Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Fight For The Top 50 - LittleBigPlanet 3

by Matt Helgeson on Nov 27, 2014 at 09:00 AM

Picking a game to champion for our Top 50 Challenge was easy; I knew it had to be Sumo Digital's charming platformer LittleBigPlanet 3.

As a long time fan of the LittleBigPlanet series, I was worried when it was announced that Sumo Digital was taking over the series for Media Molecule. Thankfully, my fears were misplaced. Not only has Sumo Digital managed to live up to the standards of the franchise, its put its own stamp on LittleBigPlanet with a game that adds some interesting new gameplay mechanics and characters to the familiar 2D platforming.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2014

Gamers are like everyone else, we crave novelty and the thrill of the "new." That novelty is exactly what LittleBigPlanet, with its cloth-like textures, odd sense of humor, and incredible creation tools, had when it debuted on PlayStation 3 in 2008. After another console sequel and two handheld sequels, it's natural that a bit of the bloom is off the rose. I haven't detected much buzz surrounding the recent release of LittleBigPlanet 3, and that's a shame. It's a worthy entry in a great franchise - and in a genre (the platformer) that you rarely see represented in the triple-A development scene outside of Nintendo.

Sumo Digital obviously studied what worked - and what needed work – in the previous games. The studio has nailed the charm and visual style of LittleBigPlanet, Sackboy is as cute as ever, and the plot is charmingly silly. The villain Newton, bowler-wearing lightbulb with daddy issues, delivers some funny moments and provides a good antagonist for the gang.

And it is a gang – Sumo not only delivers everything we've come to expect, it's added three new characters (Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop) that allow it to implement new gameplay mechanics and level design ideas. I go into more detail in my review of the game, but suffice to say that the new character bring some memorable gameplay moments to the experience, and the game is better for it. As for Sackboy himself, he's got some new gadgets that make playing as him feel fresh. Sumo also continues the trend of dialing back the floaty feel that some didn't like in the first game; it's a very responsive platformer.

The core game would be enough to earn a place on our top 50 list by itself; the expanded creation tools - which allow users to literally create games and experiences from nearly any genre of gaming - make it something truly special. It's also going to be an endless source of free content for players.

The Top 50 Challenge

I challenged Jeff Marchiafava to play this game; he had expressed some interest and I wanted to make sure that someone else on staff had taken the time to play it. I often find that it's hard to drum up interest in platformers, my personal favorite genre. Which is understandable; there's nothing here that's as ambitious as Dragon Age: Inquisition or as technically impressive as Infamous: Second Son. It's not trying to reinvent the wheel; it's just good platforming - plain and simple. Within the parameters of the series, it's also inventive, bringing new mechanics and excellently designed levels. LittleBigPlanet isn't the biggest game of the year, but it's certainly one of the most fun. Isn't that what gaming supposed to be about? I hope Jeff will agree.