Friday, July 31

Little Big Planet (PSP) Review

I played on: PSP
I paid: £8.99
Available on: PSP
Notes: This is the review for the PSP Little Big Planet and is not the same as the games with the same names on PS3 and PS Vita and they are both separate from this and each other.

Little Big Planet on the PS3 delivered an amazingly unique single-player platformer that was only the appetizer. The main course was a deep and rewarding level creator that allowed your creativity to run away with itself. Bringing this to Sony’s first portable console is a tall order. Does it go off without a hitch or is this just too good to be true?

The first thing that needs to be made clear is that this isn’t just a port or downgrade for the PSP. Despite it having the same name as its predecessor this a true sequel to the original Little Big Planet. The gameplay and by extension the level creator are pulled back a bit in terms of ability and potential but that doesn’t mean that LBP on the PSP is lacking because it’s not. Everything that made the first game so fun is found here, only now it’s done on 2 layers instead of the previous 3. Seeing as this is a 2.5D platformer that may sound bad, but the levels are designed so well around it that I hardly noticed the difference at all. The annoying difficulty spike has also been fixed with all checkpoints now being unlimited. This means you can try those more challenging sections without having to replay entire levels over and over.

That missing layer does start to become missed when you begin to dig into the level creator although it’s far from the biggest problem. You’re unable to resize objects which is an omission so baffling that I just can’t figure out why it’s gone. In fact, most of the tools and features that made level creation a breeze in the console game are more clunky or just absent. While it’s possible to make some truly amazing levels here it’s far from as fun and simple as it once was. This is due to the limited graphics, power, and buttons on the PSP.

Let’s get back to the positives and talk about how good this game looks and sounds! I think Media Molecule was clever in the way they changed up the visuals for the smaller and less powerful PSP. Unlike the PS3 that can output at 720p or even 1080p on certain games, the PSP is limited to its 480p display. This means that Sackboy and his dreamscape lose a lot of finer detail. To make up for this Sackboy now animates a lot more on his own. This rather simple change keeps the PSP adventure feeling as full of personality and charm as its console big brother.

Despite all of these points, this is still the most lacking experience in the series for one simple reason. The servers have been shut down. The joy of sharing your creations with the community and exploring what they have to offer in return is now missing. Simply put the heart of any Little Big Planet game is its community and that’s now gone from the PSP game. While it’s still worth picking up cheap for the joyous single-player campaign there is little to no reason to bother with the clunky level creator now. The larger half of this game is now just gone or pointless. It’ll be a sad day when all the LBP games eventually suffer this same fate.

Recommendation Rating: 5 out of 10

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