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Media Molecule

Media Molecule photo
Media Molecule

Media Molecule teases 'new PS4 project' with a creepy mustache guy

Is that you, Andross?
Jul 21
// Jordan Devore
This teaser for Media Molecule's new PlayStation 4 project is curious. But first, here is the studio's explanation for what we're looking at (flashing light warning): "A rendering error on our new PS4 project caused this tri...
LittleBigPlanet 3 photo
LittleBigPlanet 3

LittleBigPlanet 3 will also be coming to the PS3

In addition to the previously announced PS4
Jun 16
// Chris Carter
LittleBigPlanet 3 looks amazingly adorable with Sackboy's three additional friends, and I enjoyed the fact that the E3 demonstration was a real demo and not staged. As far as we knew based on E3, LBP3 would support old l...
LittleBigPlanet 3 PS4 photo
Over 8.7 levels made, all will be playable
Sony has some LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4) footage and the biggest change in the series is the introduction of new character types alongside Sackyboy. Oddsock runs on all fours and quickly. It can wall jump and burst through cert...

PlayStation Community Exc photo
PlayStation Community Exc

Come buy that for a dollar at PAX East's PlayStation Community Exchange

Plenty of collectible T-shirts, figures, and other items available
Apr 04
// Brittany Vincent
If you're heading out to PAX East next weekend, you probably have a lot of extra spending money anyway, so why not stop by the PlayStation Worldwide Studios Community Exchange? That's "booth #608" in layman's terms, at the Bo...

Any excuse to talk about Tearaway is a great thing

Even if it's related to some ho-hum downloadable content
Apr 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tearaway is a fantastic amazing title you PlayStation Vita owners should already have in your collection. And I will take any excuse to sing the praises of this game, even when there's some silly downloadable content released...

Grab Tearaway for $20 on Amazon

Lots of paper for very little paper
Dec 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
Looking for something awesome to play on your Vita on the cheap? Media Molecule's brilliant Tearaway is being offered through Amazon right now for a mere $20 (a savings of 40%). Sure it's the digital version, which means...
LittleBigPlanet photo

Pick up a free Santa costume in LittleBigPlanet

It's free, so why not?
Dec 10
// Harry Monogenis
Media Molecule have released a new Santa costume for Sackboy in LittleBigPlanet. It's free, which is nice. So yeah, go get it. Once you've done that, be sure to check out this list of Christmas-themed maps available for download. Any LBP players out there had a go with the maps yet? Any recommendations? LittleBigPlanet update: Santa is coming to LBP! [PlayStation Blog]
Tearaway demo photo
Tearaway demo

Tearaway demo will launch alongside the game on Friday

If you like it, you can unlock it right from the demo
Nov 20
// Brett Zeidler
Did you know Tearaway is coming out this Friday? Did you know we really, really liked it? Good, because I wasn't going to let this one slip right past you. That's not happening on my watch. I don't think Sony is going to let...

