LittleBigPlanet 2 Review

LittleBigPlanet 2 Review
Game Name: LittleBigPlanet 2
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Publisher(s): Sony
Developer(s): Media Molecule
Genre(s): Platforming
Release Date: January 18, 2011
ESRB Rating: Everyone

I love LittleBigPlanet.

Now, you may think I’m biased, because I do tend to love things that are adorable, but let’s be honest, there are plenty of adorable games out there that suck. Fortunately, LittleBigPlanet 2 is not one of those games. Media Molecule took everything that was enjoyable about the original LittleBigPlanet and enhanced it, creating an even more dynamic, clever, but still cute and fun game.

LittleBigPlanet 2 introduces even more lovable characters into the world. As in the original game, you meet a new Creator Curator in each new game world, but this time they travel with you throughout the levels, guiding you along your journey. The Creator Curators in LBP 2, I think, are a bit more memorable than those in the original game. How could you forget Clive Handforth, sad, gloomy, and made of office supplies, who abides in the abandoned Factory of a Better Tomorrow? Or the big-egoed Avalon of Avalonia (Eric’s favorite, naturally), without whom you’d never succeed in your quest to destroy the Negativatron, the force of negativity that is destroying your little big world?

The Creator Curators provide you with useful (and fun!) tools to help you along your journey. There’s the cupcake sniper trifle, which lets you shoot gooey cakes at enemies and various barriers throughout the levels. There’s the splashcannon, which lets you spray water to put out fires. Then there’s my personal favorites, the drivable machines, such as RoboBun, a fluffy robotic rabbit that lets you jump higher and smash enemies under massive, furry feet with a devastating slam attack.

Furthermore, the gameplay in LittleBigPlanet 2 has been expanded from strictly platforming to include shoot ‘em up and arcade-like levels in which you travel vertically or horizontally through an obstacle course of prizes on a drivable robot (this time a caterpillar or a bee), sometimes with the option of shooting enemies out of your path.  It’s a great homage to classic gaming, and only speaks to the power of the Create tools that such varied experiences are possible within a single level.

As always, LBP 2 encourages you to play with your friends by including prize puzzles within levels that can only be accessed by two, three, or four players. If you’re like Clive and don’t have many friends, you can also play any level online with other players from throughout the world, thus making new friends and winning prizes for it. While these are all options carried over from the original entry, LBP 2 improves their implementation in a way that shows Media Molecule cares not only for the franchise, but the community that keeps it afloat . I played this game both by myself and with a friend, and, while I can honestly say it was fun by myself, it instantly becomes much more so when playing with others.  LittleBigPlanet 2 is all about social fun, and the game truly comes alive with three other Sack-persons playing by your side.

While I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game, I feel the story in LBP 2 is nowhere near as strong as the original. The story levels, while more dynamic than in the original game, don’t seem quite as challenging. The conclusion of the game was disappointing, especially after the adorable message of the first LBP (but don’t worry, I won’t spoil it).

However, the weak campaign is completely forgiven once you start to explore the community, and it is in their levels where LBP 2 really shines. With all the new additions to the game, players can create virtually any type of level imaginable, and, trust me, they’ve gotten off to a great start. Now that drastic updates have been made to the organization of community levels, you can find thousands of amazing player-created levels, allowing you a virtually endless amount of quality content.  As further incentive to jump into the series, all community levels from the first game are playable in this one.  Not only that, but you can play levels created with DLC that you haven’t purchased!  That means the wealth of content from other properties, such as Metal Gear Solid, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Marvel properties, are all available to play with!

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance yet to try my hand at creating a community level, but I hope to get some free time soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to update you all on the level creation tools. Perhaps I’ll try building a level or two while I wait for the long-promised PlayStation Move content to be released. Despite its flaws (and, trust me, there are very few), all the elements in LittleBigPlanet 2 add up to one really amazing game.

LittleBigPlanet 2 was played through to completion with two players on the PlayStation 3. Additional “versus” modes were played, as well as several community levels.

  • jenJEN

    I want to pick this up eventually -is it still a lot of fun to play solo? The first one seemed to have a lot of areas only for multi players, and I feel left out. *sackboy sad face* But I like the arcade-like levels -they sound like fun!

  • Matthew Nyquist

    Well written review. I want this game!

    Shoot-em-ups are one of my favorite genres.