Alright, he's not a plumber or of Italian descent, and he only wears red pants and a moustache if you want him to. Yet he's managed to charm us without ever saying a word, and he reminds us of a puppy - complete innocence and a constant craving for fun and excitement.
But the Little Big Planet franchise has not just been known for Sackboy's obvious charms. It's also been synonymous with quality. The first PS3 title broke new ground. It was a wonderful platform adventure that came with a brilliant tool designed to unleashed player creativity. The sequel followed along the same tracks, while Little Big Planet Vita made its mark as one of the best games available on the handheld. With Little Big Planet Karting Sackboy treads new ground as he steps into the third dimension while he tries to challenge Mario's place on top of the karting podium.
The developers of Little Big Planet Karting is United Front Games, the studio that gave us Modnation Racers, and the action packed Hong Kong adventure Sleeping Dogs. But that's all in the past now, and one has to ask why Sony chose to go ahead with Modnation Racers instead of developing Little Big Planet Karting straight away. Both games share a common premise, but Modnation Racers lacks the playfulness and charm Sackboy naturally brings. It's a much needed ingredient when taking on Mario Kart, and the anonymous characters of the Modnation games were no match for Mario and his friends.
Little Big Planet Karting does a lot of things right. United Front may not have created a game that visually matches those of Media Molecule's, but the Little Big Planet characteristics are all present and accounted for. Little Big Planet Karting is childish in a good way, with everything made out of paper, cloth, foam and the like. Mostly everything is made out of every day materials, and naturally you can decorate Sackboys and courses as you wish.
The game borrows a lot from the Mario Kart series. Various weapons are spread out over the tracks, and several are very similar to those in Mario Kart. One example is the rocket that flies to the front of the pack and hits whoever holds first position, much like the blue shell in Mario Kart. Another example of this is the item that transforms your kart into a boxing glove on auto-pilot. Sounds an awful lot like Bullet Bill in Mario Kart, doesn't it? But it's still not a case of a carbon copy of Nintendo's iconic franchise.