The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
LittleBigPlanet is a gaming epiphany -- one of the rare titles that opens new horizons on the landscape and changes the way you think about interactive entertainment. It blurs the lines that have traditionally separated single-player, multiplayer, creation, and community in a brilliant and refreshing twist on the familiar 2D platformer. Using this classic genre as a vehicle, Media Molecule has developed a charming adventure that mines the past to give gamers a glimpse of the future.
No matter what aspect of the LittleBigPlanet appeals to you, it all starts with the game's infectiously adorable mascot, Sackboy. He doesn't talk, but you can add tons of personality through customization, emotes, and hilarious arm-flailing (which is especially fun in co-op). He is easily one of the most likeable characters I've ever controlled -- but even with this precious little hero, it would be a mistake to say LittleBigPlanet is aimed at a younger audience. Underneath the cute aesthetic is a wildly inventive and challenging game that requires genuine skill.
As in every platformer, your goal is to move from point A to B and overcome obstacles along the way. In LittleBigPlanet, the distance between those points is full of unique gameplay that goes beyond simple ''jump over the pit'' solutions. Every rope, lever, and crazy contraption relies on a realistic physics engine; get suspended platforms swinging to reach hidden items, pilot a dirigible through the sky, or grab a spinning wheel and let go to propel Sackboy upwards. Those are just a few examples of the great moments scattered throughout the game, and the stages become progressively more amazing and imaginative. What begins as simple grab-and-pull puzzles culminates in some of the best platforming to date, with whirling cages of death and awe-inspiring boss battles.
Unfortunately, the same physics engine that allows for so many great interactions is also the source of the game's only glaring problem: short jumps. Precise landings are frustratingly difficult to negotiate -- a flaw that will force you to replay a handful of levels multiple times. It's even worse when you're playing co-op with a group of varying skill levels. However, the number of spots where this is an issue is astronomically small when compared to the number of times you'll say ''Wow, that's awesome.''
After you've admired Media Molecule's work, it's time to start doing your own. The creation tools included with the game allow you to make anything you see in the single-player story, plus just about anything else you can conceive. Spend your time creating whole levels, focus on bizarre vehicles, or give rise to deadly enemies � the whole process is remarkably easy thanks to the intuitive interface. The tools are complicated enough to perform complex tasks, but simple enough to be accessible to any motivated gamer.
Uploading your creations or checking out what other users have made (the community has already generated some astounding stuff) is as simple as a few button presses in the main menu. You can enjoy other users' content without making anything yourself, but you should at least play through the creation tutorials for yourself. By peeking behind the curtain and understanding how all the parts interact, the elaborate and mind-bending contraptions you encounter later become even more inspiring.
LittleBigPlanet's design is so clever that even if it were just the single-player story mode, I'd still recommend it to anyone. But the game's greatest achievement is how its multiple layers feed into each other. It's easy for co-op buddies to jump in and out of your single-player game, and all the while you're unlocking objects you can use in the creation mode. The whole experience is seamless, and it sets a new standard for how different modes can come together. In fact, I think LittleBigPlanet sets a lot of new standards that other titles will be striving to emulate in the coming years.
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LittleBigPlanet is the most charming game I've played in years. From the adorable Sackboy characters to the dizzying visual style that permeates every level of this title, it's an easy game to love. With its realistic physics and ingenious level designs, it breathes new life into a genre that many had thought dead, the 2D platformer. For me, it was an experience akin to playing Super Mario Bros. as a kid; it's nostalgic while at the same time completely fresh. However, it does have its flaws. Sometimes, Sackboy's movements (especially jumping) feel too imprecise for some of the more challenging levels, and the game's difficultly balancing is all over the place--? the steep jump in difficulty that comes in the Master Sensei levels will be a shock to more casual gamers. If it only contained the surprisingly long single-player career mode, it would be a fine platformer. When you throw in the brilliant and innovative level creator and multiplayer functionality, you have a title that feels like a rebirth of an entire genre.