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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

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