LittleBigPlanet 2 Video Review
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Sackboy returns in a sequel worthy of the name LittleBigPlanet. An enormous toolbox for a would-be level designer and new devices like the controlinator make LittleBigPlanet 2 the absolute gold standard for PlayStation's Play, Create, Share motto.
- Extremely diverse level design tools
- A near infinite amount of replay value
- Quirky and adorable presentation
- Gameplay physics, while improved, can still be frustrating
- Level creation is time consuming (but some may welcome the long hours)
(continued from previous page) ...appropriately quirky space battles and a throwback to vintage gaming.
All of these interesting and new levels will likely encourage you to check out the Create mode. Clearly, there are some people who played LittleBigPlanet and became obsessed with the Create mode (as will likely be the case in the sequel). I am not ashamed to admit that I do not fit in this category. The idea of creating levels in LittleBigPlanet was genius, but it was too time consuming for my liking. Again, that was my personal preference, and it’s clear that while many of the 3.5 million levels were terrific, a large number of them were simply built to provide Trophies or new stickers. Creating levels in LittleBigPlanet 2 is a bit easier, but it is still time-consuming and often frustrating.
The creation process is guided with a series of new tutorials. Stephen Fry returns to provide narration, and while the tutorials offer a decent look at the basic and advanced level creation features, they are not overly thorough. Still, the interactive video demonstrations will get you up to speed on things like Sackbots, microchips, and sequencers. It’s easy to envision a big, epic level series that plays more like a role-playing game thanks to the NPC (non-player character) Sackbots. You can customize these mindless droids to follow you around, be hostile, assist you in traversing gorges, be fearful of enemies or dangers, or just walk around like grunts. Then, you could give your hero the grappling hook to swing across pits, and equip him with the grabinator glove to move and throw large objects. As your hero progress and adds more equipment, he can finally come across that big red button that drops the creatinator, a helmet that allows Sackboy to fire nearly any projectile (even user-created). Basically, the Create mode is limited by two things: your imagination and your free time.
Sticking with the RPG example, let's say you want your Sackboy hero to be able to ride a horse. The new controlinator, a device that allows you to give action to other in-game objects, enables Sackboy to ride vehicles (among many other functions). In the scenario above, we’d use the controlinator on the horse so Sackboy can shoot swords out of the steed’s mouth and flames out of its buttocks. This is a level we have floating around in our heads, but it was not one we could complete and publish in a timely manner. The one level PSU did publish is extremely rudimentary, and was more or less practice on the act of publishing. You will all create better levels, and we hope to see the best come from our very own community.
Searching for levels to play is easier than ever. The old star rating system is replaced with a simple like or dislike system (smiley or sad face), and you can also review a level once you’ve completed it. You’ll find the tagging system easy to use, and the filter search engine makes it simple to limit the junk and find the diamonds in the rough. All of the old levels and items are available, meaning LBP2 already has more than three million user-generated levels with millions more in the making.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is a game that keeps on giving. It's endless. You will not find a game on the market that has more playability, more likeability, and more utter cuteness than LBP2. Some may just want to play through the vast library of levels. For those who dream of creating the next great game, the enormously deep Create mode gives aspiring designers a vessel to display their masterpieces. It will still take many, many hours to complete that perfect level, but for some, that’s half the fun. Once you have finished your dream level, you can simply share it with the growing community of Sackboy followers. Media Molecule was the first to establish the Play, Create, Share motto for the PlayStation brand, and the sequel has taken those original ideas to a brand new dimension.
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