waiw's LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3) review

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  • waiw has written a total of 12 reviews. The last one was for The Dark Spire

Excellent ideas, average execution.

When you think of 2D platformers, chances are you won't think of an endearing, family friendly PS3 game starring puppets without strings and Stephen Fry. After playing Littlebigplanet you certainly will -- like it or not, Littlebigplanet has forever changed the face of 2D platforming. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is debatable -- Littlebigplanet outclasses most (if not all) 2D platformers in terms of presentation and innovation. Once the initial sense of ingenuity wears thin, however, you'll realize Littlebigplanet lacks traits we take for granted in other 2D platformers.

First and foremost, Littlebigplanet is a presentational guru. An excellent soundtrack fits the cutesy, friendly feel of the game and you'll be humming the tunes in your head for weeks to come. LittleBigPlanet has fantastic art direction; it's hard not to love the adorable sackboys, which you can customize extensively. LittleBigPlanet also includes multiplayer, a rarity in the genre.

As innovative as LittleBigPlanet is, the core concept is the same as any other 2D platformer; run, jump and, in the case of the new Metal Gear expansion, shoot past side-scrolling levels filled with obstacles and enemies. Unlike traditional 2D platformers, however, LittleBigPlanet has 3 planes that you can access. You can navigate them easily for the most part; in fact, the game tries to help you navigate around the 3 planes. Key word: tries. Occasionally cheap deaths will occur thanks to the game not doing its job correctly.

Another gripe I have with Littlebigplanet is the floaty physics and, as an extension of that, abysmal controls. Yes, abysmal. In 2D platformers precise controls are a -necessity-, not a suggestion. The terribly awkward, floaty physics in this game don't give you the precision you need. You will die a LOT because of this issue; it may not sound bad at first, but dying can often mean having to replay a level or not getting a trophy you've been working hard for. The new Paintenator/Metal Gear Solid pack controls are no good either -- you have to use the right analog stick to aim your gun. It isn't always as accurate as you would like it to be and it's painful to try and jump while shooting, which is often required.

Chances are, though, if you're buying LittleBigPlanet it's because of the level editor. Have no fear, the level editor is extensive -- unfortunately you have to go through hours of boring tutorials if you want to be able to do and understand everything. Creating a level is also extremely time-consuming, although it's understandable considering the Dualshock3 isn't exactly an optimal controller for level creation (port it to PC, Sony!). Even if you don't want to make a level yourself, there are tons of good online levels to play through, which largely increases the longevity of the game.

But despite my quibbles of the the cheap deaths and terribly awkward controls, what really counts the most is that LittleBigPlanet is fun to play (by yourself -- multiplayer isn't nearly as fun thanks to the botched camera). The level creator is extensive and allows for some pretty good online maps, and the game is bursting with humorous personality (Stephen Fry is a fantastic narrator). Make no mistake; if you're a gamer that rarely leaves their comfort genre of 'action' LittleBigPlanet may feel boring to you. For everyone else this is a solid 2D platforming experience.

If you're a fan of the genre and have tolerance for frustration, you would do well to purchase LittleBigPlanet. If you've ever played a 2D platformer before, chances are you will recognize and dislike the imprecise controls, but LittleBigPlanet makes up for them in various ways. There are certainly superior 2D platformers out there, but none can come close to matching LittleBigPlanet's unparalleled presentation. Don't let the inane exterior fool you -- LittleBigPlanet is a good game, if not all it's cracked up to be.

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Other reviews for LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3)

    Little Big Awesome! 0

    Where to begin? First of all I was not part of the LBP Beta so I really had only videos shape my idea of the game until I at last bought it the Saturday before its official Tuesday release. I have played through basically all of the single player campaign (just missing to get all the goodies) and have mucked around in the online portion now that the servers are on. Let me tell you that this game is phenomenal. I also tried the creator mode and got some stuff (nothing special yet) done. I think I...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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