LittleBigPlanet – Early Impressions (and notes)

Very fun game. If you’re obsessed with getting 100% on each level, though, find someone to play with.

There are a few things that can be tricky with this game: the “front to back” – three “layers” of play (adding the 3rd dimension to a game style that typically doesn’t have one); timing – if you’re not a platform game player or used to the “move-jump-perform” concept in games, you’ll have issues with it; the controls – you can get easily overloaded if you don’t decide to ignore most of the controls most of the time (during normal game play, there’s really only three you need to focus on for timing: move, jump, and grab; all the others usually don’t come into play while you’re under threat of death).

I went ahead and got this through NewEgg at $57. Worth it? Hmmm … maybe if my girlfriend was more into this style of game. She enjoyed herself, but she’s not a “gamer”, and had never touched a PS3 controller before now (other than maybe to move it out of the way).

Bubbles (in other levels I think “sponges” are used) are your main source of points.

Large bubbles in LBP contain “stuff” you collect: materials, objects, music, stickers, clothing or enhancements for your sackperson, etc. If you’re going to get into level design, collecting as many of these as is possible is very important (and, again, you’ll have trouble getting “everything” without a second player while playing). Stickers can be used during the game to trigger events – you’ll come across a cardboard cutout with a dot on it, and you’ll have to put the appropriate “trigger sticker” on the shape to trigger the release of more large bubbles, further expanding your collection of stuff used to build levels.

Online play is possible but aside from one accidental joining of a game, I haven’t done it yet. I’m hesitant to just jump in and start playing with total strangers. I’m hoping to find someone through various means that I’m fairly certain is a “normal” person that wants to play and can tolerate the fact that I don’t have a headset for my PS3. 😉

Overall, I think this is a fun game. However, it’s going to be more fun the more people you have playing with you (up to four, I think), and for best results they should probably be in the same room with you (rather than playing over the Internet).

Know someone close by that’s geeking out over the game as much as you? Worth the $57+ you’ll pay at NewEgg (or $60 at Amazon). Don’t? Well, you might want to wait a while … perhaps when it drops to sub-$50, or if you have money to blow and nothing else to blow it on.

Finding levels created by other users: So far, I’ve only found one decent level created by someone else; the rest just seem to be proof of concept or “get trophies/points!” levels. Just before doing this blog, I went to try a couple of more but got a “Failure to load level” error. Probably because both the GF and I were on SL. 😉

Might have more to say later …

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