After months of waiting, I finally got hold of Little Big Planet. This is one of the latest games for the PlayStation 3. In fact, it’s meant to be THE game of the year for the PS3.
The kids were really excited when I told them that I bought it – they’d seen the cutesy trailers and had already been bugging me, “Dad, when can we play that game?” Sony have definitely pitched it right.
So, what is it? It’s a 2.5D platform type game, sort of like a brand new version of Mario if you want to think of it that way. However, the environments are photo realistic, the objects in the game have real life texture properties and physics. And that’s just the levels.
Little Big Planet allows you to customise your playing character, Sackboy, with various face elements, clothes and accessories. This is the part that the girls loved the most. When they first played the game, they spent most of the time just choosing what to wear! In this way, it was like playing virtual dress ups.
Another dimension which has taken our 9yo’s imagination is the creating part of the game. You can create your own levels by using a variety of basic objects and more advanced gadgets and machines. I hear that all the levels in the game can be designed using the built in level designer. This part of the “game” was more educational and definitely got our 9yo thinking when I asked her to try to build certain structures. After a while, she was able to create a person out of blocks, a see-saw and some pyramid type shapes. Maybe she should have been doing this with real blocks instead 🙂
The game itself is fun, and although it may look like a kids game, it quickly isn’t. A few levels in and our 7yo was already having difficulty co-ordinating her character to jump/scale over various challenges. And a couple of hours in, and I was beginning to have to try a few times too. I hear from a friend that later levels get even more fiendish, with even more “ninja” type jumping manouevres requiring even more accuracy.
I wish there were a whole lot of levels made just for little kids – none of the depth, just basic 2D type scroller, simple puzzles for kids 4-8 years old. I’m sure that the community made levels will have these type of levels one day.
Like many of the newer and more successful PS3 games, this one is multiplayer locally and over the internet. Our kids ended up playing with friends over the net with much ease, and with much laughter.
The only challenge now is to find time to play the game by myself!