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3 things LittleBigPlanet 2 desperately needs

Late last week, Game Informer leaked the news that LittleBigPlanet is definitely a thing that exists. Today, Sony unleashed the first trailer for the game, revealing that it’ll dwarf what the first game offered in terms of player control. The biggest additions? The ability to create artificially intelligent enemies and pilotable creatures using robotic templates called “Sackbots,” and the ability to create entirely different types of games, including racers and top-down shooters.

That’s all very exciting, but amid the storm of new features, there are a few small shortcomings from the first game that we’d like to see addressed. As impressive as the sequel already sounds, we’ll be even more impressed if it includes the following:


Better jumping

As fun as LittleBigPlanet was, jumping around as Sackboy always felt kind of weird and floaty. Anyone expecting the exacting consistency of a Mario-style platformer instead got a more “realistic” jumping mechanic that never felt quite right. Given that most players probably spend more time jumping in LBP than anything else, that’s inexcusable.


Above: GET THIS RIGHT, DAMMIT

In the first previews, we’ve seen developer Media Molecule float one possible solution: if you don’t like the jumping, create a remote-controlled Sackbot stand-in, tweak its abilities until you get its jumping just right, and then have players control that instead of a Sackperson from your level’s outset.

Thanks, but no. We realize something on the level of LittleBigPlanet 2 is a monumental undertaking, but a developer who says “fix it yourself” when confronted with a basic gameplay problem deserves a little flak. All the stuff LBP2’s going to introduce sounds amazing, but if it’s going to stick with this platforming thing, it’d be great to see it really nail the jumps.


More weapons and power-ups

LBP comes with exactly one way to dispatch threats: look for the glowing, unprotected “brain” and jump on it, at which point whatever robotic creature was menacing you will instantly dissolve. 2008’s Metal Gear pack introduced a paint gun, enabling players to splatter threats from a distance. And while LBP2’s grappling hook and apparent vehicle-based weaponry already look like a big improvement, we’re hoping to see it do even more.


Above: A good start

Much as we respect the attempt to keep LBP wholesome and (relatively) free of violence, the fact is that Mario’s been doing the family friendly thing for decades with a far more interesting arsenal than Sackboy’s. Fireballs, pointy sticks or more destructive guns would be welcome additions. For that matter, so would non-weaponized power-ups. Items that allow for better jumping, speed, invincibility or flight could potentially add a lot to user-created levels, and they’d give creators a cool bonus to throw into their levels besides score bubbles and stickers.

Of course, with all the customization options LBP2 is going to introduce, it’s entirely possible players could create and customize their own power-ups, which has the potential to be awesome (even if it’s just in the form of a remote-control Sackbot).


Less-neutered level-creation tools

Whoa, whoa, settle down. We’ve seen the trailer. We know LBP2’s level-creation tools are going to make the first game’s look fantastically puny. But we’re not talking about versatility, here.


Above: Don't get us wrong, the microchips are very impressive

Creating levels in the first LBP was something that had seemingly limitless possibilities… until you actually ran up against its limits and got frustrated. Each custom level was constrained by an 8-megabyte size cap, something we discovered after applying too many PlayStation Eye-captured texture stickers in our recreations of 8-bit levels. We get it: it’s important to keep the levels at a manageable size, so that they don’t fill up the servers and become unwieldy for players to download. But this is the PS3 era, and serious creators are going to need more room than what’s afforded by a PS2 memory card.


Above: Few things are worse than getting this far, and then being told you're running out of memory

On that note, if LBP really wants to be the YouTube of level-creation, it needs to relax its proverbial sphincter and let players directly import their own music and images from a PC, without this silly PlayStation Eye-scanning crap. Worried about obscenity? Someone will report it. Worried about copyright violation? Shut it down when someone complains, like you do already. If LBP2 is going to be taken seriously as a creation tool, it needs to give users the ability to implement their own creative vision – not just try to approximate it on Sony’s terms.

Whatever happens, though, we're still pretty damned excited to see more of this.

May 10, 2010


8-bit levels in LittleBigPlanet
Four classic stages painstakingly re-created on the PS3

 

10 LittleBigPlanet levels you have to play
Or had to, at least, in the early days of the game. Are these even still around?


LittleBigPlanet's level design: How easy is it?
Before LBP was even out, we ran rocket-powered buses through zombie hordes to find out

18 comments

  • philipshaw - May 11, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    Have to agree with all of this,can't wait for this game to come out at Christmas time
  • Rhymenocerous - May 11, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    Where the FUCK is XboxRules?! Anyway, I agree with the tweaking of settings, such as gravity. Then my Dead Space level would finally achieve its full potential.
  • FriendlyFire - May 11, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    To be perfectly honest, while the floating jumping is annoying, I can't help but commend them for actually making the game backwards compatible. ALL levels from LBP transferring seamlessly to LBP2? Nice one, and I'm more than willing to keep the floaty controls for that. You got used to them, and you can be sure MM themselves and their fans will both fix that in their levels quite quickly.
  • GodofPS314 - May 11, 2010 1:13 a.m.

    If they follow the design of the first game while throwing in new things, this will be God-like. 1. I am really looking forward to the robots, and the little spawns following me. 2. I hope they make a co-op or multiplayer that is about 8-18 people. 3. Make the popit simple but lots of accesability. I'm sure you'll do great Media Molecule, any comments XboxRulez?
  • digitalman29 - May 11, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    I agree with the whole article. The "floaty" controls drove me insane. I disliked moving back and forth from the back ground to the fore ground. There seemed to be a slight delay which didn't seem to set well in a platformer. Sometimes it seemed I'd have rather used the "d pad" to control sackboy.
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 11, 2010 12:15 a.m.

    Never played the first one and didn't feel the need to (also, no PS3), but that trailer was ballin'! I still remember that dude's analog calculator. Damn.
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - May 10, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    HOLY SHIT. Thank god for LBP2! Im pumped
  • Hexar - May 10, 2010 11:03 p.m.

    And all of those reasons are why I quit the first one not too long after I put it into my PS3. This one looks to be just as poor. Great article, not that I was tempted to try LBP2 but now I definitely have no interest.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - May 10, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    I still want simpler level creation tools. Not too simple. Simple enough. Or at least a simple option for them.
  • Conman93 - May 10, 2010 9:23 p.m.

    Looks like this and Zelda for Chritmas this year!
  • dante1924 - May 10, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    Holy shit! This looks so awesome! I admit, I wasn't too good at creating levels, but it looks like the sequel will improve it! But what will happen to all the user created levels and all of my downloadable content? And are those rats near the end of the trailer?
  • d3m3nt3d - May 10, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    i liked the werid floatyness of the jumping...it was different. be better if you can change some gravity setting instead maybe
  • Kisokuiki - May 10, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    Importing music would be good, but if people could import whatever stickers they wanted, they'd stop having to be creative with the objects the game gives you.
  • skynetiscoming - May 10, 2010 8:11 p.m.

    Totally agree with the music import thing. I feel some of my levels would greatly benefit from the Bioshock soundtrack or some indie music intsead of the 20 or so tracks they give you.
  • TobiasBrucknersSon - May 10, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    Im super excited for this. It looks like a big improvement over the last one.
  • IamNOTatalkingpony - May 10, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    BIAS! This list wouldnt have been written if it was on 360! I KID, I KID! Agree with everything written here. (how much did Microsoft pay you Mikel?)
  • iKOemos - May 10, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    I really enjoyed the first game, and this one looks like a giant step up. Consider me excited!
  • Porcupeth - May 10, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    FIRST!!!11one2 Aaanyway, the game looks great. I loved the 1st one.

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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