Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
Oh Sackboy, did you really think once would be enough? With the almost immediate rabid following you gained from fans far and wide when LittleBigPlanet launched back in October of 2008, are you really surprised? Are any of us surprised? Probably not. In the time since the build-your-own platformer’s initial release, there have been gigabytes upon gigabytes of stickers, costumes, set pieces and community created content dispensed amongst the LBP virtual stratosphear. It even managed to spawn out a portable version, much to the delight of creative types who are always on the go. The support for LBP has been so vast that many wondered what Media Molecule could possibly accomplish with a potential sequel. However, once the MM team made the official reveal last May, it was apparent that LBP1 was just the beginning...
How so? Well, they took the ‘Big’ part of LittleBigPlanet and made it bigger. Instead of limiting itself to the platforming genre, the tools have expanded to embrace others such as racing, RPGs, puzzlers, etc... Just that single concept, expansion beyond a single genre, is a boon to the franchise. The efforts made with the first title were impressive. They provided a platform that users were able to produce some truly fabulous work with. However, the tool set for this outing surpasses it in every way and the community has already put out some outstanding content. From film mock-ups (yes, full cut-scenes can now be created) of Back to the Future to replicating other gaming experiences like Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and even a Peggle clone, LBP2 players are already finding that the opportunities for expression are virtually limitless.
If creation isn’t your bag, there is still a lot to love about LittleBigPlanet 2. Beyond the endless amount of community created content at your disposal (including the backward compatible creations from the first game), the core story that ships with the disk is chalk full of levels that spin a whole new tale. Sackboy has literally been sucked off LittleBigPlanet by a giant vacuum. He is quickly saved by Larry Da Vinci, the leader of The Alliance, and is enlisted into their ranks in an effort to save another planet (Craftworld) from total destruction by the not-so-nice Negativitron.
The gameplay remains all LittleBigPlanet. Even with the new tools and genres at Media Molecule’s disposal, the feel of the gameplay remains the same. Platforming is still the primary element, although there are others that are scattered throughout. Racing in particular is quite fun, especially when you have other human controlled Sack creatures joining you. And as with LBP1, rewards for completing levels are still given in the form of additional goodies to apply to your own creations. Stickers, clothing, faces, items, and much more will push you to go back in and make sure you have 100% on each stage, just as it did the first time you took control of Sackboy.
Alternatively, should the solo route not tickle your fancy, LittleBigPlanet 2 takes the concept of multiplayer and expands that as well. Playing with others is integrated at every turn, no matter if it is with your buddies or complete strangers. As you journey into story levels, provided it supports co-op and others are playing that particular level, you’ll be prompted to join in or run it on your own. It is a fully persistent experience that you can choose to jump into at your leisure.
Visually, LBP2 outpaces its predecessor quite well. Your eyes will be thrilled with the wide variety of environments and the level of detail found within fits each aesthetic perfectly. The humor that begins with controlling a boy made out of burlap is replicated over and over with each level. I was beyond excited to see Stephen Fry return as the voice of the Narrator. He has pretty much become synonymous with the franchise as far as I’m concerned. That’s about as far as the voice work goes though since the vast majority of the communication is done via text boxes. Not that I minded, as for me it just maintains the charm of the LBP universe.
As an added bonus, LBP2 ships with Sackboy’s Prehistoric Moves. Essentially, it is a cooperative, Move enabled, LittleBigPlanet demo. I know, it isn’t classified as a demo. However, it is considerably smaller than the core title and there’s little reward for playing it. No stickers, no parts and pieces, nothing unlockable of any kind. While it will surely please fans, there’s little here beyond a quick tech demo showing how Move can be applied to LittleBigPlanet. A nice extra, but not necessarily a bulletpoint.
Looking back, this review is actually a bit on the misleading side. When taken in total, I really just glanced over everything LittleBigPlanet 2 has on tap for PS3 gamers. Though, going any deeper is just going to regurgitate the points I’ve already laid out. It looks good, sounds good, plays good and has enough content to keep you busy until the next console generation. In all honesty, provided you don’t need the Call of Dutys and Killzones of the world, you could pick up a PS3 and LittleBigPlanet 2 and not have to buy another game. Yes, it’s that good.
+ Multiple genre support really opens up the creative potential
+ Visuals are joy for your eyes
+ Persistent online connectivity
+ Stephen Fry!!
- Prehistoric Moves was more tech demo than anything else
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Release Date : 2011/01/18
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : Media Molecule
Category : Platformer
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
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