PS3 Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | 5:16 PM

LittleBigPlanet: Gamersyde's opinion

LittleBigPlanet: Gamersyde's opinion

It's almost been a month since Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet hit the shelves. We didn't have much time to tell you what we think about the game at the time, so we hope that this "better late than never article" will have you pleased. Now join me inside for a little big ride.



LittleBigPlanet is a bit like visiting Wonderland with Alice. As soon as you arrive in this universe, you really feel far away from home but still you want to discover more about this whole new world. Entering the world of LittleBigPlanet also means wandering in the dreams of the most twisted minds, should they be those of the developers or those of players like you and me.


I will try not to talk too much about the cute design of the game so I won’t repeat the same glorifying comments you’ve already read dozens of times since its release and I will go straight to the essence of the game. What makes this title solid is the fact that the technology is at the service of the gameplay and not the other way round. The excellent physics engine enables the game to offer levels combining originality and creativity, everything being supported by very realistic textures (notice the “70’s velvet sofa” texture) and some pretty effects such as smoke and fire.


Sound-wise it will be difficult to find flaws. The soundtrack is fresh and will help you rest after a hard day’s work. Tracks vary from folk, pop, African and many other styles of music so that you really feel like you’re traveling from place to place in this game. To tell you all, it kind of reminded me of the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack on Super Nes. Not that I intend to compare both soundtracks but in LBP I found the same kind of magical tune as in 1994, mainly because you have this feeling you’ve never heard this in a video game before.



Unfortunately everything is not as wonderful in gameplay land. Even if the controls react rather well and the physics engine is fun, many will regret the over-exaggerated inertia of our sackboys & girls. Of course, some will say it’s part of the subtleties of the gameplay and you just have to deal with it, but you could also consider this lack of accuracy as being just a very irritating problem. Likewise, the way you move from the front to the back of the screen is neither intuitive nor smooth. This sometimes triggers undesired moves which can have a heavy impact when playing in time-attack stages for example.



LittleBigPlanet having never hidden its ambition to be mostly a community game, let’s now talk about the most important part: multiplayer. When played offline, no problem, everything runs fine, and, apart from the mess coming from 3 or 4-player-games, it is a great game and it is a lot of fun. Some people might complain about the camera which doesn’t zoom out when one of the players is left behind but the game asks players to stick together in order to progress through the levels anyway. In every level, catching some collectible stickers - you’ll need them in the level editor - requires several players, a good idea if you ask me.



Unfortunately, it’s not as enjoyable when played online because of the more or less constant lag when there are more than 2 players. We sometimes managed to play a normal game when BlimBlim, Eloniss and I tried to play together, but most of the time it was completely unplayable. I hope things will get better with time, I don’t think it’s being elitist to ask for a fluid online 4-player game nowadays.



The good side of the online mode is the possibility to submit your own creations to the community and obviously try those of the other players. The length of the game is definitely extended thanks to such a feature, provided that talented players keep posting new creations that is. I have to say I haven’t had much time to spend on the level editor but the possibility to create complex and original levels is by itself very stimulating. Let’s hope this will keep creating some emulation between players and result in the most inspired levels.



In the end LittleBigPlanet will leave nobody indifferent and is for sure a game to try for those who claim to love video games. At the Leipzig convention last summer, the game had made quite an impression on us and it’s actually turned out to be the refreshing title we saw at the time. Even though it’s far from being perfect, it deserves all the attention of players looking for original platformers. Come on, give it a try.

All comments

Commented on 2008-12-03 17:18:22
I wanted to thank LeFourbe for taking some of his time to translate my article since I did not have time myself. :)

Also blame him if anything sounds weird - though it should not he's top-notch. ;)
Commented on 2008-12-03 17:28:57
Nice article, as soon as I pick up a PS3, I'll get this game.
Commented on 2008-12-03 17:29:47
Hahaha no worries drift. It was just right. The issue I hated the most was the switching planes mechanics. Most of the times the game knows where to place you as you jump, but when it fails it is really bothersome specially if you die in the process.
Commented on 2008-12-03 18:02:27
Everyone should play the game, I agree with that. But as good as it is, it's more like a perfect rental game. I bought the game, and already sold it again, because the charming 'thing' it has, fades away after an hour or so. In the end, it's just a very good old school platform game.
Commented on 2008-12-03 18:29:43
Have to agree with the above poster.
When I got the game I was blown away and reminded why I've kept my PS3, despite the lack of AA games.
None the less, a bit like what happened with me and my Wii, the 'magic' wore off after a couple of weeks and the game went back to my shelf to collect dust.

Don't get me wrong though, this is probably one of the top 3 games on PS3, but this sort of shows that innovation doesn't equal the best game ever...
Commented on 2008-12-03 19:17:21 In reply to blinx01
Posted by blinx01
Have to agree with the above poster.
When I got the game I was blown away and reminded why I've kept my PS3, despite the lack of AA games.
None the less, a bit like what happened with me and my Wii, the 'magic' wore off after a couple of weeks and the game went back to my shelf to collect dust.

