Friday, November 07, 2008

Games: Little Big Planet

I try not to blog about gaming too much since there are far better sources for this kind of material, some better, some worse, but thats all a matter of taste. I do have to say though, as an avid gamer, Little Big Planet has knocked my socks off. I picked this game up mainly due to hype, and half expecting to be let down. Truth be told, when I got the game home and couldn't update to the latest version (at this time, 1.03), I was really disappointed since it wouldn't allow me to see user created content. So I was left with the stock levels.

I won't bore you with the details about "Sackboy" since the main character and his possible customizations are covered very well in depth by the many gaming rags on the market. I will say he is cute and clever, as is the control scheme for him. I can't help myself but to have him disco dance ala Saturday Night Fever after every level.

The stock levels showcase the games physics and themes really well. It has a very animatronic theme going, with characters being voiced by little speakers, and movements being done by something right out of a Rube Goldberg invention. They are challenging, with a very silly backstory behind many of the different levels.

Once the gremlins with the network, be in on my end or Sonys end finally cleared up and I was able to update, I got to see where LBP really shines. User created content always ends up enhancing a game, and showcasing possibilities that the developers couldn't imagine. In this case there is no exception. I played around with user levels, some of which were mere mechanisms to earn trophies, but others were clever, challenging platformers that brought me back to the yesteryears of the NES. I had one level where I was doing a mock prison break, another where I was going through the American Gladiators obstacle course, and one where I played basketball while wearing a rocketpack.

So, those are the facts, so whats my opinion. I can openly say this, and all naysayers be damned. This is the first game where I have actually smiled and enjoyed playing. I haven't even gotten into level creation, just playing, and this is easily one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I have had in a long time. Finally, something that breaks away from the tired first person shooters, dystopian futures, survival horrors, and the getting very thin rhythm games (although I did pick up Gears of War 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, and Rock Band 2, so apparently I still have some demand for these games). Easily the best game for the PS3, and I look forward to seeing what else the community can cook up.

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