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.
I can’t stop thinking about LittleBigPlanet 2. Even after putting
down the controller, I continue playing with the creation tools in my
head. Everyday objects send me off into daydreams about new vehicles,
and ideas for bizarre puzzles spring to mind in mid-conversation. With
this sequel, Media Molecule gives players a bottomless toybox, and I
can’t remember the last time a game had such a relentless grip on my
Calling LBP 2 ambitious is an understatement. Like
the original, the experience is split into two parts: playing the story
mode, and creating your own levels. This time, however, the creation
mode towers over the campaign with an array of options to help make your
gaming dreams a reality.
You’ve probably heard that you can make
games in multiple genres now, and that isn’t just an empty promise. I
dabbled in 2D shooters, demolition derbies, and unclassifiable mayhem.
The options can be overwhelming at first, but once you get a handle of a
few of the new tools, things start clicking into place. You’ll
definitely want to figure out the Controllinator as soon as possible,
since it allows you to control things remotely. Object modifiers are
also incredibly useful; some let you tweak specific traits (like
anti-gravity or friction), while others set contraptions rotating or
moving without the need for complicated pulleys and levers.
with so much potential in other areas, playing around within the game’s
native platforming framework was the most fun for me. I loved creating
fleets of death-dealing vehicles, twisted puzzles, and leaps of faith.
Sackbots (NPCs you can program with different behaviors) add more depth
to the levels, like when you have to rescue them or outfit them with
lasers. Throwing in other styles of gameplay is still fun, but they work
best when used to augment platforming rather than replace it.
out how best to use these new toys isn’t quick or easy, but it pays off
big. Even so, the chasm between basic understanding and fluency is
extremely wide. Despite the inclusion of numerous tutorials, more
advanced in-game instruction would ease the learning curve. Placing a
few cameras isn’t the same as orchestrating an entire cutscene, but the
tutorials don’t help you synthesize the simple pieces into a more
complex whole. I’m sure plenty of level-building savants will fall right
into step, but a little more guidance for the rest of us could result
in even an even wider pool of awesome community-created levels.
focusing so much on the creation tools, I don’t mean to sell the story
mode short. It features brilliantly designed levels, four-player co-op,
and the same sense of style that made the original so charming. The
pacing is better, with more unique segments (like 2D shooting or
top-down racing) breaking up the action. Platforming mechanics have also
been refined since last time, but a continued reliance on physics makes
for a handful of sloppy segments. Thankfully, the frustrating parts are
infrequent, and the space between them is filled with sights that are
guaranteed to inspire you when you try your hand at making your own
The original LittleBigPlanet was impressive, but
LittleBigPlanet 2 cements Media Molecule’s position as masters of
facilitating user-created content. 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.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.