LittleBigPlanet Karting PlayStation 3
Av. User Rating
Av. User Rating
Released on 09/11/2012
Vibrant game worlds will play host to classic karting action as well as a host of other game modes including ultra-competitive arena battles, split screen mode or online via PlayStation Network, adventurous objective-based missions and even mini-games providing fun for fans and newcomers, young or old.
This would not be LittleBigPlanet without a world of customisation, and LittleBigPlanet Karting comes loaded with a range of tools - some familiar and some new - to create levels as unique and varied as the six million user-generated levels that the franchise has already been used to generate.
Creativity is not just limited to designing tracks; players can also make their own game rules that leave the constraints of a traditional karting game back in the starting grid. Combined with the all-new 3D environments, plus the ability to customise SackboyTM, karts, and more.
As ever, the emphasis is as much on sharing as on creation. All user-generated content will be sharable around the world through PlayStation®Network, providing access to what promises to be millions of LittleBigPlanet Karting experiences created by the community.
- Play: Race through an ever-changing world of content in story, battle, split screen or online multiplayer racing modes.
- Create: Fire up your imagination to build your own tracks, customise your karts or even design unique power-ups and weapons.
- Share: Access what promises to be millions of tracks created by the LittleBigPlanet community for a totally new experience every time you race.
Although it may have wobbled in the early running, the PlayStation 3 approaches the end of the current hardware generation as one of the strongest and most eclectic gaming systems in history. Whether reviving and refreshing its big franchises for new fans, or supporting the more artistically inclined indie end of the development spectrum, a large debt of thanks for 2012's sterling games line-up is owed to SONY. Uniquely among the big platform holders, you could easily fill a list of the PS3's top titles with SONY's own first party exclusives.
Also uniquely among its peers, SONY has done a superb job of dipping into its past without exploiting fans. High definition compilations of classic PlayStation 2 series such as Ratchet & Clank worked both as loving tributes to classic gameplay of yesteryear, and as highly polished introductions for generations of new fans. At the same time, new games featuring the same characters ensured they'll endure into the next generation, with Ratchet & Clank: QForce combining the crisp and humorous platform jumping of old with a frantic tower defence strategy twist.
Also making a comeback was the mighty Twisted Metal. SONY's ferocious vehicle combat game is a representative of a genre that has faded from popularity, but the combination of fantastic multiplayer mayhem, addictive arcade driving physics and the sheer visual punch that the PS3 delivers makes this bratty, splattery action game one of 2012's unsung gems.
Twisted Metal succeeded because it brought back classic gameplay that had been forgotten, but other SONY hits this year worked because they took popular characters and concepts off into new directions. LittleBigPlanet Karting, for example, found Sackboy reinvented as a cuddly textile version of Jenson Button. The introduction of kart racing into the LittleBigPlanet world was exciting enough, but when you factor in the boundless creativity that the game offers - allowing players to use the developer's own design tools to create their own tracks and mini-games - then you've got a game that is a more than worthy addition to the LBP lineage. Even if you never create anything of your own, the fact that the community is constantly producing new, free content is enough to keep you playing for months.
SONY's roster of characters got an even more unlikely make over in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. This multiplayer fighting game pitted such unlikely stablemates as Parappa the Rapper, Sackboy and Sly Cooper against the likes of Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos and Bioshock's Big Daddy. It's an insane mash-up of the whimsical and the fearsome, yet it works beautifully. The larger arena-based battles are frantic and hilarious - perfect party game fodder - yet the systems underneath are much closer to the classic fighting game standards you'd expect to find in hardcore genre titles. With former Street Fighter spokesman Seth Killian as the lead designer, it's perhaps no surprise that All-Stars is actually a seriously good fighting game that just happens to have some silly modes for everyone to enjoy. If you haven't picked it up yet because you thought it was just for kids, correct that mistake as soon as possible!
SONY continued to innovate in other areas as well. The PlayStation Move controller found its perfect realisation in Book of Spells, the first in a planned series of Wonderbook augmented reality experiences. Produced in conjunction with JK Rowling, it sees players using an actual book which is transformed on-screen into a dusty old tome from the Hogwarts library. Casting spells and interacting with this magical world is genuinely spellbinding.
