Little Big Planet Updated Hands-On

Sackboy is back on another glorious adventure around the globe, this time on Sony's little big handheld.

Little Big Planet's happy-go-lucky burlap star is making his way to the PlayStation Portable so you can create, explore, and share from almost anywhere. Developed by Cambridge Studio with the help of Media Molecule, LBP for the PSP is very much like the PlayStation 3 version, except modified and squished onto a handheld. The scope of the game may not be as big, but it was hard for us to tell the difference from the newly designed levels because it's just like taking a romp through the 3D hand-crafted world from the original LBP. We spent some time playing through several stages on the PSP and were impressed with all the features that have made it into the game and how it all looks.

As Sackboy--the fully customizable and lovingly sewn together doll--you'll travel across the different continents, starting with Australia and then venturing to the Orient, eventually leaving your mark all over the world. There are 30 new developer-created levels across seven themed locations, and we really enjoyed the new level designs from what we've played. It doesn't look like anything was lost during the transition, other than the fact that you have to play alone instead of with three other players. There's plenty of detail in the environments as you pass through, making it feel like it was a port from a PS3 game, even if it isn't.

After navigating through the harsh lands of the outback, hanging off koalas and jumping on kangaroos, we made our way to the Orient and had to fend off fire-breathing dragons. It's interesting to note that the levels in the Orient progress from right to left. One of the more memorable stages we saw was a level that required us to use a cannon-like device that fires synthetic logs. We hopped onto the back of a rickshaw and went blazing down a steep hill, trying desperately to hold on while using the cannon to keep the dragon at bay. We had to aim for the target inside the dragon's mouth to get it to back off--otherwise we'd be toast. It was a bumpy ride but a lot of fun. All this game needs is some rockets, which we hope will be included in the later levels.

Some puzzle-solving skills are needed to get past some areas, but the game makes good use of its tools, like switches, which are quite prominent in the levels that we played. LBP is generally fairly linear, but we came across a level that has you exploring multiple zones in order to figure out a combination code, which you then input using the switches. Even though the game is now single-player only, it's still tough to run through the levels and track down every single object. There are still an abundance of stickers, objects, and costumes to collect, all so that you can mess with the items later in the creation mode, but you'll have to carefully explore every nook and cranny to locate them all.

Like in its PS3 counterpart, you'll eventually unlock the moon so that you can create your own levels from scratch, using the items that you've found during the main game. And also like in the other version, you need to go into individual tutorials for each component of the Popit menu system before going to town with it. You can easily escape out of these tutorials, but the load times are noticeable, and it's unfortunate that you can't just have access to everything and choose to check out the demonstration later. It's amazing the amount of freedom you have at your disposal, and once you create a level you want to share, you can do so by heading to the PlayStation Network to show the world what you've come up with. LBP is about the community, so you'll have access to an endless supply of content to play through from anywhere.

It's going to feel very much like the PS3 version, all the way down to the controls. Instead of three planes to manage, there are two, so not only do you need to worry about going from left to right (or right to left), but you have to use some of that depth perception to navigate through the background or foreground as well. It's not bad when you're casually trying to find your way through a maze, but it can be tricky if you don't notice it happening and suddenly find yourself walking or jumping into a fire pit instead of on the block that was on the back plane. Luckily, you have an unlimited number of lives, and the checkpoints are much more frequent, so you can keep going until you feel like manually exiting the stage. The Popit menu is still there, so you can swap your outfit on the fly and access trigger stickers to help you get more items.

Because there's so much happening onscreen sometimes, it does take a while to adjust to playing LBP on a smaller screen. Sackboy isn't going to be nearly as detailed as its high-def counterpart, but you can still have him make funny faces with the D pad, and he'll easily win your heart all over again. A nice variety of music is included, and while the tracks may not necessarily fit with the theme of the level, everything so far is catchy and fun to listen to. The game is what you would expect LBP to be on a handheld, but what's impressive is that it doesn't feel like anything was lost or sacrificed to get it to fit on the system. At least, it's difficult for us to tell at this point, so be sure to stay tuned for our review later this month.

For anyone who wants a playground to play, create, and share, the possibilities are endless when Little Big Planet for the PSP is released on November 17.

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Discussion

69 comments
Lidlo
Lidlo

it's bound to be

xNinjaKingx
xNinjaKingx

anyone know if its available for the PSP 3000 along wit the GO cuz i dont wanna be gettin a 3000 and havin no games but then again im gonna hack it so xD

zj_pyro
zj_pyro

gonna be fun I hope they release the demo out soon and I wish you could port over the ps3 costumes to the psp version >.

EndoftheworldX
EndoftheworldX

LBP was one of those games that made me wish I had bought a PS3. I'm happy that I'll finally be able to play it now that it's coming to the PSP.

BigNalive
BigNalive

I dont like much platformers...

Lhachy
Lhachy

ikr? and gamespot had something on psp minis.. or micros or something.. ha ha sony must have tons of branches of psp development.

Ly_neku_ly
Ly_neku_ly

man the ps3 version still better you get to move his hands and make emotions

Lhachy
Lhachy

@shoelaces-4-all umm no... like i said its a rumor. and i think they had something on it right here on gamespot? and ign. i think...

