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Little Big Planet 2

Little Big Planet 2

Released January 18, Play-Station 3 exclusive Little Big Planet 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original Little Big Planet, long considered one of the best PS3 games available. Little Big Planet was a quirky 2.5D puzzle platformer starring the infamous Sackboy whose in game content was pretty good but the game’s appeal came from the ability to generate user content for the community. Millions of user created maps were available to play in every shape from male genitalia to a remake of the original NES game Contra. Little Big Planet users were able to do downright amazing things with relatively simple tools.

He doesn't like hats.

So what is different between the first and the second? For starters, where the original was marketed as a platformer Little Big Planet 2 was instead marketed as a “platform for games” and, as such, developers Media Molecule have done their best to give as much creative freedom to the users as possible. New tools like the “controllinator,” which allows buttons and Sixaxis motions to be directly mapped to Sackboy actions, as well as wearable hats and grappling hooks which can be combined with pretty much anything to create unique Sackboy tools allow for unprecedented freedom to create.

Did you know that Sackbots have a pre-set kill limit?

Artifical intelligence (AI) has also been added with the introduction of the Sackbots. The first Little Big Planet only had the capacity for scripted entities but the new Sackbots can be programmed to do anything Sackboy can and serve as fairly effective enemies or allies within various custom games. The Sackbots are, however, limited to the skill and creativity of their programmer and, as is too often the case, can act pretty stupidly. They do make fairly good race car drivers, though.

Side by side comparison.

Graphics wise, Little Big Planet 2 has received a major face lift compared to its predecessor. The game has undergone major improvements to its graphics system since the original, including new particle and physics engines and updates to the lighting. While at first it is difficult to tell the difference between the two, side by side comparison reveals that the newest version’s looks have drastically improved. Little Big Planet 2 look and feels, as much as possible for a game starring a burlap sack, more realistic and is, overall, more stylized and easier on the eyes.

The community levels are not the only reason to get the newest Little Big Planet. In fact, creators will have to explore the in game worlds at least a little bit to gain access to all the developer items. The story mode still has players exploring new planets to save the universe from the Negativitron and collecting various stickers and doo-dads throughout the level. Mostly, the single-player levels serve as a display of what can be done in Little Big Planet 2 and as a springboard for ideas by would be developers. They are pretty enjoyable, too.

In addition to the three million and counting platformer style levels imported and updated from the original Little Big Planet, new custom levels and game types are already popping up on the PlayStation Network (PSN).  Already racing games, classic arcade style games, and even a few first person shooters are available to play. If you buy a new game this year, go with Little Big Planet 2, since it will probably include most of the others at some point or another.

See you, Space Cowboy...

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