Yeah, I know the second one’s out. Leave me alone. I’m reviewing the first one because I adore the nature of the game itself, and I know how to appreciate the roots of quality games. So there.
Little Big Planet’s name is outrageously accurate. If you play the campaign and take it at face value, yeah, it’s a fun little game with a fair amount of customization and quirky little challenges. You play it, you get through it, you think, “Wow, that was kinda cheesy. They could have done a bit more with this, I think.” That’s when you notice the create-a-level feature, and the realization dawns upon you that you can create levels just as if not more complicated than those of the designers. Big doesn’t even begin to describe the stuff you’ll wind up with after spending a few hours creating a level with all the random materials, trinkets, and gadgets.
HOWEVER (that’s a big however), lots of gamers prefer instant satisfaction with their games. Making a level could be hard, inconvenient, time consuming, even boring. Well, yeah. Wonder how games get made? It’s kind of like that, only a lot more complicated. For all of you out there who say, “Man, all the games coming out these days suck. I could design something way better,” put up or shut up. I don’t mean to lash out at you, dear reader of mine, but seriously. Just because the possibilities are nearly limitless doesn’t mean your eyes need to turn into black holes and you can start to see the curvature of the universe. Start small and work your way up. It’s all part of the design process.
Gameplay mechanics, before I scare you away with my harsh chastisement, providing I haven’t already. You play a tiny little Sackboy. Minds out of the gutter, please. He’s a burlap sack with arms, legs, and a cute little head. He can run, jump, make faces, grab onto stuff, and in all probability die horribly. The game does you the player the grand favor of explaining every last bit of the game through little in-game TV screen tutorials. You can even re-watch them whenever you want. Basically, what this means is that I don’t have to tell you what buttons do what, or how to make a rotating piston in the level creator. Lazy blogger attempt at writing less? No way, mang. Earnest and helpful relaying of information from game to potential player? But of course!
Personally, I think that the challenge level for the campaign is just right. They have this achievement system where if you beat a level all the way through without dying once, you get a special item for your Sackboy to wear. Or a fancy sticker. Doesn’t make a difference, since the piece you get can serve both aesthetic and milestone purposes. Hey alright. The levels are all very quirky and creative, each cluster of levels decorated with similar themes and puzzles. It gets progressively harder as you go on, making obtaining those milestones increasingly complicated. The good news is, the puzzles and traps are all about memorization and timing. You’ll get it down in no time. Hopefully. One of the levels near the end of the Tundra cluster involves this colossal spinning puzzle ring with an electrified obstacle course. Took me twenty tries to get that bastard aced, but I did it. Satisfaction was all I knew.
A simple premise with myriad application. Little Big Planet. If ever a creative person there was, I guarantee they would enjoy every last minute they put into this game. Be you a creative person? Be you a person looking for a cutesy little game with loads of customization? You know the drill. Buy it, play it, love it, work it. Bing bang boom!