Review: Tearaway

Nov 20 // Steven Hansen
Tearaway (Vita) Developer: Media Molecule Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release Date: November 22, 2013 MSRP: $39.99 Tearaway is a duet. It stars the messenger, Atoi, and the You -- you. Through the Vita’s unique features, you can directly interact with the world. As the powerful You, the forward facing camera places your face in the sun, like the creepy Teletubbies sun god baby. Your fingers actually pop up through the ground in certain areas as you caress the rear touch pad. Your presence in the narrative is contextualized and, what’s more, it doesn’t cause any weird disconnect as Tearaway’s world and yours interact. You’re tasked with taking real world pictures for various applications, using the touch screen to interact with platforms, and poking nasty beasties called Scraps. Once, an elk that had lost her color asked me to fashion her new fur. I took a picture of my cat, asleep on my lap, and his white and black pattern covered the elk. She loved it. In fact, she started a trend. Other elk in the area started wearing it, too. More often than not, though, you control Atoi with typical 3D platformer controls as you navigate lovingly constructed, fanciful environments. The touch controls are fun flourishes that supplement the platforming, which has some bite to it, though forgiving checkpoints keep things moving forward. Beyond platforming, you’re engaged in a host of activities, like throwing gophers in basketball hoops, playing soccer with squirrels -- they use their hands, the dirty cheats -- and taking pictures with a variety of lenses and filters. I'm always shooting #nofilter, but I appreciate the wide angle and high speed lenses. There’s even a selfie button. It’s the year of the selfie and I'm okay with that. What elevates Tearaway above competent and novel game mechanics is its holistic world and endearing sincerity. As you play through three narrated story arcs, there’s a feeling of grand adventure without losing the small, personal moments and touches at every turn. It’s reminiscent of games like Wind Waker and Psychonauts in that regard, filled with cool characters and dynamic locales. The windswept, stormy harbor town of the second act, replete with salty fishermen and scientists, is full of impressive breaking waves and a lived-in feeling tavern. Whether you’re riding a pig, scaling an intimidating mountain, or cutting out a custom crown for the squirrel king, there’s a simultaneous sense of intimacy and the feeling you’re penning a proper adventure through your actions. There’s just so much heart to the game. The sincerity is infectious and insurmountable. At the base of the mountain you have to scale, you’re asked to make snowflakes. Every once in a while, you’re tasked with heading over to the cutting room floor and making objects out of sheets of construction paper, as if you’re a kindergartener. It’s fabulous. But I struggled in crafting my perfect little snowflake. It just wasn’t coming out how I envisioned it in my mind’s eye. Fed up, I drew a crude, pink middle finger. Rendered in game, the alpine scene looked stunning and my puerile, lazy middle fingers came across as gorgeous cherry blossoms. The game doesn't let you be cynical. Following in the footsteps of my other favorite Vita game, Gravity Rush, there’s even a bizarre, surrealist third act that is all kinds of reality warping. It goes from eerily quiet and desolate to a shimmering desert that’s equal parts Journey and the Simpsons episode where Homer hallucinates in the desert on chiles and goes on a spiritual journey with a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash. Without getting too spoiler heavy, the tale reaches a surprisingly poignant, affirming end. I was left misty eyed. The game is such a technical and artistic marvel, not unexpected from the inventive team that made LittleBigPlanet. That love of creation shines through. You can outfit your messenger with pieces and parts you buy with in-game funds, or go crazy and carve unique things out of paper yourself. The camera is surprisingly fleshed out. You can even unlock instructions for paper craft models you can make in real life. Tearaway is endearingly original. Its big picture narrative is about story-telling, about how certain stories have been told to death, and how we can tell better ones. “Goblins?” the narrator asks when pondering the enemies to throw at you at the beginning. “No,” is the answer, and instead you get the Scraps, boxy, one-eyed creatures that appear to be composed of old newspaper clippings. Everything just works so well in unison. The soundtrack is delightful and odd, at times reminiscent of Paprika’s parade fanfare with its lively horns. The world, put together in paper scraps, is unbelievable in its artistry and function. Tearaway’s paper water and ripples as you walk through it are more impressive than any realistic water graphics I’ve ever seen. The level of unique detail in the world is staggering. Every moment spent immersed in it is heartwarming. Fittingly, it feels positively handcrafted.
Tearaway review!  photo
I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, lost in my Vita because doctors are terrible timekeepers. 2:00 pm means 2:00 pm, life-saving scumbag. Suddenly, I was looking at dimly lit tartan chairs and an old, wrink...

