LittleBigPlanet - CES Demonstration

I must admit that I'm extremely a little disappointed that LittleBigPlanet, Sony's user-generated, potential masterpiece for the PS3, has been delayed until September (at least). That was the latest word at the start of an awesome showing of the game at the Consumer Electronics Show this week inside Sony's giant show theatre.

Maybe if the game didn't consistently look so cool, I'd be less bitter. Nine more months to wait? Sheesh. Though yesterday it was revealed that a press beta version would hit sometime this year, so lucky me!


Members from the development team at Media Molecule were on hand to present a long demo and a few videos of LittleBigPlanet to a packed theatre of press, exhibitors and anyone else who managed to get their peepers on the cutesy new title.

The demo began with some live four-player co-op in a new Mexican-themed level. Hot fire pits showcased some new death animations, and most of the level was the same type of LBP gameplay we have seen over the last year: cooperating to push/pull objects, swinging, and jumping in order to progress to the next obstacle.

There were special coloured bubbles to pick-up throughout the level, and we were told that while a level can be cooperative, there can still be items to pick up that boost individual stats. So it's everyone for themselves with those special goodies.


This first level was creative, indeed, but the progression through the level wasn't the smoothest of operations. All four characters fell clumsily into the fire pits or got smashed by giant boulders numerous times during the presentation -- pretty surprising given that these guys designed the game.

I'm a tad bit worried that this could mean frustrating platforming when the game finally releases, though given that the code was still pre-alpha (super early), we'll cut these guys some slack or simply chalk it up to lack of skills (special Game Informer guest Matt seemed to perform best having no experience with the level).


Creating Your Masterpiece

After the demo ended, two of the presenters walked us through creating some custom objects in the game, showing just how easy it is to do. They began with a couple rectangular pieces, and from there, created a pretty cool looking tree, added leaves and even birds that rotated from side-to-side (you can create animated objects in the game). They also demonstrated character facial emotions and loads of customisable clothing and accessories. All very cool and easy to use.

Then, a short sped-up video showed a designer creating a desert-themed level from start to finish. Back to the presenters, the duo jumped into the new level to demonstrate some obstacles that required the use of a moving, sombrero-wearing Mexican cut-out.

The demo ended with a walkthrough of what it's like to publish a level to the LittleBigPlanet universe, and how users can vote, comment and eventually contribute to a level getting highlighted as "top-rated", "most-played," and more -- the same video that was shown early last year at the Game Developer's Conference.

So while Sony continues to tease us with tantalising treats of LittleBigPlanet, we're even more bummed that this potential PS3 gem keeps getting delayed. Hopefully September is set in stone, because this is one planet we can't wait to explore.


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