The PSP may not be my gaming platform of choice, but when I got LittleBigPlanet in my hands I did get quite curious. I immediately took out a ladder to get that PSP from under the dust at the top of my closet and started searching for the cable to give it the necessary juice. After my patience got tested by an update that took too long I was finally ready to get going with this port of the PS3s best title.
Did I just say port? I have to take back those words as the game has a completely new storyline with no less than 30 new levels, and some small improvements. However, it also drops the ball on some crucial points compared to its big brother in order to enhance the playability on the PSP. So let’s get going along with Sackboy on a world journey. To Australia where we walk amongst kangaroos, China where we run over the big Wall and the Alps where we take a huge dive with a sled.
The world journey through the 30 levels, however, is quite short. You quickly reach the end in about six hours but luckily that short time will give you plenty of fun with each part SCEE Cambridge puts on your plate. Sackboy reacts a bit better so that the jumps, or at least most of them, don’t become a disaster by overcorrection. Still you’ll die often, but this is more due to human flaws instead of the controls. To make things more smoothly SCEE Cambridge removed the limited checkpoints and added new ones without limits. Good riddance!
The sad things about the levels is that you have to do everything by yourself. Bye Bye community! The feeling you were fighting for the greater common good has disappeared a bit and the rewards satisfy less than those you have to achieve with four. Reaching the end of the level therefore feels only half as good as with its big brother on the PS3. The advantage on the other hand is that lesser players don’t ruin the experience and make you start all over again to reach that single soap bubble.
To emphasize more about the community, other people’s creations can again be downloaded and also putting your own online is fun. Creating levels is a bit less fluid than before due to the second analog stick being absent but all tools necessary to create a masterpiece are present. The empty canvas offers much potential but it can take hours for you to finish your work. Not really improving the pick-up & play level of a handheld title.
The hardware of the PSP limits the visual representation of this title a bit, but nowhere do they impact the levels. Sackboy on the other hand is even smaller and looks a bit rough around the edges. The adjustments in clothing and looks are less clear than before and won’t put that same smile on your face as it did before when giving your puppet a crazy outfit. Judging the title based on the fact that everything needed to be scaled down to the smaller PSP screen, however, is not something we’ll do. Sad of course that this fun feature had to be toned a bit, but as there’s no co-op to show your latest fashion trend we don’t exactly see this as a loss.
LittleBigPlanet in the end became a very good game as the effort was taken to completely rebuild it for the PSP and not to choose the easy way out by making a direct port. The 30 levels offer more than enough fun despite the short playing time. Still the most important functions remain the extensive level editor and the possibility to download one of the many levels. The endless stream of these make sure you never grow tired of this title and it’s only too bad that the multiplayer had to be ditched on the Playstation Portable.