Review: LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
I find LittleBigPlanet fascinating. Not so much for the reasons pretty much everybody else fell in love with it for (Make your own levels! Itís so cute! Innovative to the nth degree!), but moreso because itís pretty much the only game that Iíve ever played that is unhateable. Sure, some people will love it more so than others, and some will think that itís not nearly as great as everybody says it is (Iím more in this category than the former). But nobody I can possibly think of would ever say that they actually hate this game. A person might hate their own lack of creativity or patience to create their very own bitchiní environment. But hate the game itself? Never! I find that totally inconceivable.
A big reason for this is because LittleBigPlanet will MAKE you love it. Through its quirky level design, its catchy music, and its ability to allow you to customize the game to your liking, LBP just has too much going for it to actually be hated upon. For anybody whoís ever played it before on the PS3, theyíll tell you that the gameís strongest suit is in its undeniable freedom, but itís that same freedom that makes me unable to fall head over heels for it. You see, for someone like me, I donít WANT to make levels, which is arguably this gameís selling pointóthe ability to create something new on your own. Sure, you donít HAVE to make levels if you donít want to, as the story mode is highly expansive (And youíll want to play through it if you want to create more elaborate levels as new items can be unlocked in it), but thatís the thing. ďSackboy,Ē your highly customizable protagonist, has no personality whatsoever. You can make him tremble, you can make him do the running man, and you can make him explode if you ever get stuck in a tight spot, but as an overall character, Sackboy is pretty much rendered charmless, and thatís a problem for me. I need a compelling character to go hopping and bopping with, as the actual narrative itself, like all platformers, is paper thin in this game. In other words, I wanted Mario and they gave me Aero the Acrobat.
LBP purists will surely say, ďHey, whatís the big deal, jerk, who cares? Itís the levels that matter.Ē But for somebody who doesnít feel like manipulating shapes and plastering stickers all over the place to create their very own Shangri-La, that IS a big deal, as the storyline is way too weak to stand on its own. In that way, if you leave the level design feature out, LBP is actually a little on the boring side, and itís an experience that will make you feel like youíve wasted your time and money if youíre looking for a true blue platformer and nothing more.
But letís be real here, people. If youíre going to pick up LBP for the PSP, then you can only be one of two people. Youíre either A), a fan whoís been building levels and uploading them on the PS3 for well over a year now, or B) somebody whoís never played the game before because they didnít have a PS3 but is highly interested in doing so on the go, and if youíre either of those people, then you definitely canít go wrong here as LBP certainly delivers.
Spending only a couple of hours with the tutorial, I was able to piece together a pretty simple landscape in just a short matter of time. It wasnít the greatest landscape in the world (It was pretty much just pieced together with things that could electrocute youóI called it, ďYouíre Screwed, So Donít Even BotherĒ) but it was a landscape nonetheless, and it didnít make me sweat all that much gluing it together and whatnot. This leads me to believe that if youíre willing to put in the time, then the customization is intuitive enough that youíll be able to start piecing together shapes and environments in no time at all. Seriously, itís really that easy.
But while my level wasnít set to be winning any awards anytime soon, I found a whole plethora of different environments uploaded online by the general community. Many of these levels were terrible, mind you (So, so many races), but some of them were really creative and exciting (Especially one called ďNinja Warrior,Ē based off the Japanese obstacle cours show). So if youíre worried that the game wonít be advanced or even easy enough to make the level of your choice, donít be, as they give you enough tools and accessories to make levels however you feel like, giving you the ability to make them as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
Again, though, as much as every review on the planet will tell you that LBP is for anybody with an imagination, Iíll tell you that thatís not entirely true. Will you like it if you donít feel like building levels? Sure, because as I said earlier, thereís just too much going on here not to at least like it a little bit. Seriously, as far as the whole community and bringing people together thing goes, thereís no other game like it. But if youíre the type of person who feels like they work hard enough already in the real world and donít feel like playing God and making their own levels, then LBP is just simply not for you. In other words, if youíre lazy like me and donít want to see the game as the potentially creative fountain of awesomeness that it truly is, then take away one star from my review. On the other hand, if youíre the kind of gamer who wants to put in the time to craft the PERFECT level and want to upload it for all the world to see, then add one point to my score. As it stands for me though, Iím in that middle categoryóliking it a great deal, but not loving it whole-heartedly.
Players: 1 Player
Developer: SCE Cambridge Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
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