Little Big Planet (part 3) - Please Rate This Review
PART 3! Please read parts 1 and 2 first!
This is basically the end of the review, but just a little personal point here, is that around the time when I first started hearing about Little Big Planet, I was under the impression that they planned to integrate ‘play’ and ‘create’, which is basically what they said, but I was disappointed to discover, closer to the games launch, that the game, in reality, is no more than a game with a separate level creator. If they had integrated the two, then they could have had puzzles which would have required the player to create appropriate mechanisms, vehicles and such, to solve. A simple example may be to present the player, at one point in a larger level, with a large wall of bricks which couldn’t be passed un-aided. The player could then be given a limited amount of material, and perhaps a designated zone within which they were allowed to create, where they might make some sort of catapult. While platforming would still be a significant component of such a game, the main gameplay concept would be to do with building objects for practical purposes, similarly to ‘Crayon Physics’, or ‘World of Goo’, and this certainly is an area which games would do well to explore. Up until recently, average computers or consoles may not have been able to handle this sort of gameplay very well, but Little big planet actually has the ability as it stands, all the developers needed to do was to allow the player access to certain other ‘popit’ categories whilst in ‘play’ mode, and remake the levels accordingly. Overall, I’m disappointed in the vision and creativity that Media Molecule displayed in Little Big Planet, which ended up feeling to me like an unnecessary pressing of the last drops of the platforming genre.
Disclosures: This review was based on a PAL version of Little Big Planet, purchased from a local retailer. Upon writing this review, i have spent about 8 hours playing through the relatively small number of levels on the disk with some repetition of earlier levels. I also spent about 5 hours learning and playing with the creation tools, along with a couple of hours playing early community creations.
Parents: The only standard-type problem, is the potential for 'offensive' language when playing online, along with the potential for community levels to contain sculptures of penis’s or the like.
Apart from that, the only possibly concern which comes to mind is in the level design, which sometimes encourages the player to run around collecting 'points', with no challenge. This could cause temporary to mindlessness in some. Fortunately all of the audio speech is of a high quality; delivered with excellence by Stephen Fry, so you don't have to worry about your kids being fed trash in this sense.
Deaf and hard of hearing: Certainly audio is not necessary while playing through levels. However, while most can be sussed out, allot of the tutorials for the creation tools relies somewhat on audio.