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Video Game of the Week – LittleBigPlanet 2

When LittleBigPlanet was released for the PlayStation 3 back in November 2008, no-one in or out of the video gaming community had seen anything quite like it. Not only did it introduce us to a wonderfully original world of crazy adventures and puzzles – and the unforgettable Sackboy – but it also unleashed our inner developer, giving us the tools to design our own unique games, challenges and puzzles.

To say that LittleBigPlanet was a success would be an understatement. Not only did LBP sell well over 3.5 million copies but, over two years after launch, there is still an active online community of over half a million players. Over 3 million games and challenges (commonly referred to as “levels”) have been uploaded and those levels have been played over half a billion times.

All this set the scene for the inevitable sequel. But what could the team at Media Molecule deliver that could possibly improve on the original?

Faced with the huge success of LBP, the developers made a wise choice. Instead of introducing different modes and changing the look and feel of the game, they have stuck with what works. In LittleBigPlanet 2, both Story mode and Create mode have had serious makeovers but everything builds on the original rather than replaces it.

For creators, this means more easy-to-use tools, more power-ups, more characters to choose from and work with. Creating in LBP2 is as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. Although some of the more complex tutorials (narrated by Stephen Fry) might have you scratching your head first time around, it’s easy to find a level at which you are comfortable and start from there.

For players, the new Story mode is both charming and incredibly varied. It is puzzle and platforming gameplay at its best. You and up to three of your friends can work through each of the 40-plus levels without ever feeling that you are repeating something you have seen before. And the expertly hidden trove of stickers, Sackboy outfits, and other collectibles provide plenty of replay value.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is a superbly created and crafted game, providing literally countless scenarios and challenges for players of any level of expertise. Even if you’re not interested in designing or creating games yourself, LittleBigPlanet 2 is a wonderful gaming experience.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB. Check out their video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org

Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Genre: Puzzle, platformer
Release Date: January 18, 2011
RRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone

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