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Review

Little Big Planet 3 Review

  • First Released Nov 18, 2014
    released
  • Reviewed Nov 17, 2014
  • PS4

LittleBig promises.

It's not often that I can forgive a game for throwing me through the geometry to my doom simply because the game itself is just too damn delightful. I am not the most fast-fingered of platformer players, but when I'm guiding a tiny creature made of wool and stuffing through a maze of fire and spikes, my reaction to failure is more woeful. Little Big Planet 3 made me feel like I was never quite good enough to solve the next puzzle... until I was, thanks to a brand new tool dumped in my lap. And then I soared.

Little Big Planet 3 is another quirky adventure pitting Sackboy against a baddie bent on destroying the balance of Craftworld, a universe pasted together from the bits and bobs in your mother’s craft closet. The game begins with sentient light bulb Newton spiriting Sackboy away to the scrapbooked world of Bunkum. Newton opines that Bunkum needs more creative juice and unlooses three ancient Titans, monstrous inspiration-sucking beasts subdued in the past by three great heroes. After the Titans possess Newton and corrupt his intentions, Sackboy finds and recruits the aforementioned heroes: Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop. Together, the fluff-stuffed quartet must rescue Newton and defeat the Titans.

Little Big Planet 3’s campaign is divided into four main stages or hubs, one for the prologue and one for each new hero the game introduces. You have to unlock each new character within their specific level to defeat that level's boss, which is reminiscent of how special items work in The Legend of Zelda games' various dungeons. To unlock each character, you need to collect special items and place them in a special shrine. I was at first wary of this over-clichéd fairytale story, but the charm that has come to characterize Little Big Planet makes it palatable. Tarnished marbles are magic artifacts. A side-scrolling mess of grating and rotating platforms made me feel like I was in a paper-and-glue version of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sackboy must complete the three main levels within each hub to collect magic marbles that awaken the heroes. These levels are scattered, tucked in corners of cardboard and scrap metal. Spreading them far apart encourages you to forgo beelining between them and take exploration time, uncovering secret challenges yielding rare materials and stickers.

Little Big Planet’s new characters are, predictably, endearing and adorable. The dog-like Oddsock is a fast runner that climbs walls and wall-jumps. Toggle can switch between tall and tiny versions, helping him manipulate gravity in water and on bounce pads for higher jump. Swoop flies and can carry objects through the air.

These new heroes can eventually be used within levels, but only within the hub world in which they are unlocked. I’m disappointed that levels limit what character you can use, and most of the time it’s Sackboy. In fact, most of the game must be played as Sackboy, with no option to choose another character. Boss levels, too, can only be completed as a designated character and all players must be the same one. The hub stage itself can be explored as Sackboy or whatever new character it unlocks, leaving out the other two, and there is only one designated spot that allows swapping of characters. You can, however, participate as more than one character in creation mode, but that doesn’t make the campaign’s limitations less saddening.

When Sackboy met Oddsock.
When Sackboy met Oddsock.

There are still two-player missions scattered throughout levels and any can be played with friends locally or online, but there are only a tiny number of missions for all four characters to participate. Any level can be completed with one to four players, but all players must be the same hero. Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop are feebly underutilized, which is dispiriting considering they are some of the game’s high points.

Not only is it refreshing to play as someone other than Sackboy when you get the chance, but each character has a different feel to their gameplay. Toggle plods along but rockets through the air and skims across water when he switches between sizes. The physics changes drastically from the slower, more calculated way he must be played to handling Oddsock, who gallops through scenarios requiring sweat-inducing precision leaps. Swoop lets you fly without falling, and while his controls feel a bit too sensitive for an airborne companion, it offers a different way to complete a challenge. It's unfortunate that Little Big Planet 3 offers three new, drastically different gameplay experiences and restricts how and when players can enjoy them.

