Little Big Planet
Yeah, you heard us. Alongside the risible interactive advert known as PlayStation Home
, Little Big Planet was Sony’s Big White Hope for 2008. Combining the cutesy-pie adorability of Nintendo’s Miis with the compulsive customisation of The Sims, it was supposed to be the next big thing in gaming. (Indeed, it was developed under the working title The Next Big Thing
. Whoever said Sony was arrogant?)
While deserving of praise for its quirky originality, the game certainly isn’t without its flaws. For starters, the single player campaign (if it can be called that) feels like something of an afterthought, with a handful of levels tied together by a trite storyline. A fun diversion maybe, but in the face of something like Super Mario Galaxy
it’s just plain embarrassing. The controls need some work too.
Then you have the Create mode, which allows you to custom-build your own levels from the ground up. Unfortunately, the user-interface is incredibly fiddly and time consuming, with even the game’s most avid devotees conceding it’s a pain to use. This leaves the Share section, which allows you to download other people’s user-created content — provided it gets past Sony’s draconian IP policy, that is. While we understand the legal necessity to ban copyright infringements, did they really have to be so brutal
about it? On a daily basis, user-designed levels are cruelly culled from existence due to their slight resemblance to a film or video game. Hours of painstaking work irretrievably flushed down the drain, with zero warning.
Despite all these problems, the game was universally praised by critics as the best thing since sliced bread. Some even suggested it was the ‘future of video games’ (a phrase we thought went out of fashion with the 3DO
), while others cited its existence as reason enough to buy a PS3 (…you know, along with PlayStation Home.)