LittleBigPlanet 2 Review

LittleBigPlanet 2

Developer Media Molecule charmed the socks off of us with LittleBigPlanet back in 2008. It was an incredibly imaginative platformer that had faith in its community to continue producing wonderful creations years after its release. LittleBigPlanet 2 stays true to that philosophy, but this time the the tools at the community’s disposal are practically limitless. Add to that an even better story mode adventure and you’ve already got what looks like it will turn out to be one of the best games of the year.

In LittleBigPlanet 2, Craftworld has been attacked by the evil Negitivitron. Now it’s Sackboy’s job to aid Larry Da Vinci and the rest of “The Alliance” in an effort to save the world from complete destruction. The story isn’t particularly engaging, but the characters you come across are worthy additions to the LittleBigPlanet world, especially the showboating Avalon Centrifuge.

The original LittleBigPlanet was a fairly straightforward platformer without much variety, but its sequel completely addresses this problem. LittleBigPlanet 2‘s 30-plus levels are all a joy to play through in large part because of the varying activities you’ll be taking part it. This includes shooting cake, riding rabbits, and leading factory workers to safety, just to name a few. The new power-ups in the game also mix things up a bit, including the grabinator, which aids in picking up and tossing larger objects, and the creatinator, a helmet that lets you fire various projectiles.

LittleBigPlanet 2

Along the way you’ll be collecting as many prize bubbles as you can, but in order to obtain 100% you’ll need a buddy or two. This means that once again both online and offline cooperative play is included, which in turn leads to the return of camera problems from the first game when your partners are lagging behind. It’s not a huge problem, but it can be a tad annoying when playing with two or three other people. Luckily, the story mode includes versus levels, such as a rodent race or the classic game of basketball (with a slight twist). On these levels the multiplayer really shines and brings a fun, competitive nature to the game.

Though the story mode has seen a significant improvement, there’s no denying that LittleBigPlanet 2‘s main attraction is the community and the wonderful creations it constantly produces. The original LittleBigPlanet provided a more than serviceable canvas for aspiring creators to show off their skills, but the sequel is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor in terms of the creation tools it provides and the freedom with which players can use them.

The first game featured a wide variety of platforming levels throughout the community that were both clever and a lot of fun. You will still find that in LittleBigPlanet 2, but now people are creating entire games across multiple genres. There are first-person adventure games, top-down racers, and even dual-stick shooters in the same vein as Geometry Wars. Some of them even include their own title screens complete with functional inputs.

Obviously the more elaborate creations will take more time, but the game does a fantastic job of introducing new concepts through tutorials just like the previous game. There are quite a few, so familiarizing yourself with the creation tools can be both a daunting and time-consuming task. But even if you don’t consider yourself the creative type, there’s more than enough fun to be had in just playing through the countless number of amazing community creations.

LittleBigPlanet 2

With the good comes the bad though, so not every level you come across will be particularly noteworthy. Luckily, the game features a simple but effective rating system. After playing a level you can rate it with a happy or sad face, and the average rating is displayed when browsing through the community creations. In addition, you can write reviews, place tags, and mark levels as favorites. All of this means you won’t have to waste time weeding through a bunch of sub-standard creations just to come across something good.

Even better than the rating and filtering systems is the new community site. From there you can search for all kinds of creations using any of the filters featured in the game. But the best part is that you can queue up levels that you wish to play later. All of your selections will be on your queue and immediately available to play the next time you turn on your PS3. This turns out to be perhaps the most convenient way of finding and selecting levels, considering you can be away from your console. All of these systems end up working extremely well with each other, creating the perfect environment for such a community-driven game.

The patchwork visuals from the first game make their return and look as good as ever in LittleBigPlanet 2. Everything just looks a bit sharper, and the variety in gameplay seems to translate to the level design this time around. Each destination has a distinct and eye-catching art style to it. The soundtrack and voice acting are equally outstanding. Both the licensed and original tracks work in perfect harmony together, and the voice acting really brings the characters to life. Overall, this is one of the more impressive looking and sounding games you’ll find on the PlayStation 3.

Media Molecule realizes how much fun it is to let your imagination run wild, and they’ve given gamers around the world the chance to do that. The original game laid the groundwork for this, but the possibilities seem almost endless in LittleBigPlanet 2. It honestly is a gift that just keeps on giving, with incredible new community creations being added every day. With an even better story mode and the same great audio and visuals, the result is a complete package that PlayStation 3 owners should be dying to get their hands on.



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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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