One of the best new additions is a handful of gadgets granting Sackboy greater freedom of movement and navigation to harder-to-reach spaces. A hairdryer-like item pushes or pulls objects with air, a flashlight illuminates hidden objects, and the Blink Ball shoots spheres into special panels that teleport you to other ledges. The Hook Hat lets you slide along rails and the Boost Boots give an extra airborne double-jump, making wide chasms less of an issue. These items grant more freedom of movement and make Sackboy actually feel powerful and smart. They make problems feel more open-ended and problem-solving more expansive. You can use these items freely at any time and most levels include hidden treats for those who go back to explore with these items.

Friends don't let friends Hook Hat solo.
Friends don't let friends Hook Hat solo.

With each new item, levels become more difficult. In fact, Little Big Planet 3 can be called the most challenging title in the franchise. Many sequences require nimble fingers, such as speedruns with Oddsock or carefully-timed jumps through teleporters that necessitate hair-trigger reactions. The game forces you to pay attention and learn through trial and error, dangling unlocked characters and new experiences in front of you. The learning curve is proportional to how quickly these new things are mastered. And it’s worth it: guiding Toggle through a complicated puzzle or flying Swoop through an anxiety-inducing maze of electricity is a satisfying payoff.

The physics in Little Big Planet have been notoriously floaty from the get-go and have gotten slightly more delicate in Little Big Planet 3. Learning to time jumps and getting the hang of switching directions in mid-air take time, but once you've mastered controlling the Sackfriends, trickier puzzles no longer seem insurmountable.

While solo play is great for score chasing, bringing a friend or three along can help you reach special multiplayer areas and goodies. I liked playing alone when I wanted to master a level, but it's better together with friends. I ran through a four-character level in which the player controlling Swoop kept picking us up and dropping us from dizzying heights. I played Popit Puzzles with a friend online, spending quality time with someone I rarely see building something amazing together. Little Big Planet 3 is a great distraction for one, but a heartwarming distraction for two, three and four. You'll want to bribe your friends over for this one.

"Everything the light touches is our kingdom."

New bits aside, Little Big Planet 3 masterfully builds upon its already well-established world. Beneath a snow-blanketed town is a tunnel of giftboxes, wrapped in sheet music and guarded by dancing Russian dolls. Inside a dilapidated diner floating in a swamp of aquamarine goo, I found myself inside a pinball machine talking to a movie star with a tin can body and hair made of photo negatives. The world is beautifully put together and intimately detailed, down to the feathers on a queen’s robe and the flashing neon signs embedded into the background.

Sprinkled throughout this beautiful world are NPCs that offer minigames and side quests. These characters--all fully voiced, for the first time in the series–-assign tasks allowing weightier interaction with Bunkum. Minigames like tricking drones to shoot enemies in a paper-cloud sky and building go-karts from stickers are cherries on the LBP3 sundae. These challenges offer up some pretty great rewards, including new materials, stickers and in one case a Pug costume for Oddsock. Every empty space needing a sticker, every side character, adds a little more depth to an already oceanic world.

Like its predecessors Little Big Planet 3 features a level creator, but this time around that desire to inspire creativity is taken to new heights with an arsenal of tools that is overwhelming. You can make individual levels or entire maps, customizing spaces with everything from music triggers to poisonous gas and goo to obstacles requiring gadgets.

Popit Puzzles, the creation-tutorial-minigame mode.
Popit Puzzles, the creation-tutorial-minigame mode.

I have never been interested in (or very good at) level creation, because I'm horrible at interior decoration and could never make my bizarre Lego creations stand for long. I'm intrigued by staircases to nowhere and seemingly hopeless obstacles that require an entire bag of tricks to solve--neither of which I am very good at building, either. I'm not construction-minded and find more enjoyment in playing levels made by other people. But I was most enamored with Popit Puzzles, stages designed to instruct usage of each creation tool. It’s a genius, sneaky way to trick you into using the level editor.

