Moving on to creating our own content, the test subject managed to endure a good half hour of frankly tedious creating. This may have been helped, however, by yielding to pester power and smothering our carefully constructed walking (or perhaps, stumbling) colossus with stickers of flowers kisses and anything that was remotely pink.
There's no doubt that a slightly older or more game-seasoned child could do better at the "play" aspect, but to "create" something truly worthwhile requires a good deal of patience and the ability to envisage how you're going use the available component well before you break out the first wobble bolt - neither are qualities most young children are renowned for.
A word of warning. Sticking the "eye on a spring" decoration on your Sackperson does not sit well with a young girl. The phrase "get rid of that silly eye" was repeated ad nauseum.
[b]The Hip Gamer
Gleeful. That's the best way to describe my time with LittleBigPlanet
so far. Right from the minute Stephen Fry opens his mouth to tell you how to play your toes are tingling. This title is something like the gaming equivalent of comfort food, in the best possible way. It's like grabbing a 500ml tub of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food, engorging yourself on it in one sitting then washing it down with un-diluted Ribena. Except it's so damn cute it'll make your teeth fall out faster.
All that said, it's not the much-hyped and talked about Create mode that has made me squirm with pleasure, it's the platforming stuff. Sure, the Editor is epic in scope. I've marvelled at some of the stuff that's cropped up online (the Little Big Computer
springs to mind) and been... well, a bit less impressed by some of the stuff that's shown up in the office. But it's not that that has me coming back for more, it's the old-school platforming that gets my vote.
I say old school ? that phrase is relevant in one important aspect. It's a side-scroller. Platforming was invented for sidescrolling and it's great to see that rolled out in such a well-polished, next-gen retail game. If Media Molecule pulled out a can of next-gen gloss and then just churned out Super Mario Bros. 3
or Sonic the Hedgehog
on the PS3 (and somehow avoided getting sued to high heaven) however, I wouldn't be all that impressed.
It's the wonderful inventiveness of the levels in all their physics-based glory that does it. Piling down through a near-vertical level, tumbling through stacked up, cushion-y lozenges to get to the bottom as soon as possible ? awesome! Firing burning things into the arses of floating bouncers ? brilliant! Using jet-packs to manoeuvre mines onto prohibitive rock faces - marvellous! Tumbling into a load of noxious gas from the very top of the level... OK, not so great.
That's my one complaint about LittleBigPlanet
. About two thirds of the way into the platforming section the difficulty curve steepens to the point where things can get a little frustrating. That's not enough, however, to detract from the overall warm fuzziness to be had from playing this game.
To those who will feel more inclined to build crazy contraptions and levels ? bring them on! I look forward to you extending my playtime!