Review: LittleBigPlanet 2

LBP2

Most reviewers try to list everything you can do in a game and determine either how it’s cool or how they hate it.  LittleBigPlanet 2 poses a much more difficult angle to interpret the game with those same conditions.  So, to best summarize LBP2, I will try to answer the question I get the most about this game.  A very dumbfounded look on the questioner’s face with the following statement.  “I Don’t Get It”.  As they mimic Tom Hanks in “Big” by repeating it over and over again, I’ll dissect the game as pure as I can.  Here is my review:

Mini-games for a LittleBigPlanet. You star as Sackboy the game’s main character playing through puzzle levels that you’ll find on planets.  In the single player campaign you’re asked to assist some new friends called “The Alliance” and your job is to save Craftworld from Negativitron nicknames 7000 watt vacuum.  Your first mission introduces you to Larry Da Vinci founder of The Alliance.  Da Vinci hands you your new pod (main station) and your story begins.  Each level is filled with bubbles and collector items that will build up your score and your inventory respectfully.  To avoid frustration LBP2 includes checkpoints.  But unlike conventional gaming, you have a limited number of lives per checkpoint.  Fail enough times and you’ll have to restart from the beginning.  Remember the game’s physics and note it’s 2.5D views.  Moving towards the screen and away will allow you to advance in this puzzle platform game.

There is no end. Most games today, have levels, some bosses and a hero.  All of those criteria exist here too.  We’re still good?  OK, keep reading.  LittleBigPlanet 2 has no end.  If you include all the playable levels thanks to a growing community, you can try to play every level ever created but find yourself like a mail delivery man.  As you play what levels exist today, more will be available tomorrow.  Why try to view every page on the internet?  First off you never will.  Secondly, why would you.  Search the community for what peeks your interest.  Enjoy “Back To The Future”?  Then check out hawaiin-aloha’s recreation of BTTF here.  How bout some Dead Space?  Try out Darknessbear’s loosely based Little Dead Space here.

To quote Jerry Seinfeld, “It’s a Community!!”. This is LittleBigPlanet’s “bread and butter”.  “Play, Create and Share” is their motto and they stuck by it again in LittleBigPlanet 2.  You can choose to be any one of those 3 words.  If you’re like most LBP2 players, you can enjoy playing some of the more aesthetically pleasing levels in the game.  This year Media Molecule has created a website to make the LBP community seamless.  You can sign-in to www.lbp.me using your PSN id.  There you can check statistics on your own levels, as well as find new levels from the community where they can queue them up and will be ready to play.  I found I added levels to my queue and they were playable within seconds.    For those that come from LBP1, relax your favorite creations were transferred to LBP2.  Under “community” you’ll find “Cool Levels” (rated on by players like you), “MMPicks” (picked by Media Molecule staff) and my favorite “Text Search” (find levels that peek your interest).  I found that searching for a topic I was interested in sometimes resulted in a well rated creator and I explored their planet. Want to join in and contribute?  Go right ahead.  From your “pod” (main station) got to “My Planet” and create your masterpiece.  You can also capture screenshots during gameplay which you can share via lbp.me.

Develop your Picasso. Customization is not a big enough word to describe the plethora of choices you have for LittleBigPlanet 2.  Your Planet, your sackboy and your levels can be as detailed or as sloppy as you like.  Remember, it’s up to you.  I’m sure Mario Paint has come to mind for some of you, but think “more out of the box”.  All levels will supply some costumes or stickers.  The more you collect the more unique your experience will be.  Once you open your Popit menu (press square) this is where your artist tools are displayed.  Dress your sackboy as cool or idiotic as your costumes allow you.  If you’re working on a plain canvas, decorate your level with or without a theme.  Remember, once you’re satisfied with your level you can publish it and have the world try it out.  With some feedback, you can always go back and “fix” what is broken.

What’s on “Their” Planets? We know you can dress up your planet but I’ve decided to dive in to some of the better creators for your displaying needs.  The most created levels are Star Wars themed, no surprise.  But many NES side-scrolling classics boast the LittleBigPlanet 2 library.  Some favorites from LBP1 returned including Contra.

Level NameCreatorCommunity Link
Assassins Creed - Brotherhoodboost4444 http://lbp.me/v/wv6sng
Call Of Duty : Black Ops - | - Nazi Zombies 'Nacht Der Untoten'donaldv123http://lbp.me/v/wvhsck
Sack To The Future part 2Hymanatorhttp://lbp.me/v/9gzg2
Little Big BioshockNathan900 http://lbp.me/v/p40sf7
Sackman BeginsJesse757xhttp://lbp.me/v/re47

Commentary Returns. The voice over is handled again by Stephen Fry.  There’s something so soothing about his voice it would be impossible to hear another voice for tutorials and the opening sequence.  The characters voices were all chosen perfectly.  It’s not very often noted but voice overs can be an intricate part of any game.  A clear understanding voice can be make a game more enjoyable.  Great job Media Molecule!

As the famous Kevin Butler says, “You Dont!” Obviously referring to beating LBP2…

Final Thought: I tried my best to answer the remarks of “I don’t get it” as much as I could.  Not everyone will get what makes LittleBigPlanet 2 so much fun for both hardcore and casual gamers alike.  But what is clear is the message LBP2 carries.  Creativity and imagination.  If you can think it LBP2 can most likely do it.  And if you like to check out what everyone else is creating you’ll enjoy yourself too.  If you only enjoy a certain niche of gaming, LBP 2 may not be for you.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new and unique gaming experience with family fun, LittleBigPlanet 2 is a great choice.

9.5/10

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