Tearaway trailer photo
Tearaway trailer

There wouldn't be Tearaway without the Vita

Truly a match made in heaven
Nov 14
// Brett Zeidler
In yet another behind-the-scenes video for Tearaway, the fine folks at Media Molecule today explain the importance of the array of options the PlayStation Vita offers that make the game what it is today. Since it acknowledge...
Tearaway's music photo
Tearaway's music

Here's a taste of the incredible music in Tearaway

Head of audio Kenny Young goes behind the music
Nov 13
// Brett Zeidler
Every time I see a new aspect of Tearaway in more detail, I'm just taken aback by how incredible of a game it's shaped up to be. Today is no exception, because Sony has posted a new video as part of a series of behind-t...
New Tearaway video photo
New Tearaway video

All of Tearaway is constructed from one sheet of paper

Well, virtually at least
Nov 06
// Brett Zeidler
A new video for Tearaway explains the fundamental idea behind the paper in the game. The really freaking cool part about it all is that every individual piece inside the world is virtual paper, folded up exactly to the artis...
Tearaway photo

This Tearaway trailer is adorable

It drops next month alongside of the Xbox One
Oct 25
// Chris Carter
Tearaway has flown under the radar of many people out there, which is a shame given how intriguing it is. It looks and sounds a lot like LittleBigPlanet, but with its own sense of charm and visual style. This newest trailer ...
Tearaway customization photo
Tearaway customization

Get glued: Tearaway has adorable character customization

Peel off your face
Oct 19
// Steven Hansen
Media Molecule's amazing upcoming Vita game, Tearaway, is a long month away from release. A recent PlayStation Blog post talked about the creative, do-it-yourself elements of the new title from the LittleBigPlanet developers....
Tearaway trailer photo
Tearaway trailer

Ride papercraft pigs in this cute Tearaway trailer

Wild pigs couldn't tear me away from Tearaway
Aug 20
// Steven Hansen
Along with Puppeteer, Tearaway has to be the most delightful-looking game of the year. I'm torn as to which looks cuter. It might even be a legitimate contender for many game of the year awards. Hamza couldn't sing its prais...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Media Molecule moves Tearaway into November

Those pesky standards strike again
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
Media Molecule's anticipated 3D platformer Tearaway is taking a bit longer to wrap up than originally expected. The studio announced a one-month delay today, pushing the papercraft PlayStation Vita title all the way back to N...
The next great indies photo
The next great indies

Broken Age, Below, and more: The games of HORIZON

A parade of indies
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
As previously discussed, Venus Patrol and MOCAtv's "alternative E3 event" HORIZON was pretty interesting both conceptually and in how it was executed. But what about the games?! That's why we're even here, right!? A few of the larger announcements to come out of the event have already been covered here at Dtoid, but what about those smaller, beautiful indie games HORIZON promised?

Thoughts on HORIZON: An alternative E3 event

Notes on the Indie-focused event from an attendee
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
Exactly one week ago, E3 was in full-swing in the bright city of Los Angles, California, and a brand new little event was quietly gearing up to happen. That lil' happening was HORIZON. Billed as an "alternative E3 event" and ...
Tearaway photo

Tearaway pre-orders will include the wonderful soundtrack

Plus there's rideable pigs! RIDEABLE! PIGS!
May 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tearaway is one of my most anticipated games of the year now thanks to some recent hands-on time. It's a wonderful little platformer that makes use of all the Vita's features in creative ways. It also has quite the wonderful ...

