Can Sack Boy Save The Vita?
It has been a rough summer for Vita owners. After the system’s initial launch there has not been much to be truly excited about. The games have been on a slow trickle out to retail with Gravity Rush being a small bright spot. There are only so many PS Minis and AR titles one can download before thinking that your cool piece of handheld technology is becoming a $250 paperweight.
But there is a change coming and it began with the (early) release of Little Big Planet PS Vita as well as Sony giving the system some practical uses (PSOne classics, Cross-Buy) and a fall lineup that is shaping up to be better than expected. But right now, this is Sack Boy’s system.
Little Big Planet PS Vita had me wondering if Tarsier could take over for Media Molecule and not only bring a complete LBP experience to Sony’s handheld but make use of all the Vita’s bells and whistles to change the way you play the series. Quite simply, the answer is a resounding yes.
If you are familiar with the Little Big Planet series then initially you are not in for many surprises. You will be introduced to our hero Sack Boy and taken to the comfort of your world hub, known as your Pod. Here you will choose between three worlds of adventures. The first being the games story mode, the second is the community creations world where you download all of the weird (sometimes really weird) levels made by other Vita players and the third being your world of your own wonderful creativity.
When beginning the story mode there is a comforting voice at the beginning, that of Stephen Fry which returns to give Sack Boy a new journey. Now trying to explain a Little Big Planet story is like explaining War and Peace to a five year old, there are some things you just don’t try to put into words. Like all other stories in the series it is perfectly understandable if you are in a constant state of….let’s say consciousness. (This site would never endorse illegal smoking) Sack Boy’s journey begins with a tutorial that will introduce players to all of our hero’s skills including all the new uses of the touch screens, both front and rear, as well as jumping and grappling. In no time you will be swinging and pad bouncing around like an old pro.
Community Is King
The level design in Little Big Planet is second to none and that is before you even leave the story mode to explore the creative community. Here is where you will find creations from all other LBP players all over the world. The best part about this is discovering what people can create with just a mind for creation and a lot (A LOT) of time on their hands. Levels range from the truly remarkable to the downright frustrating especially when you fight through a level and see that the creator really made no way to beat it. Annoying? Yes, but the beauty is in looking around and discovering the truly amazing levels of creativity that even puts some real game makers to shame.
One of the best features to the entire game is the Memorizer. With this you can actually save inside someone’s user created level. This essentially means that people around the world can make entire games, not just one off levels. Imagine if someone wanted to make a LBP version of Gears of War. There are almost limitless possibilities with the use of this tool and really does make the game almost never ending.
Now on the opposite side of playing other people’s levels is the level creator itself. Now I will just go ahead and tell you that this is one part of the game that I am not in love with but that is not to game’s detriment, it is to my lack of time to truly sit down and create the levels that are swimming in my head. Some of the menus are a little difficult to navigate through and place items exactly how you want them but as I said I lack the patience as some people to really delve into the nuts and bolts and focus all my energy on it. I have created a few basic levels involving jump gaps and grappling but when I think about the amount of time it took me to create them against some of the community levels I have played it staggers my mind to imagine how much time was spent crafting those levels. Again, that is not the game’s fault but my own feeble brain.
If you have played through any of the first two Little Big Planet’s on Playstation 3 and own a Vita then this should be an instant buy for you. I would even recommend buying the system to get your fix for LBP. It is really that good. While the story mode is a little on the short side that does not affect the game at all with its robust and seemingly never ending user created content that should keep the game fresh and playable for months and maybe years to come.
Nerd Rating- 9/10
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