LittleBigPlanet PlayStation 3
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Released on 05/11/2008
BAFTA Winner: Artistic Achievement
Shortlist game for the GAME Award of 2008
In the glued and stitched-together 3D landscape of LittleBigPlanet for PS3, players have the power to design, shape and build both objects and entire locations for others to view and play. There's no complicated level editor in LittleBigPlanet; all of these skills can be learned by simply playing the game. Creativity is part of the LittleBigPlanet PS3 gameplay experience and playing is part of the creative experience. LittleBigPlanet Players can make their world as open or as secretive to explore as they like. When it's ready, they can invite anyone within the LittleBigPlanet community to come and explore their patch - or can go and explore everybody else's.
LittleBigPlanet on PS3 Features:
- Play LittleBigPlanet, learn the skills and then find your own way to play: There isn't a set solution to anything - you live LittleBigPlanet however you want to.
- Create your own content: LittleBigPlanet lets you customise your character and build your own locations. You have the power to rearrange anything in LittleBigPlanet's unbelievably tactile landscape.
- Build, move, create, collaborate: Then share your LittleBigPlanet content with friends or publicly by inviting the whole world to come and visit your own location on LittleBigPlanet!
- There's not just one way to play: LittleBigPlanet players craft their own individual experience!
- Unlimited possibilities for user-created content: LittleBigPlanet players can customise everything: their characters, the landscape around them and their own patch on LittleBigPlanet.
- LittleBigPlanet Players discover and win new skills and items: These to aid them on their creative journey.
- Initial levels are provided: Endless others will be user-generated on a global scale. LittleBigPlanet will change every day as players contribute their own levels!
- Online and offline multiplayer modes: play LittleBigPlanet alone, work as a team or get competitive!
- LittleBigPlanet global community for players to get involved with: includes LittleBigPlanet player comments, rankings and easy communication with new and existing friends.
Little planet, big game!
Last March, Sony went to the famous Game Developers Conference in San Francisco determined to make an enormous splash with a brand new game concept. But they didn't reveal a big, noisy first-person shooter or a trendy gangster adventure: they showed this. And it stole the show.
In some ways, LittleBigPlanet looks like an extremely cute, but rather old-fashioned platform game. You control a character called Sackboy within a series of two dimensional worlds, solving puzzles and avoiding dangers. The visual style is what first grabs you - every object in the game is created from a recognisable texture, such as wool, brick, metal or sponge.
One we made earlier
The designers say they want LittleBigPlanet to look like a Blue Peter creation, something that we could all make at home with some toilet rolls and sticky-back plastic. But it's so detailed and so charming it looks just as astonishing as the latest 3D shooters.
With more experience, gamers can begin to add objects or puzzles to the ready-made stages or even create whole new levels.
It's also just as clever. LittleBigPlanet is based around an incredibly authentic physics engine, which invests every object in the game with real physical properties. What the heck does that mean in practice? Well, if you drop a metal object onto a see-saw in the game, the other side will shoot up; do the same with a sponge and nothing happens. If Sackboy steps onto a glass slope he'll slide down, but he won't on a brick slope because it's not smooth enough. The game constantly forces you to think about materials and properties in order to solve puzzles - which is many times more fun than it sounds.
Yet the truly amazing things about LittleBigPlanet are its customisation and game creation features. Although there are over 50 ready-made levels available, you're also able to modify any of the environments. You could start by creating stickers to slap up all over the world - there are loads of designs included with the game, but it's also possible to use the PlayStation Eye camera to take photos and turn them into in-game posters.
Science and sound
With more experience, gamers can begin to add objects or puzzles to the ready-made stages or even create whole new levels, placing everything exactly where they like. It's all controlled through a simple interface that brings up menus of objects and items to browse through and select.
LittleBigPlanet is Super Mario Brothers re-imagined for the MySpace generation. It's something really quite revolutionary.
Early game testers have already started building quite complex machines - including simple calculators - out of the variety of cogs, switches and wires available. There's even a sound and music editor, enabling the creation of special effects and in-game tunes.
