At this point in time there is probably not much of a point in even reviewing LittleBigPlanet2, mostly because any sane human being would have already picked it up by now. But on that small chance that you reader are in fact, that crazy individual, I feel I should break down even further just how important it is that you own this game.
On the surface it may seem like little has changed from the first LBP to its sequel. But you would be a fool to think that, a damn fool even. If you enjoyed the first game even the slightest bit, then you are in for one hell of a treat with LittleBigPlanet2.
In terms of the actual game play, LBP2 will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has played the first game. If you weren’t a fan of the “floaty” physics featured in that game, you may not be happy here either as it feels very similar, if not identical. It makes sense why this would not have changed, since all of the user created levels from the first game are playable here as well, but this is simply a word of warning to those who did not like how the first game played.
I’m feeling traditional today so let’s break this down mode by mode. Let’s kick things off with the Story mode. There is an actual story here as you and up to three other sackboys take on the Negativitron, who is threatening to destroy all of Craftworld. As you can imagine by reading just that one sentence, it’s not the most compelling tale ever told. There are some funny moments and the whole thing is pretty adorable, but I can’t imagine anyone continuing to play the Story mode purely because they have to know what’s going to happen next.
No the reason to keep playing Story mode is because it’s ridiculously fun and only gets better as you progress through it. You are constantly being introduced to new tools and new mechanics (such as the grappling hook) which means the experience stays fresh until the end. There is also plenty of reason to go back since each level is once again loaded with prize bubbles. Unlike many in-game collectibles, there is actual incentive to collect these since you want every item you can get your hands on to use in the level editor. You also get credit for beating each and every level without dying a single time, which ain’t gonna be easy in some of the later stages.
However as much fun as the story mode can be, it’s primary function almost seems to be introducing you to all of the core elements so that you can jump into the real meat of the package (I just went back and read that sentence, what an odd and filthy way to make my point), which is of course the level builder and online community.
I won’t lie – the level builder in LittleBigPlanet scares the bejesus out of me. It’s not because it’s overly complicated or hard to grasp, they actually do a great job of introducing it all to you through a long series of tutorials. No it scares me because I know if I let it get a hold of me, I’ll never get back out. I know me, I know what would end up happening once I got in there and started creating levels. Conversations with my wife that go:
“Seriously are you coming to bed? It’s 3 AM and also you’ve been working on that level for three straight days.”
“God damn it not until this sticker is exactly proportioned on this rock! This is art, I am creating art!!”
Then before you know it I’m divorced, she took all the money and the house so I’m wandering the streets with no food and thinking “at least I made a kick-ass LittleBigPlanet level”. I don’t need that so at this time I’m choosing not to get too involved.
But for those of you not scared to dive in, let me just say that the amount of tools at your disposal is pretty incredible. The game hasn’t even been out for a month yet and there is literally already hundreds of great levels that have been created specifically for this game game. So far I’ve gone through the first dungeon in Legend of Zelda as an 8-bit Link sprite, played eerily accurate representations of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Peggle, taken down asteroids in a bang-on version of well, Asteroids, and watched a recreation of the climatic scene of Back to the Future. And this is still the humble beginnings of the online community! I honestly cannot wait to see what people are coming up with a few months from now.
Have I made myself clear yet one guy who still isn’t completely sold on this game? Even if like me you don’t intend to get too deep into the level creation, there is still an infinite amount of things to do in this game. The story mode is worth playing through at least twice and as of right now I believe there are approximately 6 million user-created levels to play online. If you do plan on creating your own stages, then this is a game that could, in theory, last you forever.