LittleBigPlanet Review for PS3

On: PS3PSP

There's a feeling that an awful lot is riding on LittleBigPlanet. Some have called it the saviour of the PS3. Others have labelled it the most creative game of all time. It's even being held aloft as the poster boy for a new wave of user created gaming. For some it's just the game that is going to breathe life into the near-dead 2D platforming genre. So yeah, it's fair to say that LittleBigPlanet had the potential to destroy the dreams of an extremely vocal online community and hurt the company that invested a lot to bring the game to market. Thankfully developer Media Molecule has delivered a game that succeeds on most counts, fails in only a few and offers enough to be enjoyed by just about anyone.

For those not in the loop, LittleBigPlanet is a real-world physics-based 2D platformer that sees you take control of Sackboy (or at least a sackboy), a cloth-based anthropomorphic character that can leap about in glee (or sadness if you press down on the d-pad to alter his facial expression). One tap of the jump button will cause him to perform a skip-like jump that more or less skims the surface. Hold the button down and he'll jump higher. Your sackboy (we say 'your' as you're able to customise his attire and accessories to your desire) can also hold on to things by holding R1. This lets him move objects or swing on things, which come into play in the many levels Media Molecule has included.

Although focussed very heavily on user created content, LittleBigPlanet includes a story mode that spans the globe. Each themed area (The Savannah, The Temples, The Islands, The Canyons, The Wedding, The Wilderness and more) consists of a handful of levels which when completed open up the next in the story. Collect keys to open secret challenge levels and return to each to level in order to set a new high score (orbs collected earn you points) or to collect the many hidden items.

As in many platformers there are items scattered about the levels, but here they're not used to give your character new abilities or temporary enhancements, but simply added to your box of goodies. A menu, called popit, holds the secret to LittleBigPlanet's uniqueness. Bring this up and a new world of console gaming is unleashed. During the story mode you're simply able to stamp the world with stickers (often to release hidden items) and customise your sackboy, but everything you collect can be used in the level creation tool - something we'll get to a little later.

The game is jammed full with creativity

The game is jammed full with creativity

Compared to the very best 2D platformers (we're talking about Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island, and even the recently released Braid if you want a modern comparison) your sackboy's jumping doesn't feel quite as precise as you might want it to be. We found ourselves forever over doing jumps, slipping off ledges and generally getting into trouble at the hands of the controls. Added to this is the three-tier system the levels use, allowing sackboy to move in and out of the screen. For the most part this works almost seamlessly, with the game figuring out where you want to be, but at other times it can cause real problems, ending in annoying and occasionally infuriating death.

This is made all the worse by what can only be described as a terrible checkpoint system. Checkpoints are well positioned throughout the story mode levels, but the lives system (usually only three lives per checkpoint) can cause headaches. For the most part LittleBigPlanet isn't a hard game, which makes tricky sections something of a shock and a pain. We actually really liked the parts of the game that asked us to perform incredibly hard feats of platforming, but the game seemingly wanted us to hate it. Fail enough times and you'll run out of lives, forcing you to replay the whole level. Replaying levels isn't hard, with most being pretty easy to run through once you've seen them, but when you're having to do that over and over again because of one obscenely tricky jumping section (which isn't helped by the floaty jumping) it tests your patience to near breaking point.

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RecoN's Avatar

RecoN

^ Is this guy for real?
Im not mad that a ps3 title didn't get full marks or it had faults, but i think for an exclusive on the PS3, we can say it has a top end game. A game that's finally lived up to its hype, which is a hard thing to do. Imo Halo 2/3 should of got a 9 because its way too repetitive.

I just cant understand why this game didn't get a 10 really.
Its good it got a 9, just surprised because its different.
Posted 08:08 on 16 October 2008
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Fanboy Alert

You want to know why scores are meaningless? Because snot-nosed little BABIES cry over 9 OUT OF 10! A NINE OUT OF TEN. Jesus Christ, people, GROW UP. GROW UP. Put down your PS3/XBOX/Wii controller, look at yourself in the mirror, and ask, "Self, why am I CRYING (yes, you, crybaby), CRYING over a NINE OUT OF TEN?"
Posted 23:51 on 15 October 2008
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badrock

"Bottom line is, by the time December rolls around you'll probably be able to play a different level every day for the rest of your life and never play the same one twice."

Who wants that? Most ps3 gamers are a little past casual gaming. They have enough on their plate, and most do not prefer to play one game, when there is like a stack of games coming out monthly with great single player and most have even better online play. COD? Socom? Team Fortress? list is endless.

:::yawn:: this game reminds me of the releae of the Wii, short run fun because its different but not much incentive to keep playing unless your just broke but then why do you own the most expensive gaming system? the logic eludes me
Posted 16:49 on 15 October 2008
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mantu

gameplay 8!!??? wtf!!??
Posted 16:45 on 15 October 2008
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Liquid4012

The genius of this game is not (directly) its create mode, not its cutesy characters or even its addictive story mode. What really makes this game a trendsetter is its ability to have fresh content and innovative levels generated on a constant basis. Media Molecule took the Web 2.0 and user-generated game level concepts and laid the foundations for a new type of game, one that's simple enough for the casual user to learn and even have fun with. This is going to change a lot of things in the gaming world. Expect plenty of copycats in the future (ala GTA III. And the iPhone).

Bottom line is, by the time December rolls around you'll probably be able to play a different level every day for the rest of your life and never play the same one twice. Media Molecule just has to sit back, listen to the players and provide updates based on their feedback. No need spending time programming new levels, the users are doing that already. And from what I saw in the Beta, most users are pretty damn good at creating these levels.