New levels - or 'patches' as they're known in the game - can then be shared with the rest of the LittleBigPlanet community via the PlayStation Network. Players all over the world will be able to review, discuss and edit each other's patches. The game is also fully multiplayer, so you and up to three friends can play through stages, perhaps working together to make changes and additions as you go.
LittleBigPlanet is Super Mario Brothers re-imagined for the MySpace generation. It's something really quite revolutionary, a communal creative experience that could change the way we all think about playing games. To say it's the most important PS3 game of the year is the biggest understatement since "Hey, that Call of Duty IV multiplayer is quite addictive..." This is where gaming is going - and you really need to play it to keep up.
Preview by: Keith 'Sackman' Stuart
Preview Published: 10.10.08
It's obvious from the second it boots up, that LittleBigPlanet is an extraordinary game. There are no dull menu screens or flashy movie sequences. Instead, you're whisked straight into the richly idiosyncratic patchwork environment where you are introduced to the game's many quirks and controls by the gentle, soothingly familiar voice of Stephen Fry. Before you know it, you've customised Sackboy, the achingly cute lead character, and got to grips with the game's 'Popit' system, a beautifully simple pop-up menu that provides access to all the bizarre and wonderful features. Now, what you do is really, completely up to you.
Let's get physical
At its heart, there's no getting away from the fact that LittleBigPlanet is a scrolling 2D platformer. From the game's main navigation area - known as the pod - you can select one of the 50 or so ready-made 'Story' levels (although you'll need to unlock these as you go along). Each is an intricately designed system of teasing physics puzzles involving see-saws, rolling balls, swinging ropes, bridges, waterwheels and vehicles. There are plenty of hidden objects too, with giant keys providing access to extra bonus levels where you can rack up your score in crazy mini-games.
If your heart doesn't melt at least once every ten minutes, it is colder than the surface of Pluto.
If you're having trouble attempting LittleBigPlanet alone, up to three friends can join you in a level - either online or on the same machine - all of you working together to solve the ingenious tricks and traps. There are key areas spread around many levels, which can only be unlocked when two or more players co-operate - these are never central to progression, so you can finish the Story mode alone, but they provide bonuses and are fun to figure out.
Sackboy is a wonderfully versatile presence. He can push and pull objects, he can leap - heck, using the D-Pad, motion controls and shoulder buttons, he can even pull facial expressions, look around the environment and do a funny little dance. In fact, he could be the most expressive and intricately controllable character ever to grace a videogame. If your heart doesn't melt at least once every ten minutes in LittleBigPlanet, it is colder than the surface of Pluto.
The game's creators, Media Molecule, have said they wanted their game world to look homemade, and it does, in the best possible way. Cardboard stars with string attached hang over worlds built out of cushions, sponges and house bricks, all cobbled and piled together in a universe that's part Blue Peter part Monty Python. There has never been anything that looks quite like LittleBigPlanet, and time and time again you'll stare open mouthed at the screen as giant robotic animals dance by or some amazingly elaborate mechanism is tricked into lurching life by your touch.
And then there's LittleBigPlanet's Create mode, an incredibly powerful map editor that lets you re-design readymade levels or start from scratch on your own, using materials, blocks and shapes collected and stored in your Popit menu. You'll probably start by randomly lobbing stuff on the screen, but slowly you'll learn to build your own puzzles and vehicles, and to develop a unique visual style using the many colours and textiles on offer.
There are already hundreds of user-generated levels online, many of which provide totally new experiences.
Really, 'map editor' is the wrong term, because this isn't a nerdy construction kit - it's a joyous creative toy, that gradually offers more and more opportunities as you become more experienced. And when you've finished, your masterpiece can be uploaded to the web to share with friends. There are already hundreds of user-generated LittleBigPlanet levels online, many of which provide totally new experiences, far beyond the 2D scrolling platformer at the centre of the original game.
If you were to be really picky, there are some slight issues with the controls. In LittleBigPlanet, environments can have up to three levels of depth, and navigating from one to the next is tricky at times - the developers themselves have admitted this. Also, while the game is being marketed as something for the whole family, there will be plenty of less experienced players put off by the at-times challenging nature of the platforming set-pieces.
