LittleBigPlanet 2: Official Review
By Curse


Basic Information:
Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
North American Release Date: 18th January 2011
European Release Date: 19th January 2011
Trophies: Yes, 1 3 7 36


Overview
LittleBigPlanet 2 is a sequel to Media Molecules original "LittleBigPlanet". Although it doesn't follow on from the story of the original, those who have played the first will agree that the two games feel very similar. Not in a bad way, it's got a whole "LittleBigPlanet feel" to it, the streamlined menus are still there, it's still based around the concept of Play, Create, Share and yes, Stephen Fry is still narrating


Gameplay
LittleBigPlanet 2 is a platformer based around three layers. To put it simply for those who have never experienced it, imagine the layout of mario, where you can hop between three layers. Of course the game is much more complex than that, you'll find yourself grabbing, swinging, grappling, throwing and controlling your way through a huge library of levels.

What's different from the original in the gameplay department is mainly the inclusion of four new gameplay tools, this may seem like a very small addition, and i once thought the same, but it adds so much more to the gameplay that you wouldn't believe it until you see it. The four tools are the grappling hook, controllinator, creatinator and the grabbinators. The grappling hook, as you can imagine, enables the user to grapple to grabbable objects, this adds a new dimension of speed and the need for heigh in user created levels, and can be used to create some great user controlled chases. The creatinator is the same kind of object as the paintball gun included as part of the metal gear solid DLC, it fires objects from a hat, and the objects are designated by the level creator. Then there's my personal favorite of the three, the grabbinators, these quite simply give sackboy huge strength, and allow him to pick up and throw grabbable objects. Again, all three sound very simple but they add a huge amount of variation to the gameplay

You may of noticed, I missed out one tool, the creatinator. The creatinator is like something never seen before in this game. When the user gets close to a creatinator tool, the have the option to jump in, and what it is, is simply a control booth that the user has access to. Again, you might be thinking 'why is this such a big deal', this adds so much to the game in one small tool, the possibilities are even more limitless to a previously limitless game. When creating, the creator has access to an in-game dualshock controller, meaning that they can map actions to certain buttons. This turns the game from a platforming game, to a simple piece of visual programming software. You can literally create your own game within the game now, a game that isn't restricted by the physics restrictions of the original, a game that you're free to set out and plan however you wish, with very few restrictions. To borrow sony's tagline, the game is just the start

Singleplayer
The singleplayer for this game was a fantastic, enjoyable experience for me. The story may be entirely unrelated to the first story, but lets face it, we're all here for a game that'll keep us entertained and laughing for hours on end, not for an in-depth story that we'll become emotionally attached to.

And entertainment is exactly what this game provides throughout the story. You'll find yourself in love with the cute and quirky characters, that tell the story of craftworld being attacked by "The Negativatron", in order to save craftworld, sackboy must defeat the negativitron. To do this he teams up with "The alliance", a group of people lead by Larry Da Vinci and Avalon. Of course Avalon and Larry Da Vinci often have a difference of opinions, and this cheesy story is packed full of twists and turns, to keep you entertained enough. After that you'll find yourself hunting down prize bubbles to complete the cute costumes you'll begin to dream about, and acing levels just for that extra costume. Pins are a new addition, these are like in-game trophies that you'll unlock for doing various tasks, and often link in with the actual trophies. Oh, and if all this isn't enough, sackbots are the cutest thing you'll ever see. You'll find yourself chasing them around for hours. Seriously.

But the key part, and the part we're all here for is "Create" mode. This is where the user literally has control of a visual development kit, the exact same kit used by Media Molecule to create the very same story levels you've probably just played through. Seriously, create mode is phenominal, but you could spend hours in there with little progress. Thankfully, the tutorials work better than before, I found myself sitting down and playing through them just for the extra knowledge, not even just for the trophy like last time. After hours spent in create mode it gave the impression that it's simple enough to make levels of the same standard even of some of the more popular levels in the original game. But there's that much to choose from, the standard of levels has been risen massively, especially with the inclusion of the controllinator, you'll find yourself creating a game, inside the game.


This isn't of a different game. This is an example of just what can be achieved in create mode


Multiplayer
Multiplayer is the key ingredient to why I've enjoyed this game so much, if a group of four fully grown men can't sit in their rooms, dress up their 'sacks' and play for hours on end, there is something wrong with this world. Seriously, this is THE most fun I think I've EVER had playing a game online. I'm writing this over a month after release and I still get excited of the thought of playing around with friends online.

And it's the whole feel of the game, the colors and the cute levels that brings out the immature side of the player. No other game could feel so fun, when you're being dragged to your death by a pesky friend with a grappling hook, but somehow it just adds to the game. Most of the time you'll be dodging your imature friends ways of killing you more than the actual traps in the levels. Whether you're playing through the Media Molecule levels, user made levels or creating levels together, you'll be having a barrel of laughs (Yes, you can create levels together now!)


Multiplayer will keep you coming back for hours, and laughing for every minute of them


Technical
Technically beautiful. That is all I can say about this game, everything is near perfect, except for the fact that graphically, it isn't too different from the original. Changes have been made, but sometimes you do get the feeling that it looks very similar. Of course, this isn't a huge thing, graphically it still looks superb. The song choice is fantastic, Passion Pits "Sleepy Head" (Yes, that one off of that advert) fits the atmosphere of the game so well, and I find myself loving any user made level featuring that song.

The sackbot mechanics add so much to the levels, the ability to create movies in the game kinda says it all about the create mode. The controllinator again adds so much to create so much more than you ever could before. The feel of the game is just perfect in my eyes, the controls feel ever so slightly tweaked and that slightly floaty feeling isn't as apparent. Gravity tweakers in levels again add to the depth, and it all bundles up into a solid game


They're so cute!


Trophies
Not the trickiest of platinums, with a list that is very similar to the first. If you've platinumed the first, you have no excuses for not doing this one. The only slight challenges are acing all of the levels, but if you leave that 'til you've finished off the prize bubbles etc. You should know the game like the back of your hand, and a master of the controls. The "Have # players play your levels' trophies are still there, but hey, we can all spam the advertisement of our levels cant we?

Closing Thoughts
If you can't love this game, you need to get back in touch with your childish side. Honestly is the best platformer i've played since mario, and I really can't stop talking about this game. Get on it!

Gameplay: 9/10
Feels great, the slight flaws that were once there are now gone. Still not perfect

Singleplayer: 9/10
Again, fantastic, but could've been a little longer, and involved more sackbots!

Multiplayer: 10/10
The fact that I still cant stop playing this game with friends says it all, and with an ever expanding libary of levels to play, I wont be growing tired quickly

Technical: 9/10
Technically brilliant, but I still can't help but avoid the thought that they were a little lazy on the graphical side of things

Overall: 9/10
One of the best games on the system. Get it.