Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a little late with this, but I don’t have a PS3 and have to rely on the kindness of strangers, well, friends. But you don’t get much stranger than my friends.
I went over to my friends Alex and Kate’s place, and proceeded to play between three and four hours of Little Big Planet. It’s a simple platformer, with a really amazing physics engine. The game play is pretty straightforward and I only got irretrievably hung up on one part of the game. Considering it then took Alex, who plays the game obsessively, several tries to get past that one spot as well, I didn’t feel so bad about asking for help. As a platformer you jump, run and swing your way through the levels, sometimes racing a clock. You also collect costumes, stickers and other items to customize your sack person and your “pod,” the location from where you start each session.
The gameplay, while nice, is not the real star of Little Big Planet. As far as I’m concerned, the star is the pancreas rupturing cuteness of the little sack guy you play, and all the costumes you can dress it up in. By the time I got done, my little dude had been dressed as a pirate, a zebra-kitty, and a Mexican Senorita.
I made it through three levels with three stages each. The first is the Garden level, which is fairly easy and is kind of your tutorial level. The second is the Savannah level. And then you get to play the Dia des los Muertas levels. The backgrounds and worlds are lovingly and intricately detailed. Playing it on an HD television, as I was, made them amazing. The soundtrack is also really good, particularly the song during the Meerkat Bounce sidegame.
The other big selling point of the game is user generated content. The fact that players can create their own levels and upload them to share with other players throughout the world. Some have criticized this, saying that it is just going to result in world upon world of derivative dross. And while I think that a lot of it is probably going to be just that, I do know of at least one very talented friend who is currently creating a Cthulhu-inspired world, and another who is working on a Steampunk world. Will these worlds be the most awesome-est of awesome? Probably not. Will they be fun? By virtue of being part of the Little Big Planet, I’m going to say, yes.
Apart from the occasional sticking point, the game is not particularly difficult, so it isn’t going to appeal to the power-gaming demographic. But it will appeal to a fairly broad fanbase. It’s simple enough for most young kids, and casual gamers, as well as being cute as all hell. Honestly, I hadn’t even realized I’d been playing it as long as I had until my friends snapped me out of my game trance for dinner. And I can’t wait to go back over and play some more.