This is what fun is all about.
LittleBigPlanet gets slightly bigger
I'm not going to re-write the review that Eric Layman wrote up in October of 2008 because quite simply Eric hit the nail on the head. I will tell you that this game is everything that Layman said it was. It has all the adventure that you would ever want and it caters to everyone (and I mean everyone) out there in the world.
When Sony announced this game way back in early 2008 it was hard to imagine. This is the age where kids prefer Gears of War or Fable over something that looked cute and cuddly. It was much easier to sell violence and instant adrenaline kicks more than it was to sell a product that guaranteed a community would be there. Selling the idea that someone would be able to tap into their own creativity to create their own imaginative fun is a tough sell this day and age. When SCEA said that is what they intended to do with LittleBigPlanet, one could one scoff at the idea and wish them a false, "Good luck!" (rolls eyes). Just when you think that you know everything about the gaming industry, when you believe that you're an expert about how fans react to certain games, that's when you end up wrong.
Quote me on this readers and SCEA:
LittleBigPlanet is one of the best games I've had the chance to experience in the last 20 years of my life; believe me I've been gaming for a while.
It's better than Phantasy Star, which was my number one game of all time. It does something that no other game has done quite so well. It brings together an entire community around the world and it does it well. The guarantee that SCEA made about this whole 'community' thing came true in 2008. The game itself revolves around 50 levels of 3D side-scrolling adventure, but also revolves around the idea that a community of people can create and share their own levels around the world. Having never played this game, seeing this concept in action is simply magical and breathtaking at the same time. When you go online you have the chance to play other gamers' levels. You'll see different creations that players want to share. For example, there is a level completely dedicated to making your little Sack Boy into Batman or the Joker. All it does is give you instructions on how to do it and it gives you the stickers and costumes to use. Another level created by a user is completely dedicated to their love for Spongebob Squarepants. It's tough as nails, but it's creative as hell. Finally, I ran into a level created by a user that was a pinball game. Pinball.... fun, creative and it was someone elses' idea. LittleBigPlanet is purely community driven; that concept is worth the $59.99 alone.
Let me shift gears here and let you know what is happening in this 'Game of the Year' edition.
$30 of free content? No way!
In this version of LittleBigPlanet you get would you would have paid for over the last year. Costumes, such as the Metal Gear Solid costumes, are available to you at no charge. Your Sack Boy/Girl can dawn these costumes and look positively badass during gameplay. I think I wore Raiden's outfit through the entire game. You also get some new levels with this edition. For example, there is a four-act pack for the Metal Gear Solid motif. You'll go head-to-head with tanks, Liquid and Metal Gear. What's even cooler is that the music, the style and atmosphere is completely ripped from MGS4. The Kojima team apparently had a hand in this, so it was neat to see it in action. The MGS levels are difficult; there are times where you'll go up against multiple enemies at the same time, in a short space. The only way to get through these levels is with the almighty Paintinator. This paint gun will act as your weapon of choice in many of the levels you'll face. It's a new upgrade for the game and it makes other levels (outside of MGS) a lot more fun.
Other little add-ons include a history level. You obtain wonderful stickers and costumes of historical figures from the past. It's set on a scrolling timeline where you start at the beginning of civilization and travel your way through different time periods as the level progresses. Along the way you pick up a ton of stickers to apply to objects (including yourself) and costumes to use to get that 'I'm really old-school' motif going. It's pretty cool and somewhat educational.
Moving on, you get additional bonus levels with this addition (or easy access to them). There are a total of 18 new levels that have been designed by LBP community members; although there are still plenty out there that haven't been singled out. What's cool about this is that for each unique level that you play you get a wonderful video introduction from the creators. So, if you select a level based on Pandas (I forgot the name, but it's got Panda in the title), you'll get to meet the cruel bastard who made you work hard to get through this custom level. One of the levels, which was designed by a young lady from Japan, is built after the movie TRON. It's unique and imaginative and you get to go on a light-cycle adventure throughout the entire level. You'll swerve, go through loops and guide your cycle away from danger in this quick-paced environment; pretty darn neat. These 18 levels were selected by SCEA as probably the best of the best. I can see why they chose these levels and really thought it was cool that they went out to videotape these folks.
Another addition to the game, which expires in January 2010, is the ability to be a part of ModNation Racing. I didn't get a chance to play it, mainly because my code didn't work for some reason, but it looks really good. That's an added bonus to what you're getting in an already fabulous game.
Had I known in 2008 how big this game was going to be I would have properly prepared myself. Companies always claim that their game is going to 'bring an online experience like no other'. That is a claim that is thrown around constantly and it gets old after awhile. Well folks, Sony has actually created an online experience like no other. They have successfully found a formula that brings you all the tools to be creative in the easiest of ways. They simply opened the door to a world where you can be a kid again; where you can build things in simplified ways and challenge other community members to run through your own creativity.
I'm simply blown away on how big LittleBigPlanet is and I encourage you to experience it if you own a Playstation 3.
Think about it this way, you're coming in at the right time with LittleBigPlanet - Game of the Year Edition. This packs everything you ever need to have fun and be creative in the world that SCEA has put together for you. You get more costumes, a nice upgraded paint gun, more levels and an open door to a world you wouldn't have met or played with otherwise.