Considering the success of Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet on the PS3, most of us knew it was inevitable that Sony would soon bring a version of the game, and the uber-popular Sackboy, to the PSP and voila. Here it is. And while there are a lot of similarities and inspirations visible in this new portable version, don’t think of it as a direct port of the PS3 title. The PSP version was developed by SCE’s Studio Cambridge instead of Media Molecule, but it remains completely faithful to the original game.
You start the game by being greeted with a brief intro level that acts as the tutorial for those new to Little Big Planet. Once you have the basics, you’ll then be able to start sink your teeth into the main game. Here you’ll find a wide range of levels that capture the character and charm of the original. There are seven levels (if you can call them that) in total, offering a range of different locations and a variety of platform challenges and puzzles. Cambridge’s style and originality shines through, with some of the bonus stages offering some very enjoyable moments.
A personal favorite of mine was the challenge in which you have to strap on a jetpack and carry sheep from one side of a mountain to the other to get sheared, before picking them up at the exit and bringing them back. As with most challenges, the amount of sheep speeds up over time and before you know it, you’ll lose one to the cliff and its game over. It is levels like this that truly show the humorous nature of the title, and proves that your creations are only limited by your own imagination.
Stephen Fry returns and once again narrates the tutorials and adds a whole level of British class and dry humor to the mix. It’s nice that game companies continue to draw in such talented voice actors, and will hopefully be something that continues. Little Big Planet for the PSP also contains a much more varied and soundtrack than its predecessor.
As far as game play, everything handles just as well as the PS3 version. Every level presents a plethora of puzzles and obstacles to overcome, and the ‘floaty’ jumping that many complained about within the previous game returns, but since people who enjoyed the original are the likely audience, I doubt anyone will really complain about these physics. Puzzles do become progressively more complex through the game, and you’ll have to think, evolve, and jump your way to get past most of these. You can still customize Sackboy from top to bottom. Sacky still retains his four basic emotions of Happy, Sad, Angry and Scared (still performed using the D pad). When you complete levels Sacky also does a little dance which is a nice touch.
Sadly the multiplayer is gone, meaning that you won’t be able to join up with friends either locally or online. However, you can share your levels online as well as try those created by others. Unlike the PS3 version, these are downloaded directly to your PSP for you to enjoy offline, which is great since you don’t always have your PSP connected to a wifi connection. Typical levels downloaded ranged in size between 1Mb – 1.5Mb, so you won’t have to carry a ton of extra duo cards.
Sure we all know the PSP isn’t as advanced as the Playstation 3 when it comes to visual power, so expect a few things you won’t find within Little Big Planet this time around. The graphics and textures aren’t quite as detailed, but we all expected that. You’ll also find that the lighting doesn’t have as much depth as its big brother. As a portable version of the game, it isn’t really necessary for all the extra textures and lighting effects, yet some fans of the original should know what has been taken out.
Overall, LBP on PSP does a great job of translating the innovative style of the PS3 version into a nice little package, and is easily another fantastic title to be released for the PSP this year. While it is a bummer to find out there isn’t any form of online multiplayer in this package. But I have to say that its good to see that the ability to create and share levels works so well. Sure this game isn’t a must have, but it is a “should pick up”. Little Big Planet on the PSP retains all the fun and style of the original. If you liked that, you’ll this incarnation.
- Image folder specified does not exist!