Game: "Little Big Planet"
System: PlayStation 3
Published by: Other
Review: Sometimes, when you sat at your booger encrusted desk in Kindergarten, your teacher would give you a pep talk and show you a video featuring the exploits of a goofy costumed dinosaur to encourage you to use the power of imagination. With a simple slap of the hand into a glob of paint, you could turn an empty piece of paper into a Thanksgiving turkey, take some scissors and make it a Christmas tree or a green rocket ship, or make a dinosaur that farts Cocoa Puffs and breathes marshmallows.
Little Big Planet, as a game, wants you to give it your Stay Puft spitting Jurassic Park escapee. Then, if you wish, give him a mohawk, a feathered boa, and a glow in the dark rocket sled.
GAMEPLAY- Little Big Planet serves you up three dishes-- a story mode which serves as developer levels to play through either by yourself or by yourself while you wish really hard to yourself that you knew someone else that had a PS3 and a Playstation Network setup; a create mode where Little Big Planet becomes your train car and derelict building and you become the graffiti artist, and an online mode, where you select from any of a gigantic number of user-created levels.
Story Mode, while fun, is still about as bareboned as a cow in piranha infested waters. The plot serves as little more than an excuse for the developers to create worlds for you to run around in, play around in, and have your way with. The freedom allowed by Little Big Planet's in-game Popit tool lets the inner Urban Redecorator in you have your way with the landscape. Do you feel like the palm trees need to be blue? Has the urge to place a big baboon's face on the side of someone's car tickled your fancy? Have you just stomped an enemy and wish to paint the ground he stood on blood red, as if you've just stomped him into oblivion? Little Big Planet allows you all this, plus the bonus of playing Dress Up Barbie with your character, Sackboy. You earn items and clothes throughout the developer levels, allowing your Sackboy to be anything from a cowboy, to a geisha, to a Sackboy with a feather modestly stapled over his Sackjunk.
Create Mode is intensely frustrating if you didn't play tutorials, but also rewarding if you give it the proper go. To make the analogy, one does not simply walk into Little Big Planet's Create Mode expecting to make a Mona Lisa right off the bat. Attempting to make a level without watching the tutorials is like trying to build the Large Hadron Collider immediately after passing Basic Multiplication, and doing the equations on an Etch A Sketch with your tongue. Tutorials help sharpen up the wizard in you until you can do Trigonometry.
Online Mode is, to me, the bread and butter of this game. Assuming you don't come across a level that's removed because someone made it Mario themed and isn't named Mr. Nintendo, you can find... well, anything. In my time on Little Big Planet online, I've found everything from well done levels about pirates, to extremely fast levels about go-karting, to disturbingly sexy levels about zombies. I think I've even seen levels about going into Hitler's body. Thanks to the versatility of Create Mode, and others being far more creative than you, odds are, if you want to find a level about something, you will. Even poo levels, for you dick and fart joke types.
CONTROL- Control in Little Big Planet is a mixed bag of asses. The interface when bringing up your Popit is simple enough-- choose objects to staple to or paint Sackboy, or choose stickers or objects to plaster over anything that isn't the extreme background. However, the physics engine in Little Big Planet, while satisfactory, does leave something to be desired. It's a nice touch that the game utilizes the motion sensor in the Sixaxis to let your Sackboy bob his head like AC/DC or swivel his hips like a disturbingly sexy internet fad, but your basic platforming leaves a wake of burst arteries in your forehead. Making Sackboy jump to specific platforms feels like you're inputting commands on your PS3 control by mashing buttons with chopsticks held by crab claws you're holding with your toes. You're almost better off yelling at the PS3 and hoping it becomes sentient and friendly enough to decide you deserve to land on this platform.
MUSIC- Quirky. Quirky, quirky, quirky. And also memorable. Little Big Planet makes use of a diverse score and soundtrack, running from heart palpitating action tunes, slow paced lush plains music, eery dirges and the occasional aural attack on your skull. Though the majority of the music in LBP is fantastic and fits the mood, there are a couple of tracks that assault your sense of 'right' and 'what the fuck?'
ADDITIONAL CONTENT- Little Big Planet comes through in spades on the downloadable content front. If you want to dress your Sackboy up as Solid Snake, Slimer from Ghostbusters, Kratos from God of War, Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, or a groundhog, well kids, stock up on your PSN points, because you'll be dropping them here, like Snoop Dogg when he thinks it's hot.
Overall, for it's flaws, Little Big Planet is an amazing game, and it's middle of the road. Great enough to keep playing until you forget about it and move on to something else. Then, when you get tired of playing Angry Space Marine Looks Moody XVII, you'll look in your closet and find Cooking Mama. But after you put that away and see Little Big Planet in there, beckoning you to play it again, you'll get a tear in your eye, a loving look like a cyborg that learned what the true meaning of happiness is, and you and Little Big Planet will remember the good times and meet in the PS3 once again. And again. You can not escape this game once you get addicted.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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