I agree with the reviewer on a few points after playing the Beta. The jumping thing can be frustrating, but after playing it for a few days I got used to it. I actually thought it added a bit to the challenge of the game, and I'm sure that's why it was programmed that way. The issue with the z-axis/3D aspect control was really my only gripe. It was frustrating at times but not horrible. Again, something that most people will get used to after playing it for a while. In fact, the only issue I had with this review was the comment about this title potentially being the "saviour" of the PS3. I didn't know it needed saving... LOL!

My opinion - this game is going to change the way video games are made. If you're a PS3 owner - buy it. There's no such thing as a game for "everyone" but this title comes damn close.
Posted 16:30 on 15 October 2008
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BADROCK

hmm impressed game got a 9. Why is everyone pist at the 8? of the course the controls are going to be wonky next to the comparions (mario) they made because supposedly litte gay planet uses real phyics.

anyway, I think this game is going to be fun for a short time, Im not paying to make my own stages, I have a life, Hense i pay $60 for a game and let others make the lvl's. Whats next, im going to pay to make my own entertainment. lol But just like those dudes who have all the free time in the world to hack a oven if they could, I know they'll provide some good user generated stages. but whats the purpose of playing them? There's way to many games in this world to be stuck playing with a gay looking sack boy..lol they are coo looking though.

Anyway, great review. don't let the ps3 fan boys get to crazy, your knocking on a game they've been waiting for just as long as the return of jesus..what if he got a 8 for controls...you'd have some pist Christian's

Ps3 still got msg4 woo woo
xbox got gears woo woo

I'll end with a Amen and good review..lol
Posted 15:29 on 15 October 2008
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dav2612

Have Sony started plugging this yet? I've not seen any adverts on TV for it yet.
Posted 15:02 on 15 October 2008
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pblive

Based on the Beta i thought this review was pretty accurate. Good job fellas.

Sort of hard to review the whole experience without lots of user generated content, which goes to make up half of the gaming experience in a title like this.

I just hope a lot of people who would normally pass this buy somehow get to see/play the game in action. It deserves to be a hit.
Posted 14:42 on 15 October 2008
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mydeaddog

@ RecoN

With respect, the problem with your audits comparison is that the colour of your brushes has little or no impact on how you do your job, right? Whereas the jumping in LBP is an absolutely integral part of the whole game. Consider this: if the original Gran Turismo had turned out to have rubbish steering, then all the innovative options and realism would have been for nowt.

This is a very, very good game - but it does have a couple of flaws. You may find that these piss you off a bit when you actually start playing the game; they certainly irritated me.

The jumping mechanics in Super Mario World were, in my humble opinion, as close to perfect as you'll ever get in a platformer; the jumping mechanics in LBP are just too wooly and imprecise. They work, but they don't give you that split-second response or precision accuracy that you really need for a platform game. I promise you this: there will be occasions in this game where you screw up and die, and it'll be the game's fault rather than your own.

Let's be clear about this: the few minor flaws that LBP have do not spoil the party. They are there, however - and in our opinion, we reckon the game is a 9. You may end up thinking it's a 10 - perhaps you will, perhaps you won't - but you should play it first and then decide if we should have given it a 10.
Posted 10:38 on 15 October 2008
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Ginger_Jesus

Nice review overall everybody has different tastes, so in all fairness its only a review and its only giving you a little more insight into the game. You could makes make your own review when you have a actual game, and then give it a 10 if that would make you all shut-up and moaning about somebodies review which you didn't like.

Well done VG for a good review, like I said everybody has different tastes.
Posted 10:23 on 15 October 2008
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RecoN

Sorry but this game should get a 10 - Essential. Because in all fairness this is maybe 1 of the top 3 exclusives on the PS3. GOW & Halo are essential for 360 imo. As for the jumping, real world physics dont allow us to jump and land at the exact spot we expect to! Mario wasnt perfect at jumping so why do you expect LBP to be? As for the checkpoints...well isnt that why its a puzzle / challinging game? If you kept dying and going back to the last checkpoint it would be to easy.

VG i think your being a little harsh picking up and niggly bits when you should be looking at the whole concept idea rather than how it jumps. (we have audits at work and when were at a high standard they complain about small things, e.g the floor brush should be a seperate colour to the wall brush.

Please review the game again and look at how much hard work and ideas went into that game. I seen reviews from betas and its got 5 stars from nearly every player.
Posted 08:01 on 15 October 2008
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dudester

Ps eye a pic of ratchet and bobs your aunties uncle as they say ;)
Posted 20:40 on 14 October 2008
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jtorry

Wido: I'm sure someone with some artistic flair could make a Ratchet look-alike, but so far Sony has only announced that pre-sets for Snake, Nariko, Sephiroth and Kratos.
Posted 20:34 on 14 October 2008
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bencrosaby

No not at all Wido, I was talking about those idiots slating the review because it wasn't a 10.
Posted 20:20 on 14 October 2008
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Hope that wasn't against me.... I doubt it though.

If you don't like the review then, you see that red x in the corner of your screen click on that if you don't appreicate peoples own opinions.

Thanks for coperating :D
Posted 19:52 on 14 October 2008

Game Stats

LittleBigPlanet
9
Out of 10
LittleBigPlanet
  • Creative freedom
  • Endless potential
  • Superb art design
  • Jumping doesn't feel spot on
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platforms: PS3 , PSP
Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony
Genre: Platformer
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,446
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