Popit Puzzles take up an entire planet by themselves and feature a very eccentric NPC professor. The professor walks you through each construction tactic, including how to edit corners, rotate and delete objects, and even where and how to place treacherous traps. Each Popit Puzzle plays like a traditional Little Big Planet level and introduces one tool. As players learn how to use the tool, the game throws in more obstacles that can only be solved using that one tool. Some puzzles require more brain power than other, with the answer not so readily apparent.

The Popit Puzzles don't baby you, but they make sure you can use tools effectively. Little Big Planet 3 solves the problem of making creation tools accessible to newbie-creators by weaving tiny tricks like placing electrified blocks and deleting objects into mini-levels that reward you. It’s brilliant.

No Caption Provided

Little Big Planet 3 has a lot going for it--including another magnificently crafted soundtrack--but is plagued by crippling bugs. I repeatedly fell through set pieces or failed to respawn, and twice respawned into a side-scrolling level behind a boss and had to restart, losing all progress. These bugs hindered progression and made playing through levels requiring more precision a nightmare. They were present at various points throughout my entire playthrough, and while they weren't occurring every other level, they were common enough that I was annoyed.

Little Big Planet 3 is the most difficult game in the series by virtue of its challenges. More complicated problems mean more tools to solve them, giving you a wide berth to choose your own path through Bunkum. The push for creativity is limited in the way you play the campaign, but it’s an overwhelming presence within creation mode, offering boundless ways to leave your own mark on Craftworld.

Alexa Ray Corriea on Google+
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The Good
New, creative gadgets allow for and encourage deeper exploration
Intricate stage decoration and quirky NPCs adeptly world-build
Background music perfectly sets ambience and tone, adds to the playfulness of gameplay
The level editor is a rabbit hole of creative possibilities
There is a Pug costume skin for Oddsock
The Bad
Where and how you can use new characters is extremely limited
Bugs are problematic enough to hinder progression in some areas
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Alexa Ray Corriea has been BFFs with Sackboy since his debut in 2008 and still can’t get enough of those sweet, sweet prize bubbles. She played the entire story campaign and spent an inordinate amount of time building stuff.
407 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for p3rrypm
p3rrypm

Really having a hard time deciding between Destiny, LBP3, NBA 2K15 and Far Cry 4 with the PS4 bundle.


I really hate Shooters on consoles and that's why Far Cry 4 isn't a slam dunk here...


The other 3 games has one shooter and one sports title and all of them are rated fairly similar.


Any advice on how good this game is? I've been wanting to try LBP for years but, the talk of bugs and glitches has me thinking twice.

Avatar image for bigrod69
bigrod69

@p3rrypm: Choose ebola.

Avatar image for p3rrypm
p3rrypm

@bigrod69: You first

Avatar image for PayneKiller
PayneKiller

@p3rrypm hope you didnt choose destiny

Avatar image for garfyvl
garfyvl

IMHO the game feels smaller than its predecessors. I mean there is longevity in replaying the levels to ace, get all prize bubbles,... but the campaign felt much smaller than 2. I finished it in 2 sittings whereas LBP2 took me "forever" just to finish the campaign.

Avatar image for ristactionjakso
ristactionjakso

I really enjoyed this game, up until the game crashes every time I walk right past the furnace level in Zuggurat lobby area. I literally cannot play a game that I paid full price for and it's really disappointing.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ce92612ab724

10/10 stop crying about bugs.

Avatar image for jay108
Jay108

@Sam_021 I have only had 1 bug so far on the rock on roll part of the game when your doing levels to unlock odd sock - I am doing the next zone now and to be honest this is one of the best platform games I have ever played !! I give it a 9/10 only reason a 9 because that bug really annoyed me as I got so far in the game then had to start all over again - not had any bugs since but if you get one you will understand how it can ruin the mood of such a beautiful game.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ce92612ab724

@jay108 @Sam_021 I've played all little big planet games, they all had bugs. We all hoped that this one would be better. It is very unfortunate when some i-d-i-o-t-s take it out of proportion and try to hurt the game's reputation because of some bugs. I mean there is ACU, which is broke and deserves it and there is Little Big Planet 3 that works absolutely great with minor problems.

