Originality is the order of the day with LittleBigPlanet. From the moment the game starts, it lets you know that you're playing something that resembles nothing you've experienced previously.
Essentially, the game is a platformer, with levels created by the developers, and levels created by gamers and shared with the world. Items collected on the one-player solo campaign can be added to the levels the gamer wants to create themselves.
As far as design goes, the Sack-boy (main character/avatar) can be altered to look like almost anything the gamer wants, which allows for originality, identity, and self-importance, but at the end of the day, all costumes (whether downloaded or attained via the levels) are still rather cartoonish and this function may only appeal to children.
The overall look of the game is one of quirkiness, cuteness, and dream-like imaginings. This look is appealing to the eyes of most people, but one can't help but feel they might be playing a game intended for children. It is not a surprising notion that most people over eighteen who own the game will not shout this fact to the whole town, as one look at it might be seen by outsiders as being akin to a grown-up watching Teletubbies or Rugrats. The look of this game, however, is deceptive, as many aspects of the game require intelligence, speed-of-thought, tactical nouse, and creativity to complete.
The music in the game is both beautiful and varied. It is easy to tell that a lot of effort went into composition of the music, as the soundtrack contains sweet melodies that can only charm the ears.
The idea of creating your own levels and sharing them with the world is the number one selling-point of LittleBigPlanet, and the main reason for so much hype leading up to this title's release. But when one is sat with the controller in their hand, and a blank canvas on which to paint all one's ideas, it is amazing how blank the mind can go. Although the gamer is instructed how to perform every creative action in level design, and although it all seems so straightforward, creating one's own level is time-consuming, draining, and boredom-inducing.
People who have created their own levels, need to have spent hours on their creations. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a level that is not only playable, but also enjoyable and completable. Poor levels need not be released on the network, because other gamers will give them low ratings and the levels may not be played by the gaming community much longer after that. In short, the committed creator will love this, whilst others, who prefer the "turn-on and play" aspect of a game, will lose interest in this function within an hour.
On the whole, LittleBigPlanet offers a quirky, new way of making friends online, and sowing one's creative seed. The graphics and designs of the game look child-oriented, and indeed the levels created can vary in difficulty, appealing to both adult and child gamers. However, one needs to have a creative touch and the patience of a saint to take the creation aspect of the game seriously. Perhaps this game is not worth all the hype that has been generated, but then again, not many games are. What this game does show is that the technology is now available to the gamer for them to create what they want, and the will of the gaming community to try other people's wares has been there for a while now - it just needed the tool to do it, and here it is.
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