Developer: Double Eleven, Tarsier Studios, XDev
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date:September 25th, 2012
European Release Date:September 19th, 2012
LittleBigPlanet returns, this time on the PSVita. LittleBigPlanet has come a long way since its debut in 2008. After LittleBigPlanet 2 there was an LBP on the PSP as well, it has now made its way for the first time on the PSVita. Has the series kept its charm that every other game in the series has offered us in the past?
Playing all previous entries in the series, I can safely say that LBPVita plays the same as its previous console counterparts. Is this a bad thing though? Not at all. The game is just as clever and fun to play as it has always been, if not better with its very well integrated Vita controls. You will not get too different of an experience when you first pick it up though. You will still feel familiar with the way the game plays and how to control Sackboy on his brand-new adventure. Jumping, grabbing, and even slapping is all still here. The highlight of my experience when playing LBPV was getting the whole console package, with much more added features that are only capable on the Vita.
At first, when I came across sections in the game where I had to touch the screen to move an object, I felt it was much too forced. Then, I moved on and kept running into sections where I had to use the front or back touch-screens to keep going. After a little while it felt very comforting and seemed as if they were meant to be there. I wanted to see more sections that I could interact with just by a simple touch.
Although they integrated these new features extremely well, there was still only one thing that I felt was still causing me problems like it did in the other games. That issue was controlling Sackboy to stay or switch to one of the three rows youíre forced to walk on. It was countless amounts of times I had trouble moving from one row to another, and it was the same with some of my friends I played with as well. Itís actually easy to switch between when holding still, but when youíre moving fast or say youíre running from something, it can be difficult to switch between the rows even when you know youíre doing it correctly. Itís something that has caused much frustration and seemed like it should have been made more sensitive.
The game just wouldn't be as fun without taking advantage of the Vita's hardware.
Of course with LBP, you have to have its create mode. This time around the create mode can be used much more precisely and quicker with the Vita's touch controls added. With two fingers you can determine the size of the object and the place you would like to put it. Yet, as it is with all the other LBPís, it can still be difficult and take much time to create exactly what you want. With all of its tutorials to watch, you will still probably have some trouble with it until you have practice with all of its aspects. Nonetheless, it is still great that that kept with it and even added on with it.
In LBPV you will take control with the amazingly customizable Sackboy as he goes on the journey to stop the evil Puppeteer. The story is likable in a sense that it is quirky and cute at the same time. You will also meet fun and interesting people along the way that will teach you all that you need. You will feel happy by stories' end, but also a little dissatisfied in it not continuing just a little further. It all seemed to have been just a little rushed in the ending.
The environments are just as fun and creative as all the other LBPís in the story mode. Of course, much of what you go through seemed to have been too much of a tutorial, but this also made the game fresh at every turn. Much of the speech bubbles you saw throughout, just made you want to skip, but felt they were probably important to learn something or important to the story. Once you did get further into the game though, it all was much too easy to understand and seeing the speech bubbles really was a waste of time. It never hurt to skip them though.
One of the things I loved seeing that was only possible on the Vita were the little unlocked stages in story mode. Once you got a key you unlocked a level outside of the story mode. These little levels usually were competitive, either with the computer AI or friends online. The greatest thing about these levels though was how well they took advantage of the Vitas features. Some made you flip the Vita to the side to play a Tetris type game, while some made it so you had to use the back and front touch panels to play the game. However it made you play, I loved playing through a story level and finding a key, then coming back out to enter one of these new side levels every time. It made the sp of the game that much better.
There are so many awesome mini-levels within the game.
Four player co-op was there before and it is here once again. You can play the main story of the game with up to three other friends. Sometimes it makes the experience that much better just to laugh at your friendís death or by teasing one another. Even slapping one another is a game of its own. Going through the main story there are some areas that require more players to move on and collect everything in a level. Sadly, if youíre someone who only wants to play alone, you wonít be able to collect everything, as co-op is forced to get into some places. Still, itís a determining factor to get people to play together, and it works well.
No, there is no four player couch co-op in this... but, there is something else. In the game, usually in the unlockable side levels in the story, there were levels that allowed you to play with friends on a single Vita. How did they do this? Well, there were games like Ice-hokey and boxing that allowed a person to control half of the Vita and another person to control the other half. This system was implemented so well it was almost unbelievable how much fun and great it worked. I played many games with friends this way on the go.
The game would not be LBP without its sharing features added to it. You can go online and find random levels or find the best rated levels that people have created just as it was in the LBPís. These levels donít always seem to be the best, especially when compared to the story levels, but still are fun and can be quite creative at times. One level I really thought was creative was created to be a Spider-Man clone. It was fun and seemed to have taken a lot of work to create it. There wasnít too much to it other than the ability to web-sling, but it was still an experience. This is just one of many levels I saw that the community of LBP has. I know I will see much more like it in the future.
Of course the game's better with friends.
LBPV looks just as good as its console counterparts. The water, the stickers, and Sackboy all look just how you would expect for them to look. There is also so much in terms of customization for not only your Sackboy, but also your Planet and Pod as well. Going through the customization menus really can be entertaining just to see all the things they added.
One big technical problem that I had with LBPV, was the constant lag in multiplayer. Whether it be in co-op mode, playing in a user created level, or even just in the pod, there was constant lag. I didnít get it as bad when I was hosting, but when I was a guest in someoneís game it was way too frequent. I could also tell with many people who I played with when I hosted had troubles with it as well. It caused many deaths and even system freezes all too often. Hopefully this will be addressed in a patch to come.
The trophies in LBPV are just as they were with all the other LBPís. Beat the story, collect all of these, and get hearted by this many people. This certainly is a game where youíre going to need a lot of friends, or much creativity to build a great level that will be liked by many. It is fun going for platinum, but it will also take quite a bit of time to earn as well.
Playing LBP on my Vita was one of the best experiences I had since Iíve bought it. I will even go as far to say this version is the best LBP to date and is reason enough to get the Vita.
As fun as it can be with the Vita controls making it an even better experience.
Fun, creative and sometimes just plain silly. Without all these elements though, it would not be an LBP.
A blast that never ends. It will be the reason you will continue playing months after you purchase the game.
Great, other than the lag that comes up every so often online. Everything else is solid.