If you are going to judge the game solely on the story mode content, you will be greatly disappointed. The heart and soul of any LittleBigPlanet game is the create mode. In the previous installments, the game(s) has allowed players to created their own platform levels but this installment takes things to whole new level by allowing you to create more than just single-platforming levels but entire games from varying genres. Granted, it does take quite a bit of work to create something solid, but the tools are there and very easy to understand. The game has an extensive library of tutorials which go into detail about all of the various creation mechanics which should teach you the ropes. The bulk of your learning is going to come from practice though and learning from friends by creating cooperatively. It will benefit you to run through them all though as each lesson awards you with items for your creation toolkit.
The create mode of LBP2 is an incredibly elaborate toolkit that will reward players who take the time to explore and learn all of its ins and outs. The possibilities provided by these tools seems endless. The game allows you to make whatever your heart desires. There are simple tools included that will allow you to create and produce your own machinima / cut-scenes, puzzles games, racing games, shooters, RPG’s... you name it. The only limit that seems to exist is your own imagination. Creation takes time and dedication but it is all worth it when you release the result of your hard work and dedication to the public. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment in seeing something that you created, from start to finish, acknowledged by even one other person in the world. You can’t put a value on the feeling or quantify it in any sense. It is that aspect that makes this such a hard game to label with a “score” in terms of a review.
Thankfully, all of the time and labor that you put into the first game won’t go to waste with LBP2. The game allows you to import your save from the original game into the new one, bringing with it all of your customization options (of your hub) and anything you have unlocked during the campaign of the first game. All of the stickers and objects that you worked so hard to get the first time around is still there for you to play. The same thing can be done with any and all work you may have done with the first game; the millions (literally) of levels created with the first game are still there for you to play. The process of importing your original save data is supposed to be seamless and simple but my personal experience was anything but. The game failed to recognize my save when I first booted up the game, so I figured that I would just import it at a later time. I ended up putting a couple of hours into the story mode and unlocked quite a bit of stuff, only to have it all erased when I went back and imported my original save data. Take that as a word of warning, if you have a save from the original game, make sure that you import it before you start unlocking stuff in the new game. Thankfully, I enjoyed the story mode levels enough that playing through them again wasn’t bothersome, especially when I started allowing other players to join into my game.
All of these modes tie into one thing which seems to be the underlying theme of the series: community. It seems that you get the most out of the game by getting involved with the community that has evolved as a result of Media Molecule’s creation. The developer is attempting to take it to the next level with not only in-game tools but also a variety of web tools and resources that will keep you in contact with the ever-growing community wherever you go. There are two major “resources” that have been created to help keep you in contact, the official LBP wiki and LBP.me. The wiki, which can be found at http://www.lbpcentral.com/wiki, is a good resource for learning the ins and outs of the game above and beyond what is taught in the game’s tutorials. The content of the site, just with any wiki, is provided by the members of the community in addition to the crew at MM. The site has become the ultimate resource for learning about the game from every aspect imaginable.
The other site, LBP.me
, is a website that keeps you linked to the LBP community at all times. Once you log onto the site and link your PlayStation ID, you can track the statistics related to your own creation as well as browse and queue up creations from other community member. Thanks to these tools, you are linked to the community even when your console isn’t turned on. The community features within the game have been streamlined as a whole. It is much easier to publish and share your content with the world thanks to simple menus and options. The rating system used for shared content has also been simplified, relying on just a happy or sad face this time around and allowing you to tag community submissions with preset words and descriptions. As easy as it is to browse and access the community submissions, it will take you some time to get into them. Due to robust options available to creators this time around, the community levels are often much larger in file size and the resulting load times can be quite lengthy. Don’t expect to be bouncing in and out of community levels quickly as it will take some time but it only takes one incredible creation to make it all worth the wait.
Millions of people will and have played LittleBigPlanet 2 and they each have had a different experience. Some people have found it to be a lackluster platforming game that is too complicated for its own good and others have found the one game that they can (and will) leave in their system for the rest of their console’s lifespan. Those two experiences, and the millions of shades of gray in between that correlate with the other experience(s) people will describe make it impossible to judge the game for someone else. In my experience, the game is worth every bit of praise it has received. There is a charm to the LBP world’s simplicity that is hard to put into world; it is impossible not to smile when you see a group of Sackboys knocking each other around on even the simplest of stages. If you are willing to put in the work, LBP2 will pay you back in spades with nearly unlimited replay value and a steady stream of fresh content that stems from both community and developer support. I don’t think you can go wrong with the world of LittleBigPlanet 2.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is an incredible package assuming you know what you are getting into. This is a game where you are going to get more out of by putting more into. If you are going to put the work into it though, you won’t regret it as the possibilities are endless. If you have even the smallest creative bone in your body, you should definitely give this game a try.
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