Tearaway is a must-own for the PlayStation Vita

May 20 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tearaway (PlayStation Vita)Developer: Media MoleculePublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: October 22, 2013 (NA) / October 23, 2013 (AU, NZ) / October 25, 2013 (UK, IE) The Tearaway demo placed me at the very start of the game. I first got to create my custom Tearaway protagonist, choosing my gender and various facial features. From there, my custom hero was mailed off into the human world in an attempt at establishing relations between the two worlds. Something goes awry though, and the hero is forcibly sent back into the world of Tearaway, an event which causes a tear in the sun. This hole in the sun is now a gateway into the human world, and the player's face will be constantly projected into the world thanks to the Vita's front-facing camera. Yes, your face is shown off live in the sun at all times, kind of like that Teletubbies baby but less creepy. [embed]254022:48704:0[/embed] Once back in the paper world, your ultimate goal is to find a way up to the reach sun and the player. Unfortunately, the whole sun incident also unleashed monsters, so you and your character must work together to clear out them out. One early example of how this can work is by leading these monsters to a specific area in the level. Once there, the real "you" will place your fingers on the back touchpad and "pierce" through into the game's paper world. You'll see "your" fingers pop into the world as you glide them around and smash into the monsters. Defeating these monsters will give you confetti, which will go towards unlocking customization options and other features. That whole thing with the fingers popping up into the world is what helped to inspire the idea for Tearaway in the first place. "The original jumping off point was just, I wanted to use the back touch to show fingertips coming into the world," creative lead Rex Crowle told me. "I was obsessed with this visual because you just couldn't do it on any other device, it wouldn't make any sense. So that was kind of the initial starting point, and then, through doing various game jams and stuff, we expanded that out and into thinking, 'Well, it's a handheld world, let's have fun with the fact that you're holding the world in your hands.'" Later in the level, you'll have to tap on the back touchpad in order to help your character jump up to platforms you can't normally reach otherwise. In another part, you'll use the front touchscreen to cut up pieces of paper and create a crown for a character. Once the crown is placed, you'll then be able to take a picture of him and share that online. I have to stress that none of these touch controls felt gimmicky at all. They felt natural and were super easy to use in conjunction with the face buttons. You can be controlling your character with the directional sticks all while sticking your fingers into the world through the back pad. The visuals from the world design to the characters themselves are just splendid as well. Everything looks like a stop motion video, presenting this abstract vision that's very pleasing. It's like what you would imagine paper to look like if it was suddenly brought to life with magic. All this is complemented with some great music, giving off a very folk-like sensation. Media Molecule is continuing their trend of creating wonderful original ideas in an industry where everyone is trying to copy each other for the quickest dollar. Plus, they're incorporating some wonderful ideas that make the best use of the Vita features, with which no one else is really doing anything all that special. I can't sing Tearaway's praises enough.
Tearaway preview photo
Making the best use of all the Vita's features
Last week, I got to preview a bunch of current-gen games, which we can expect to see during E3, at a special pre-show event that entailed several different game companies. The Sony showcase in particular had a handful of game...

Tearaway photo

Media Molecule's Tearaway hits PS Vita in October

Better hone your papercraft skills in the meantime
Apr 09
// Jordan Devore
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule's Tearaway is the kind of original property we love to see appear on PlayStation Vita. The studio has slapped an October 22, 2013 digital and retail release date on this ...
Talk Fast! photo
Looks like a ripping good time
In another fast-paced interview from PAX East, Jonathan Holmes talks with James Spafford of Media Molecule to discover what makes Tearaway so special.  Check out more of Holmes' Talk Fast interview series!  

Bring your dreams to life photo
Bring your dreams to life

Media Molecule realizing PlayStation Move's potential

Taking creative gaming to next level
Feb 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Media Molecule took the stage at Sony's PlayStation 4 event and revealed that their next project will help players cut through the crap, sweep away the techy mess, and put players in the designer's chair. After two years of r...

GTA V delay, Playstation 4 hints & New PS Vita games!

The Destructoid Show takes you on a sexy date
Feb 01
// Max Scoville
If you missed today's live Destructoid Show, you missed all the important news ever, and there's no way possible that you were properly informed by any other outlet because our journalistic integrity and timeliness is unmatch...

Check out this awesome Tearaway papercraft work

IRL papercraft
Jan 31
// Dale North
The world of Media Molecule's upcoming Vita title Tearaway is made entirely of paper, so it was fitting that they had IRL papercraft creation going on at a press event last night. I was invited to join in the crafting, b...