A planet for everyone
But they'll learn - and they'll have some wonderful times in the process. Because LittleBigPlanet is a triumph - a game that truly deserves the term 'essential purchase'. It is so visually creative and so riddled with great little ideas and touches, that what you're paying for is a masterclass in next-generation game design. If you have a PS3, you must have LittleBigPlanet to go with it - there's really nothing else to say on the matter.
- Incredible visual style.
- Endless creative possibilities.
- Amazing physics engine.
- Can be difficult to move between planes.
- Tough puzzles for platform newcomers.
- Oh I give up, just get a copy!
Sony has confirmed that the much-rumoured LittleBigPlanet 2 will release this year, officially unveiling the game to selected members of the specialist press and detailing a wealth of brand new features for what's likely to be one of the most anticipated games of 2010.
The franchise's loveable avatar Sackboy returns, this time in possession of a grappling hook which offers a much quicker way to get around, as well as causing a great deal of knockabout chaos in multiplayer. The hook is also handy for those wanting to make levels, too - letting Sackboy grab items more easily.
The creative aspect has been expanded significantly, with players now able to work in a number of different genres, while a hugely flexible camera system will let players craft their own story sequences: essentially, users will be able to create entire games rather than just single levels. Meanwhile, the new 'digital puppetry' system offers the chance to make creatures and machines with their own artificial intelligence.
With early footage showing a top down racing game, an Arkanoid clone and a side-scrolling space shooter, it seems LittleBigPlanet 2 will offer more creative freedom than ever before. Expect to hear more about this PS3-exclusive sequel in the run-up to its release this winter.
Sony has dropped a very cuddly, home-made bomb: LittleBigPlanet 2 will be released in the US on 16th November. That means that the chances are very good that we'll be getting the game in November as well.
While there's no firm date announced for Europe, it would be unlikely that a release as big as this would be delayed for too long.
If you aren't in the know, LittleBigPlanet 2 is the sequel to the best-selling Playstation 3 game, which lets you play through and build your own 2D platform games. The sequel ups the ante, providing tools which should help you to make any kind of game at all, from racers, RTS titles, to side-scrolling shooters. There's a handy creative interface to use, and you can share your work with people around the world. If you built a load of stuff for the first LittleBigPlanet, don't worry: it will still work in the sequel apparently. How thoughtful!
As if that wasn't enough, the PlayStation 3 exclusive will also be getting a special collector's edition. The box will contain: a plushie Sackboy (the game's mascot), LBP-themed book ends, loads of exclusive costumes and five LBP2 PlayStation Network avatars. Nice!
Sackboy's newest adventure has received a LittleBigDelay, with developer Media Molecule announcing via its website that the much-anticipated sequel will no longer hit shelves before Christmas, instead arriving sometime in January 2011.
It offers an even more flexible creative toolset than the critically-acclaimed original, with players able to create their own game types, cutscenes, sound effects and music. And naturally, such an ambitious idea has come at a cost, as the Guildford-based team explains:
"We've all been working like powered-up space ninjas and we're almost there, but because we love what we've made, and we love our little sack-friends, and most of all we love all our fans out there, we couldn't let you all get together until we knew we were giving you the best experience imaginable. Which is why we've taken the hard decision to delay the worldwide release of LittleBigPlanet 2, originally slated for later this year to January 2011."
Levels created by users in the beta have already started showing up on the internet, showcasing the game's impressive diversity. One YouTube video demonstrates an accomplished take on Street Fighter II, with an instantly recognisable version of Guile's theme playing in the background.
Suffice to say that despite the disappointment, LittleBigPlanet 2 looks like it will be well worth the wait when it launches early next year.
You like big games that offer lots of entertainment value, right? Well check out the LittleBigPlanet franchise two games in on the PlayStation 3, and the make-your-own-game game has seen more than four million user-created levels brought to life.
That according to the PlayStation Blog, anyway thanks, Eurogamer where the game product manager Alex Pavey has announced that a grand total of 4,141,742 levels have been uploaded by players of LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2 around the world.
