TGC Review: LittleBigPlanet Vita

littlebigplanet vitaLittleBigPlanet was innovative when it first launched on the Playstation 3, and that same innovation has hit the Playstation Vita.

With the Playstation Vita crying out for games that are worth their asking price, LittleBigPlanet fits the bill perfectly with great gameplay and some quirky features to set it in its own stride.

The same core gameplay carries over from the Playstation 3 version, with no sacrifice, instead with nifty additions. The ability to touch objects on the screen using the front screen and rear touch pad is a stroke of genius that really makes you feel that the LittleBigPlanet you are running around in is yours to control.

Some games have shoehorned touchscreen controls in, just to show they can, whereas LittleBigPlanet Vita uses them to improve upon a tried and tested formula. Trust me, go back to LittleBigPlanet 2 and you will soon miss being able to manipulate objects with swipe of a screen, especially in Create Mode (more on that to come.)

The same floaty jumping is present as you guide Sackboy, or Sackgirl, through the marvellously presented levels, which really are works of digital art in their own right. The level designs are challenging enough to keep you entertained, and sometimes a little frustrated (classic sign of a great platformer) but not so difficult that a child couldn’t pick up and play, or an inexperienced player for that matter.

The single player story, narrated superbly by Stephen Fry, takes place in the world of Carnavalia, where the puppeteer has taken to creating faceless puppets.  Not as B-movie as it sounds, but the story isn’t the strongest point of the game, but just there to tie the 40+ levels together. Characters have been well thought of, and provide some at time hilarious commentary, as in this outing of LittleBigPlanet the characters you come across have been given actual people voices, hurrah!

As with previous entries, the gameplay formula of make your way from left to right, maybe a bit of up and down mixed with back to left and up to right (try saying that out loud)collecting stickers and various goodies on your journey is just as compelling here on the powerful handheld as it is in your living room.

Alongside the regular single player campaign, you will unlock a variety of mini games, which are a fantastic addition and really showcase what can be done within LittleBigPlanet Vita’s ecosystem of creation. From a whack-a-mole type game to a racer and an online tank battle game, there is plenty to keep you entertained on the bus, plane or train. Have a friend with you? Even better, as some of the mini games can be played on the same screen with another player, while others offer 4 player pass and play. A great way to show off your fancy toy to friends, and a brilliant way to kill some time on a journey.

The fun never seems to end with LittleBigPlanet either, as once you have finished the story, you ca jump online and play as many user-created levels as you wish, which at the last count that I took, there were well over 10,000. That’s right, 10,000 levels. Granted not all will be amazing, but you have to give the community credit for taking the time to have a go and share their creations.

If you think you can do better, why not try out the create mode, which if you are a newcomer can seem a little daunting, but there are over 60 tutorials narrated by the charming Stephen Fry aided by Sackboy to get you on your way to becoming a master creator.

While the biggest challenge may the create mode, the most useful utilisation of the touchscreen lies here. The ability to simply draw with a finger, or reshape an object by pinching or spreading your fingers really brings Create mode into its own. The endless possibilities are only limited to what you can think of! You will of course find yourself just doodling around making shapes and such, but once you’ve had a bit of practice and got some ideas, you’ll be making games like it was your second language. Just make sure you collect as many of the prize bubbles from the story mode, you need as many as you can to make you world come alive with decorations, characters, stickers and so much more.

LittleBigPlanet provides a solid platform game, or a platform for games, with user-friendly controls, well pieced gameplay mechanics and something that is often overlooked in modern gaming amidst the crowd of shooters and gore, fun. Plain and simple unadulterated fun.

Graphics: LittleBigPlanet Vita looks just as wonderful on the PS Vita’s beautiful screen as it does on any television set. 9

Gameplay: More of the same with more added into the mix. Create mode and user-created levels will keep you occupied for many bus journeys. 9

Sound: Wonderful music that fits perfectly, charmingly narrated by Stephen Fry and even the characters have a voice of their own. 9

Presentation: Easy to find your way around the three hub worlds, menus are well presented. Could have done with an option to use the joystick rather than touch the screen, but I’m just being fussy. 9

Overall: 9/10

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Played LittleBigPlanet Vita yet? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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