Hands-on: Ripping into Vita platformer Tearaway

Jan 31 // Dale North
Tearaway (Vita)Developer: Media MoleculePublisher: SCEARelease: 2013 My hands-on session took me into the island of Sogport. It's a small area that is slowly becoming smaller from being slowly used up, and its your job to go in with Iota and save it. The entire island is surrounded by thick, white glue, which is not a great place for our paper hero to end up in. But a light application of this same glue on the level's paper surface can help Iota climb up walls to reach areas that would normally be inaccessible.  Sogport's Wendigo Fissure level is a sort of sandbox at first, with plenty of fun little interactions available to test out Iota's abilities. Aside from the standard platforming stuff, like running, jumping, and rolling, Iota can pick up paper pearls to do things like play a quick game of hoops. Special platforms let you tap up on the back touch panel to send anything on them flying, including Iota. Some platforms are only accessible through this method.  As the level progresses, Sogport becomes less of a playground and more of a dangerous place. Large, angry Wendigos look on as you cross a bridge overhead at first, but it's only a matter of time before they're on your tail, running at you with paper claws outstretched. Jumping and rolling only got me so far in trying to get away, and I eventually had to interact with paper puzzles to distract or trap them.  Paper oysters scattered over the level give paper pearls that the Wendigos love to eat. I found myself throwing them as bait into traps to have the them running into them, or throwing them off in the other direction so I could run around the monsters. Distractions helped me find glue-covered walls to run up and around to dodge trouble.  Special "god platforms" pointed Iota to paper objects that can be interacted with through the touchscreen. One had me peeling away layers of a wall to make a sort of bridge to crawl over to safety.  Finally, after dodging enough Wendigos, the level lead me to a ledge overlooking a mysterious lab off in the distance, where paper synthesizers protruded out of a mountain. All Media Molecule would tell me about this place is that it is "very musical."  Tearaway's puzzle platforming feels right at home on the Vita, and manages to do so without feeling gimmicky in its use of the Vita's alternate control schemes. As I said before, they've crafted a world where it feels natural to put yourself into it. You really do feel like you're helping Iota along on his journey.  And, visually, of course, Tearaway is a delight. Everything in the paper world world bends, folds, unfurls, and unwraps around you, and does so in a way that you're constantly surprised by what's going on around you. Little touches, like how paper surfaces seem to slightly fold in under the weight of Iota, really help sell that everything is lightweight and pliable.  For Tearaway's design, Media Molecule says that they were inspired by the heaps of paper all over their workspaces. Apparently all of the sketches they worked on for this game in a pile were inspiration themselves. They've taken this papercraft world idea and have gone crazy with brilliant, adorable concepts that are coming together in what's sure to be the PlayStation Vita's most exciting game yet.  
You couldn't tear me away
Media Molecule debuted a papery present at gamescom last year with upcoming Vita game Tearaway, but they haven't said much about it since. And then, out of nowhere, we finally got our hands on a playable version at a Sony pre...


Tearaway gets a female messenger, named Atoi

'To you'
Jan 31
// Dale North
Remember Iota, the lead character of Media Molecule's upcoming Vita game Tearaway? We learned today that he has a female counterpart named Atoi. You clever bastards have already figured out that her name is Iota's name spelle...

Review: LittleBigPlanet Karting

Nov 01 // Jim Sterling
LittleBigPlanet Karting (PlayStation 3)Developer: United Front Games, Media MoleculePublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: November 6, 2012MSRP: $59.99 LittleBigPlanet Karting does for the kart racing genre what LittleBigPlanet did for the platforming genre, and by that I mean it does what ModNation Racers was already doing for the kart racing genre. I promise I won't keep going on about that, but it truly boggles the mind how completely useless Sony has made either one of these two titles. It doesn't help that LBP Karting is, more or less, exactly like the aforementioned "rival" title (likely due to United Front working on both games).  The general idea is that, like with LittleBigPlanet, players can create their own levels to share and play online. Using all manner of terrain deformation tools, pre-set objects, and customizable materials, players can craft some truly impressive tracks using the exact kind of user-friendly interface seen in mainstay LittleBigPlanet titles. This time around, instead of creating 2D platform levels, players lay out tracks built from all kinds of material by "driving" a paint roller across the ground. The roller can be raised or lowered to create tracks of varying heights, and branching routes can be added for shortcuts and hidden paths.  Most of the tools found in LittleBigPlanet transfer over quite well to the karting spin-off. Almost anything can be tweaked, from the color of the sky to the behavior of CPU-controlled racers. Speech bubbles, animated obstacles, dangerous terrain, and prizes can all be added, to the point where the only real appreciable difference between LBP and Karting is the 3D perspective. This leads for an incredibly intuitive crafting experience that, once players get to grips with the way track-building works, will have them bolting together all manner of quirky race levels in no time at all. [embed]238102:45678[/embed] Unlike ModNation, there is not a huge amount of scope when it comes to making karts and racers themselves. Your Sackboy is still a pre-made doll upon which to hang costume pieces, while the karts lack the minute level of customizable details found in Sony's earlier karting property, and fail to appear quite so personalized due to LBP's "improvised" aesthetic. Nevertheless, the designs are still rather charming, and unlocking new body parts for the vehicles remains a compelling little incentive.  The building aspect of LittleBigPlanet is as entertaining as usual, but the racing itself doesn't match such levels of satisfaction. It holds its own as a fairly decent karting experience, but it chooses to stop at merely being decent, refusing to do anything new or exciting on its own and instead relying on the customization aspect as a sole draw. In a way, this is a problem shared by the regular LittleBigPlanet games -- just as LittleBigPlanet is an exceptional way of crafting unremarkable platformers, so too is Karting an exceptional way of crafting unremarkable racers.  All the obligatory features are in place -- karts can drift for speed boosts, perform spinning tricks in mid-air, and collect weapons to blast the competition. As with ModNation Racers, Karting goes overboard with the luck-based power-ups, using projectiles that are completely unavoidable unless you waste your own weapon to diffuse incoming attacks, and a multitude of powers that can shunt you from first to last place without skill ever being a factor. This makes it useful as a casual party game, but renders the solo story chapters more aggravating than amusing.  As well as straightforward races, there are Mario Kart-style battle arenas where players have to kill each other as much as possible, solo checkpoint races, and capture-and-hold objectives where players need to hold onto a specific item for as long as possible. The story mode also provides a smattering of mini-games and even boss fights, where mines or guns are used to take out weak points on huge, monstrous creations.  One thing I appreciate is how traditional elements from the series have been incorporated stylistically into the gameplay. For instance, weapon power-ups are appropriated Weaponators, and when you die, a familiar spawn point opens up on the track to get your racer back into play. The grappling hook is used to swing across wide chasms, prize bubbles can be collected to unlock new items, and many weapons are taken directly from the various obstacles found across the LBP series. Karting succeeds impressively at creating a title that feels right at home in the LittleBigPlanet universe.  Nevertheless, there's no escaping the fact that, like so many kart racers released over the last few years, LittleBigPlanet Karting is unadventurous, traditional to a fault, and too damn slow. Yet again, it's shameful to note that a budget title, Jimmie Johnson's Anything with an Engine, has still done more to energize the genre than any of the more prominent titles. Make no mistake, Johnson was sorely lacking in the quality department, but at least it tried. LBP Karting is yet another racer that simply hasn't put any effort into making kart racers exciting again. It's solid, it's functional, but it's not exhilarating in any way.  The lack of thrill is compounded by the fact that LBP's famously floaty physics are preserved unapologetically and used throughout the racing experience. Cars feel unwieldy and lacking in traction, and jumping is an oddly slow affair. It's not enough to be a massive problem, but the physics are just loose enough to give the whole game a strange, waxy feeling. Online play makes things a bit more interesting, though only marginally so. The multiplayer aspect runs smoothly, and a cool voting system offers up three stages pulled up at random for players to choose. The randomized aspect makes the next race a consistent surprise, but it can offer up poorly designed courses just as often as good ones, and can even change the controls without warning the players.  Still, the game is already filling up with user-created courses, running the gamut between insipid and inventive. Time will tell if there are enough players to keep the game ticking, but right now there seems to be a healthy batch of offerings to choose from, and folks are quickly finding ways to put a unique spin on things. One user has managed to craft a water course, complete with boats. The water physics don't react to the boats, making the whole level look odd, but it's a promising start. For those that do manage to find the gameplay aspect compelling, there's a solid amount of content to check out.  LittleBigPlanet Karting may be worth checking out for fans of the series, but experienced kart lovers can happily skip it. While the creation mode is a potentially engrossing concept, it's not really anything that hasn't already been done, and the racing itself is almost antediluvian in nature. It's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, and can even manage to be quite fun in the right environment, but it's altogether a fairly meaningless release that seems to exist just to ensure Sony has something out in time for the holiday season that isn't All-Stars.  I felt sorry for ModNation Racers when LBP Karting was released, but now I just kind of feel bad for both of them. 
LittleBigPlanet Karting photo
Not quite up to speed
When LittleBigPlanet Karting was announced, the first thing I felt was pity. Pity for ModNation Racers, the build-everything karting title that Sony presented under the same "Play Create Share" banner as Media Molecule's crit...

