Five Reasons Why You Must Buy LittleBigPlanet

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Last week I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to join the LittleBigPlanet beta. Initially I was planning to play the hell out of it for a comprehensive hands-on preview, but then I remembered how the last two betas I got in on — Call of Duty 4 and Metal Gear Online — hooked me in so much that I played them to death and sort of burnt out on both by the time the final versions shipped. LittleBigPlanet is a vastly different type of experience than those shooters, but I didn’t want to risk having the same scenario arise, so this time, with all my willpower, I decided to play for just a few days, get a small taste of what the game has to offer and then wait for the finished product to really suck me in. Therefore, instead of a full-on preview, I’m taking a slightly different approach here.

Even with only four days of play under my belt, I could type on and on about how inventive, innovative, and just plain fun to play LittleBigPlanet is, but rather than lengthy disposition I decided to break my impressions down into a straightforward listing of the five main features I think are going to make LittleBigPlanet a must-buy later this fall. Here we go:

1. SackBoy: SackBoy is one endearing little bugger, isn’t he? You’ve likely already fallen in love with him (and his female counterpart SackGirl) from the flood of trailers Sony’s been pumping out of late, but just wait until you actually get to control, customize and manipulate his every action and emotion. By holding the shoulder triggers and flicking the analog sticks around you’re able to manipulate his arms, and by wiggling the DualShock 3 (or Sixaxis) itself you can rotate his head and body. Different emotions are mapped to the four D-pad buttons too, so at the touch of a button you can make him happy, sad, frightened or whatever. Before now I didn’t realize this kind of thing was controllable, so it’s probably been the most pleasant surprise of the entire beta for me. His various animations and emotional states will literally melt your heart away, and the fact that you’re able to control it all provides you with a deeper connection to the character.

2. Mass Collectibles: The beta only offers three of the game’s main story levels, but in each one collectible goodies have been in abundance, from stickers to level decorations to SackBoy costume components (in creating a level to share with others you can even make your customized objects available as collectibles for other players to use). This game does an amazing job of rewarding you for spending time exploring every nook and cranny of a level with bonus items that actually have an immediate use. Anyone worried that this game would have a worthless single-player component need not fret a second more.

3. Intuitive, Intuitive, Intuitive: LittleBigPlanet is one of those games that is excessively deep and complex but at the same time couldn’t be any easier to operate. Everything from the menu system to the level editor interface to the core platforming controls is so slick and intuitive. Level editors have a tendency to scare users away with busy, complicated looking menus, but not LBP. At the tap of the square button SackBoy’s popit toolbox pops up on screen with everything you need to begin creating the level of your dreams right on the spot. It’s deep and powerful enough to challenge the talents of advanced designers without being intimidating to novices who just want to hop in and maybe create simple levels to play around in with their friends/family/children.

4. Charming Art Direction: SackBoy is too cute for words, but there’s more to this game’s charm than the main character. The art direction as a whole is out-of-this-world charming. Screenshots and even trailers don’t do justice to how wonderful this game looks on a big-screen HD display playing out in real-time right before your eyes.

5. Limitless Replay Value: In just a few days time, fellow beta invitees have already created and shared literally hundreds of homemade levels. On my second day alone I sat with my PS3 for hours on end simply hopping into created levels just to see what crazy concoctions other players were coming up with. Most created stages have been very basic, as is to be expected until players get a handle on everything the level editor can do, but just wait until the game launches and a community of experienced creators builds up. Every day between now and forever there’ll be something fresh and exciting to experience when you insert LittleBigPlanet into your PS3.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!