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LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3) Review

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The first Little Big Planet had quite possibly the greatest, most in-depth tools for user-created content anyone has ever made as part of a video game. Its sequel renews that status with everything the original had, along with much, much more. This is true more literally than in any other game I'm aware of. Upon loading up Little Big Planet 2, you automatically gain access to everything you had in the first game. All on-disc content is accessible, all DLC is backwards-compatible, and all two million plus user-created levels made in the first game are playable in this sequel.

If there's one thing people complained about in regards to the first Little Big Planet, it's that the game plays very differently from the standard platformer. People who went in expecting it to handle similarly to classic 2-D Sonic or Mario were disappointed with the low jump height and floaty, imprecise controls. That isn't to say the game handled poorly, just that with its physics-based nature, it is almost impossible to make pixel-perfect jumps no matter how well you time them. The one downside to its absolute backwards-compatibility is that no significant changes could be made to the way basic platforming works. In fact, Little Big Planet 2 plays identically in that respect, to its predecessor. Where the game changes, is in all the extra stuff they piled on top of those original features. While the main focus of the game is still platforming, it can become anything from an RPG, to a fighter, to a top-down shooter or racing game, or even a film. As long as you restrict your thoughts to two dimensions, anything you can imagine is possible, and with over three million community levels out there, probably already made by someone.

With so many levels, it will come as a shock to on one to learn that most of them are crap. However, the less than one percent of levels which are truly great still accounts for thousands of levels and by extension, thousands of hours of re-playability. Even with that many options, there is still the matter of finding what amounts to a few needles in a very large haystack. In this respect, Little Big Planet 2 vastly improves on the first game, with a plethora of searching options that can help you find which levels are newest, most highly rated, most played, or any combination of those, along with text-based searching. Any amount of levels can then be added to your queue, allowing you to find dozens of levels and then play them all back to back without any intermediate searching. All this can also be done online with lbp.me, which represents the most thorough relationship between a game and website I've ever seen. There, you can log into your PSN account and experience everything the in-game searching is capable of, and add levels to your queue which will appear the next time you boot up the game.

The graphics in Little Big Planet 2 retain the charming papercraft look of the original that somehow manages to balance everything being utterly adorable, without making you want to vomit through your eyes. The sound design is just as charming. The music Media Molecule licensed for this game is once again, spot on with catchy tunes which combined with everything the first game had to offer, allows for audio options appropriate for any level you can think up. If that's not enough though, Little Big Planet 2 also features an intuitive music creator. So if you want to recreate an adorable version of Mortal Kombat complete with theme music, you are free to do so. If that weren't enough, Little Big Planet 2 also features copious amounts of Stephen Phry, who doubles as both the game's narrator, and the voice-over for the dozens of well done tutorial videos designed to make all the creation stuff as easy as possible to understand. The main meat of Little Big Planet 2 is in all of its creation options that claim to, and are very successful at, bringing anything you can imagine to life. Even if you never touch the creation stuff, there are still millions of levels out there and more being added every minute that makes it impossible for one person to play them all. By that account, the game has quite literally, infinite re-playability. Whether you want to bring your imagination to life, or just live out that of other level creators, this is a game I would recommend to anyone with a PS3 and an internet connection.





Puzzle / Action



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