LittleBigPlanet PSP Review

The littler they come, the better they get. Our verdict on SCE Cambridge Studio and Media Molecule’s portable Sackboy.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, November 13, 2009

The unapologetically artificial nature of these environments and their resident gizmos is, of course, ample incitement to assemble your own memorials to retro platforming, pulp TV or what-the-hell-ever on “My Moon”, which contributes most of the game’s very lengthy tail end. Creative juices flow once more by way of Sackboy’s humble Pop-It menu on square button, which lets you pick over all the nuts and bolts (literal and otherwise) you’ve collected in the campaign. Each component, be it a “death scream” sound emitter, lump of beaded sponge or motorised bolt, has a host of sliders to tweak, from RPM to elasticity, pattern to activation range.

One of the Creator Curators is the Genie from Aladdin's lamp.

One of the Creator Curators is the Genie from Aladdin's lamp.

If the toolkit has seen any significant reductions I haven’t noticed them yet, with a solid ten hours on the clock (and, I confess, precious little in the way of functional levels to show from it). Creating your own shapes is a little clunkier: rather than wielding the Pop-It cursor like a paint brush or cutter, you fill in segments on a floating grid with material, then use the corner editor to stretch and warp the results as desired. Each custom level has a capacity threshold indicated, again, by a slowly filling red thermometer on the left. Once polished off and saved to memory card (make sure you’ve got a gigabyte or two spare), your experiments can be uploaded, tagged, downloaded, rated and slated by other creators.

Put everything together and the only real sore thumb is the missing four-man co-op mode – its absence makes the game’s wealth of self-pimping options and leaderboards feel a little hollow. I have the barest inkling of the technical challenges involved, but given the PS3 game’s successes in this area basic Ad Hoc play should have been a no-brainer. On the other hand, the PSP has never been known for its multiplayer scene, so the omission perhaps counts for less than it might on another system.

Each region has its own style and signature puzzles.

Each region has its own style and signature puzzles.

So why does this wonderful, mildly compromised game depress me so? Because of what it implies for Sony’s publishing strategy. LittleBigPlanet PSP’s very excellence is a hefty kick in the teeth to the platform’s small, colourful community of native IPs – under-exposed homegrown gems like Brave Story: New Traveller, Patapon, Lumines, Crush and Jeanne D’Arc, long tided under the carpet in the rush to transplant franchises from formats with higher software attach ratios. Shooting the PSP’s anaemic line-up full of proven material may seem sound commercial sense on the face of it, but for my money the last thing the increasingly sidelined machine needs at this point in its life is more leftovers – even leftovers as delicious and nutritious as LittleBigPlanet.

9 out of 10

3 Responses to “LittleBigPlanet PSP Review”

  1. Sarah says:

    Is this reviewer on drugs or just psychotic?

    • Edwin says:

      Bit of both. I’m also afraid of the dark and have a mild allergy to cats.

  2. Mindy says:

    lolz, maybe on an acid trip, I actually enjoyed this review!


Kikizo Classic: