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E for Effort: LittleBigPlanet


LittleBigPlanet, eh? Build anything and customize the crap out of your Sack Person, you say? That sounds awesome! Right? Right?!


Why? How? Where did this game go wrong? Well, for starters, it promises incredible creative freedom that allows you to customize your character and create your own levels with apparent ease, but, alas, fails to deliver on this promise.

Let's start with character customization. Going in, I hadn't paid much attention to LittleBigPlanet, so I didn't know much about the game's creative tools, but I was expecting an epic character editor that would allow extreme flexibility to create anything I wanted. But once I started creating my character, I realized that the customization was as simple as picking costume pieces and maybe giving them a paint job. Problem is, there's no specific tool for coloring items, meaning that you have to use a clunky sticker tool to color things, and hope that it doesn't color over your other work.

If you don't want to make your own character, then you can buy some costumes from the PlayStation Store. But that's a decision only for the truly invested. The downloadable costumes are overpriced and only keep your interest for a few minutes before you go back to using a custom style. And remember those awesome Final Fantasy costumes we saw a while ago?

Yeah, not a sign of those anywhere.

LittleBigPlanet's biggest feature is the level editor, which should have extended the game's replayability immensely, but due to clunky controls and some overly complex tools that almost never work how you want them to, only serves to frustrate me every time I try to create a level that's even slightly more complex than some boxes and a tree. Another problem is that you have to unlock the tools and items for the level editor by playing through the main game, which means that until you've unlocked just about everything, you have practically no items at your disposal.

Sure, I could just play other peoples' levels, but sadly, about 90% of the game's user levels suck, and it can take a ton of time just trying to find a half decent level to play. And with no real reward for completing these levels, you start to realize after a while that it just isn't worth it.

But that's fine, because the game also has a story mode that I could play instead. But unfortunately, the single player is short. Also, it has no story. So... yeah... not much of a "story" mode. Sure, the level designs are great, but the gameplay NEVER changes. EVER.

So in the end, LittleBigPlanet has a lot of potential, but it fails to fulfill it. The creative tools are clunky and hard to use, requiring way too much time and commitment to create anything cool, and the gameplay itself lacks the originality or diversity required to sustain my interest for long.

Close, Media Molecule, but no cigar.
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About Cameron Schottone of us since 10:16 PM on 12.27.2009