E3 10: Hands-on with LittleBigPlanet 2

All this week I am going to be giving ridiculously quick hands-on impressions of all the games I see on the E3 show floor. Since I think everything is a little amazing, they will be rated, from least to most favorite: 1 (A Little Amazing!), 2 (Kind of Amazing!), 3 (Pretty Amazing!), 4 (AMAZING!), and 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!).

The original LittleBigPlanet is still one of my favorite platformers of all time. Even taking away the revolutionary design-your-own-game mechanic, it is still a really fun, really well-designed little platform game.

With LittleBigPlanet 2, Sony seemed to keep all the stuff that made the original so charming, and OH MY GOD ADDED SO MUCH MORE! Instead of being just a 2D side-scrolling platfomer, LittleBigPlanet 2 now offers mini-games reminiscent of Mario Party, overhead shooters in the vein of Smash TV, shmups, racers, and even Star Fox/Rez-like flying games. The variety is ridiculous. And you can choose to design any of these types of levels yourself! I know it is cliche to say this, but the possibilities truly are endless. You really can design almost any kind of game you want. That alone is worth a standing ovation.

Heavy character customization is still around, although this time it is even more elaborate and adorable. And the textures on everything? They are almost criminally beautiful. The same textile-heavy look of the original is back, but this time much more detail and variety can be found in the environments. And, man, everything looks really, really good.

In the traditional 2D side-scrolling level I got to play in the demo, me and three other friends controlled our Sackboys through a massive factory. People that complained about the original feeling “floaty” may be a little disappointed as the controls feel very similar. Me? I never had a problem with the original control. I didn’t compare it to other games — it just felt like LittleBigPlanet to me (whatever that even means). The level design in the factory was, as expected, stellar, with the Sackboys traversing obstacles and enemies that got more and more creative as the level progressed.

The E3 show floor demo was obviously only the tip of a very large, very gorgeous iceberg. There is so much going on in this game that it almost makes no sense to give it anything less than a perfect score. The potential is there for this to be out of control good.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!)

Chad Concelmo