User-created content highlight of "LittleBigPlanet 2”

jheeter@macon.comJanuary 14, 2011 

Creation is key with “LittleBigPlanet.”

The PlayStation 3 game debuted in 2008 and gave gamers an opportunity to create a variety of levels to upload and share with other gamers. It reminded me of Nintendo’s “Excitebike” on a much more advanced level.

In that 8-bit classic, you could place some jumps and obstacles on a dirtbike course. “LPB” provided gamers with the tools to build intricate platforming levels from top to bottom. Those levels all involve moving the game’s protagonist, a stitched toy called Sackboy through a series of challenges.

The game introduces new levels of customization for a console game, particularly for a platforming game.

The sequel “LittleBigPlanet 2” hits stores Tuesday and will take the first game’s formula further.

Media Molecule, the developers of “LBP 2,” wanted to advance the idea of player creation in the sequel. Industrious gamers will still be able to make their own levels, but they will now also have the tools to create individual games. I’ve seen traditional platformers, first-person shooters, racing games and other genres showcased in the lead up to the game.

Just from looking at the titles of user-created levels, I’ve noticed there have been some tributes to “Mario Kart,” “Space Invaders” and the “Uncharted” series.

The new game gives players access to the already 3 million levels created since the release of the original game.

I haven’t been able to play any new user-created levels, so I’m not sure of the quality of the creations out there. But I’m sure there are some standout levels. I’ve never been one to create my own levels in this series -- the time commitment is more than I’m willing to make -- but I’ll gladly download other people’s creations, and that is part of the beauty with this franchise.

While the user-created content is the highlight of “LBP 2,” you shouldn’t overlook the game’s story mode.

You can control your fully customizable Sackboy through 30 levels.

The actual story has Sackboy joining an organization known as The Alliance to battle a sinister organization. Media Molecule’s levels are obviously professionally constructed ones, and they are a ton of fun to play through.

The story mode runs fairly short, although there are plenty of unlockables to go back through each level multiple times. But the biggest attraction here is user-created content, which should just continue to get better each day as more gamers get their hands on the game.

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