Since LittleBigPlanet was released, it has been a big hit with many gamers from casual to hardcore, but ModNation Racers received generally mixed reactions. With LittleBigPlanet Karting, United Front Games hopes to combine the LittleBigPlanet franchise with the gameplay style of ModNation Racers. Having a developer other than the one known best for the series can be quite a risky endeavor, but developers like Tarsier and Double Eleven found great success when they released LittleBigPlanet Vita. The question here seems to be whether or not United Front Games can accomplish the original goal of Modnation Racers with Littlebigplanet Karting or will it be another failed opportunity.
Lets take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of LittleBigPlanet Karting.
A Three-Dimensional Adventure
Since previous LittleBigPlanet games were 2D platformers, the experience could be seen as rather limited. The developer did a surprisingly good job of bringing back a few great sets of memories from previous LittleBigPlanet games and envisioning them in the three dimensional world of LittleBigPlanet Karting. Including but not limited to The Gardens and The Canyons, there is a whole planet dedicated to these older levels, fittingly titled “LittleBigPlanet“. The levels within this planet show off previous LittleBigPlanet environments in a beautiful and well demonstrated new light.
Sadly, this only accounts for one of the seven playable planets in the story (excluding the final planet, since it is only one level). Though many would agree, the game could have had much more promise had it kept to this format over creating a new story. The new story doesn’t quite offer the same emotional experience as the others, and barely lasts for the player. Though they follow the same general formula of the original LittleBigPlanet levels, they don’t have the same creativity and flare that the original levels had.
One of the best things about LittleBigPlanet Karting, is that the visuals are up to par with what is expected of the LittleBigPlanet series. As per previous games, the player is able to customize their Sack-person but now with the addition of customizable karts. If you can actually find some expertly crafted levels during your journey, you can get an idea of the potential waiting for you to discover. Though Karting does not support the backwards compatibility of costumes/items like LittleBigPlanet 2 did, there is still an alright amount of costumes and pieces to choose from. The choices given aren’t extraordinary, but they work as is their given capacity.
Terrible AI Returns
Something that fans or players of ModNation Racers will likely remember was the extremely cheap and broken AI. Unfortunately, United Front Games did not have a very good follow up to in this category. It can’t necessarily be said that they didn’t try, since they added difficulties to LittleBigPlanet Karting. The player may choose between ‘casual’ or ‘normal’ difficulty, with casual being targeted more at younger children or those generally having trouble with the game. While this idea is quite nice on paper, the execution barely feels like it is there since the AI will still continue to dominate you at the least opportune time, just like they would while playing on normal. Something to always look forward to is managing to use your shield to dodge one enemy attack, only for two or three more to follow within seconds and wipe you straight to the back of the race with little hope of catching up. The best part of the aforementioned actions happening is the AI’s magical knack for doing it right at the end of racing when you’re close to winning. This happened countless times to me, which resulted in countless restarts, and wasted time.