We Got Game: LittleBigPlanet Review
This review will also be a critique on gamers (myself included) as much as it will be a review. Media Molecule’s “LittleBigPlanet” is as much a pure platform game as you will ever find as it is one of the most unique gaming experiences you will ever encounter. What is difficult about the game is explaining it. I guarantee you, ask twenty gamers to describe LBP and you will get twenty different definitions and what’s even more kooky is that all of them are correct.
Take, for example, my initial relunctance to LBP. I looked at it like some kids game. Then, after reading some reviews and hearing some praises, I thought maybe it was some new platform game. Finally, I got it, played it and got addicted like so many others. Then, in my excitement, I tried to explain it to my friends and some gamers around the way. Here’s where it all gets very tricky.
More after the jump.
Gamers are as sociological as they are quirky. A pure gamer is someone who is in love with playing video games, no matter what. If the game sucks, that’s a henious crime and the pure gamer believes that company should be taken to task. When a game is that good, vice versa. Some gamers are what I call “Consolers” which are gamers that are totally and completely loyal to one console. There are PS3ers and XBox fiends. One will never play the other. And they will hate like you’ve never seen on the other console. Some are what I call “Genre Addicts”. They will only play one genre such as sports, rpgs, fighting, platforms, you get the idea. Then there is the hood.
Urban players are a different but same breed as the all of the above. They will hate on a game and/or a console with the best of them. They consider themselves gamers because they will play Madden or the newest NBA Live for hours. They will play a platform game for hours on end while feeding their weed habit and chillin’. But they are the most adaptable. If they play a game they hated on and start to like it, they will sing its praises to the highest. It’s getting them to that point that is the hard part. But once they get there, ooooohhh boy….
It’s been like that with LBP. Everytime I tell someone about this game, they look at me like I was an alien. I have found that it’s much easier to sit them down, put the controller in their hand and let them have a party. Give them a half hour and they’re hooked. And they all have this perplexed look on their face like, “there is no way I should even like this crazy ass game but damn, I do…” and I must say, it is hysterical to watch.
If it was just this kick ass platform game, that would be enough but that’s just the start. LBP is one of the most customizable games ever created. Every part of the game is customizable, from the character on down. And what a character you have – your little Sackperson (even gender is customizable) will be your guide, essence and everything else. The tutorials have a purpose in that learning to run, jump, grab is essential but so are the other tutorials in how to create personal levels. Oh, I forgot to mention that. You can create your own levels.
LBP literally begs you to go online. You have to play with others to get to certain areas on levels. You have can “heart” a level, a player, anything. You will have to go back to certain levels just to complete them because you won’t get a certain “trigger sticker” (stickers you place on objects to get more goodies – stickers, objects, audio, costumes, etc) until you play certain levels and they may not even be on the same world. Now, camera glitches can drive you crazy, but it’s a small distraction. This game is nearly flawless in it’s fun factor.
There are downsides. The story mode is rather short and if the game wasn’t so damn addictive, you would not worry about it so much because the levels have enormous replayability. As it is, you’ll just keep trying over and over to get every thing possible. Also, some of the user created levels are either so easy or so hard, frustration becomes a factor. Last, but not least, is the multiplayer factor that sometimes can drive you crazy. Some users are more adapt than others and everybody wants to be the one who obtains the goodies. The fact is that most times, one or more sackpeople have to hang back and let someone else gather the goods (don’t worry, you still obtain them even if someone else is doing the actual pilfering). A clear lack of communication sometimes can blow up the whole thing. Personally, I have the Playstation Bluetooth so I can do voice commands but some people don’t even have that activated and have no idea what’s going on. They just hurry on without thinking and it leaves you shaking your head.
Of course, the opposite is also true. If you find a partner or partners that all of you are in sync, you’ll find yourselves going for booty all over the place. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a great way to make online friends. I’ve met more people playing LBP than hanging out at Playstation Home (review coming soon also).
Basically, to quote my nephew who usually looks at games like LBP and frowns, LittleBigPlanet is straight crack. Get it and let your sackfreak-flag run wild.