Review by leeko_link
Reviewed: 01/20/09 | Updated: 08/03/12
LBP, Both a Game and a Level Editor in One
I had to say, LittleBigPlanet (LBP) is one interesting title here. The first time I played this game, I was blown away by what I see, what I had experience, and what I could do. For the first time in Sony videogame history, they officially had a proper mascot character, Sackboy and maybe Sackgirl as well, how both will hype Sony's future is still yet to come. If there's one word I had to described LBP, it had to be this, "YouTube." Why? Play the game and you'll find something similar something you thought you couldn't do in a platform game. If you're not sure what that something is, you are about to find out...
I had to give Media Molecule some credits here, the graphics in this game while simple at first look amazing once you seen it in action or like they say once you actually play the game. From the cookie cutter still background to the on-stage style presentation everything seem to look and decorate with more thoughts. Though not that original in terms of an actual platforming 2D games like Sonic and Mario. All objects, backdrops, and even characters in this game seems to blend together very well, in the main game you basically play it like a traditionally left to right platformer, some may be going from layer to another layer but in the creation levels, how the screen and the presentation look would varies depending on the player who create them like on one you had a Contra like jungle level then on the next one you could play in a whole slew of weird and different one such as inside a machine, under a kitchen table or even on top of a giant Jupiter planet or something, it all varies differently and well presentable. Also just for the attraction of it, you literally portrait your Sackboy or Sackgirl any way you want. There's also some downloadable Sack costumes of other popular (Solid Snake of Metal Gear, Sephiroth of FFVII) or would-be popular (Nariko of Heavenly Sword, Kratos of God of War) characters from Sony's other games or its exclusive third parties publishers available in the PS store but they don't really add anything to the game besides just for the attraction fun of it. It's a good extra but still un-original since other games (like the Lego games and We Love Golf!) with avatar like character had those similar content idea as well.
The music here are not bad, though the developers could have used some more memorable soundtracks but what was heard here in this game are okay. The tunes really felt like tunes heard on a puppet show or a short presentation of a stage play and of course you could edit you own in the game's creation mode to your liking but once you actually start playing the game, you'll forget all about the music here. Also unlike the music, the sounds heard in this game are kind of generic, in the main game they sound okay but during a creation level, they would sound so serious or infinite, can you imagine if playing in a factory level and heard a ton of bell and ring sounds that are louder than a UPS factory. Actually there isn't one like that but it'll be cool to had that kind of sound made for this kind of game. Also it's sad that you can't ripped your own music for the game, it's not going to break the game in any way, but that does solve Sony from ever facing a lawsuit from album artist, after all Michael Jackson won't be happy if you made a cemetery level with zombie Sacks with the BMG as the Thriller soundtrack, that would really mean doom to LBP but it's cool if it's legit though.
While LBP looks and sounds cool enough, what could the game be without some big special features. As a main game, you play this game single or multi-player, both aren't that complicated but are fine additions and you could also play with friends or a someone locally or online. The multi-player modes are sometime seem out of place like when your other players lost track of you or you lost track of them and the screen will give out a warning or else the player who's off-screen would die but besides that minor problem the whole fun of playing the game is still there. You just had to stick together and work together to had any fun at all. Besides the modes of play, the whole gameplay side of things seem to progress a bit slow and sometime control Sackboy isn't always how you wanted him but once you learn to control his nature or got used to the gameplay, it'll be more fun to handle.
Aside from the main game, this game also offer player the option to create level. Yes for the first time in a platform game, you could play the game as it is or become creative and create your own levels and share them online through PSN (much like Super Smash Bros. Brawl with its level editor except your not fighting in a level you are playing in it instead), you could even play other people's level creation online as well. All the tools for level editing are in the creation mode so you could always create something if you ever find yourself too bored with the main game and seriously the main game is short and un-everlasting. Also besides creating, finding a well-made creative level online is such a hassle and sometime they aren't that many to choose from and worst of all, even if there are some that you enjoy playing it over and over again. You could play them today and those same creative levels might disappear tomorrow and to think you love the levels so much you should've downloaded those levels which you can't.
Original or Un-original?
The only thing that kind of made LBP un-original here is that besides the whole creativity that players could put within this game, the game seems out of place or not very well known. Why do I say this, remember Mario was known for his jumping, he could go through a whole platform level from left to right before reaching the goal, Sonic progress the same way except he had the speed and the level flows in with his movements. Other platform titles like Kid Icarus are known to be layer to layer screen platform jumper meaning they go from one screen to the next from bottom to top and not left to right. LBP; however, is not like that since there are too many ways of doing and progress in a level. Though it's a good game, it's also a kit (or application) in itself. Remember Agetec games like RPG Maker (a kit title for creating story, characters and such in an RPG game) and Fighter Maker (a kit title for creating fighters a fighting game), those games like LBP (a kit title for creating level in a platform game) are a kit in themselves allowing you to create something of that genre in videogame, LBP is like that but more of a side-scroller or platform version of those. It's also a lot like the website I mention earlier, remember you could create, share, and play these levels in LBP online through PSN, YouTube (YT) offered the same, you create a video, you share it online, and you could literally go and play with other people's video as well through the internet except that LBP is to playing as YT is to viewing. If you absolutely don't care about originality though, the game might be more satisfying to you.
Not much else to say other than the main game, multi-player modes, and creation feature. It's nothing new in videogames, creation titles had existed since the 8-Bit era with games like Excitebike, SimCity, and such and with a few fighting game creation titles and RPG creation title as well as wrestling with its CAW feature, those already had that first in creation in a game but LBP offers similar value and best of all it has the option to share and play it around the world whereas those from the past can't, that's the main selling point of this game and that's where the fun is. You could literally create and play forever or whenever with LBP and that's why it had highest replay value of them all.
Is it Worth Buying?
For anyone with a PS3, definitely. For anybody else, if you can't afford a PS3 I say either wait for a price dropped and then get it for this game or if you really want this game but don't want a PS3 you're not gonna get it. Though LBP is a good platformer and level editor at the same time, it's just not something that would be original like other platforming games since it could publicly be played in different ways whether it's a platformer or not.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: LittleBigPlanet (US, 10/27/08)
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