Zero Lives Left – LittleBigPlanet

Game: LittleBigPlanet
Released: 2008
Available On:  Playstation 3 (Review)
Genre: Platformer

Writing a video game review every week on this blog made me realize that I didn’t own a Playstation 3. I was perfectly content with owning an Xbox 360 for the longest time until I realized that there’s a whole other world of video gaming I’m just leaving as an untapped resource. It also would then give me a fair perspective on this console war because I’d own all three systems; I can decide logically which kicked the most ass. After buying my Playstation I bought some PSN bucks and Heavy Rain and LittleBigPlanet.

LittleBigPlanet was that game that I always wanted to play. I’d go to friend’s houses and they’d whip out their PS3 and start playing LBP. My friends, who are all assholes, would then proceed to play it in front of me– taunting me with how good it was and, apparently, blatantly ignoring the co-op feature of the game. I knew, as soon as I purchased my lovely PS3, that I needed to go and pick up LittleBigPlanet first. it took priority in my console and it’s only left now and again in place of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. I sat down and blitzed through the game, beating the story mode in a few days. Now this isn’t a big accomplishment considering the grand scope of the game, which is my first point of positivity for this delightful little game.

LittleBigPlanet is a game who surrounds itself in its creativity. The entire game is a creative endeavour that eats, sleeps and breathes creativity all the while somehow finding enough creativity left over to make itself some sort of neat hat. Seriously, I could not say the word creative in any way where it would not translate to a positive description of LittleBigPlanet. There’s the level designer where you build your own level from the ground up and its depth is absolutely extraordinary. I played a bunch of online maps and was blown away by some of the things people came up with. On the flip side some of the maps just blew. Something like that is unavoidable though, especially in a sandbox creator. I mean, look at it like this: if you give 100 people a ball of clay and say make something, at least 10 idiots will roll it out into a long strand and laugh about the snake they made. Another 5 won’t even change it from ball form and they’ll call it art. The last 85 though will make something moderately entertaining to absolutely WONDERFUL.

None of the user designed levels impressed me more than the storyline levels. This is only fitting because the designers of those designed the game but let’s just ignore that for the sake of all this. The first levels start off easy and, GASP, the later levels get incredibly difficult! This all climaxes with an extremely difficult Wheel of Death that will cause more than a few gamers to pull their hair out in frustration. The game leads to the perfect amount of difficulty in the last few levels that ensure you feel accomplished upon completing them. They’re masterfully designed and each world has their own distinct and fun feeling ranging from African desert, to Mexican Day of the Dead themed wedding, to Japanese ninja land, to frozen over Militaristic Russian tundra. This ensures that the game stays fresh and stays fun, what with only there being three levels and a few challenge maps in each world.

I also just have to say that Sackboy is so cute that it’s almost criminal. That’s right, I’m dropping all the traits that are associated with being manly and just admitting that he is cute. He’s adorable. I want to pick him up and hug him until he bursts at the seams and all his stuffing pours out. That is how cute he is. There is a multitude of ways to dress up and decorate your Sackboy and it is surprisingly fun to do so. I played co-op with a friend and we spent the first fifteen minutes before we actually played the level just dressing up our guys. Once we made it to the Russian tundra we both saw fit to dress up our guys again in a more fitting militaristic fashion.

The music in this game is to die for, it’s some of the most addictive music and it really drives the action of the level forward. It pushes you to progress further and makes you feel awesome and upbeat as it plays. It’s good music, there really is no better way to put it. This game to me is as much of a success as Rayman Origins in all regards, apart from one thing that I’ll get to right away. The game looks great, it’s creative and the levels have that platformer flow to them that allows you to power through. And, like Rayman Origins, the music is always memorable. Of course to push it even further, like Rayman Origins, LittleBigPlanet is one of the best platformers to exist out there.

I occasionally found myself getting locked up with the controls, specifically the perspective part of it all. You can shift your Sackboy from the foreground, to the mid ground, to the background and at certain times he’d shift himself around. I don’t like to complain about controls if they’re not buggy or broken, which this isn’t, but this feature of it would hinder me more than help me. It is probably the thing that made me curse the most, as most of my deaths were legitimate deaths, but 1 out of 5 was due to an awkward moment of flunking the perspective switch. To go with that further, the physics in the game would occasionally throw me because Sackboy seemed much more floaty than he should. Another factor is that I’m not exactly use to a floating platformer– one where your character floats a few feet where you’re aiming for as you try to land. In time I’ll get more use to it, but this is a review, so deal with it.

I can’t recommend this game enough. It is a legit contender for best platformer, and I’d put it just behind Rayman Origins in terms of level design and control; but in terms of creativity I’d have to give LittleBigPlanet the edge. Really you just can’t lose with this game. If you have a Playstation 3 and don’t have LBP, stop being an idiot and get LBP. If LBP is one of the games possibly pushing you into buying a Playstation, don’t be an idiot and go get a Playstation. I’m going to try and attempt to wrap my head around the level creator to dive further into the game, there’s just so much possibility with this game that it should be illegal. I have no regrets about picking this up and no one else should either.

LittleBigPlanet: 10/10

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