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Little Big Planet

Little Big Planet

Little Big Planet on the small screen? Daniel takes a look at how Media Molecule's masterpiece turned out on the PSP.

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I thought I'd start this review with a statement: If you failed to see the beauty in Media Molecule's Little Big Planet your soul is pitch black. One year later their planet is teeming with life. More than one million user created levels have been published online, new material like clothes and gameplay improvements are published at regular intervals. More developers should take care of their games the way Media Molecule do. Fan service taken to the next level.

And now that experience gets squeezed into a PSP. At first it sounds impossible. But it is a very pleasant surprise to see how well Sony in Cambridge have managed to maintain the wonderfully playful nature of the original experience in their conversion.

At its core the experience remains the same. From the main menu I can choose from three planets. My moon, where I allow my creative juices to flow freely with the level editor, the community planet from where I download other user created experiences to my PSP, and finally the story planet, that lets me smile my way through 30 lovely levels.

Speaking of the story mode it is filled with moments that will make your heart melt. At a hundred miles an hour a camel wearing goggles takes me on a ride I will never forget through a desert, I help a sheik recapture his magical lamp from a bunch of thieving monkeys, and I try to avoid downhill skiers as the race down the Swiss Alps. And I'm jumping platforms just like I did in the good old days.

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But it's not just because of its cute looks or my passion for platform jumping that I enjoy Little Big Planet as much as I do. There are also those semi-hard but completely logical puzzle, sometimes physics based sometimes not. I can only commend Media Molecule and Studio Cambridge for their ability to showcase creativity and clever design solutions.

While there is something called feel good movies, Amelie from Montmartre, Love Actually, Sleepless in Seattle, the list goes on and on... If we were to create a category called feel good games Little Big Planet would be the perfect example. Playing it makes me happy. If you play Little Big Planet before you fall asleep you are guaranteed to enjoy sweet dreams.

The best part of it is that it never ends, not even on the PSP, and we have the community planet to thank for that. Anyone can upload their creations at any time. Thanks to the fact that these levels never grow bigger than a few hundred kilobytes, it only takes a few seconds to download something new to enjoy. After that it's yours to play at any time.

I have already seen that the Mirror's Edge level has returned, and in a Christmas themed creation where I hand out gifts with Santa Claus. If the PSP version takes off like the PS3 edition there will be loads of quality content very soon. Creations that rival and even surpass those the developers themselves have made.

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You can save about 250 levels (if you have enough memory left over on your PSP that is), and when you grow tired of those you can just throw them away and download new levels. That's what I call lasting appeal...

But there are times when the new platform shows its limitations. The levels were build in three layers on Playstation 3 and there was a bit of depth for you sack boy to explore. There are only two layers in the PSP version. At first I feel a bit limited when building, but it just takes a while to adapt your thinking. Thanks to the exceptional tools, and the fact that you constantly add new items and materials, the only true limitation is your own imagination.

In the original Little Big Planet I was able to play with my friends. Unfortunately there is no multiplayer on the PSP. Some of you may think that this is like playing Call of Duty without guns, and even if I wouldn't go that far, it is certainly a minus. And the somewhat sluggish controls of the original are still there and cause moments of unnecessary frustration.

With that out of the way it is clear that the positives outweigh the negatives by a clear margin. The graphics are amazing, the physics impressive, the music catchy and the whole experience offers insane variation. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and these days I carry my planets in my pocket.

Little Big Planet
Little Big Planet
Little Big Planet
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Little Big Planet
Little Big Planet
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Little Big Planet
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Wonderful graphics, great design, massive community, bringer of joy.
-
Sluggish controls, no multiplayer.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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