Reviews// LittleBigPlanet

Posted 15 Oct 2008 17:30 by
Companies:
Games: LittleBigPlanet
So, let's start with the review of this video game. First up, is it actually a video game? Yes. Yes it bloody well is. If you simply want to grab a copy of LBP and play it as an out-and-out platformer, well, sure you'll be wasting about 70% of its potential, but you would also be getting a decent bang for your Euro or Sterling.

As a platformer in single or multi-player modes, it's just a hoot. I don't say that often so I'll say it again, it's a hoot. It's proper fun. The received wisdom for platformers is that the central character ? be it Mario or Sonic, the Golden Axe chap, the Ghouls and/or Ghosts, Spyro or anybody else for that matter ? should be as transparent as possible. A tiny piece of back-story, a smidgeon of motivation and that's your lot. The idea is that the character is a cipher for you. You simply don't want too much actual 'character' to get in the way. The core of the game is to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time with the largest amount of stuff.

When you begin to introduce multi-player elements into video games things get a little more difficult and a little bit more Tails and Luigi. When you then enable four people platform at the same time, well, things fall apart as if attacked by a man with a machete high on palm wine.

LBP deals with all of these issues very, very simply. The standard dynamics are pared down to their basics. For a start, everybody is a Sack-person. Forget back stories about princesses or gold rings or magic lands or evil doers. Everybody is a Sack-person who wants to get from one end of somewhere to another collecting stuff along the way.

Why doesn't this get confusing? Simple (that word again) because each Sack-person can be customised before and during the progress. Brilliant. Your motivation is the logical corollary of all platform games ever. Sure, you get points ? we all love points ? but you also get 'things'. These things range from the straightforward stickers (everybody loves stickers) and costume parts to actual kit to be used in the Create mode.

Yes ? that usual feeling of, ?Well, I've completed that back to front so now I am going to sit here like a spoiled child demanding that the developers immediately serve up a new game or I will be sick from screaming!!!!? - that feeling disappears. It goes not due to any maturity or patience learnt by us the gamer, but by the simple fact that the stuff collected during the gaming part of the game can then be used to create your own play levels.

This isn't in the restrictive form of Second Life or World of Warcraft. Nope, things in Create Mode ? like all the best pastimes ? take basic elements (a wheel, a piece of elastic, a slab of glass) and enable greater creations to blossom.

?Like Spore? You can create things like what you can in Spore?? some illiterate rat skink might ask?

No, this is not like bloody Spore. This is not one of those situations where you are lead to believe that you are creating something approaching originality but you are in fact merely having the reality of some D&D point scoring system covered over by a pretty colour or two. In Spore you can quite happily make your creatures 98m tall, with 16 legs, nine mouths, 33 eyes, 11,000 leafy helmets (but not fucking genitals ? I use the phrase deliberately) and they will still operate at the same level as a 9.8cm tall creature with one eye, two legs and one helmet.

The myth and illusion that Spore somehow offers adult choices and design conclusions are not reflected in LBP.
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Companies:
Games: LittleBigPlanet

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Comments

Mark (Shqype) 15 Oct 2008 19:40
1/4
This was an amazing review. You thoroughly analyzed LittleBigPlanet and have given us an intense insight into all it entails. You related it to us and even included a good deal of humor into it. Bravo, chap!
Tim Smith 16 Oct 2008 08:49
2/4
Mark (Shqype) wrote:
This was an amazing review. You thoroughly analyzed LittleBigPlanet and have given us an intense insight into all it entails. You related it to us and even included a good deal of humor into it. Bravo, chap!


Thanks for that - it was, of course, a collaborative effort. I've got to say, however, that it's really good to get some positive feedback on what we do from time to time.

Now, I must go an crucify PES 2009 - frankly, it's just not as good as Kick Off!

Cheers

Tim
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Ash 25 Oct 2008 09:09
3/4
Great review, chaps. You don't see enough of those multi-perspective appraisals these days. I think they're seen as a bit old-fashioned but in the context of this game - one that's built around communication and sharing, and can be viewed in all manner of lights - I thought it was wholly appropriate.

Good work!
mrAnthony 31 Oct 2008 11:32
4/4
wow, 99.9%, thats awesome, SS4 put that in your xbox and smoke it.

im so looking forward to this. a game that appeals to me and my gf and i can play it too. i'm gonna get me one of those nice white Dualshock 3's, to go with this too :-)
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