Little Big Planet Beta Impressions

We finally get a chance to spend some quality time with the adorable Sackboy.

by

Little Big Planet's release date is slowly creeping closer, but some members of the editorial team have already jumped into the limited beta to get a feel for what's to come. It's hard to ignore Sackboy's innocent smile or droopy expressions as we explore the wonderful world of Little Big Planet. We hope to eventually build levels from scratch and share them with everyone in our world. (Ambitious, we know.) However, at this point we're quite content exploring with friends and goofing around.

Build unique and creative levels with the in-game tools.

Shaun McInnis: Thanks to what has been more or less universally glowing coverage, I think everyone around here has had some pretty high hopes for Little Big Planet. We all knew it was going to be great, but with a game like this, text previews and limited hands-on sessions--achieved via elbowing through crowds of strangers at a game convention--can't do it justice. LBP is very much a social game that's at its best when it's you and three other players playing locally. The chaos that ensues when you've got four cute little Sack people trying to learn inventive new platforming mechanics and solve odd puzzles is best appreciated in person, with friends around. You also get a better appreciation for the wonderfully makeshift cardboard-cutout artwork and infectious music when you're all sharing in it together. I knew this was going to be a very social game, but I figured that was largely based on the content-sharing aspects of it. Although the ability to create levels and share them with others online is certainly still a great feature, I simply underestimated how much fun it would be to get a few buddies together, ignore all the Web 2.0 business, and actually play the game.

Create, build, and customize together.

Ricardo Torres: So, after a good year of frenzy-inducing hype, the Little Big Planet beta is out and it's still packing some serious charm. After having seen different demos of the game for a while now, it was surprising to get a feel for the actual story wrapper of the game. The live-action opener and the Stephen Fry narration are cool and give the game a unique feel. It's this weird hybrid of droll British humor and Japanese levels of cute character design wrapped up in a quirky platformer. Considering how much we've seen of it, I wasn't expecting to still be as impressed. The game's surreal look is goofy fun and it has a real personality. I'm very taken with Sackboy because of how fully formed he is as a mascot. You just don't see mascot-worthy characters as often as you used to, so it's always a nice surprise to see one. Above and beyond that, the gameplay has a nice, comfortable feel to it. You can see Mario in the game's DNA, and that's fine. There are some quirks to the action, like keeping track of which plane you're running on, but it hasn't seemed to be much of an issue right now. It also makes for some funny moments when you're playing with friends, which adds to the game's appeal. I'm only just starting to mess around with the creator stuff. Although I'm a little intimidated after the Parsons thing, I'm impressed by the depth of options. I'm so curious to see how the final game shapes up.

Sackboy likes to make funny faces.

Sophia Tong: I've managed to avoid Little Big Planet for the most part until this past weekend, when a group of us went to Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. I had the opportunity to watch students put together elaborate level designs in just 24 hours. I still didn't get any hands-on time until later this week, and now I can see exactly what all the fuss is about.

What I think is so appealing with LBP at first is how everything feels familiar. Sackboy certainly is cute, but not in the overly girly sort of way. He's like the lovable sock puppet we all (I?) had when we were younger. The household items and handmade objects make it feel like you're sifting through a giant bag of toys that you once had. Being able to create, share, and jump into each other's levels will provide an endless stream of content that I hope will still be enjoyable after many long hours. I love multiplayer games, and just being able to wander the levels, drag your friends around, and stamp on their faces is enough to keep me amused. I can't wait to really dive into the game, since I'm still slugging my way through tutorials at the moment. But being able to head-bang with the Sixaxis while my Sackboy is in an Elizabethan getup is hilarious. I love it.

Discussion

258 comments
Kratossssssssss
Kratossssssssss

Too bad i have the impression that gamespot is going to underrate this game..just tell me dude, they said that they wanted more pre-made lvls...wdf it's user-generated content, you have 50 pre-made lvls + your own made lvls + millions of lvls people created...that was a stupid critisization man..totally...if they really can nicpik that game, then it should get the same score as IGN - 9.5/10...

jojo_mchobo
jojo_mchobo

this is waaaaaaaaaay better than spore

nintmanag
nintmanag

Spore was relatively shallow. This, on the other hand, looks like a masterpiece. It's COMPLETELY customizable. That makes for a hugely fun experience.

lokesc
lokesc

hMM,..a GAME within a game. I wonder what people can pull out from their heads?! I wonder how it fares in comparison with Spore?

KOMGS
KOMGS

from where i see this game is going to be great

residude
residude

Can someone explain to me whats actaully the aim of this game, as i cant see the point in it atm. Is there a story mode to complete, what do you have to do in the game etc. Any info would be good Cheers

1407
1407

its a great game, im still having a hard time creating stuff, but hey, you dont see this type of games each year, its unique, some trouble with the camera angle while in editor mode with more than 2 players, i hope they fixed that in the final version.

