Friday, January 21, 2011

Little Big Planet 2 Thoughts / Collectors Edition Unboxing!

It has finally arrived! The long awaited sequel to Little Big Planet. Bringing with it a crazy amount of new content to experience. Along for the ride is every single level that was previously published by fan creators from the original game. So now there's, what? over 3 million levels to play? Yeah. I'm down.

My thoughts on the game so far are posted below, as well as a super-sweet video from a friend of mine: A complete guide to everything you get if you purchase the collectors edition of Little Big Planet 2.

First up, let's get this LBP2 CE unboxing video up. My buddy Sancho (PSN: Sancho45, here's his page, check it out, like right now!) sent this in for me to toss up on the site. I really should be doing more of these videos. They help spruce the place up!

With the awesomeness that is PS3 we're able to record video, edit, and then upload it to Youtube right from the PS3's menu system, the XMB. Anyways, enjoy the video! Thanks again, Sancho.

Now, let's talk about the game. To be absolutely blunt, LBP2 is not a perfect game. So let's get the bad stuff initially out of the way. It is, in fact, leaps and bounds better than the first one. But there are some online technical issues that are holding the game back for me, just enough for it to be a bit disappointing. The Little Big Planet series has always been about the online community. You can throw your blu-ray in and proceed to build, share, and play levels with other players. In LBP2 I'm having a hell of a time playing anything online with anyone else. This "Infinite Loading Screen" has been mentioned on plenty of other sites since launch, and it's seriously swaying my opinion on the game. I really need to say though, when (not IF, Media Molecule knows what they're doing over there) that gets fixed, LBP2 is a huge leap closer to a perfect PS3 game that absolutely everyone of all ages should easily enjoy.

Online issues aside, playing the story mode by yourself is an absolute blast, and nobody should have been doubting that it'd be anything but. If you have a spare controller and some friends to play with, times "absolute blast" by about 10. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard playing a game this console generation. There's just something about LBP2 that makes me giggle like a child. Seriously now. Picking up some of the new power-ups and then turning them on your unsuspecting friends, freakin' hilarious.

Upon viewing every single interactive tutorial in the game, it really made my head spin. I thought I was pretty good at the original game, I created my fair share of decent levels. But this... this changes everything. They've tweaked and even removed some of the old features, and introduced new and improved ways of doing, well ....just about everything. This should make for some seriously intricate levels down the road, just give it a few months. The controlinator alone will change everything we've come to know from the first game. This new feature allows you to fully use the dual shock controller any way you please. Let's say you create a vehicle. You then allow the player's sack-character to hop in, accelerate with the X button, break with circle. Perhaps shoot missiles with R1. This is only the most basic example and you'd have to watch some of the videos I've previously posted to truly grasp what this means for the game.

While you wait to see what crazyness the community comes up with, you can play all the original fan-created LBP levels. All of mine are still there and seem to be working just fine with the new game. Pretty sweet I'd say. I really missed my Beta level called Massive Rover. It's so nice to be able to go back and play those without having the original LBP (traded mine in once I knew LBP2 was getting close to launch, my PS3 has died since so I lost all my save info, now I need the original game again to get all the costumes back!)

If you're playing with friends locally on your couch, or even just playing by yourself, this game is easily a 10/10 for me. Where the original Little Big Planet set the bar for fan creation freedom, Little Big Planet 2 shatters it and enables players to make their own full games, not just platformers. I would of never thought this was even possible for a video game back when I was playing my SNES as a teenager. Still blows my mind how far (and fast) we've come from simple sprites and simple controllers.

Speaking of controls, Move support is on it's way for LBP2. According to a Eurogamer interview with co-founder and technical director of Media Molecule, David Smith:

"There's no limits to potentially what we could add. Currently we're very much focused on adding in really powerful Move controller support. And that is a combination of functionality and levels and assets and things. But that is still early, so it's not something we can talk too much about."

So, to sum it all up, LBP2 is a a top notch family oriented experience. Anyone can play it and have a tremendous amount of fun! I'll now risk making any readers angry by saying the following: If you don't find yourself smiling and/or laughing during your playthrough of LBP2, there is something wrong with your brain. Seriously. Get that checked out. This game is cutesy but a ton of fun, and nobody should argue with that. I admit, the online stuff can get a little frustrating if you're trying to play with online friends, but with everything that this game is trying to do (and generally doing all of it top notch awesome) cut them some slack, it'll all get fixed before we know it.

EDIT: Been reading online about the problems we've been having with the online. Apparently there is a work around where you just turn off your dual shock when you're stuck at a loading screen, and apparently it throws you back into the game just fine. Of course, turn your controller on right after that so you can continue playing. It's just a quick fix for now, Media Molecule should be working on a patch.