Review: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita

Sep 12 // Jim Sterling
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (PS Vita)Developer: Double Eleven, Tarsier Studios, XDevPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: September 25, 2012MSRP: $39.99 Fans of LittleBigPlanet will know the score right from the outset. Ostensibly a do-it-yourself platform game, the PS Vita version is exactly like its console brethren in allowing players to construct their own vast levels out of a huge selection of materials, gadgets, tools, and stickers. Very little has been left out, with LBP2's extra gimmicks and power-ups all in attendance, alongside a few all-new features. Everything you need to enjoy LittleBigPlanet has been maintained -- no small feat for a humble handheld title.  The full set of community features have been transported without flaw to Sony's little system. As always, players can search for, play, review, rate and favorite all the user-created levels uploaded by others. At the time of writing, only a few test levels from fellow reviewers are uploaded, but I can confirm that getting into them is fairly quick and simple. There can be some lengthy loading at times, but nothing too egregious, save for one or two instances where a level seems to be stuck in a perpetual load. My one big complaint is that the menus could use some cleaning up, as trying to find my user reviews feels more convoluted than it needs to be, and the icons aren't exactly helpful in telling you which selection does what. [embed]234613:44997[/embed] The game's campaign tells a predictably trite story about an evil puppeteer attacking a magic carnival planet. The cutscenes and voice acting grate, and the levels are little more than glorified -- but nicely designed -- tutorials, telling you how the game's new toys work. In that latter purpose, the campaign is a success, as there are quite a few fresh playthings that manage to be surprisingly fun.  Among of the biggest new items are the touch-activated materials. Fingerprint scanners and blocks that can be manually moved by dragging across the touchscreen add some new interactions to a level, and I'm surprised by how well they work. Unlike other PS Vita games, the touch controls don't feel overly saturated and work to make the gameplay more interesting, rather than less convenient for the sake of showing off. There are some cleverly designed levels using blocks that can be pushed in and out using the front and rear touch interfaces, and I'm excited to see what more talented gamers can create using them.  New power-ups make similar use of the PS Vita's control range, from gliders that can be dragged with touch to vehicular wheels propelled by physically tilting the system. These items vary in terms of quality and entertainment. Dragging an unwieldy vehicle around with one's finger is just uncomfortable and bothersome, but I've always got time for a good tilt mechanic, and LittleBigPlanet uses this functionality elegantly.  The game wisely ensures that it doesn't always force you to use touch controls. The Popit menu, as well as level building, can be interacted with using either touch or buttons, and I've actually found that using a combination of both options makes building levels more fluid and enjoyable than ever before. LittleBigPlanet Vita thus serves as a fantastic example of Vita controls done right -- a working compromise between two well-executed control methods, as opposed to a forced either/or situation that promotes technology over user enjoyment.  One thing I really love about the Vita is that the microphone and camera are built in, allowing you to instantly add your own images and sounds to the levels you create without the need for peripherals. The quality is predictably spotty, but the accessibility is appreciated. Being able to scream at my handheld and having such eldritch sounds transported instantly to whatever vile beast I've built out of ivory and jam is a source of infinite amusement.  