Apparently, that means that if you played the games for 12 hours every day, and tried out each level for five minutes, it would take you 78 years to chew through all that content. Wow!
"For us the most exciting thing has always been seeing what the community does with a LittleBigPlanet game when they get their hands on the new features and tools," said the game developer Media Molecule in a celebratory statement. "We're constantly delighted and amazed by their ingenuity and creativity, and it's so inspiring to see the level of affection that exists for LittleBigPlanet amongst fans around the world."
LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2 are delightful platform games in which you can put Sackboy through his running and jumping paces, or get stuck in to make your own levels to share online. Both games are PlayStation 3 exclusives.
Beloved UK developer Media Molecule has admitted that it's taking a step away from Sackboy and the PlayStation 3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet franchise for its next project, but fans of the hand-stitched hero shouldn't be too disheartened.
LBP will still be making an appearance on Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vita handheld, with development duties for that version falling to fledgling Britsoft studio, Double11. And Media Molecule hasn't abandoned its patchwork world entirely, as work is ongoing for major PlayStation Move additions to the hugely popular LittleBigPlanet 2, as well as special educational levels for schools, using Sackboy to teach kids about core subjects such as maths, physics and the importance of collecting stickers, hats and cakes. So it seems that even if his creators are stepping back, Sackboy will still be a gaming fixture for the foreseeable future.
What Media Molecule has planned next is still top secret, but there's little chance of it being a space marine first-person shooter. The Surrey-based studio, founded by former Lionhead staffers, has made its name through innovative and imaginative fresh ideas. What is for sure is that their next game will be another Sony exclusive the hardware giant snapped up the studio in March 2010.
Is Sackboy the next Lewis Hamilton? He will be if Sony gets its way, as the publisher has confirmed that LittleBigPlanet Karting will grace the PlayStation 3 later this year.
In keeping with Sackboy's original games, there will be a strong emphasis on user-created content, with a new construction tool enabling players to create their own courses and game modes in full 3D. Both racing and battle modes will be supported.
"We are very eager to see what you think of this union and especially excited to see what happens now that you have a 3D environment to create in!" said a Media Molecule post on the official Sony blog. "It's the start of a whole new LBP world!"
"Our goal with LBP Karting has been fairly simple - provide a fast-paced experience that captures the best of classic karting gameplay, married with the unbridled creativity of LBP," adds senior producer James Grieve of United Front Games. "This new adventure will be accessible to players of all ages and have all of the variety necessary to satisfy both the hardcore and more casual players."
LittleBigPlanet Karting is set for release later in 2012.
LittleBigPlanet Preview (10/10/2008)
Little planet, big game!
Last March, Sony went to the famous Game Developers Conference in San Francisco determined to make an enormous splash with a brand new game co…LittleBigPlanet Review (07/11/2008)
It's obvious from the second it boots up, that LittleBigPlanet is an extraordinary…
The Sackboy is back in town - LittleBigPlanet sequel detailed…
Sony dates LittleBigPlanet 2…
LittleBigPlanet 2 now due in 2011…
You like big games that offer lots of entertainment value, right? Well check out the LittleBigPlanet franchise two games in on the PlayStation 3, and the make-your-own-game game has seen more than fou…
Beloved UK developer Media Molecule has admitted that it's taking a step away from Sackboy and the PlayStation 3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet franchise for its next project, but fans of the hand-stitched…
Is Sackboy the next Lewis Hamilton? He will be if Sony gets its way, as the publisher has confirmed that LittleBigPlanet Karting will grace the PlayStation 3 later this year.…LittleBigPlanet User ReviewsTop review5 months agoTruly TerrificLBP is soo good I really enjoy playing it I especially love the online play with co-op thats where I've met my first friends I am looking forward to purchasing LBP 2 in the nearby future1 year agoAmazingThat's an amazing game... my kids love it1 year agoAwesomebest game ever and really fun1 year agoAwesomeBuy it and you are totally going to have fun. I love to play this game with my girlfriend. It makes us really happy =)1 year agoAwesome Gamelove this game xD its awesome not just for kids lol well i'm a big kid :PConfiguring your price alert
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