Just as magical, in a more abstract way, was the critically acclaimed Journey. Created by esoteric designer Jenova Chen, this thought-provoking experience sets you down in a strange desert with only a distant mountain peak to guide you. As you wander, solving puzzles and navigating the ruins of a lost civilisation, you'll gain the power to float and fly, as well as meeting other players who can collaborate with you to find more secrets. Absolutely gorgeous to look at, and inviting all kinds of gentle emotional responses, it's a true work of art.
Even far away from the arty indie scene, the PS3 had a cracking year. Fans of Assassin's Creed III, for example, were treated to exclusive bonus missions on SONY's console that wove legendary traitor Benedict Arnold into the game's Revolutionary War narrative.
And, remarkably, 2013 looks like it will be even better. Intelligent blockbusters such as The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls will be available exclusively on the PS3, along with a new God of War and a new Sly Cooper adventure, and that's all before the summer arrives. The news may be full of rumours and guesswork about the next hardware generation, but there's plenty to be excited about on the consoles we do have!
Some say he is made from burlap, has two black beads for eyes, and that he's best friends with Stephen Fry. All we know is that he's called
the StigSackboy, and he's now on four wheels instead of two legs in LittleBigPlanet Karting for PlayStation 3...
One of our favourite mascots from this past decade of gaming is back - and he's now got his gunny mitts on a racing kart but LBP-stylee, which means several boot-fuls of imaginative content, cute graphics and, most importantly, a huge set of modding options to powerslide through, allowing you to create truly unique tracks for your fellow LBP players.
The single player mode sees you racing round tracks Mario Kart-style, taking out rivals with power-ups and more but all with the usual fevered imagination associated with the LBP world - from racing away from cloth-hungry zombies to taking part in a contest dedicated to outlandish household inventions that wouldn't look out of place on Tomorrow's World circa 1970. Shudder.
With LBP Karting (as with LBP in general), nothing is ever quite as it seems though; one minute you'll be ripping round a track in 3D, then in the next, roaring through a side-scrolling mini-game. And as ever, you can create bizarre gameplay styles of your own to share; it's worth bearing in mind that since the LBP series rolled onto the PS3, over six million user-generated levels have been created. And some of them are actually good.
And it's this endless creative potential that makes Sackboy's first racing game stand out in a world packed with Mario Kart me-toos. Then factor in a smorgasbord of options from split-screen and online multiplayer through to battle arenas and a full-fat story mode, and you have yet another massively generous LBP title.
We've never been short of racing games. The past few months alone have seen heavy hitters like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Forza Horizon and WRC 3 all scream onto the tarmac. There's one sub-genre of racing that hasn't fared so well, however. The karting game.
Once, these nimble little knockabout racers were everywhere, with practically every game or TV show that could muster enough characters to fill the starting grid getting its own branded kart racer. Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing led the pack, but few will remember Woody Woodpecker Racing or Pac-Man Rally. And the less said about Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing the better.
Mario Kart sequels aside, the karting genre has dropped off the radar in recent years, but it may be about to stage a triumphant comeback. No less than three karting games are due out this month, and they're all looking pretty great.
Play. Create. Win!
First off the grid is SONY's LittleBigPlanet Karting, on sale from November 9th. Developed by United Front Games, the studio behind ModNation Racers, this PlayStation 3 exclusive is a cuddly romp through various hand-made courses as Sackboy races to defeat The Hoard, an alien race that grabs the bits and bobs that make up Sackworld, and then sits on them rather than making fun stuff.
Making fun stuff is a large part of the game, however, as collecting prize bubbles during races means you can customise your personal game pod with stickers and patterns, while the Create Mode brings together features from both LittleBigPlanet and ModNation to allow players to quickly and easily put together their own courses. If you want to get really fancy, you can even use the track designer to create entirely new game modes, such as tower defence challenges.
There are all the community features you'd expect from LittleBigPlanet as well, with options not only to race against each other, but to tackle story races co-operatively and share the things you make and find.
If you prefer your racing with a crisper arcade outlook, rather than lashed together out of wool and cardboard, then SEGA's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will soon be here. The sequel to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, it once again finds a collection of classic SEGA characters - some legendary, some utterly obscure - taking to the track. The twist this time is that every vehicle will automatically transform to adapt to the terrain. Drive into water and your car becomes a boat! Launch yourself off a ramp and it becomes a plane!
