Play LittleBigPlanet PSP, and you’ll get the disconcerting feeling that someone’s woolly little mitts have been rifling through your dreams. From fleeing an angry dragon to playing movie stuntman to riding a surfboard away from a great white shark, these are experiences both fantastical and familiar. They’re also hugely impressive feats of engineering, but even they pale in comparison with the mighty feat of shoehorning LittleBigPlanet onto the PSP. From cardboard clouds to Stephen Fry, this is as close to the PS3 version of the game as we’d ever dared hope. And in some respects, it even surpasses the original.
If anything, the story levels here are even more tightly designed. The puzzles in particular are much improved. One example sees you rotating a circular module with a single entry point to access new areas, returning later to manipulate a rolling ball puzzle contained in the same chunk of scenery. With stages necessarily smaller in overall scale, these memorable hand-made stumpers are examples of the devs using intricate feats of engineering to turn even tiny areas into zones of wonderment. Clever them.
There are still problems, though. Whereas the confusing multiple planes that muddled creation and play in the original have been simplified, the woolly physics have not been. Cue much snagging on scenery. It’s also demandingly difficult in places, many of which could whittle down a cat’s lives in seconds. Luckily, this version includes more checkpoints and grants you with an infinite amount of Sackboys to play with. As a result, you’ll race through the bundled levels fairly quickly, meaning players eager for more will either need to create their own or wait for some other bright spark to do so.
But then that’s the point of LittleBigPlanet – the big draw that has kept players coming back to the PS3 version again and again: user-generated gameplay. At the time of writing, there aren’t many people beavering away in create mode, but if the PS3 version has proved anything, it’s that the bundled story levels are just the tip of the cardboard iceberg…
Nov 23, 2009