November 13, 2008

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LittleBigPlanet, PS3
Media Molecule, Oct. 27, E

By Glenn "hop n bop" Given production@hippopress.com

If I could play with my Sackboy on my Wii this would be the ultimate console gaming double entendre.

The PS3 gets another signature title to shoehorn its powerhouse console into the media centers of an unwilling public with LittleBigPlanet. LBP, on the surface a slick, albeit sluggishly controlled, puzzle/platformer, has rightfully earned a place on the wish lists of many a gamer this holiday season owing to its charming presentation and promise of infinitely replayability. But there is a depth to LBP that will surprise even the most forward-hoping gaming 3.0 enthusiasts.

Initially LBP presents 50-odd levels of side-scrolling jump and bump (with a wonky bit of Z-axis skipping), a slew of hidden challenges and the added ability to customize your playspace and avatar with the collectable tchotchkes. It’s that last bit that represents the lip of the deep end. All the bric-a-brac your nimble sack scoops up can be unleashed in LBP’s custom level builder to astonishingly imaginative ends and then distributed around the globe on the Playstation network. Solo or in groups of up to four, you and your online companions can tackle the core levels or community uploads and discover just how much more creative the networked masses are. Of course, as with Guitar Hero World Tour, content whose IP spectre spooks the lawyers will get the kibosh, so please keep your Amazing Giuseppe Siblings level offline or the fun police will come a-knocking.

It’s rare that a game so accessible comes forth. You can enjoy LBP as a simple “run to the right and don’t get set on fire” hopper or while away the midnight oil making platform homages and dazzlingly twisted puzzlers with a creative palette unrivaled on any retail platform. Could they tighten the jump button a smidge? Sure. But that only knocks this grade down to an A+Glenn Given