The PS3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet debuted in October 2008 and went on to receive critical and gamer acclaim. The game appealed to gamers across the board; the art direction was charming; the graphics and audio were top-notch; the physics-based platforming, puzzling system, and environment was great fun to toy with. The real kicker, however, was the user-driven content generated through the level creation toolset. On the downside, complaints about the poor control scheme did besmirch the reputation of the game.
LittleBigPlanet 2 (again a PS3 exclusive) promises to expand on the solid foundation developed by the first – the game is no longer touted as a ‘platforming game’ and is now a ‘platform for games.’ Players won’t be limited to creating platforming levels, and a realm of possibilities has been opened up, from racing games to role-playing. Imagination may indeed be one of the limiting factors for LittleBigPlanet 2.
Developer Media Molecule also promises to have improved on the community aspect of the game, with better integration with PSN through the LBP.me website. Through the website players can check statistics on their created levels, queue up levels for download when their PS3 is next online, integrate live feeds and data from the game into their website, and even generate QR codes of containing info on their created levels, for the purposes of sharing.
Additionally, all of the user created levels from LittleBigPlanet 1 (over 3 million levels) will be playable in LittleBigPlanet 2.
On paper it all sounds like LittleBigPlanet 2 should be delivering another great gameplay experience and surpassing its predecessor. To see if it lives up to expectations, we’ve had a look at average review scores from the stalwart aggregate websites, Metacritic and GameRankings. The scores below are accurate at the time of publication.
|LittleBigPlanet 2 aggregate review scores
|GameRankings (based on 26 reviews)||93.48%|
|Metacritic (based on 44 reviews)||93/100|
Clearly, LittleBigPlanet 2 has won the hearts of critics. Below are some abridged review opinions from respected sites to help flesh out the reasons why LittleBigPlanet 2 is being rated so highly.
Destructoid – 7.5/10
Whether or not you enjoy LittleBigPlanet 2 depends heavily on whether or not you were still playing the first game months after it launched. If the magic wore off after a few weeks, then LBP2 is definitely not for you, as it does nothing to rekindle the fire. If you never got tired of the experience, then LittleBigPlanet 2 will help extend and enhance it, rather than overhaul or even improve anything all that much.
The flaws of the first game are preserved and plain to see, and now that the freshness of the previous title is lacking, the problems are that much more glaring. For all its new gimmicks and flashing lights, LittleBigPlanet 2 can still be best described as a great way to make substandard games. It’s fun and it’s cute and it’s something PS3 fans should check out, but it’s relying on a concept that was brilliant two years ago, and just isn’t enough anymore to catapult the game into true greatness.
Joystiq – 5/5
How much does LittleBigPlanet 2 have to offer? Well, infinity, I guess, but that sounds undeservedly clinical. Yes, it’s an incredible platformer, categorically and exponentially improved over its predecessor, but there’s a much larger picture that might take you a few evenings of madcap, freeform architecture to discover. LittleBigPlanet 2 isn’t just a great platformer, it’s a veritable celebration of creativity.
Gamer Revolution – B+
Watching all the tutorials will take hours. Rewatching them over and over to try and understand all the things you missed will take many more. And actually using the tools to the point where you’re comfortable with all of them will take weeks. Is it worth all that effort to be able to build your own RPG, fighter, or shooter starring Sackboy? That’s a question that can only be answered on an individual basis. This is undoubtedly a community-driven game, and on that front it will provide limitless sharing of ideas and a meeting-of-the-minds that’s all too rare in this industry. But because of that community factor, LBP2 will mean something different to each person who picks up the controller.
Game Informer – 9.5/10
With this sequel, Media Molecule gives players a bottomless toy box, and I can’t remember the last time a game had such a relentless grip on my imagination. By providing an abundance of tools and inspiration, along with the platform to share your creations, you could play LittleBigPlanet 2 every day and experience something different and amazing every time.
Discuss LittleBigPlanet 2 on the MyGaming forum.