It is annoying when that happens and it shouldn't really but at least you are honest. So many of these i-d-i-o-t-s leaving bad comments don't even own the game/PS4.

Edit: Had to add "-", Gamespot is being a d-i-c-k again with comments.

Avatar image for rat5112
rat5112

Well at least GameSpot seems to be taking bugs more seriously when it comes to determining final scores. It will be interesting to see what happens next time Bethesda releases a game.

Avatar image for yaboiiconbon
YaBoiiConBon

Whatever, I still think it's a blast. It just depends how you look at it. First off, LBP3 just came out. So it's gonna be awhile before they patch stuff up, and before the online community/user content starts to grow.


Secondly, I don't care what you say, LBP isn't a game you play by yourself or online. It's a game where you actually sit down and play with friends. Whoever reviewed this was probably doing just that, and playing alone or online. Of course it's gonna be a 7 when you do that. But as a game that you can sit in a room with your buddies and all get drunk and play together, it's totally a 10.


Poor review.

Avatar image for Horndawgie
Horndawgie

@yaboiiconbon Yeah getting drunk with your buddies and playing a game.....that's not going to change your perception. Are you an $%#% in real life or do you just play one on the internet?

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

@Xristophoros @realguitarhero5 Even IOS game Run SackBoy Run.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@RSM-HQ Thanks for pointing that out.Didnt new that.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Xristophoros Look at his avatar. .

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

I dont want to bash this game.
I just want to say that the devs said,after LBP2,they couldnt think of anything meaningfull to add to the game which would justufy another sequel.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@sladakrobot Different developer. Sumo Digital took over after Media Molecule.


Little Big Planet 3 isn't that bad though. But also nothing special if you had LBP2.

Avatar image for Ghostdog201
Ghostdog201

I skimmed the review, and it sounds like the biggest negative is the bugs. Hopefully they can get these ironed out. LBP2 is still occasionally getting updates even now, so I'm hopeful that any bugs will get fixed post haste.

Avatar image for Sepewrath
Sepewrath

They way they hyped it, you would think every level would be designed with all 4 characters in mind. That is bad enough, but the abundance of game breaking bugs is a real downer. Have to wonder if this would have happened with MM at the helm.

Avatar image for TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

This would be an awesome starting point for PS4 players who've never played the first two. It's dope that all the old content is compatible.

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

@TehUndeadHorror All the DLC from LBP1 and LBP 2 is compatible.

Avatar image for bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

@ps3gamer1234 that's what he said isn't it?

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

loved the first two entries in the series, but i got my fill. not enough has changed with this sequel to warrant a purchase. it is great that lbp3 will be available on the ps4 to potential first time sony buyers though. to those people new to sony consoles, i say definitely pick up lbp3. to those who have already played them in the past, there isn't much new to see here. i'll pass on this one unless i can get it cheap or on ps+ (one day).

Avatar image for BuBsay
BuBsay

I gotta love the Xbox fanboy reactions on this site.

Halo:MCC gets a 6 "your reviews are bad and unfair!"

LittleBigPlanet 3 gets a 7 "lol of course, Sony sucks."

Avatar image for hxce
hxce

@BuBsay It's funny isn't it? How pathetic these people are.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@BuBsay I personally love me some deep creating (Little Big Planet), but can't go wrong with every Halo up-to-date. Flaws and all, both are riddled amazing with content.


But the holidays are looking good for all gamers. Just a lack of polish on many of these new games sadly.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@BuBsay

I agree. F*cking double standards which the die-hards have, really.

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

So it still plays the same, huh?

That's the problem with LBP, it asks you to spend an incredible amount of time with the game in order to create a stage for a game that doesn't play very well.

Avatar image for bigruss730
bigruss730

Its time to drop this boring game.


