First person shooter? Racing? Adventure? Puzzle platformer? What type of game do you want to play? What type of game do you want to make? These are the questions that LittleBigPlanet 2 asks you. In the most basic sense, this is not a game. This is a mighty tool to let you create and experience whatever you want. And to top it all off, Media Molecule tacked one of the best platform games of the past few years on to the disc.
The story mode in LBP2 is fun. One of the best games I’ve played in a quite a while. The (very loose) story present is this: All of CraftWorld is being threatened by the Negativitron and it’s up to you to join with the Alliance to save the day. Well… Maybe it should read more like, ‘All of blah blah… Forget it. Here’s a bunch of levels designed to show off the new crap we put n the game. Have fun!’
Story isn’t so much LittleBigPlanet’s strong suit, but hey, you’re not buying this game for the story. Mario games rarely have much more of a story than ‘The princess is in another castle’ and they are the best platformers of all time. The story mode of LBP2 shows off some the best platforming levels of the last ten years all while teasing the sorts of games you’ll be able to create with a little time and effort. Throughout the game’s core 30 levels you’ll ride bees, shoot cupcakes out of your head, and grapple-hook through flaming forests. Each world shows off a different gameplay mechanic and I can’t wait to see what the community creates given these new toys.
LittleBigPlanet 2, like the first game, comes with the promise of user-generated content. Early adopters of the game have been lucky as it is backwards compatible with all 3 million or so levels created so far for the first game (along with any unlock able content you may have earned in the first title.) The search tools are far more streamlined this time around. Searches lead to content lists, opening a level can link to levels created by the same user, which can further link to their personal favorites and so on. My favorite part of the search tool is the new Media Molecule Favorites list, levels the developers themselves have chosen to show off.
Creating these levels is no small feat, but it Is a little user-friendlier than the first game around. The first game seemed to have endless demo videos to watch before you were allowed to think about touching an edit tool.LittleBigPlanet 2 does away with that, instead opting for a few basic tutorials before you can choose to either continue watching demo content or jump right in and try it for yourself.
Some of the better tools at your disposal this time around are the all new SackBots. These are programmable bots that can be used as enemies, NPCs, or heck… I don’t know… backup dancers? Their behavior is up to you.
Levels can now be linked together to build a game as large as your imagination will let you. Your levels are no longer confined to simple platforming. The intent behind LittleBigPlanet 2 is to give one the ability to create entire games of wildly varying genres. You can do this to your heart’s content with the ability to record your own dialogue, change camera angles at your pleasure, program the behavior of different tools, etc. For a game built around 2D platforming, I’ve started to see FPS-based levels being uploaded. This content generating freedom works well enough now and will only grow with time as users get more creative and crazy.
I’ve got little to no complaints about this title. Jumping is still a little floaty and shifting between foreground, middle, and background can be a tad off at times. Other than that, there is plenty of fun to be had here. Whether you’re purchasing this just to jump in and make your own games or if you’re more my speed and are looking forward to endless amounts of content waiting your consumption, this games has something for everyone. Personally, I’m going back online to play through some LittleBigPlanet recreations of The Human Centipede.