Each character has its own unique vehicle, depending on their personality. As well as characters from Super Monkey Ball, Golden Axe, Shinobi and other classic SEGA games, real life NASCAR racer Danica Patrick joins the pack, as does Wreck-It Ralph, the star of the upcoming Disney movie about the secret life of video game characters. If you pick up the Xbox 360 version, you'll be able to use your Avatar to join the gang yourself.
Developed by Sumo Digital, the Sheffield studio behind the recent superb Out Run revival, you can expect the racing model to be absolutely rock solid, while SEGA's iconic blue sky approach to visuals means it's a colourful and characterful joy to play. It goes on sale from November 16th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A Wii U version will follow on November 30th, when Nintendo's new console launches.
The Winning Formula?
Last, but certainly not least, is F1 Race Stars from Codemasters. This companion game to the long-running and critically acclaimed F1 simulation series isn't nearly as interested in realism as its big brother. You'll race as cartoon versions of real F1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, around tracks loosely inspired by the actual 2012 F1 season. It's not such an outlandish idea - after all, real life kart racing is often the first step towards an actual F1 career - but as this is a game for all the family don't be too surprised if famous tracks like Monaco have been enhanced with a few ramps, loops and stunts, all served up with social multiplayer fun in mind.
The game came about after Codemasters realised that there was a wider Formula 1 fan base that wasn't up to the stiff challenge of a full-on simulation. "It was very much our vision from the outset to create an F1 game that everyone could enjoy, be that kids, family and friends, or mates before and after the pub," senior producer Chris Gray has said. F1 Race Stars will be available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC from November 16th, with a Wii U version to follow.
So it seems that go-karts are more like buses. You wait ages for one, then three turn up at the same time. The good news is that each of these games pushes this evergreen genre into interesting new directions, playing with the proven Mario Kart formula to serve up distinctive experiences. Whether you play one of them, or try them all, here's hoping we're seeing the full-time return of this fantastically entertaining genre.
"We have our whole story mode with seven different planets - some of them will be familiar to you from prior games, and others are actually brand new," producer Jen Timms told VG247. "But everything we've created to make the story mode, we've used the same creation tools we give you in the editor, just like in Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet games. So you can create your own levels entirely."
Not only will user-created race tracks appear in multiplayer rotation, essentially giving the game an infinite shelf life as far as online play is concerned, but you won't be restricted to using the tools to craft races.
"You can make a first-person shooter, your own custom objects - in this case it could be a hand with a gun - and then you have the ability to control the handling and physics of that," Timms explains. "You also have the ability to re-map buttons, or change your abilities, and then you can combine that with the Weaponator gadget that lets you make custom weapons. Then you can make bullets, or even like rainbow trails or flowers that come out the end of the gun - anything you want, and we can give you that power."
United Front has a good track record when it comes to innovative kart racers. It was the studio behind early PlayStation 3 hit ModNation Racers, which also dabbled in user-generated content. The developer is also currently riding in high in the charts with its smash hit openworld Hong Kong crime saga, Sleeping Dogs.
LittleBigPlanet Karting is due for PlayStation 3 on November 9th.
The Best of 2012: PlayStation 3 (20/12/2012)
A large debt of thanks for 2012's sterling games line-up is owed to SONY. Uniquely among the big platform holders, you could easily fill a list of the PS3's top titles with SONY's own first party excl…
Editor's Choice - LittleBigplanet Kar… (08/11/2012)
One of our favourite mascots from this past decade of gaming is back ?and he's now got his gunny mitts on a racing kart but LBP-stylee, which means several boot-fuls of imaginative content, cute graph…
Play Your Karts Right: The Kart Racin… (08/11/2012)
The karting genre has dropped off the radar in recent years, but it may be about to stage a triumphant comeback. No less than three karting games are due out this month, and they're all looking prett…
LittleBigPlanet Karting will have all… (26/09/2012)
United Front Games has revealed that its upcoming dinky racing game, LittleBigPlanet Karting, will offer all the same creation options as the original LittleBigPlanet games.…
As a valued customer we now offer you the facility to sign up to email price alerts. Please enter the price you want to be, or below, and if drops to that level we will let you know...
- Only £27.99
Free UK Delivery
- Only £16.99
Free UK Delivery
Earn 224 reward points
Please note: prices in GAME Stores may differ.
You have chosen to add this product to your Wish List, but which version would you prefer to add?