Don't get me wrong though, this is probably one of the top 3 games on PS3, but this sort of shows that innovation doesn't equal the best game ever...
Well, my perspective is that innovation can't come without its flaws, and for the sum of its parts this game is quite an amazing feat. And if the "magic" wore off, it wasn't the game's fault, because what you put into this game is exactly what you get out of it.
Commented on 2008-12-03 19:25:39
Graphics are really something, that kind of "soft" look/feel to it with the blur and depth of field effects really gives it that edge.

Not my kind of game though, looks incredibly boring. But, like I said...not my thing.
Commented on 2008-12-03 19:49:47
I agree with most of everything you've written but am a bit puzzled about the lag complaint.

I've played many games with another 3 players from my friends list and random people and I had no lag at all.
Make sure you have NAT2 (i.e: open ports), I heard it helps :)

Great write-up, hope to see more from Gamersyde...Not JUST a media site anymore I guess which is good to see :)
What happened to the diaries by the way?
Commented on 2008-12-03 20:16:51
I was going to rent this game until a friend told me that Sony ruined it. Apparently they are censoring/removing a lot of the user creations just because they're inspired by a different game, or don't adhere to the "E" rating. No sale.
Commented on 2008-12-03 20:19:29 In reply to masteratt
Like I said, with two players everything's fine but the other day it was close to impossible to play correctly with 3 players. :(

The Diaries are long gone, Snoopers is now working for Canal + on a videogame TV show. :'(

Thanks for your nice words. :)
Commented on 2008-12-03 21:13:05
GOTY
Commented on 2008-12-03 21:36:10
It looks OK but I think the platforming should have been tighter and more closely trying to emulate the classic Mario games of old. From what I have seen it just seems a little too sluggish and stop/start for my tastes although I applaud the effort and content creation as well as the beautiful look it sports.

Still, anything that is not yet another flipping FPS deserves some kudos...
Commented on 2008-12-03 23:11:49
I still don't see how people can praise the physics of this game. That was one of the "major features" that were presented to us when this game was being revealed.

Sacboys feel very "floaty", when swinging on ropes it does not "swing" realistically at all and is also very "floaty", when on rocket cars or anything and you nail something on the ground or hit an angled surface, most of the time the reaction is nowhere NEAR being what you would expect, and the sacboys "weight" seem to have hardly any effect on how things move either.

Top that off with the online lag, the way "lives" work in the game, Sony removing content whenever and whyever they want to ... this game is not nearly what i was hoping it would be, and I think it's not going to sell nearly as much as sony anticipated either.

It sucks too cause the game was such a great concept just pretty poorly executed.
Commented on 2008-12-04 00:44:30
Dang I was looking forward to this for when I get my Ps3, looks like I should adjust my expectations.
Commented on 2008-12-04 02:31:40
GOTY by a mile for me. some games come close (mainly fallout 3, MGS4, GTA4 and dead space) but nothing can top this game. it may not have the depth to hold your attention for 5 hours straight, but it sure as hell makes up for it with its custom creations and being able to try out 4 or 5 custom levels a day. i think i'll be playing this for a long long time.
Commented on 2008-12-04 07:16:35
I got this unexpectedly this morning (expecting end of the week beginning of next and I must say the variation in the way you can play using simple methods is immense, the platforming is fine it's literally just a small re-adjustment and you know how to handle it. Plus the level creator, it's simplified yet its so dam in depth that it does get rather complex tbh, but I've only had a quick 1 hr go on that, playing custom levels too is great and literally gives you infinite levels (well until people stop making them). Wouldn't say GOTY but it shines quality.
Commented on 2008-12-04 11:35:29 In reply to broman
Posted by broman
I was going to rent this game until a friend told me that Sony ruined it. Apparently they are censoring/removing a lot of the user creations just because they're inspired by a different game, or don't adhere to the "E" rating. No sale.
your friend was wrong. all those levels are still up as of yesterday
Commented on 2008-12-04 15:59:18
This game is absolutely brilliant, not to mention a load of fun.
How this could be a rental is beyond me, considering that you can create your own levels (which takes a while, especially if you want to make a GOOD level). This game is guaranteed to consistently have a steady flow of fun levels being released all of the time thanks to the community. The game isn't that old and there are already a LOT of really good levels to play.
The nearly 60 levels on the disc in the story mode are really great too and can teach you a lot on how to make a good level.
Commented on 2008-12-05 00:18:01
Nice little review there. People need to at least try the game. It's awesome with 4 players on 1 machine.
Commented on 2008-12-05 11:02:02 In reply to blindrocket
Posted by blindrocket
This game is absolutely brilliant, not to mention a load of fun.
How this could be a rental is beyond me, considering that you can create your own levels (which takes a while, especially if you want to make a GOOD level). This game is guaranteed to consistently have a steady flow of fun levels being released all of the time thanks to the community. The game isn't that old and there are already a LOT of really good levels to play.
The nearly 60 levels on the disc in the story mode are really great too and can teach you a lot on how to make a good level.
It takes a LOT of time to make a good level. And the levels you can download are not as good as the ones included in the game. There will be levels that are great, but it will take some time. I still think it's the perfect rental game. And if one loves it so much, than it's worth the purchase. Don't get me wrong: I wish the sales were higher for this game to promote innovation and originality (like Mirror's edge which isn't selling very well).

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