There's no point in dealing with this game, with this LittleBigPlanet
) without first dealing with the context in which it appears. First, let me introduce Hype:
Rise of the Robots
, GTA IV
: my gaming form ? like yours - has had its ears, hands, mouths and eyes drenched in the rancid filth of pre-release game hype (and boy, were we the media culpable in all of those).
Back in the early days, said hype was restricted to magazines and the few BBSs that bothered to deal with such childish fripperies as video games. GTA IV
, however, have taken the spreading of geld-growing brown propaganda to the mainstream.
The hype for Sackboy (and Girl) has been huge. And here is where I would like to make the first of my points about the 'game'. The hype has not been horribly intrusive or flash. There's been something quietly joyous and confident about LBP
since first news began seeping out about it (or was seeped out).
Although Sacklad has been popping up in lifestyle titles, he's not been whored around in a whirlwind of obviously 'guerilla' campaigns or smothered in pseudo scientific language aimed squarely at the liberal chattering classes in the broadsheets. Don't get me wrong, there is time. However, as of this point, the feeling underlying the game is one of, as I say, confidence in a piece of work that Media Molecule obviously hugely enjoyed making and shows great pride in.
So, although 'Hype' is firmly on the scene, it's not needy hype; it's not the kind of hype that follows you around like the ugly, sweaty friend of a good looking sort you do you want to take home and find common interest with. It is true. This game is utterly and beautifully wonderful. Yes, even a care-worn hack like me can't help but be carried away by the simple, game-focused, elegant fun of the thing.
Next for context, let me introduce you to 'PlayStation 3 and its need for users'. Sony Computer Entertainment's chief, Kaz Hirai has announced that, unlike the Xbox 360 and already cheap as chips Wii, his company has no intention of hardware price cuts before the 'The Holidays'.
He also announced earlier this year that Home would be delayed
? it will come out when it comes out. Combine these two with the forthcoming Xbox 360 exclusive GTA IV
DLC and the 'Credit Crunch' and you have more pressure on LBP
to succeed than that put on a Japanese child by its parents around the koko nyugaku shiken
In short, there is one hell of a lot riding on this game.
So, let's put those together as we ride into the review with the fact that in September, Sony also announced that the much anticipated ? but never actually promised ? online co-operative Create mode would not be available at launch.
An early announcement, rolled out in good time with the minimum of obfuscation ? once again, there's more than a hint of quiet confidence about LBP