Rediscovering Little Big Planet

lbp2

I have a confession to make.  After years of hype for Little Big Planet, hype that is essentially the basis for why I bought a PS3 at all, and an incredibly fun though short experience with the beta, I had a falling out with Little Big Planet.  It wasn’t that I found some game breaking flaw or that I grew board of the gameplay.  I simply just didn’t feel all the much of a need to go back after completing the single player levels.  While they were some incredible levels, it was a little depressing that my best experience with the game had been the part I initially cared about the least.  This was supposed to be a game about sharing and creating, web 2.0 and all that jazz and yet all I was getting out of the commercial release was a series of professionally designed platforming levels that while incredibly well designed weren’t exactly worth getting a new console for.  The community levels were too saturated with bad levels and the user creation tools were overly complicated.  I considered the game finished.

So Little Big Planet got pushed behind all the other releases of last years fall deluge and I moved on to Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Mirror’s Edge, and Fallout 3.  I felt no reason to go back into the game and a few times I even considered selling the game.  Now were back in the slower time of year (well, a little slower) and after returning both my games back to Gamefly in anticipation of F.E.A.R. 2 I find myself back to playing old games.  So I pop in Little Big Planet to try out a level someone made in a internet community I belong to.  I enjoy the in jokes and tomfoolery the level provides, but I then find myself wandering over to the Little Big Planet community levels to see whats been going on these past few months.

lbp1

I play one level that has been highly rated by the community and I’m quickly astounded at the creativity on display.  So I decide to try another.  And another. And another. And I quickly find myself playing levels with ideas I’ve simply never seen before in the game.  Incredible, complex, original ideas that not even the developers could come up with.  The problems the game had back in the fall was that gamers making new levels were still getting accustomed to what was possible, learning most of their tricks from what the developers had done in the single player levels.  New ideas, like wall climbing elevators, Dig-Dug style racing, and silhouette art styles are filtering to the top of the newly designed community rating system. At long last, the games is achieving its original purpose of highlighting the best of the community with levels that aren’t nearly knock offs of the single player levels, but brand new experiences.  And it can only get better from here.

P.S.

If you also haven’t played Little Big Planet in a while, you need to play these levels:

Dinosaur Island 1 – 3

Jack McSetback and the Spiky Stone of Doom (Love that name)

Little Big Dead Space (This one even has behind the scenes at the end!)

Silhouette Flowers

and you must play the best LBP level I’ve ever played:

Maxed Out

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