Little Big Planet
- Simon Hill
- 3 February 2009
With plenty of chatter about the lack of exclusive titles for the PlayStation 3 Sony were desperate to pull something out of the bag and they shipped Little Big Planet just in time for Christmas. The release was accompanied by a huge advertising campaign and the game received fantastic reviews but it failed to stand out amidst the busy pre-Christmas release roster which is a shame because it is an excellent, inventive title which is creative fun for the whole family.
Little Big Planet is a puzzle platformer with a unique and beautifully realised visual style, some great co-operative game-play and a truly amazing level of customisation. Players take control of characters known as Sackpeople and these super cute avatars are hugely expressive with a terrific range of fluid animation and the ability to express emotions. The basic game-play challenges players to negotiate their way through side scrolling environments and they can jump, drag objects in order to climb higher and even swing on rotating scenery or bounce on trampolines to propel themselves into the air. There are simple puzzles to solve along the way, as well as races and mini-games. The co-operative play offers the most fun as it allows you to help or hinder family and friends.
The game features a huge range of customisation and, via a simple menu known as a Popit, you can select various images and stick them onto the environment. You collect a huge range of images as you progress and can even add your own into the game using the Eye Toy. The Sackpeople can also be tweaked to your heart’s content and players can choose what material they are made of and what clothes and accessories they should wear. The level editor allows you to create your own levels from basic shapes and materials and you can create mechanisms and triggers to provide a game-play challenge. The game has 50 levels to complete but since you can download user created levels via the Sony network or create your own it is infinitely expandable.
This is a highly polished title which is easy to pick up for people of all ages. It also has a warm and gentle sense of humour which is brought to life through the narration of Stephen Fry. It will provoke laughter in adults and spark the creativity of youngsters and for PS3 owners this is an essential purchase.