Flagship of the Playstation 3, LittleBigPlanet is back with an armful of improvements to push even further the concept that is unlike any other. The game created by Media Molecule in 2008 has become one of the most successful in terms of criticism in recent years. Multiple awards guarantee its originality, design and innovation of LittleBigPlanet, and it was clear that sooner or later, the new “pet” of Sony, Sackboy, you would see from the home console after his outstanding adaptation by Sony PSP.
But how can you make a sequel to a game that, in theory, it was virtually eternal? Remember the original concept of LittleBigPlanet: a platform game with a number of levels and story set in different countries to collect full of objects to be used in a powerful editor that allows you to create new levels and enemies, and shared in the community, or million available to play today.
Since its release, Media Molecule has joined the long list of Sony’s internal developers, getting more technical resources to unleash their ideas. The announcement of LittleBigPlanet 2 was predictable, but the study should not justify casting news for an extension on a new album at full price. LBP is a game that to this day continues to receive weekly new costumes and occasionally complete official levels, and one of the first questions that needed to be clarified is what would happen with all this content, much like the downloadable user-created stages. Media Molecule has made it clear: all the material of the first LBP is compatible with the sequel. Only it seems that some building failures-created levels to get more shots of scenery, for example, will not be accepted.
About the game:
LittleBigPlanet is a little box of chocolates for Forrest Gump. We do not really know what you’re gonna fall for each party. To reposition things, the first component was divided into two. Some pure game where the player ran into the cute Sackboy levels tend tortured games platforms and creating a party where many tools were delivered to the player to enable it in turn to create a thousand and one levels following his imagination and talent. Since the release of the first component, millions of levels created by players are trying as well. All are not of pure success, but there are many who show a real talent for creating and / or a boundless ingenuity.
It will be recalled for example the little genius who created a level using only a calculator. Or another who found a way to make sequences of shots, so shooters. The studio Media Molecule developers have said time and again: their greatest pleasure is to discover what the players come to realize with the tools they provide them. For this sequel, they call a logical layer with several new tools and features to both simplify the actions already possible in the first game (sometimes at the cost of a few headaches) while opening new doors to expand creativity.
LittleBigPlanet 2 also focuses on several game options. It will be recalled that the multiplayer was already outdated in the first round. True, but it generally focused on cooperation of the parties and there was no real winner at the end of a level. To overcome this problem, this sequence facilitates the establishment of competitive levels.
As in the original, LBP 2 should distinguish between “history” and editor. If we focus on the main story, which is what gives the game levels created by the studio, we are talking about a title basically 2D platform gameplay, but like the first, with some small jumps to the bottom. The Adventure of the rag dolls take this time to Sackboy and thematic Sackgirl inspired by different historical eras past, future or imaginary, like the steam punk, artistic influences as Art Nouveau, a futuristic version of the Renaissance, the technological age, with references to the video game world, or neon flashy advertising, in total 30 stages in six worlds that have more longevity ensures that the main mode of LBP. The plot begins when a new danger appears in the form of vacuum cleaner in the world of LittleBigPlanet that threatens to absorb the people of the world, including Sackboy. Our favorite stuffed animal is rescued at the last moment by Larry Da Vinci, leader of a semi-semi-secret organization faces “The Sucker”. If Sackboy could take on and defeat the Collector, may be able, with your help, to save the cosmos from extinction.
Through several levels presented and a quick tour of the design tool, we now have a better idea of what will be LittleBigPlanet 2. One of the great progress made by this result concerns the implementation of the direct control of vehicles. With a small box to place on the vehicle in question, it is now possible to associate each button on the controller to a specific action. Specifically, when our character will sit on the vehicle, the player can navigate to the machine as he has defined in advance. In the case of a car, the player may decide that pressing the X button will make the move, but it may also decide that X is associated with something else, like jump. All this is done very easily by simply logging into the level editor and opening the control panel is now attached to the machine. Just this option provides access to a bunch of new gaming experiences so far much more complicated to implement. One can easily imagine such levels in shoot’em-up defining the movements of a small ship in a journey filled with enemies. Similarly, creating the illusion of a view overlooking the set, it is now very easy to create a level of racing at the Nitro or even a hack and slash at the Gauntlet!
Changing environments, traps and mechanisms of these new levels will be accompanied also new skills for Sackboy, as a hook to swing and reach inaccessible areas, similar to that seen in the series Bionic Commando. In LBP, the paint gun included in the pack for Metal Gear Solid was a major spin on the gameplay of the game, because it allowed to shoot and create objects and enemies that may be damaged by paint, so hopefully this new place attachment types of phases not seen in LBP subjects. Media Molecule said that while the game starts as expected-a-platform, the variety of situations and genres is assured.
Interesting development is the graphical upgrade, perhaps not very obvious at first glance because the aesthetic is similar to the original but with new objects and textures. However, the new lighting engine is a remarkable leap to add more realism to the scenarios, the image appears, as we have seen, more solid and fluid than in LBP, and applied a better anti-aliasing to smooth edges. Sackboy and objects create realistic shadows, the color is more vibrant and all the improvements were apparent when we discovered that more than two million to date created levels will benefit from these features. The two new scenarios of LBP will be more alive than ever thanks to be encouraged, as opposed to static and unfocused in the first game.
