May 19, 2010

[Games] LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Little Big Planet (PS3)The console gaming market has seen the rise of many types of games whether we're talking about RPGs like the Final Fantasy series or shooting games like Halo. But there's one genre of games that has pretty much been a mainstay of the console market to the point of nearly being iconically related to it.

Yes, I'm talking about platform games.

Every new console has been paired with its own brand of platform game directly associated with it. The original Nintendo system had Super Mario and Mega Man. The Sega Genesis had Sonic the Hedgehog. The PlayStation 2 initially had Crash Bandicoot and even Ratchet and Clank. The list goes on and on and we've come to embrace many of these games as we became more and more attached to our respective consoles.

So naturally the PlayStation 3 had to have its own platform game and the developers certainly decided to raise the bar this time.

LittleBigPlanet is pretty much the platform game I'm most associating with the PS3. It's a pretty involving game and one that certainly changes the way we look at platform games as a whole.

Little Big Planet - HD - SackboyImage by SobControllers via Flickr

In the game, you get to control a little sackperson across the stages of Little Big Planet. What is LittleBigPlanet? Well, in theory it's the result of the sum total of all the creativity of the world. This manifests as stage upon strange stage involving planes that appear to be created out of scraps, extra fabric and a lot of other things. You get through each stage solving puzzles and challenges whether alone or with a friend. The stages are wildly diverse with some involving comical ghosts and ghouls and others yet that are styled to look like ancient Japan or perhaps some urban hip-hop ghetto zone. And they're not cakewalk either, with each stage capturing the best and the worst of various platform games, thus giving you a nice diversity of challenges to surmount.

What really sets the game apart is not some involving storyline, since each stage is practically independent of the other. The game is best remembered because of the sheer potential for customization and personalization associated with it. As you go through the stages, you get to collect various stickers, accessories and other fun things that you can use to change the look of your sackperson or of the stage itself. Some challenges even require you to apply the right sticker design or perform certain customizations in order to advance even further.

Beyond just being able to customize your character, there is a wonderfully open stage creation platform with the game so you can make your own LBP stages as you desire. Add in the joys of the PlayStaion Network and you end up with an amazingly diverse community out there with whom you can share your creations or experiment with the stages developed by others. Some of the stages even involve trying to mimic existing games like Mario or even Metal Gear Solid. The only thing that really limits you is your own creativity.

You won't be able to maximize LittleBigPlanet if you never go online or if you don't at least have a friend to play with you at home. There are far too many secrets that can only be unlocked with the assistance of others and thus socializing is really helpful.

LittleBigPlanet is perhaps the most creative game that I've ever encountered and one that makes full use of the PlayStaion 3's technical and network capabilities. It deserves a full 5 crazy collectible stickers out of a possible 5.


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