One year has passed since the stunning platformer Little Big Planet was released exclusively on the PS3, so you knew it was only going to be a matter of time before Media Molecule looked to broaden their reach to the portable market. Little Big Planet was, and still is an one of a kind experience that is now available on the go.
With Little Big Planet’s release on the Playstation Portable most LBP fans are worried that the Planet’s mantra “Play, Create, Share” was going to be compromised due to the platforms limitations. However unexpectedly the little Playstation comes through by keeping all LBP’s functionality. This means you have the same eye-poping platforming gameplay from the Playstation 3, and yes, you can still "create" your own levels and "share" them with the always growing Little Big Planet community.
35 To Start
Not only does Little Big Planet provide over 35 pre-made levels, but you also have the unlimited resources of the internet at your command. Instantly, Little Big Planet becomes an invaluable title with unlimited replay value thanks to the priceless resource of being able create and download new levels. If the console version is anything to go by the PSP edition should have a plethora of content steadily being released. Like the PS3 version, it’s really up to the community if LBP grows passed the developer’s vision. The levels they have created are honorably sharp and always have a level of polish most downloaded level won’t have, but that’s not always the case. Given a little more time you might just be surprised how clever the community of user-created content can be. I was constantly impressed with the quality of work on the PS3, so we’re expecting big things here.
Sackers is still a Little Loose
The controls follow suit with a similar feel to the PS3. These include the crazy physics engine attached to all the items in the world giving each section of the game its own feel. That being said, like the PS3, this is the games biggest area to be concerned. Sackboy (or Sackgirl) can a little hard to control when jumping because of the physics. The gravity seems a little light and sackers seems to float a little too much with his jumps. In the beginning you might be a little frustrated with the bugger, but it will improve with more play time. You really need to feel out Sackboys motions before you can start to flow through the levels like Mario. Keep in mind that this isn’t a flaw exclusive the PSP; it also was an issue in the PS3 edition.
Lady GaGa Would Be Proud
The multiple of outfits, stickers, and orbs to accumulate makes its way over to the PSP edition. The only downside to having the entire extra content is the screen size which makes it a little spotty to see the details. Having a smaller perspective also means that you will presumably stick to the more outlandish outfits-- and there are lots of those... Lady GaGa would be proud! Like the PS3, it's all up to you to customize your sack-person to your liking.
Are You New To LBP?
For those who have not played LBP in the past, it is a platforming game like Mario where you have to cross through several obstacles to cross the finish line. Unlike Mario you won’t simply be moving left to right, you will be moving in all directions with obstacles and puzzles to overcome. LBP forces you to use your head a little more and work on your timing if you want to be successful. Surprisingly despite the little sackpersons' cute looks, this game can be rightfully difficult and at times frustrating. It’s nothing that shouldn’t be expected; however, don’t expect LBP to be a cake-walk.
Little Trials and Tribulations
LBP also has some minor flaws that can increase your frustration like items in the world not spawning. It’s not something that happens all the time, and it can be fixed with a reload, still until you understand what is happening you will be cursing the screen saying “what should I do now?”
Continuing on this theme, LBP doesn’t always point you in the right direction to go, so you’ll have to do a little exploring. The game design usually features big levels that have many layers. Depending on the level you could even find yourself falling back to the start. If this happens don’t get too upset, as long as you didn’t pass over the circular checkpoint markers, a simple implode will return you to your last checkpoint. Checkpoints are fairly frequent in LBP, which helps to make the game more enjoyable. The devs usually have good placement for the checkpoints, and they usually appear conveniently after you finish hard section of the game.
It's 2D, No its 3D-- It's 2D/3D
One reason why LBP is a little more difficult than its forefathers is because of its 2D-3D world. At times it can be a little hard to differentiate which space you should be in, but with a little fumbling you will find your way. The game cleverly uses this to its advantage, which allows it to create deeper levels that are a lot more interesting than your typical platformer. LBP also has different functionality with its items in the world, and if you spend any time in the editor, you will see this. Levels are filled with more than chasms to jump over, they usually have switches, things you can ride on, things you need to grab and swing over, and more. LBP is quite intricate and a lot of fun if you enjoy this type of gameplay.
One aspect that didn’t make it over to the Playstation Portable version is the co-op multiplayer. Having no co-op multiplayer in Little Big Planet is a little disappointing because it was such an important part of the Playstation 3 version. Not only could you play with friends in your house, you could head online and experience LBP with people from around this world. Having multiplayer options instantly made the LBP community feel a little more personal and more than simply sharing levels between users. I’m sure a lot of the reasons why Media Molecule didn’t include multiplayer is because of the difference in hardware, however aside from this the game holds up really well.
Yip, Still Adorable
The graphical downgrade in this port is so minor that I could hardly tell the difference between the two versions; well besides the shine and wax coating of the PlayStation 3 version, but this is the PlayStation Portable, and for a PSP title, Little Big Planet looks fabulous in its transition. This helps capture the fun adorable world of Little Big Planet with all its detail and charm. Little Big Planet like the recent stream of first-party published PSP games, they are looking outstanding and high above my expectations.
Little Big Planet on the PSP is a wonderful adaptation from the PS3 edition that won over our hearts last year. The only sacrifice that has been made is the co-op multiplayer functionality, aside from running around in the world with friends "the play, create, and share" moniker still reigns true. Like lemonade, Media Molecule has squeezed all the greatness from the Playstation 3 version into a new refreshing version of itself, it's one all fans should check out, and if you missed it the first time around, this version is as good representation of the unique and charming world Media Molecule has invented.
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.03.09