The real problem I had with the creation system was my own lack of creativity and not being able to come up with a cogent idea for a game. I was certainly able to create a few small levels that played with the physics level but I've yet to come up with a solid idea for a level. There are also a lot of tools and items for you to build your levels with and it's a bit hard to manage everything at once. You can "Heart" certain items so that they appear in a special area but there's still a lot of items to sort through.
Fortunately for me (and other likeminded individuals) you can go out and play levels that other creative people have created. One of the best decisions Media Molecule made was porting the levels from the game's beta to the retail version. This meant there were already hundreds of levels to play through when the game was released. Sure there are a ton of Mario 1-1 levels out there but there are also some other really interesting levels. I played one level that was like walking paint splattered puzzle level while another was a God of War styled level replete with pull open chests and other staples of the series.
To keep the cream at the top the game implements a simple rating scale that allows you to rate games on a scale of one to five and then provide a one word description of the level. This makes it easy to find levels that are solid and once you do you can "heart" the level so you can return to it later. There's also a built in grief reporting tool that allows you to report inappropriate levels and content immediately to Sony which should help curtail people ruining the experience by exposing themselves in the game.
The in game audio is nearly perfect as Media Molecule brought in Stephen Fry to do the voice over work in the game and while he's only heard during the introduction and the tutorials, it really adds to the storybook feel of the LittleBigPlanet. The rest of the audio design is perfect. Everything from the sounds that the machines make in the game to the amazing soundtrack is just perfect.
Graphically the game is a stellar example of next generation graphics and one of the games that I'll be busting out to show off what the PS3 can do until Killzone 2 hits in February. There are tons of fun little graphical details like how the sackboy changes his hands depending on the mood he's in and the amazing variety of fabrics and materials that compose the levels in the game.
This game will live and die by how well Sony promotes and supports it's community. While you can say that of any game LittleBigPlanet is going to need a steady diet of tutorials and community spaces where people can share their ideas. In some ways it's a bit like how Microsoft supports their developer community by providing insider tips and tricks. The LittleBigWorkshop is a good start and hopefully Sony keeps the ball rolling with the site. It's not hard to see a new generation of game developers being raised on the game and with Sony allowing for people to make money on making levels for the game the incentive is there for people to spend the time learning and promoting the game.
LittleBigPlanet is one of the few games I've played that lives up and exceeds the expectations I had for it. I knew the levels would be cute and the graphics would be great but I didn't expect the audio to be so perfect or the content creation engine to spark such creativity in other people. Hopefully the game gets the audience it needs to survive as LittleBigPlanet is one of the most unique and creative games ever to be pressed to a disc.
LittleBigPlanet is a breath of fresh air in an industry laden with MOTS syndrome. Media Molecule has created an amazingly fun and deep game that will allow people to create their own games and explore the creations of others.
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