|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SCE Cambridge||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Some of the frustrations found in the original game have been dealt with. Although it's a side-scroller, the game had three layers of depth that oftentimes caused confusion. In the PSP version, there are only two: the front and the background. This still allows you to move in between those dimensions in order to advance and reach secret areas, minus the confusion. Also, the buttons are still pressure-sensitive and some actions depend on it, as you'll be able to jump a little higher or further depending on the way you push or hold the button, but at the same time, it's been tweaked to combat the over-exaggerated physics of the first game. Again, this leads to less frustrating moments and a more free-flowing platforming experience.
Obviously, the PSP doesn't have the same amount of buttons found on the PS3's DualShock / Sixaxis controllers, nor does it feel the same way when you hold it. Once more, the developers had to work with what they had and translate the controls the best they could. Luckily, playing LittleBigPlanet on the PSP is still very enjoyable. The thumbstick controls the character with ease, and the main buttons are used for jumping, displaying the Pop-It menu, etc. The character expressions have been mapped to the D-pad. You can make your sackboy look surprised, sad, angry, or happy by pushing the different directions. If you hold the left shoulder button while pushing the ones on the D-pad, you'll even be able to emphasize these expressions and obtain different results. The only problem is you'll just be doing this for your own enjoyment, as there's no multiplayer in LittleBigPlanet for the PSP.
Playing LBP with your friends was great fun in the first title, but unfortunately, Sony's Cambridge development team had lots of trouble trying to accomplish the same for the PSP version, so they decided it to bag it. Loading times are already somewhat steep as it is, so they didn't want to make matters worse. This is one of the biggest gripes for the game, and certainly the biggest difference between the two titles. However, the PSP version was designed to take the LBP experience on the go, with brand new levels, level designer, and more, so we should just take it for what it is. Of course, some local multiplayer wouldn't hurt, but at least you can still check other people's ranks in the different levels, and you can create wonderful levels from scratch and share them with other players.
The level creator included in LittleBigPlanet for the PSP is not as in-depth as on the PS3 version, but it comes close. It has less buttons, which makes the task more daunting and elaborate, but if you stick with it, you will be able to concoct amazing new stages. This tool lets you design your own platforms, puzzles, and dangers from beginning to end, and then you can upload the levels to the network so it becomes available for other users to download free of charge. Even if you're not feeling creative and want to stick to just playing the game, you can extend the play value by downloading and playing other people's masterpieces, or you can even purchase new levels from the PlayStation Network.
All in all, LittleBigPlanet for the PSP came out just right. It carries the essence of the original, retaining most of its features, from original gameplay and character customization to fantastic graphics, soundtrack, and level creation. It's not a very long game, but whether you've played the original or not, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this brilliant platformer and enjoy the wonders of LittleBigPlanet.
CCC Site Director