First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
While some expected LittleBigPlanet on PSP to be a port of the original console game, it's actually a completely new entry
- It's LittleBigPlanet but on a smaller screen, maintains the style and charm of the original, 30+ new stages, level creation and sharing features intact
- Multiplayer modes are MIA, no connectivity with PS3 version
LittleBigPlanet is a brilliant fit for Sony's portable, maintaining nearly every bit of the charm and wide-eyed wonder of the console game while introducing PSP owners to this wonderfully unique series.
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With nary a blazing firearm nor barely-clad babe in sight, LittleBigPlanet established itself as an absolute killer app for PlayStation 3 owners last fall, delivering a winning and whimsical synthesis of cooperative platform action and robust, easy-to-use level creation tools. One year later, Media Molecule's modern masterpiece arrives on the PSP -- thanks to Sony's Cambridge Studio -- and though the "cooperative" part of the platform equation is sadly missing, nearly everything else that made the original such a captivating and smile-inducing experience is untarnished by the transition.
While some expected LittleBigPlanet on PSP to be a port of the original console game, it's actually a completely new entry, albeit one built in the exacting mould of its predecessor. As with Media Molecule's original creations, the 30+ new campaign stages burst with creativity at every turn, giving your customisable Sackboy character a large variety of unique and unexpected scenarios to run, jump, grab, and ride through.
Just as important as nailing the construction of the stages was maintaining the trademark LittleBigPlanet style and personality, and the PSP iteration thankfully passes with flying colours. The game's quirky aesthetic blends realistic objects and bold artwork to create a visual experience like no other, while the sunny soundtrack does its part to further solidify the emerging grin on your face that only LittleBigPlanet can deliver. And amazingly, aside from a bit less pop from the texture work and some simplified animations, it all holds up remarkably well on the small screen.
Sharing is Caring
During a time in which major PSP games still launch without meaningful online capabilities, it's awesome to see the original's level creation and sharing abilities recreated here without notable concessions. Creating worthwhile stages takes a considerable amount of effort, sure, but LittleBigPlanet's simple and wide-ranging tools make it possible for anyone to get started on their own unique masterworks.
And once you're done, it's a cinch to upload it to the PlayStation Network, just as it is to log on and download your peers' creations, sorted into numerous categories and easily downloaded via a Wi-Fi connection. Assuming PSP players have as much creativity and level-creating gusto as their PS3 counterparts, be prepared for a barrage of mind-blowing gameplay experiments, carefully recreated retro gaming stages, and thoroughly original experiences, all free of charge.
Unfortunately, as implied earlier, the uproarious four-player cooperative play from the PlayStation 3 was left out of the PSP game, making this LittleBigPlanet trek strictly a single-player voyage. I doubt Ad Hoc multiplayer would've been a big draw, anyway, due to the extra hassle of needing multiple PSP systems and likely game discs, though the omission of online multiplayer is definitely a bummer.
But even as a solo-only experience, LittleBigPlanet is a brilliant fit for Sony's portable, maintaining nearly every bit of the charm and wide-eyed wonder of the console game while introducing PSP owners to this wonderfully unique series.
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