LittleBigPlanet - Cute but Difficult
By retrovertigo 11-04-2008 10:27 AM
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog, based on the LittleBigPlanet Beta, saying how I thought that LittleBigPlanet was marketed to the wrong audience. I received some really good response to it -- most of the comments disagreeing with my point of view.
After getting some good time with the retail release, I still stand by my original opinion - LittleBigPlanet is a cute game, but playing through the story and designing a level is not always an easy task.
This isn't necessary a complaint. It's more of an observation. Don't get me wrong, I like my games to be challenging, but there were more than a few challenging levels in the story mode that left me frustrated at the number of attempts it took me to complete them, and also had me thinking, "If I'm losing patience with the story mode, will the casual audience have these same issues?"
I think that casual gamers are going to enjoy LBP at the game's most basic level: playing through other premade levels and redecorating everything with stickers.
But because the game requires you to play through the tutorials and story mode levels to get the game's most interesting materials, objects, and stickers with which to build a level, it requires more time and effort than a casual gamer might be willing to give it.
Completists, on the other hand, will LOVE LittleBigPlanet, as the game rewards you with new items and stickers for completing all of the game's tutorials, as well as finding and collecting all of the item bubbles throughout the game's story mode.
In order to fully appreciate LittleBigPlanet, one really needs to spend some a lot of quality time with the game.
Designing a level actually requires more planning than you might think. Yes, adding simple obstacles and basic items is easy to do -- getting items to interact with each other has been designed in the easiest way possible for a non-PC system -- but if you get more technical in your design, you will find yourself testing and retesting your designs, or having to reverse-engineer (AKA completely disassembling) your design to incorporate new ideas.
It's also good to know the game's limitations and restrictions before designing a level. For example, the game has three levels of depth in which a Sackboy can move upon. There are also four, "thin" layers in front of, between, and behind these three major layers, that can act more as background or foreground item/set design layers, but also have uses of their own.
LittleBigPlanet is an innovation in gaming, there is no doubt about that. Nobody has done level-building quite like Media Molecule. Seeing some of the mind-boggling brilliance that has gone into some of the user-created content has been some of my most enjoyable experiences in the game so far.
I am convinced that with the full arsenal of the game's objects at your disposal, and a good understanding of the game, your imagination is the only limitation when building your dream level.
After witnessing the awesome level designs and ideas that users have created, designing a Super Mario Bros-inspired platformer-style level just seems so boring and uninspired now.
LittleBigPlanet is an awesome experience, and all PS3 gamers owe it to themselves to pick up this "game". But I still feel that the gamers who will get the most out of it, and who will create some of the world's coolest levels, will be those who can spend a lot of time with it.
|Comments (Total Comments: 2)|
|Tengaport - 11-04-2008, 11:33 AM|
|robbway - 11-06-2008, 05:30 PM|
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