Little Big Planet is a novel, imaginative, and highly customisable platform game.
Although Little Big Planet could be described as a platforming game, its dedication to creativity in every area takes it far beyond the confines of the genre. Everything from your character to the environment is geared towards user creation and adaptation, via stickers and costumes right up to a full-blown level creator. Each level of the story mode is an unforgettable trip through the wild imagination of the designers, and it would be difficult to find a game that's as much fun to play with friends co-operatively. It's a little disheartening that the Story mode is over so quickly, and although there's some longevity to be had from finding all the hidden extras, you can still see everything the story has to offer in six hours. Then there's the level creator--an astoundingly powerful toolset that theoretically allows you to recreate anything you see in the included levels and much more. However, it still requires a great deal of time and skill to develop something that people will actually want to play, and despite the best intentions of the developer, it's a feature that not everyone will be able to take full advantage of. The overall result is a game that's incredibly fun while it lasts, and one that has the potential to be taken further by its community.
The titular Little Big Planet is the place where all human imagination collects--the planet above the cosmos where our untapped creativity escapes when we're asleep or daydreaming. That's the background, anyway, and though characters occasionally refer to each other in the game, this fantastical journey has little in the way of exposition or backstory. There are eight themed worlds in total, and they vary in style from places such as the African savannah to the Mexican desert and ninja-obsessed Japan. Each world has either three or four individual levels, most of which can be completed in less than 10 minutes, and each level also has a bonus challenge or race if you can find the key hidden within. These bonus levels offer some of the most fun and imaginative experiences in the game, with an homage to Line Rider, skipping contests, and even drag racing competitions.
Little Big Planet's emphasis on creativity is completely embodied by its mascot, Sackboy. This endearingly cute rag doll acts as a blank slate for your creativity, and as you collect new materials and clothing in the story mode, you can constantly try out new looks. You can dress him up in costumes, add accessories such as hats and glasses, and even change his covering from that familiar brown to a particularly gaudy pink. Sackboy is also highly expressive, and you can use the controller's triggers and analog stick to move his arms and even smack unruly players. The D pad controls his facial expressions: up for happy, down for sad, left for scared, and right for angry, and repeatedly tapping in that direction further emphasises these emotions. You can also use the motion sensor to move Sackboy's head and hips, nodding knowingly if you win a level, at least until someone inevitably smacks you in the face for being so smug. With so much control over your character, you often end up spending a good deal of time just changing clothes, pulling faces, and maybe even sticking a "LOLZ" sticker on your buddy's forehead.
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