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Little Big Planet Review

01 Dec 2008

After this you’ll never look at sacks quite the same way again. Little Big Planet is a game for anyone who has ever wanted to create something or feel part of something bigger than themself - even if they have to run around in a potato sack to do it.

Little Big Planet is a unique experience. It’s partly a game of exploration and creativity, but it also offers classic platforming fun as your scrappy doll-like character leaps merrily between suspended platforms. Little Big Planet is charmingly cute and will appeal to a broad range of people. This is truly a game for everyone.

There are two different parts to the game: the creative side where you build your own levels to play, and the fun side where you test your skills on levels that have been created by someone else (either a game developer or other players like you). The Pod Computer is a navigation where you can access different parts of Little Big Planet such as Your Moon, where all your player-created levels are stored, and Info Moon, which contains the multiplayer options and your friends list.

You control a SackPerson (either SackGirl or SackBoy) who can be customised down to the finest detail. This is where the fun of creating your character in the world of LBP begins. You can control your SackPerson’s [removed]by pressing the up and down keys on the directional pad), their movement (you can dance around and even pose if you want) and also every part of their appearance. As the game progresses, you unlock all sorts of cool accessories (such as clothes, hats, glasses) that you can add to your SackPerson. Items you find can also be added to your Popit Menu, which is where you can access other things like stickers and decorations. And that’s just for starters. The world of LBP is an intriguing mixture of puzzles to solve (like adding weight to a pulley so you can get from one platform to another), places to explore, levels that you unlock and levels that you create yourself.

Controlling your SackPerson is easy – the directional buttons move them left or right and the left thumb stick controls general movement. The X button allows you to jump from platform to platform and over obstacles, but there will be some obstacles too big for you to jump. This is where LBP really shines. You can grab troublesome obstacles and move them around by using the R1 button. You can also grip objects in mid-air (depending on the level you are playing) and swing around from one area to another. But beware; some levels will have nasty surprises, like ghosts that can hurt your SackPerson and explosives that can blow them up.

The creative possibilities in Little Big Planet are undeniably the highlight of the game. You can let your imagination run wild by constructing your own game levels, which can then be shared with all your friends online. However, before you can access the level creator you must first unlock the My Moon area of the game by playing through the first few levels of The Gardens. This is also a great way to familiarise yourself with the menus and with the abilities of your SackPerson.

Amongst the current crowd of carbon-copy shooting games, Little Big Planet stands out as truly unique because it lets you free your imagination. That makes it more than just a game. Little Big Planet is a palette and you are the artist, so get painting.

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