Avatar image for Grishrak
Grishrak

I disagree with reviewing games like this it is really hugely dependent on players to make levels and with the creation of players I have seen in the first and second were great levels such as a perfect recreation of Ninja Warrior stages and really fun and creative levels is great. If you review just for the story you're just missing out on why the game is fun and even more with friends then solo.

Avatar image for jcwainc
jcwainc

i was about to grip about your review but bugs bugs bugs the story of modern games. sony did it to them selves. good review

Avatar image for Grishrak
Grishrak

@jcwainc I have yet to find any or see any and I've looked at a lot of videos.

Avatar image for deactivated-57bac25e99ee3

It's not a bad game, but nevertheless the 2014 disappointments keep on coming. Maybe Smash Bros will prop things up in a few days?

Avatar image for Stealth____
Stealth____

Not the most well written review, but it serves a purpose.

Avatar image for Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

I wish Gs would bring back decimals on the review

Like 7.7 or 7.8 .....it make huge difference than just 7

Now most game review seems to share the same score

Avatar image for StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@Monsterkillah Well... the reason they don't have decimals anymore is because they're only slightly less arbitrary than the number system they use now...


I wish people would realize that the pros and cons and the actual review are the only thing that matter. If you're so simple as to need a 1-10 number to tell you whether you should buy it then you're lost.

Avatar image for Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

Yeah..but this is getting boring i keep seeing games getting same score

Id love to see them putting some decimals back it gave some better precision and accuracy to the final score

For me score like 7.2 and 7.8 makes some significant difference

Avatar image for realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

The graphics suck less, but I don't think they've worked on the physics.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@realguitarhero5 huh? the graphics were always beautiful. not sure what you mean by that.

Avatar image for skiggy34
skiggy34

Im not a fan of LB. I had the first one on ps3, played it for 30 mins and traded it in. I dont care for the concept at all. It tries to be a platformer but IMO fails. I think GS was generous with this. My bro bought it and I tried it for 5 mins and went back to playing Lords of the fallen. Sony needs to pony up with their exclusives. These less than to mediocre exclusives are not gonna cut it.....

Avatar image for megantereon
megantereon

@skiggy34 You played for a half an hour and made that judgement? You did not get past the first training level. I put more time into LBP2 and LBP1 than almost any other game Those are great games and they still have a huge on line community. The fact that the n-line content can be brought from the earlier games to LBP3 on the PS4 is worth it by itself without the new campaign. I'm not sure how this can be a review of th game with only the campaign. The biggest part of the game is the community. I give the reviewer a 5.

Avatar image for TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

@skiggy34 Did you try it co-op?

Avatar image for Grishrak
Grishrak

@skiggy34 I disagree its really one of the best platformers I have played and impressed me and I hate platformers. If all you played was the story then you missed out on what makes the game great which is online where the limit is endless.

Avatar image for Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

Im sorry but LBP biggest and most fun part is the online community

over 8 million lvls made in lbp2...8 millions...thats huuuugeee

Create level..share and play....i ve seen tons of amazing levels online

If you just spend 30 minutes for this game and soon trade in......well.....maybe this isnt your type of games

Just bcos you dont like this game doesnt mean this game is a bad platformer

Its just a matter of perspective

Avatar image for jack00
jack00

Didn't even know the game was coming out :s

Avatar image for Securator
Securator

LBP has always been important to me as I use it to seduce girls. True story.

Avatar image for xantufrog
xantufrog

@Securator time with "sackboy"?

Moderator
Avatar image for spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@Securator It is an excellent game to get a girl interested in playing.

LittleBigPlanet 3 More Info

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  • First Released Nov 18, 2014
    released
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    LittleBigPlanet 3 is a platforming game for the PlayStation 4 from Media Molecule.
    7.4
    Average Rating91 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate LittleBigPlanet 3
    Developed by:
    Sumo Digital
    Published by:
    SCEA, SCEI, SCEE, SCE Australia, Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre(s):
    Platformer, Action, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence, Tobacco Reference