We thought it good to take a look back on what has now become a modern classic, an iconic franchise for the PlayStation brand – LittleBigPlanet. Laying out a strange little story involving protagonist Sackboy (actually, “sackperson” would be more appropriate considering that you can also play as Sackgirl) and a mad quest to go off in search of one of the “creators”, this charming game is equal parts platformer and world builder. Of course, the actual plot is little more than a means to an end, a loose premise by which the gameplay can be made accessible. Throughout the course of this crazy adventure you will complete various worlds, each utilizing various gimmicks built on the underlying theme of “sharing is caring”. In the end, it all serves one purpose – to teach you the basics so that you can start creating your own worlds.
Needless to say, people don’t really play this title for its main campaign, not to say that it’s bad or anything, it’s just that the core experience is all about trying to surmount those worlds crafted by your peers. The action is delivered via side-scrolling mechanics, but within the context of this there are 3D elements, which is what adds depth and intrigue to the basic gameplay. Quite obviously, the core mechanic here is puzzle-solving, and it is certainly one of the better, more accessible games out there for those who enjoy that particular type of gameplay. It’s enchanting to watch rigged obstacles bouncing up and down on little animated chains and the way the physics system works is also top notch, with each movement you are treated to all sorts of minute animations that seem to make everything come alive.
Graphically, LittleBigPlanet is fairly unique, at least when it was originally released, anyway. It features a pastel-laden, cartoony exterior which is most assuredly “cute and cuddly”. Within this format there’s also lots of detail and excellent lighting too. As you’re playing you often get the sensation that you’re traversing some type of abstract existential diorama or something. The fact that you can also leave your mark on the worlds created by others is also a notable feature and certainly adds to the overall “interactivity factor”.
It could be said that the innovations introduced by this wonderful little game actually made a deep mark on all the other titles that might come after it (especially within this particular genre – wide appeal / general audiences). Since its release the idea of creating games which allow users to actually craft their own levels and share them has become all the rage, whether or not this trend can be directly traced back to the emergence of LBP is suspect, but there does seem to be a link.
LittleBigPlanet has become a Sony institution. Now with a number of titles available in the series, including several spin-offs (one of which was recently released – LittleBigPlanet 3), it has definitely cemented its position within the video game world hierarchy.