It must have been hard for developer Media Molecule to get around to releasing LittleBigPlanet 2. The company has been making loads of new levels and character creation packs for the original game, leading some critics to believe that this sequel would just be more of the same, but sold at full price.
The good news is that they couldn't be more wrong. Yes, the game is filled with new levels, stickers and clothes for your little sackperson to get dressed up in, but there are lots of new creation features added too that will delight those of you who want to get stuck in designing your own levels.
Join Sackboy in a completely new adventure - filled with new abilities, new gameplay rules, innovative tools and a smarter LBP Network, evolving the whole PLAY CREATE SHARE™ experience.
- Sackboy is at it again! Join Sackboy and a lively cast of characters in a completely new PLAY CREATE SHARE™ adventure. As Sackboy gets recruited into The Alliance, you’ll journey to several unique worlds filled with new challenges, learn to control new tools, and discover a whole new way to play LittleBigPlanet.
- A world of PLAY is at your fingertips! Whether it’s the 50 plus levels in the whimsical storyline, endless multiplayer fun, the over 2 million levels of imaginative user-generated content from LittleBigPlanet (1), or the inevitable amount of revolutionary games to be created from the CREATE tools – there’s an infinite amount of gaming fun for you and your friends in LittleBigPlanet 2.
- CREATE your own games! LittleBigPlanet 2 gives you complete access to customize everything - from your Sackboy’s appearance to developing your own videogame. With access to the games’ CREATE tools, your imagination can run wild in creating any type of game you want from racing games, mini-games, action/adventure games, and even multiplayer shooters.
The story side of LittleBigPlanet 2 is similar to that of the first game, but the general feel of the platforming has been improved, and not just that, but the interaction with buttons, jumps, switches etc. has also seen an increase in quality.
What we first noticed is how much better quality the cutscenes were. They now have a more cinematic feel, and look superb in motion. Also, credit must go to the developers for adding a small amount of speech to these scenes, because not only are they voiced well, they are both funny and quirky, fitting in to the world of LittleBigPlanet perfectly.
The story you follow is based on an evil creature called Negativitron who is taking over Craft World. It may be basic, but it allows for a plethora of crazy levels to play through and some zany characters to meet. The levels can all be played in single player mode, but to collect all of the extra little pieces, you will need to bring along some friends. Whenever you load a level, you get the option to join up with others online.
Teaming up with other players is where a lot of the fun comes from, as you get to play the story levels with them and take them on in the rival games such as racing and basketball. All of the levels work perfectly and have enough variety to keep you occupied for ages.
There are issues, though. A lot of the time, when you decide to play with friends, if the person hosting a game refuses your connection, the level will load in single player mode anyway, making you quit and try to get a multiplayer game again. It is an irritation that doesn't need to be there. Also, the game does suffer from a bug that leaves a loading screen loading over and over and never ending. We've run into this quite a few times. Media Molecule has stated that they know about this bug and it will be fixed shortly.
Once again, LittleBigPlanet 2 has a number of great trophies to try and get hold of, but this time around the company hasn’t made it quite so easy for designers to create levels that are just made to make it easy collect from them. There is a lot more variety in regards to collecting the trophies, and they welcome creators as well as players this time.
Since not everyone is the best at creating levels, the tutorials have been made easier to follow and encourage even the most novice of users to get cracking on making their own. The tool set now allows games such as racers and shoot-em-ups to be created and with better shadowing, camera control, emitters, sackbots and more now available, expect there to be some great content created by the millions of players who purchase the game over the coming months.
PlayStation Move controller support is due to enter the game, according to the developers, although the game does ship with Sackboy’s Prehistoric Moves as an extra on the blu-ray. This was released on the PlayStation Network a few months ago and is a pretty decent enough game on its own. It will be interesting to see how Media Molecule goes about adding Move support, but at least they are heading in the right direction.
Graphically, the game has been improved. It no longer suffers from all of the screen tearing that the original did, except in some large user created levels. It also has far better shadowing work on show and in cutscenes the quality really shines through. Once again, LittleBigPlanet 2 has oodles of character on display, from your sack person to the entire cast that you meet along the way. They are all brilliantly designed and just make you smile whenever you come across them.
Sound effects are as great as they were in the first title, with excellent music throughout the games numerous levels. The music has a flair that really works with each level in the game and even has the ability to make you tap your feet away to it, which is always a good sign. Voice work is superb thanks to Stephen Fry's narration and from hosts of others who do voice work for the cutscenes. They really add a lot to the feel of the game.
If you didn't like the original game, there is nothing here that will make you change your mind, but if you loved LittleBigPlanet like we did, you just have to get this. The level creator has been very much improved, with a lot more options for some of the veteran level designers. The story levels are better than before, with some great cutscenes. You also have the hundreds of levels to play through right away from the original game, as they are backwards compatible with LittleBigPlanet 2, while new levels from people who have already used the new creator's tool kit are already showing up. You really can't go wrong with a game that can last you as long as LittleBigPlanet 2 most assuredly will.