Chaming, adorable, cute – if I can get through the rest of this review without uttering those words again, I surely deserve some kind of prize.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is one of the most heart-warming games you'll play this year.
Developed by Media Molecule and published by SCEE, LittleBigPlanet 2 continues Sackboy’s journey after the events of the first game.
As far as the plot goes, an inter-dimensional vacuum cleaner is hovering over the skies of LittleBigPlanet and is sucking up its inhabitants.
In the opening scene we see Sackboy rescued by a character called Larry Da Vinci, an eccentric individual who is the leader of a semi-secret, semi-organised group known as “The Alliance” - and appears to sound like a mumbling John Cleese.
The story campaign is certainly a lot of fun and features some of the finest platform level design I’ve had the pleasure to play. Aside from the main story, the game also features side quests that are often in the form of a race or a R-Type shoot em up, albeit a patchwork version.
Much like its predecessor, there is a lot of emphasis on creation and sharing. However, unlike the first adventure the emphasis here isn’t about building levels, it’s about building games. Meaning you can show off your Sackboy stories to the LittleBigPlanet community. But more on that later.
What makes LittleBigPlanet 2 so enjoyable is the way it encourages you to play with others.
Perhaps PSN has improved since the original game, but this time round it makes it a much easier task to find other random Sackpeople to play with. Essentially, it’s taken online social gaming to the next level, encouraging you all to work as a team one minute and then to compete against each in the next. The game can also be played by up to four players locally.
So, what is new this time round? What sets LittleBigPlanet 2 apart from the first one?
Well, a number of new mechanics have been introduced.
The bouncing pads bring back pleasant memories for those of us that are old enough to remember Sonic the Hedgehog’s early glory days, and they really do help improve the pacing. When combined with a grappling hook, the effect can be quite dazzling.
The “grabinator” also brings a lot of fun to the proceedings, giving Sackboy the strength to lift and throw huge objects.
As mentioned earlier, the ability to create your own games and share them is a welcome addition too.
A few impressive entries include inspired Sackboy versions of Resident Evil, Street Fighter and Fallout: New Vegas. It’ll be interesting to see how this section will develop in the future. Also, all the DLC and user generated levels designed from the first game will work on LittleBigPlanet 2.
Visually the game is pretty arresting and vibrant, and once again it’s encouraging to see such care and attention put into a platform game on one of the bigger consoles.
The sound design is also tip top, featuring a number of catchy tunes. Also, once again, Stephen Fry narrates the proceedings, giving the game quirky and quintessential English feeling to it all.
It's not all perfect though. Like its predecessor the game does suffer from long loading times and the creation elements of the game could be made a bit simpler. But the variety of creation on offer make LittleBigPlanet 2 almost impossible to refuse.
Media Molecule are to be commended once again for producing such a remarkable and imaginative game that will appeal to gamers of all ages, both casual and hardcore.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is charming, adorable and impossibly cute. There, I said it – darn it, I was doing so well!
Verdict: 9 out of 10
- Great level design
- Multiplayer madness
- Slow loading times