The advertising promotes LittleBigPlanet 2 sequel as a gaming platform “rather than” a platform game, and this is when the other takes center stage much of the series, the level editor. Because LBP really could do “almost” any platform game, modeling the scene, decorating objects, inventing enemies … but had some limitations. The first, that although there are many homages to other games of the genre, what was done was to play LittleBigPlanet with references to Mario, Sonic or Mega Man And Sackboy, however well disguised that is, no longer Sackboy: jumps, speed controls … can not leave the world of LBP. The other issue is the restrictions imposed by the 2D displacement and gender, although the incorporation of the paint gun added a touch of action to what until then was only a platform editor. With much ingenuity and work, you can play other types of gameplay, as the style shooter R-Type, but only viewed by top designers.
With LBP2, Media Molecule ensure that we create any game was 16 bit with the editor. And not only do something similar: also respect their gameplay. Come into play a whole list of innovations that will enable users to play racing games, fight or role without complicated stratagems. One of these developments are the Sackbots, a new type of characters easily programmed to perform actions. Its artificial intelligence can be as basic as we continue to imitate our movements or patrolling an area. Basically it is a quick way to create friends and enemies in the game. You never have asked the players why LBP among user levels so few enemies, and most prefer to use traps and danger? Because in the original LBP had to create one of these enemies from scratch, thinking his system of movement and appearance.
In LBP 2 can continue to use the brains of IA, but Sackbots going to get a role from now. You can also make the user’s control. Media Molecule believes will not be long until someone makes a Lemmings, that through these Sackbots would not be anything complicated. You can even create animations using predefined personalities, like zombies or robots, to other original driving tips. People LittleBigPlanet stage has never been so easy and fun. And also solve one of those original LBP problems, because although Sackboy is controlled in the same way than before to do the millions of levels compatible with the sequel-existing, but not the Sackbot. Replaces your hero for one of these obedient robots and handling agility, jumping and weight, and you can finally clone the control of Sonic or Mario.
In addition, LBP narration was done through speech bubbles. Has never really been a great failure, as the gender of the platforms is not exactly the most suitable for extended dialogue, but since LBP 2 covers many other genres, you will need something more powerful, as cinematic sequences, with control the camera, transitions, zooms … And even add voice! Sackboy and the secondary characters will make sounds to simulate generic dialogues. Perhaps with some work, this is one of the features that will differentiate the levels created “to prove” the truly good. Also, join several levels, with their sequences will be more comfortable than ever, and the community will have new possibilities that go beyond the game itself.
A point to consider: PlayStation Eye will be most useful, though not mandatory-than ever. In addition to recording sounds and Move-support for which you use the camera, “Media Molecule also plans to use this device to capture codes to be converted into, for example, free downloads, an idea similar to what made in recent years in some mobile phone services camera. The developments come also to facilitate basic tasks such as copying and repeating the same type of object or Sackbot. Also, the circuitry will now be easier and, especially, less showy. LBP is common in, for example, find great calculators or machines that play noughts and crosses, made with dozens of switches that are a real piece of engineering. LBP 2 exists in a circuit board that creates chips easily associated to objects. Although for the best minds still need talent, not everything is automatic.
The vehicles will also be easier to create thanks to seats that allow control handle, for example, flying insects or spacecraft. Mini racing games or puzzles, games of strategy and new materials such as a holographic (to simulate the interface of the old machines) and a new soundtrack in the line of the series-good songs but little-known group-completed developments unveiled until the date of LittleBigPlanet 2. As you can see, a small revolution, not so much in appearance or superficial approach to the player, but that opens a new world of possibilities for developers. And in any case, there are millions of levels to discover.
Following forces, the editing capabilities will also be increased tenfold with tons of new objects, new clothes and new stickers to embellish his creations. The game will also make some clothes for his cinematic levels. In this regard, the operation of the editor is still a little fuzzy. The developers have however suggested that players can create their own camera moves, record their activities and even their Sackboy combine voice. That should already be rejoicing impatience all budding creators. Especially since the arrival of this sequel does not mean the death of their past creations since all the levels achieved in LittleBigPlanet will be compatible with a LittleBigPlanet 2.
The community built around LittleBigPlanet is two years later, quite faithful to the game, and new products in the sequel seem more than enough to make the jump to the update. The limitations of the genre in which he was born Sackboy will deleting, and of course, among many levels that usually appear questionable quality, we expect that a large percentage of players take advantage of new tools. The surprise created by LittleBigPlanet is gone, but this does not diminish the pleasure that we respond to the invitation of the new studio Media Molecule. With tools for creating more and more easy to use, the title is a bright future when it will end up in the hands of fans.
We especially salute the arrival of the direct control of vehicles, the simplified opening to other styles of play (other than the platform) and the ability to create cutscenes. And the strongest in history, is that this result will not erase the slate, as all the first LittleBigPlanet level of 1 will be compatible in the 2! LittleBigPlanet 2 will be released in November, and even lose some of the surprise factor of the original, remains one of the most anticipated games of the year thanks to your fun, alone or accompanied, and its infinite possibilities.