Sackboy is back. But the new game isn’t just a platform game. It’s a platform for you to make all kinds of games. In other words, this game is GINORMOUS.
Sony for PS3
Replay Value: 10.0
Overall Score: 9.0
Pros: Many challenging levels; make your own RPG games; online multiplayer
Cons: Making a level can take a while; community Web site is too complex; too much freedom
The first edition of LittleBigPlanet was one of the great gaming experiences. If you bought the game, you had a terrific time getting to know the engaging little characters.
In addition to playing through levels in story mode, you were able to play game designer. You met the very cool Sackboy and made your own platform-style game. He ran. He jumped. He rocked your 2D gaming world.
SACKBOY IS BACK
In LittleBigPlanet 2, here’s what happens: To get you in the mood for game making, go for the single-player missions first. There are dozens of challenging levels with all kinds of powerups, weapons and stickers to collect.
In Sackboy’s universe, the things humans find to be normal appliances can be big monsters to the toys. When the game begins, the skies over Craftworld are blackened by something mysterious. Sackboy and the town’s innocent residents are sucked up into a big, noisy vacuum cleaner called the Negativtron.
It’s not just a cleaning device. It’s a crazy robot that has interdimensional powers!
But all is not lost. Sackboy joins The Alliance, a motley group led by Larry DaVinci, a wise old man with a beard made of shredded documents. He also wears weird 3-D glasses, and he comes to Sackboy’s aid throughout the game. The characterization is smart and surprising. For instance, you eventually meet a wild-eyed character called Dr. Higganbotham. That’s obviously a nod to the real-life scientist who made the first video game way back in 1958.
LUSH, FUNNY AND CREATIVE
The graphics are occasionally more impressive than those in “Toy Story 3” (the movie), and that’s saying a lot. They’re downright lush, so much so that you want to live in Craftworld and its surrounding areas.
LittleBigPlanet 2 can be royally funny. It’s not just the adorable look of the characters that makes you smile. You use desserts as weapons. And there’s a huge robotic turkey gobbling along. You can even command wacky fireflies.
The quirky, beautiful revelations of the story mode make you really want to create your own game. When I started to construct a level, I marveled at all the choices. Particularly, I liked creating beings called Sackbots. In addition to programming how they move and where they move, there are other cool options: You can have them guard a treasure. You can give them personalities and make them dance. You can make them your loyal followers.
THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS
With over 1,600 new things to play with, there’s just so much to do here. The possibilities truly seem endless. It’s all up to you and your imagination.
You can fly on a paper airplane. You can play the old-school way and make a Space Invaders game. You can string your levels together to make a longer game.
You can make racing games and role-playing games. You can compose your own music on a variety of instruments. I even made my own basketball game with a super-high basket. Generally, this is great. That’s why I gave it the highest replay value I could.
Once you make your levels or even a full game, you can upload them to a community Web site for others to play. I found the site a little too cluttered with stuff, though. It’s great to play new levels made by other people, but the site should look a lot simpler and cleaner.
A LITTLE OVERWHELMING?
I wonder if there’s a little too much in this ambitious game, though. Do you really want to take the time to make your own cut scenes for the game and record sound effects to add as well? I guess you do if you’re an aspiring game designer or movie maker. (While the tutorials are good, they don’t explain things in the most kid-friendly way.)
And even game designers have a whole team to help them out. So LittleBigPlanet 2 can be a little overwhelming due to the vast number of choices available.
There’s an easy solution though. You can savor LittleBigPlanet 2 and enjoy the game’s brilliance the whole year round by playing a little bit at a time. Just don’t try to do everything at once. You’ll give up.
Finally, if you have the money saved, think about getting the Collector’s Edition. Packed with cool stuff, it even includes a Sackboy figure and intricately detailed Sackboy bookends.