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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Media Molecule
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written BY: Marcus Prunty

March 3, 2009 - It has been a while since I have played a game with as much originality as LittleBigPlanet. Media Molecule brings to us an instant classic that takes the concept of a platformer and reinvigorates it. The ability to create your own levels and add them to a community of created levels is a definite plus that adds hours of gameplay to this already addicting fun adventure.

The game starts with only story mode available for you to play. Once you finish the story you can learn how to create your own levels and add them to the community, as well as play levels created by other people. As you complete certain requirements within the created levels, you unlock and earn trophies. The first few levels of the story mode serve as a tutorial that teaches you all the skills needed to play the game. You learn basics such as jumping, which works by pressing the X button lightly to jump short distances or harder to jump farther distances. Also you learn how to grip and grab items to move them or use them to further yourself in the level. Once you have learned all the basics, you are thrown into a variety of levels that the story mode has to offer. These levels take advantage of the skills you learn in the intro levels of the game.

I will never forget the sack person, the little adventurer that you control in story mode. He or she is an awesome part of the game as you can customize your sack person with so many different accessories and clothes that it is just amazing. I mean, you can change the eyes, smiles, add hair, and add tails of animals. In addition, you can even save all these different versions of sack people for future use. I know this because I myself now have around 20 different versions of my sack person. On each level there are new clothes that you can pick up and add to your sack person. You can even change the material the sack person is made out of such as blue denim, neon wireframe, and even big kiss material, which puts red lipstick kisses all over your sack personís body. So make sure you collect those little bubbles in the levels because changing your sack person can be really cool.

When I played through LittleBigPlanet it took me roughly 25 hours to complete. Now I have seen other reviewers who played straight through and did it 4-6 hours. I did not want to beat it that fast because I wanted to take advantage of the gameplay and all the features of LBP. Some of these features included online play. So for instance what I would do is play the level offline by myself and once I passed it I would play it again online with a friend or with someone else who was playing the same level. Also throughout most of the levels there are blank cardboard canvases where you can take a sticker you picked up and paste it on that canvas. Only a certain sticker fits each canvas, so I spent a lot of time trying to get all the stickers as well. Adding the correct sticker to the canvases gives extra content in the game, which makes the effort definitely worth it. Although tricky, collecting everything you can possibly collect adds to the fun. Most of the time the sticker you need is located in a later level, which means you have to go back to a previous level in order to post the sticker. All of this adds to the replayability of the game and provides you with hours of searching for all of the goodies that you can get. There are also keys that unlock special challenge stages. These are usually harder to grab than other items, but by collecting them you can unlock fun mini-games that act as nice breaks from story mode or offers you with something to do after beating the story.

No game is perfect and LBP has a few flaws that can annoy and frustrate you. One of which is controlling your sack person when you're running or jumping on certain trickier levels. The controls donít respond as fast as you would like them to when it comes to stopping. Another issue was the different layers of the game. There is the foreground, there is the middle where you play most of the game, and then there is the background. In some areas it will automatically switch you into a different layer while in other areas you must stay on alert or else you could easily make a mistake and die. Depending on the level or situation you may need to jump into the background to avoid an enemy or pitfall. Sometimes you may need to grab onto something and move it, however if it turns out youíre on the wrong level or layer you will pass right by it. This can be frustrating as it is hard to tell which layer is which in the heat of gameplay, for instance when you jump from a ledge to a little bridge and you miss the bridge because it is in the middle or the foreground whereas you are in the background. This makes it difficult to pass later stages in the story mode without dying. Although if you like a good challenge, you can replay the level with one life after youíve completed it.

Once story mode is finished there is more fun to be had once youíve started creating your own levels of which you can later share with friends or the enormous LBP community. A tutorial shows you how to move objects and provides you with tools that allow you to manipulate the environments into whatever you desire. Level making becomes complicated as you seek to create more complex levels, but regardless it is fun the entire way. One big tip to take under advisement is when creating levels be sure to stay in pause mode. (If you are not in pause mode you are in action mode, meaning objects will activate as soon as you place them in the level. If you are trying to place an object in the air while in action mode, itíll simply fall down. Whereas in pause mode you can place objects in the air without them falling because they wonít activate until you actually play the level. Also hereís a tip if you're not as proficient a builder as I was when I first jumped into level creation. I used templates that they provide and use the many tutorials to get the hang of it so most of the levels I have created arenít entirely original as many of the ones in the community are.

This game is amazing! I had so much fun playing it and reviewing it that I am (going to play it again after I finish this review. The sound design was amazing with the music fits perfectly into the game. The graphics are sharp and vibrant, and the gameplay is top notch. Take it from me, this game is definitely a must play and should be placed in one of the first worthy spots of your gaming library.


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