THORINATOR
THORINATOR

The Beta is sweet, LBP is really unique! As alot of other people have said it makes a nice change from most games on the market at the moment! The only problem now is that there's gonna be so many cool games to choose from in the next few months! But LBP is definetly near the top of my 'must have' list!

Maddie_McCann
Maddie_McCann

Hopefully this will end the barrage of FPS games that have been boring us for too long, This is the best concept ive heard for a game since pong and PS needs a mario type game, viva the revolution!!

Crusader-Z
Crusader-Z

the most greatest game in ps3 ever!!!(don't mind about the rating though)a game for everyone...im guessing this E game is gonna unforgettable....

Wiihoo
Wiihoo

Despite the fact my username is Wiihoo, it's ironic because the wii is my least favourite console. They dont have any good games at all. Oh, wait Mario galixy and Brawl. Notice how the only good wii games come from nintendo itself, no 3rd party realeses? lets look at the games shall we: Wii vs PS3: Wii: Mario galexy, brawl..... PS3: LBP, GTA 4, Far cry 2, Metal gear solid, bioshock and eternel sonatra cming soon, MAG, Socom, Infamous, mirrors edge(Also very innovative) need I go on?

kohwil
kohwil

Have been tracking this since last year, Have a feeling this game is awesome after watching the first video and it turning out great after repeated update

men-o-war
men-o-war

Ps3 will be a gr8 xmas present this year. By the time xmas day comes there's gonna be some awsome levels online 2 play with if the public beta levels are anything to go by. My advice GET A PS3 FOR XMAS!!!!

Golgondack
Golgondack

I have it preordered at GameStop and entered the On the Spot beta code contest cause I can't wait till release to play!! I want a beta code!! Arrrrgg!!

hush404
hush404

Less that 3 weeks baby!

Rhen_Var
Rhen_Var

Be amazed people, it's only a beta yet it has already lived up to the hype.

digihead2000
digihead2000

I've been in the beta for a day now. It's a pretty amazing game when you play the story mode and the levels people made. It gets to be a great experience.

lulu52
lulu52

This game sounds great. I can't wait to sit down with my friends, start up a game, and ridicule them for being such crap at it. It should be fun. :)

tiamat555
tiamat555

Every time I hear about this game I hear more and more good things. Did you know that one of the hazards is poison gas? Or that you can make cars with suspension? Or that you can make the game in the dark or in the light or in the fog? Or that you can make music? Or you can make bosses and enemies spew blood when you pull off their limbs? Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and bolts has nothing on this.

PSWII60user
PSWII60user

has anyone who entered the on the spot beta thing gotten a key???

JMAN320
JMAN320

some much gameplay! This is going to be worth every penny. PLAY CREATE SHARE

elPetrucci
elPetrucci

how can I get the beta !!??????? please I want to try this game

serial2
serial2

It rocks? I didn't knew.

ResiFreak
ResiFreak

That's because it rocks!!!!!

PSWII60user
PSWII60user

playstation mag just gave LBP a 10/10

thekey
thekey

I'm waiting for a review before I cop this one.($60 is too much for game that I may or may not like.)Looks promising tho.

serial2
serial2

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

serial2
serial2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

serial2
serial2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

strider_ATI
strider_ATI

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sub-raid
sub-raid

Everyone who says that this game is for kids is stupid and noone is forcing to get it! this game is so cool it's not for kids it's for fun. LBP is unique and special there is no game like LBP it's a new idea of gaming. i am so getting this game. And guys stop fighting about consoles we are not here to say witch console is better, we are here to talk about LBP and doesn't like it do not get it!

howardorr
howardorr

@ serial2. Why go to the trouble to slag something you so clearly have no interest in, and without adding anything new to the discussion. @NsNsis: i got my code the other day...but it's well worth waiting for as well, and you don't get the glitches in the final version :)

NsNsis
NsNsis

I want a beta code =[

NsNsis
NsNsis

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BigRed317
BigRed317

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

serial2
serial2

Hey hey hey, this game will be horrible, can't you accept this? Sackboy? What a stupid name, and this game should be recommended for children from 5 to 10 years.

PSWII60user
PSWII60user

Wiihoo, what does that have to do with anything, i can't like nintendo and sony??? that has nothing to do with my comment of how he is trolling the sony posts. and my avatar is yoshi because yoshi is awesome. i think you have a case of the stupid, u should get it checked out.

MonkeManFoSho
MonkeManFoSho

rougewarrior amen meh brutha, so tired of the fanboys who would give head to their consoles if they were guys, and the ps3 thing is so true, i hope so too that this will wipe dust off my ps3