It's not just the controls, though -- the entire handheld format delivers an overall better crafting experience. The more casual nature of a portable device makes dipping in and out to tweak and build feel more relaxed and enjoyable, the ability to bring my work anywhere encouraging me to take more time on it. Sitting in front of an HDTV with speakers blaring just to spend an hour shaping a block of wood feels silly. On the PS Vita, it feels soothing. It's the kind of activity one should be doing on the train, or in a queue at the bank. Having LittleBigPlanet on the PS Vita works so well in the game's favor that I wish it had always been on the portable format.  The bite-sized nature of the playable levels also work better on the PS Vita than the PS3. The game's physics are still a bit too floaty for my liking, but overall, the Vita's controls just seem like a much better fit. That said, I'd have preferred at least a few improvements and tighter mechanics overall. As with other games in the series, LBP Vita does nothing of its own to improve the series in any way, choosing instead to just toss more toys at the player while sticking rigidly to formula. It may be in a better package this time around, but the contents remain mostly the same. That's mostly fine, but there are gameplay mechanics that could definitely be better, and haven't been touched since the series' inception. I've also found a rather annoying bug with create mode. After a while of building any moderately sized level, the game seems unable to cope with it and will crash out, returning the player back to the Vita's home screen. I noticed this mostly happening when transitioning from building a level to playtesting it. Getting back into the game is quick, and if one saves before the transition (which is always prompted), nothing of value is lost. It is, however, a frequent annoying occurrence and one that'll need patching swiftly.  There's a range of extra content on offer. While there's naturally online co-op for everything, there are also a whole bunch of minigames littered throughout the campaign, ranging from block-building to whack-a-mole to racing games. There's also an entire arcade section filled with puzzles and simple skill tests. Most of these games feel like iPhone game clones, making heavy use of touch input and mobile-style level select systems. Whether you're into iOS gaming or not, these arcade add-ons are adequate extras that are worth checking out at least once. It's nice to see mobile-style games being packaged as extras rather than sold on the PSN for $10, at any rate.  The presentation is as solid as ever. Stephen Fry returns to narrate and teach in his usual dapper fashion, while the selection of music is eclectic and suitably quirky. Graphically, the game looks a little washed out in comparison to its technically superior PS3 predecessors, but it's still a fine-looking Vita game -- not as pretty as, say, Gravity Rush, but certainly not unpleasant to look at by any stretch of the imagination. Objects obviously look a bit less detailed and animations aren't quite so lively, but Double Eleven and Tarsier did a fine job of preserving as much of the aesthetic spirit of the series as possible.  LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is the definitive LittleBigPlanet. The new interface options work splendidly, the extra toys are fun to play with, and the portable format simply works best for such a creative and laid-back venture. It's not as visually attractive as its bigger brothers, and it does little to move the series forward in any meaningful way, but it's by far the most earnest fun I've had with a LittleBigPlanet game to date, and something I feel belongs in the library of any PS Vita owner. I certainly hope it finds its way to many players, as the community will need a lot of support to keep it going.  LittleBigPlanet has come home, and the PS Vita has found a game truly worthy of its potential. 
LittleBigPlanet gets bigger and littler
The original LittleBigPlanet earned a lot of its praise through sheer charm alone. The cute presentation and unique creativity afforded to the player won it a lot of acclaim, despite the fact that, to be fair, the actual game...


Final Fantasy VII gets remade using LittleBigPlanet 2

Sep 11
// Tony Ponce
It's obvious now that Square Enix will never, ever remake Final Fantasy VII for fear of... I dunno... diluting the property or some stupid nonsense. In any case, the company is way too busy working on that "Fabula Nova Cryst...

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