LittleBigPlanet – The Game That Keeps On Giving

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Of all the games released over the past year — hell, this entire console generation so far for that matter — there’s really only been one game that has kept me coming back for more day in and day out. That game is Media Molecule’s PS3 masterwork, LittleBigPlanet.

Unfortunately, I never was able to get around to properly reviewing the game. Sony PR had such high demand to meet given the game’s high profile that I missed out on a review copy, and then the game’s last-minute delay threw a kink in my schedule amidst the insane ’08 holiday rush and I became so buried in games that I simply couldn’t get around to playing it until well into December.

It’s now a good 6-7 months out from the LittleBigPlanet‘s launch, and considering how much I still play this wonderful game I felt compelled to gush over it one more time. So consider this sort of an informal review and a reminder of just how significant a game release LittleBigPlanet is.

As a game, LittleBigPlanet is about as basic a side-scrolling platformer as they come. It even suffers from a few niggling control issues that can make the simplest of jumps unnecessarily frustrating. But the beauty of LittleBigPlanet is its constant evolution stemming from developer and community support.

Thanks to the built-in level editor, the possibilities are endless. Yes, LittleBigPlanet is a conventional platformer at heart, but with time, effort and a little creative thinking it can also be molded into virtually any type of game you want it to be. It can be a shmup, a puzzle game, an adventure game, a racing game, a functioning calculator, a table-top board game like Connect Four, a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, a Rube Goldberg machine or even a pinball game. Four-player online and offline support and an abundance of user-created min-games also make LittleBigPlanet the ultimate party game experience. Forget the Wii, pick up a PS3 and a copy of LittleBigPlanet and you’ll have all the waggle-free mini-games you’ll ever need!

The player community is quite strong with new user-created content popping up around the clock — 275,000 community levels have been published as of April, and by now that number has surely crossed the 300k mark — and the quality and diversity of the user content has been absolutely remarkable.

Sony and Media Molecule continue to show strong support for the game as well, expanding it with new content on a weekly basis. Sure, much of the DLC consists of costume packs, which for me personally seem like a waste of money since new Sackboy skins add no additional replay value to the experience, but new creator kits loaded with new creation tools and stickers are also made available regularly, and these kits keep creative users tinkering away at new levels to share with the community.

More premium level packs from Media Molecule would be great, though. The Metal Gear Solid add-on was fantastic, and I’m disappointed there haven’t been any more developer-made cross-over level packs for games like Final Fantasy VII, Ratchet & Clank, Killzone 2, Resistance, Jak & Daxter and so on (I’d kill for official ICO and/or Shadow of the Colossus level packs!). Of course, I’m sure Media Molecule is busy with other projects — they are working on a PSP version after all — but still, another premium level pack or two in the near future would go a long way towards pleasing loyal fans.

With such tremendous support from its creators and player community and such incredible gameplay diversity, LittleBigPlanet finds itself in my PS3 every single day, and every single day I discover something new and oftentimes more brilliant than the day before. Replay value like that is nearly impossible to find anywhere else, and the best part is there’s no end in sight. The community continues to grow, and the game itself really has yet to reach its full potential with features like cooperative online level creation and the “Play, Create and Share” scoring system still missing in action.

Oh yes, my fellow SackBoys and SackGirls, LittleBigPlanet truly is the game that keeps on giving!

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!