Little Big Planet as Media Molecule and the voice Stephen Fry like to indicate is a world of wonder, they’re not wrong.
It’s rare in a market flooded with violence to find such charm and family appeal in as comprehensive package as this. Since Sackboy burst onto the PS2 scene Media Molecule have built their brand on quirky platforming that has it’s own standout style.
This third outing in the universe is no different, from the easy to play nature to the begging to be touched textures that adorn the scenery and that particular MM sense of humour. It’s all there in spades.
The series has always offered depth in customisation and this version builds strongly upon that, being able to dress and tweak the appearance of your sackperson is both fun and functional. Then the extent of possibilities through the creative tools are virtually limitless, but they will probably take a considerable amount of study to be producing something as slick as an in-game level. Of course one of the big draws of this Little Big Planet is the fact that Sackboy isn’t on his (or her in the case of Sackgirl) own…
This time you have help in the shapes of Toggle, Oddsock and Swoop. More sackpeople than you can shake a sack at and it’s about time. All of them have their own particular nuances, Swoop can fly, Toggle can swap between large and small versions of himself and Oddsock is a charmingly fast sack-dog with a knack for wall jumps.
The campaign takes you on a journey through the fantastical Bunkum, where an act of misplaced faith throws you up against a maniacal incarnation of Hugh Laurie. This opens up the quest to unite these Legendary warriors and form your team of woolly wonders. It’s fun and very typical as far as an LBP game goes, run, jump, grab things, use gadgets and marvel at the creativity behind the level design. Of course it also has a few barriers, playing with youngsters reminds you that however family targeted the title is there is at its heart the soul of a fiendish platformer.
I’ve always had the preconceived idea that LBP games were for kids, I have to disagree with myself. It’s certainly fun and more often than not I find myself grinning at the cuteness of it all, but I can’t leave the kids alone at it for a few minutes before they get frustrated by some awkward jumps or puzzles.
Creative wise there is a wealth of tools available and not forgetting the obsession of completing your collection of decorative stickers to slap about the place. The Popit-Puzzle levels make for a fun and challenging introduction to some of the creative tools and a quick trawl of the downloads available on the store will prove there are plenty of people out there that can pull off a level better than you.
Little Big Planet 3 is a polished and fun time, getting into the nuance and pace of it may take a couple of attempts, but a little perseverance will open up the world and some obsessive collecting habits, along with the potential to eventually create something magical.