Little Big Planet PS Vita

Developer: Tarsier Studios / Double Eleven Studios
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Available On: Vita

Little Big Planet has become the Sony equivalent of the Mario franchise. While it didn’t exist prior to 2008, Little Big Planet has expanded into a platforming franchise with two iterations on the PS3, a PSP game, a karting game and merchandise for the series’ famous Sackboy character. The company was sure to release a new adventure in time for the holidays on their PlayStation Vita platform. The story in Little Big Planet for Vita is basic, yet still manages to be cute all the same. A mysterious puppeteer has stolen all of the joy from the planet Carnivalia.

You play as Sackboy to restore fun and laughter back to the world. The characters are comical, zany and all-around enjoyable, if unmemorable at times. While Sackboy has established himself among the upper echelons of gaming, not many others in the Little Big Planet world can say the same. The game has you run around side-scrolling levels in a 3D environment.

You can move in and out of the screen on multiple planes while trying to reach the end of the level in a mostly linear fashion. Along the way you will encounter obstacles, swings, vehicles and traps. If Sackboy dies, he is restored at one of the checkpoints along the way similar to old-school Sonic games.

Little Big Planet is similar to Mario in many ways. There’s a heavy emphasis on collecting stickers, which allow you to customize your Sackboy (or girl). The stickers come in the form of little bubbles that you have to burst throughout the levels, often hidden or hard to reach. There are literally only a couple buttons that you use, including jump and grab, making it significantly more basic than Mario but you can manipulate the world using physics in a way that no Mario game ever comes close to doing. By far the highlight of Little Big Planet on the Vita, as is always the case with this series, is the amount of user-generated content. While there are over forty-five levels across five unique worlds in the story mode, user-generated levels have so much variety in both presentation and gameplay that it’s almost as if you are playing multiple games within one.

There are levels for everything from zombie shooters to knockoffs of hit video games. The biggest innovation of Little Big Planet for the Vita is the Memorizer. A player can build a level and add save points to allow people to continue their progress at a later time. Creators have the tools to connect levels with other levels that they’ve created, with the optional requirement of requiring players to play the levels sequentially to make a seamless story experience. It’s a revolutionary way to submit user-generated content. The potential is virtually limitless with games of all types, including RPGs. If you are a fan of Little Big Planet or a newcomer, Little Big Planet for the Vita expands upon the franchise with new, innovative tools for user-generated content. The story is still fun and competent, but the most entertainment will come from both creating and playing other people’s levels. This is a must-own title for PlayStation Vita owners.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 10 Replay Value/Game
Length: 9
Final: 9.1 out of 10

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