LittleBigPlanet 2 (UK) Review
LittleBigPlanet 2 is the highly anticipated sequel which brings more content than ever before into the world of LittleBigPlanet. It allows for one to four players on any combination of consoles where they can all Play Create and Share. With the original’s success will LBP2 rise above or fail to build on what was before?
Lets kick off the HOTs and NOTs.
Can’t Put Down The Controller
Even more than with LittleBigPlanet, players will spend hours and hours mesmerised by created levels and lose track of time in their own creations. As players can create even more things this time around, it is even harder to put the controller down as there is always another fun thing to do. This fun factor will keep players from putting down the controller and will make every minute enjoyable; even if a level is frustratingly hard. Hard levels also add to this with a real “one more go” feel to many levels, even one of LBP2′s trophies is called “Just…One…More…Go”.
Sackboy has some great new tools to play with in LBP2 which mean for not only even more amusing levels, but also more diverse puzzles and platform level designs. The Grabinator is a great invention allowing players to pick up and throw heavy objects as if they were feathers, even sackbots can be launched through the air. The grappling hook lets players swing from certain objects as well as pull high up switches with ease as this allows for a number of new swing-based obstacles which is a nice addition. The Creatinator is by far the most interesting new gadget in LittleBigPlanet 2 as whatever object is assigned to the helmet will be fired from it by just tapping R1. Firing cake in one of the storyline levels that is quite possibly the best use of this weapon although firing fireballs is quite fun too.
LBP2 has some amazing new contraptions and things to add to the extreme amount of fun from the original. Sackbots mean that players can now do a multitude of new things. Creating actors in levels, making enemies that look exactly like Sackboy and even making people to save during levels are just a few of their uses: especially as players can program Sackbots with different behaviours, adding more depth and life into the community levels.
Media Molecule advertised LBP2 as a platform for games and they were right to do so. Players can create levels even games will a full menu system, with a whole range of new genres to create. The one object which really has made this possible is the Controllinator. This item allows the player to map out what each button on the PlayStation 3 controller does. Meaning top down racing levels, 2D shooters and even small RTS games have been created
Object modifiers are also an incredibly useful addition. Some let players tweak specific traits like anti-gravity which can be a rather fun experience, when all of a sudden gravity changes direction; whereas others will destroy an object of any material, which certainly comes in handy.
The storyline is much more focused than in the original. Players strive to help destroy the Negativitron and along the way, players take on a number of other enemy bosses. The way Media Molecule has connected the levels more naturally into a storyline, makes the game in general flow a lot better: with the many different themes split via different worlds. The themed levels will help maintain the player’s interests right up until the battle against the Negativitron. The levels are broken up by vehicle sections, if you can call them that. One level sees Sackboy riding a massive rabbit, this along with the other Controlinator vehicles and unique segments, keeps the gameplay fresh allowing for an enjoyable storyline play through.
More Creative Power
While the storyline does feel slightly like a disappointment, although being enjoyable, Media Molecule has gone all out on its create mode. Thankfully, create mode is fantastic and is a step above that in LBP1, allowing players to build levels from many different genres. Creating the exact level that’s in your head is now a lot easier, with the new tools such as the microchip. Inspiration can be taken from the storyline missions other players level or practically anything from the real world.
Fortunately, with the massive amount of content in create mode comes a massive 52 tutorials some which show you how to do something where as others show you the make you give it a go. Voiced like the games narrative by Steven Fry, they are very easy to follow and can be re-played/re-viewed at any time. It is a helpful way of introducing some of the new features, as the number of items is daunting at first by the end of the tutorials they all seem easy to use and rather useful.
Just like with LittleBigPlanet, the community is by far the best part of the title. While not playing with other players from around the world, may not be your cup of tea, there are some truly amazing levels being created every single day. Not just content wise is the community so big, with the rating systems and scoreboards it’s not only easy to find the latest and best levels but also to attempt to take on thousands of players score wise in one go. I’m sure just like with the original this will all continue, especially as the most creative players become used to the new available tools.
Replayability of Pre-Made Content
While the story is enjoyable it is unfortunately way too short, with roughly 30 levels, it does leave players wanting a bit more pre-made content. It also fails to ultimately make players go back and replay levels; after the possibility of collecting new items and materials is gone. This goes rather too quickly at all as you can obtain a large proportion of the prize bubbles on your initial play through. It is almost like the storyline is created for the single purpose of showing players what can be created. The mini games are at first fun so should not be classed at all as bad; but they do lack replayability and most will never be played more than a handful of times. Alongside the thousands (even millions) of levels that are available to play, from the community, it’s hard to comprehend why players would not jump in a play some of the new amazing content; once having played through the storyline once or twice.
Loading And Connection
One of the main things that haunted LittleBigPlanet was the lag, which ruined many players online experience. Despite the fact there has been some improvement with players normally making it into a level with friends, the loading times and lag issue still remain. It doesn’t affect play quite as much as it did in LittleBigPlanet, but if one players’ connection is poor you will certainly notice it.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is a great sequel and will definitely keep players entertained for hour and hours. The game is truly fun to play whether you’re playing a hard frustrating level or an easy relaxing level; especially with the all the additional content allowing players to create levels that aren’t platform-bound. While the story is short there is plenty of amazing content online, which does come close if not just surpasses the pre-made content standards. The game has a lot less bugs than the original did and Media Molecule has seemingly improved the online with better connections, although some work via patches could still be done. I’m sure Media Molecule will continue to support LittleBigPlanet 2 with patches and DLC offerings so why wait to pick up this title?LittleBigPlanet 2 (UK) Review,