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LittleBigPlanet

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: SCEE (EU), SCEA (US)
Developer: Media Molecule
Release Date: Oct. 27, 2008

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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12. 'LittleBigPlanet' (PS3)

by Rainier on Jan. 19, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

LittleBigPlanet is a new PS3 community-based game with a hugely innovative concept behind it. Players meet on a blue and green planet scattered with individual plots -- and use their character's amazing abilities to play, create and share what they build with other gamers throughout the world via PS Network.

Mark Buckingham: There's a lot of banter in the online community that LittleBigPlanet is going to spawn about the many user-created levels you'll be able to download, the co-op play, and the sheer originality of it all. That's fine and good, but I think it just looks too quirky to ignore, hype be damned. It could also change the face of what exactly downloadable content can be in terms of quality and scale, if they pull off all they've promised with this one.

Redmond Carolipio: Yes, it looks cute and cuddly, but it also smacks of possibilities for PS3 owners. I want to see how much time I can kill just by creating and tinkering with materials for building my levels. Getting to use stuff like wood or sponge might not seem exciting on paper, but for pseudo-engineers, this game could be the perfect playground. Then take into account that other people can hop in, and we can build stuff together. I'm also interested to see LittleBigPlanet's physics at work with my own eyes, especially when I get all the tools at my disposal. At the very least, I get to control something called Sackboy.

Anthony Chambers: With surefire AAA titles like GTA4 and MGS4 coming out this year, I'm most excited for LittleBigPlanet. The E3 trailers showcased the gorgeous art direction and a physics engine that has groundbreaking potential. Add on the community possibilities, and Sony has a knockout on its doorstep. Little has been revealed about the characters and the story itself, but with the possible release of a public beta and a confirmed release date for September, LBP needs to be on everyone's radar.

Xav de Matos: It's surprising that one of the most coveted titles in 2008 belongs to Sony's download platform, the PlayStation Network, but LittleBigPlanet has proven itself time and time again as one of the most interesting titles in this generation. LittleBigPlanet is set in a fully interactive and charming co-op world where the only limitation is the player's creativity, shattering the accepted notion that creation is reserved for PC gamers. The title is so widely anticipated that it's almost a shame that gamers won't be able to tear open this title when it hits in downloadable form this autumn.

Nathan Grayson: If 2007 was the year in which downloadable content truly came into its own, then 2008 will see user-created content finally come into prominence. LittleBigPlanet will, without a doubt, lead the charge with its robust creation tool that allows players to create levels while playing them — and online multiplayer only sweetens that deal. LBP will hopefully help separate the PS3 from its competitors with a unique artistic style that perfectly complements its experimental gameplay. Don't be surprised if some of the most innovative level designs you've seen in years come from this game and the community that gathers around it.

Zane "R3X" Mañasco: On the surface, LittleBigPlanet is a platformer where the user creates and adapts the environment to complete each level. On the flip side, it should be a major PS3 system seller and a precursor to a wave of games that hopefully change the very concept of "traditional" gaming.

Sanford May: It's hard to define anticipation of a game that the developers and publishers themselves have a hard time clearly describing. Perhaps my most significant expectation for LittleBigPlanet is its apparent, but still nebulous, goal to take Valve's Portal, the by now largely forgotten puzzle game tacked onto the 2007 holiday release season's The Orange Box multi-game console collection, to what may be the peak of puzzle gaming. Surely these two titles, at first blush, they appear nothing alike; but they are indeed mates, as in both, the whole world is a puzzle and the entire point of the games is using the elements of the environment to solve the puzzles. Portal's virtual physical context was confined, a sort of satirical research lab slowly going to seed, whereas LittleBigPlanet is set in an entire world all its own. Portal was a first-person perspective solo experience; LittleBigPlanet is presented in third-person with an almost 2D aesthetic, intended as a massively multiplayer platform puzzler, thus taking the central puzzle-solving theme everywhere with almost anyone. And did I mention it's cute, too? That's finally what will come of it: LittleBigPlanet will be a run-of-the-mill platform title with an online multiplayer hook, relying for sales appeal on a diverse, snugglesome cast of characters, or those button-nosed inhabitants of the game will be little more than superficial trimming on top of deep, deep and truly innovative gameplay.

Steven Mills: I never wanted a PS3. Ever. GDC 2007 introduced me to a nifty little game called LittleBigPlanet, and suffice it to say that a PS3 now sits in my room awaiting the release of said game. I'm looking forward to creating a World of Warcraft-like world using graphic files on my hard drive; who wants to try it with me? It will certainly be possible with the physics engine LittleBigPlanet uses and the amount of creative latitude that you have in creating a level. I also can't deny that I'm looking forward to dressing up Sackboy and making him wave.

Tim "The Rabbit" Mithee: I don't own a PlayStation 3, but LittleBigPlanet fascinates me enough that I'm thinking of getting one. There's something about the demos we've seen so far, and what seems to be a near infinite possibilities. Welcome to If You Build It, They Will Play It. Everything seems to be completely up to the player building the level: design, theme, style, mechanics, every single thing. Tack on complete online publishing and multiplayer, and the possibilities of the recently confirmed HOME integration — I just don't completely have enough words to describe it. Demos at CES seemed to demonstrate without many questions that building levels is easy, publishing them is even easier, and the possibility of a game without any end or limits may just have rolled off the conveyor belt. If Sony finally ends up with a blockbuster exclusive, I think this may well be it.

Daniel Whitfield: Platformers, while not exactly the guaranteed money spinners they were in older times, still often feature fairly highly on the radar of the gaming scene. Following in this trend along with titles like Ratchet and Clank: Future and Super Mario Galaxy is LittleBigPlanet, which looks as though (with luck) it may cause a splash comparable (or bigger!) to massive blockbusters like the aforementioned hits. The reason for this is fairly simple, and one may wonder why it hasn't been done before: user-created content. The ability for players to intuitively and simply create levels to share with not only their friends, but also the entire world is one that cannot fail to get our Spidey Sense tingling. Add to this the stupendously charming graphical style and customizability of the characters and environments, and we may have a revolution on our hands with LittleBigPlanet. The possibilities are endless.


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