Review by Darthdevidem01
Media Molecules goes from Rags To Riches with LittleBigPlanet!
Media-Molecule makes the leap from rags to riches, but does LittleBigPlanet take user-generated content on consoles to a whole new level?
The answer to the above question is....Yes!
LittleBigPlanet has done what a game on consoles couldn't do before, however it comes with its drawbacks & flaws at the same time.
There is not really much to stay here. You play as sackboy for a start, who if you see for the first time & don't have a smile on your face, you need a doctor! The story in LBP's "campaign" is quite simple and very basic. However this campaign mode's main aim I felt was to help you to get to know the kind of different environments & traps you can make. Its true, you can make everything in the campaign mode yourself....the developers never used some secret engine to make those levels. In the campaign mode you get objects as well as backgrounds, costumes for sackboy, textures and so on for your "creation mode". So the story aspect is actually not important at all.
If you want a game with a deep combat system step right back now. LBP has no deep combat system, its quite a simple affair. You can jump, move left or right. Now the jump part has more to it to be honest, sackboy's jump isn't like mario's but it is has more of a "floaty effect". There is one major innovation made called layers. You can go back and forth between different layers, the game is designed in a way that takes you to the "correct" layer automatically, however on the online levels this feature doesn't work well so you need to choose the layers yourself, there are only 3 layers. This adds to the skill needed to complete the online levels.
For this you have to go to a "moon" and then select a crater where you can then make your own level. The creation mode has a long tutorial which explains the aspects of it quite well. This review is about my opinion so I won't go into details about how you create. I personally felt the creation aspect was a disappointment. It was complicated & difficult for me to understand. Not only this but the learning curve for it was long, I tried & tried bu couldn't get the hang of it. I spent 2 whole hours in total trying to make a level. I feel I actually wasted my time as I didn't get far at all. So there one of the main aspects of the game for me was a waste. For those of you who could "create", you can then click on publish to "share" your level with the now over 3 Million LBP community!
So what if I couldn't "create" & "share". I could still "Play". The online mode in LBP is fantastic. You are now given a search engine which can sort levels according to "busiest", "highest rated" and so on, so finding a good level to play take literally an instant. Oh and most of the highest rated levels are certainly far better than anything the developers could make. However during launch & still, there were a few major flaws. Lag for co-op gaming was a big problem which at points made it unplayable. A set of numbers next to "Play,Create & Share" were meant to show how many levels you played, created & shared however this feature still doesn't work (At least not for me). Those two mistakes especially lag is on an unacceptable level for me, this almost ruined LBP's online. However through patches things are much better now.
The presentation of LBP is fantastic. The art style of this game is at the core of its presentation. It's not cell shaded but it is a great mix of realism & a cell-shaded type. The background wallpaper can be chosen by you. The different objects and colours in the game are designed in such a pleasing way it creates a warm fuzzy feeling inside you. The sound is very pleasing, it suits levels perfectly also when you make your own level you can choose which part of a certain music piece you want in your level, so online levels don't all sound very similar even if they are using the same tracks in their level.
This is where the game comes out shining like the northern star! The online mode makes it truly a game that may never finish. Of course once you play through a lot of the online levels you may get bored, but within a week there are once again "bigger, better & more badass" online levels uploaded by other users. So it is definitely a level that can be replayed again & again. I still do replay it many times compared to say Fallout 3 which I brought at the same time. I guarantee that you can play this game again & again. DLC is constantly released, however it is over priced! The MGS4 pack impresses and lets you add a paintball gun to your levels. The latest water DLC packs can let you create water levels which again add a whole new style of play to LittleBigPlanet almost a year and a half after its launch!
LBP does push forward user-generated content on consoles. The proof is the fantastic levels online. However if you expect a really simple creating game I feel your knocking on the wrong door. But if like me you love "playing" & then rating games you are definitely knocking on the right door.
LBP may not have a story that would wrench your heart (ala MGS4), it may not have graphics that blind you with amazement (ala Uncharted 2) but it has charm like no other game, it is clearly identifiable in the rush of shooting games!
Definitely a must buy for any PS3 owner.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: LittleBigPlanet (EU, 11/05/08)
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