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

message to Sony, release downloadable PSP games early via PSN to help drive up PSPGO sales. Sure you can still use the older PSP3000 with large enough memory sticks, but it would help drive home the notion of going all digital content.

glacierAF
glacierAF

This should be a system-seller for Sony, if only they can draw in more hype. The PS3 version was not advertised very well and with ModNation Racers due out next spring, this sub-genre needs a push.

143C5
143C5

looks good, i'll be getting this maybe.....

paullywog
paullywog

this is looking really good. preordered already.

shoelaces-4-all
shoelaces-4-all

@Lhachy like this christmas coming up? a totally new psp this christmas after they just released one? one with dual joysticks? who told you this? was it a fairy like figure in your dreams?

FendersONLY
FendersONLY

Quit posting lies Lhachy. No such thing exists at this point, not to mention the fact that the Go just came out and everybody would look at Sony as a bunch of sellouts. Sorry dude, just don't happen.

pb-balla
pb-balla

k dude sry to burst your bubble but i doent think there is such thing a a psp 2

Lhachy
Lhachy

i bought my psp 2000 last year right before the 3000's were announced (or rumored) to appear. i don't really care bout having a later model but having a built in mike would be handy... anyway i'm going to wait for the next installment of psp to come out before i get a new one.. or the one after next. i also think that psp go's is mainly not for people who already own a psp. because you wouldn't be able to play your umd's. i think sony is just trying to get more "classes" of people buying their products. i hear that a psp 2 is coming out in time for xmas. its rumored to have two analog sticks, it slides up and down like the go, and it has a touch screen? personally i'm fine with just the analog sticks... but that would be amazing if it had a touch screen.. but the prices would be out of this world... 'o.O anyway... bout the game. this game sound's amazing. i personally love having level crafter's on anything. because there are ENDLESS possibilities for awesome levels. some one just has to be willing to take the time to make those awesome levels... and some can take... hours... upon hours... i am the type of person who usually makes one BIG level over the course of several weeks. perfecting and perfecting. so look for my work my username would be Lhach or Lhachy or Lhach Amarth. :] isn't it a great name. :]

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

@hi-buzz, yeah i would've loved that since Media Molecule has made a killing off people buying all the little DLC costumes etc. They can afford to bundle this with the PSP GO systems. Or at least do it for a limited time offer. I don't think Sony can go lower for the PSP GO though, if you take the $169 price of the PSP3000 and add the price of 16GB of memory(about $79?) it comes out somewhere near the $249 for the PSP GO. It's priced right.

hi-buzz
hi-buzz

This game should have been a free download wit the purchase of the PSP GO @ $199... then the sales of the GO would have been better....

Snipes_2
Snipes_2

Awesome. Unfortunately I don't have a Ps3 so I can't play the original. Hopefully this'll be just like it or better.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

just bought a white PSPGO, this will probably be my first made for PSP game i download. I bought RE today. It will be strange creating stuff since it's a smaller screen... we'll see.

Mike0193
Mike0193

Hmm true... thanks guys. Guess i'll just keep it until PSP 2 comes out. I'll just get a large memory stick and start downloading games.

jumpy46
jumpy46

I am going to download this game. I heard that the load times are sort of long, and downloaded games usually have shorter load times.

pencru
pencru

I need to save up fast. I must have this game. (Plus I gotta save even faster 'cause Tekken 6 comes out exactly a week after) D:

calebcop
calebcop

@mike0193 Just be thankful that you have a PSP that works. I think the go looks cool, but I'm thankful that I own a 2000. Besides, the go does basically the same things as the other models, and you'll get next to nothing for your PSP 1000. and man this game looks amazing, and did anyone else who pre-ordered it from gameStop get a message on the phone saying it was coming on Nov 3rd? Than about an hour later they said they were wrong and said it still was coming on the 17th.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

@Mike0193 I advice you not to sell your PSP. How are you gonna play your UMDs on your PSP Go? Handling the PSP Go is nightmarish!

i7Crisisx
i7Crisisx

@Mike0193 They do, but you wont get hardly anything for the PSP 1000

Mike0193
Mike0193

Woot can't wait to get a new psp to buy this... gonna see how i can sell my old psp (1000) to buy the GO (gonna wait for a price drop first ! ! !). Heard a lot of hate against the GO, but oh well it's small size really attracts me. Gamestop buys used systems right?

habbox77
habbox77

sweet, im glad i pre-ordered this, cant wait till nov.17!

silentsniper321
silentsniper321

Cool i think this will be better on a handheld anyway.

enkeixpress_
enkeixpress_

I'm planning on "acquiring" this.. Should be alot of fun! :D

Mc_Trickz
Mc_Trickz

Cool,cant wait man,cant wait hehe

Wetty01
Wetty01

Can you still move Sackboy's arms???

Wetty01
Wetty01

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

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

that dragon chase was awesome... oh i want this game so badly!!!!!!!!

jeffv541
jeffv541

The one on ps3 was so so so so so so boring!!!