear that something special has been created. At the core of the game is a very capable physics engine which handles almost everything you do. The game makes a break from the usual pixel perfect platform environments and lets you, as the player roam the landscape with huge jumps and cartoon style movements. The whole approach is almost organic in nature and its only as you progress that you begin to notice just how advanced the game play mechanic actually is.

The game rewards experimentation and open ended play rather than linear "run from one side to another" and it is refreshing to play after such a deluge of mundane platformers recently.

Cooperative play isn’t quite as important as many people had imagined, there will certainly be the occasional level with puzzles benefiting more than one player, but generally single player is more than enough. The multiplayer aspect is certainly focused on the community element and despite a plethora of additional competitive challenges straight-up coop doesn’t feel like a lasting proposition.

The game is not perfect and has some minor niggles, such as issues with the three planes of depth on the side scrolling screen … the AI generally works out where you should be next just fine, but sometimes it gets confused and you end up plunging to your death. This frustration is further enhanced by the unpredictable environment which isn’t helped by the unusual checkpoint algorithms the developers have in place. Sadly when the difficulty ramps up you can end up starting the whole level from scratch, which can be annoying. These are however minor complaints and the pros far outweigh the cons.

As you progress though the levels you increase your ability to personalise your Sack character through stickers or clothing. When you return to previously completed levels you can get new item rewards by using new found stickers in older areas. This collection system comes to fruition however when you start to delve into the level editor. All these items you have been diligently hording can be used in your own level designs and it enhances the need to replay older levels to get more objects for your pleasure.

To the untrained eye the level editor/stage building aspect might seem like a slapped on addition to aid value for money however in the grand scheme of things, it is actually ultimately as rewarding as the single player side of the game! This is further enhanced by the comprehensive objective based tutorial which means that in no time at all you are making your own, cool and inventive levels. I lost 4 or 5 days to this before I even realised how much time I can pumped into it !

The editor is a joy to use and it does away with the complex programming style interfaces with a more simplistic but just as complex real world physics style system. Imagine your first time as a kid with a Lego kit and you begin to get the appeal I am trying to convey.

Even on the beta alone LittleBigPlanet’s community is thriving with some wonderful and wacky designs available. I can’t begin to explain just how talented some members of the public really are.

LittleBigPlanet is a modern day masterpiece and has pushed the platforming genre to great new heights. The core gameplay is wonderfully addictive and this is only further enhanced by the amazing editor which means you will easily lose large portions of your life sharing and exploring designs with the already thriving community. If you own a Playstation 3 then this simply has to be on your "to get list" as I can’t recommend it enough.



slight niggles only detract from the overall experience. Mind blowing.


The physics engine is one of the best I have seen regardless of platform.


Stephen Fry handles the voiceovers and does it perfectly.

Virtually endless with the community involved, single player packs will hopefully be added later.
(not an average)

One not to be missed. Sackman FTW.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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