Tag Archives: LittleBigPlanet

Best of 2008 #7: LittleBigPlanet


While I may not have thought LittleBigPlanet to be the revolution that certain circles had been hyping it as, that’s not to say that it wasn’t a great game and a step towards popularising what still has the potential to almost be a genre in its own right.

I have to say that, at least back when I played it, creating my own levels and playing what was out there was the least appealing part. Unsurprisingly, most of the user-created levels were complete tosh, and when it took me a couple of hours to make what I thought was a fairly basic element to an even passable standard, I decided that a controller just isn’t the interface to use when getting creative.

I’ll go back at some point and see what people have made when given the time to work around the limitations of the tools, but I had a good enough time with the story levels to let this game into my top ten. Knowing that Media Molecule’s levels were created with the same pieces that anyone else can use, it bodes well for the future of LBP because I thought it was one of the best traditional platformers that I’ve played in ages.

Yes, the controls are floaty and can feel imprecise. But as a whole those levels were so creative and made such good use of what the game had going for it – namely a great physics engine and a wonderful handmade visual style – that it was impossible not to love them.

Some Thoughts on LittleBigPlanet

Angry Sackboy

So I finished LittleBigPlanet yesterday. Yes, yes, finishing the story mode is only a part of it, but I think we’ve got a while to go before the community levels are even close to the standard of Media Molecule’s later stages, so I’m working on the assumption that I’ve seen the best that the game has to offer for now.

When I dabbled with the beta I complained about the floaty and imprecise controls, and in fact they did end up getting me killed more times than I’d have liked. But despite that, I still came away with a very positive impression of the story mode. The level design is often exemplary, full of secrets and with some incredibly creative use of the same tools that anyone can use. It’s been a while since I played a good old-fashioned platform game and when I was in the zone with this one it was a wonderful game. The fact that everything in the single-player was made with essentially the same tools that ship with the game shows what potential is in there, and I’ll certainly be revisiting the game down the line.

Now admittedly these are early thoughts, based on about five hours spent working on my themed level – more on that when I’ve got something presentable – but I’ve been disappointed by certain limitations of the toolset. There are clearly more functions than can comfortably fit on a controller, and as such it felt clumsy a lot of the time. Just go a few menus deep and see how often the function of the right stick changes as you move from menu to menu – if you’re modifying something and want to rotate the camera for a better look you have to quit out of the PopIt completely, then make sure you’re in hover mode, which is the one situation in which the right stick can control the camera. Continue reading Some Thoughts on LittleBigPlanet


So with less than a week until its release, one of the PS3’s most important games has been recalled and pushed back, all because of one complaint from someone who has guaranteed himself a lifetime of hate mail after he made the post with his PSN ID attached. To be fair it’s not his fault because he just asked for a quick patch, not a full recall, but you only have to browse through that thread for the post-delay posts to see that people inevitably aren’t seeing it that way.

The fact that LBP was recalled after a single post from a Muslim player while Resistance’s complaint from the Church of England garnered only an apology does somewhat play into certain groups’ hands, though. Don’t expect to hear the end of that any time soon.

It does seem like an unnecessary reaction to me. Like the guy asked for, a patch would have sufficed for now, and the song could be properly removed from all future pressings. Everyone’s happy, and the handful who’ll buy it without online access and even notice could, I’m sure, just ask for an exchange for future ‘fixed’ versions. Now there are probably millions of discs that will end up being destroyed – or on eBay at hugely inflated prices – and the marketing effort will be disrupted as people go to check out this new game that they’ve seen the reviews for and it’s not there.

I’m deliberately avoiding the ‘political correctness gone mad’ and ‘I think we all know why this garnered such a reaction nudge-nudge-wink-wink’ rubbish that I’m seeing everywhere because I hate it and it’s a bit Daily Mail, but there’s no reason to ruin it for everyone else because of a song that’s generally available on iTunes, free to listen to on MySpace (‘Tapha Niang’ in the audio player on the right), and apparently won a Grammy.

Religion is a personal choice, as is listening to a pretty beautiful song and playing the game. I’m not going to get political with that whole debate about whether religion deserves to be put on a pedestal – it doesn’t, but I said I’m not debating it ;) – but please, don’t make Everest out of a molehill when the most people want is Ben Nevis.

LittleBigPlanet Beta Impressions


I have a feeling that the work that goes into the best user-created levels in LittleBigPlanet will pale in comparison to the sheer force of will required to get a beta key out of Eurogamer as its servers melt. Having done it twice (the disappointing SOCOM and now this), I’m convinced that I’ll be able to build the Sistine Chapel of LBP levels with a few hours of messing around.

Okay, that’s probably optimistic, but I have spent a good amount of time playing with this beta/demo – the lines between those two things are now so blurred that even the executable doesn’t know which it is – and want to weigh in with some impressions.

First off, for all the user-generated stuff in this game, the beta comes with the first handful of levels from the game’s somewhat orthodox ‘campaign’. The levels have all been put together by developers and, as such, are more professional than the giant penis levels that are likely to turn up soon – I’m shocked and strangely disappointed that I haven’t seen any yet – but it’s all done with the same objects and toolsets that you and I will have. Playing through brings unlock after unlock as pretty much anything you come across will shortly be given to you to use in your own creations. And that’s pretty much the point of this mode: to provide ideas and the raw materials for you to run wild. Continue reading LittleBigPlanet Beta Impressions