|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Media Molecule||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Little by little, you'll unlock new exciting levels and mini-game challenges. The good thing is, the game's main mode will suck you in for several hours and, after that, you can go online and download other user-created levels for free. This will extend the life of the game to the unimaginable. Rumor has it, dedicated developers who aren't directly involved with the game will eventually be able to create their own levels and upload them to the PlayStation Network so people can purchase them for a fee. Granted, there's a lot you can get for free, but these professionally created levels might just be worth our time and cash later on.
Other online features include multiplayer co-op / competition for up to four players, voice chat, text chat, level sharing, etc. With such an interactive experience, it looks like the LittleBigPlanet community is going to be huge. Also, if you haven't passed the whole game yet but would like to check out other levels within the game, you can just go to Quick Play and a random level will load so you can enjoy it with other LBP players. This is a neat feature for those who are anxious to discover what's in store before they finish the game.
Of course, LittleBigPlanet is not a very difficult game. It's not very easy for the youngest ones, but I'd say children ten and up shouldn't have any problems with this one. There are a few puzzles within the levels where some common sense is required but, overall, the game is as easy as can be, especially once you get the hang of it and understand it's a side-scroller with three levels of depth. The characters are easily controlled with the left analog stick and R1 will have them grab onto things, drag objects, etc. The right analog stick lets you play with the camera a little bit, though this isn't one of the strongest points of the game. In fact, when you're playing with or against someone else, the camera pans out or in a little too much sometimes. It's not a huge deal, but it's a bit bothersome.
On the same token, the level creator is not absolutely self-explanatory. To start, you'll have to visit My Moon, a globe full of empty slots (holes) where you can create your own stages. The options are almost unlimited, and perhaps that's what makes the level creator tough to use. You can start a level from scratch, customizing everything from background art to objects, traps, dangers, music, sound effects, and rewards. The amount of options is insane, especially once you have unlocked a decent amount of goodies. If Spore gave birth to millions of new creatures in just a couple of weeks, just wait and see what happens with LittleBigPlanet! The ability to share levels and have other people (or your friends) play them will surely be enticing enough for those with time on their hands.
All things considered, I recommend LittleBigPlanet to a wide range of people: creative players, curious gamers, platforming enthusiasts, parents looking for something to share with their kids (playing co-op is so much fun!), etc. The game is everything it promised and more: striking level design, great music, easy controls, addictive gameplay, tons of features and collectables, and amazing physics. Time will tell if this 3D crafted material world will turn into something huge like a "littlebig" gaming genre.
CCC Site Director