Review: Sackboy’s back and this time he’s smaller than ever as he jumps onto the PlayStation Vita. Can LITTLEBIGPLANET VITA live up to its predecessors, or is this a creation gone wrong?
Poor ol’ Sackboy – he just hasn’t had a moment’s rest since Media Molecule thrust him into the limelight back in 2008. He’s appeared in three games since Stephen Fry awoke him from his slumber, running and jumping through countless community-created levels, never getting the chance to return to his own dreamland – such is the demand for him to star in ours.
Sackboy’s latest outing is LittleBigPlanet Vita, and he’s no longer in the hands of parent dev Media Molecule. They’re busy working on an as yet unannounced PlayStation 3 game and Tearaway for Vita, handing game development duties to Double Eleven and Tarsier Studios. Looking at the game you wouldn’t know that was the case, as LittleBigPlanet Vita will be familiar to any fan of the series.
Big Sack, Little Sack
Starting in your pod, you’re presented with the welcome sight of three planets, each containing one area of the core LittleBigPlanet game: story mode, community, and creation. Story mode is where you’ll start, travelling through the expertly designed platforming levels: soaring across a high-in-the-sky rollercoaster one minute, before bouncing over electrified obstacles the next.
Getting to the end of a level is only half the fun, though, as you’ll also want to revisit them to discover all the hidden prize bubbles – some of which can only be unlocked after completing later levels and finding the right sticker, meaning replaying levels is a necessity if you want to see everything. There are also extra bonuses for completing a level without dying, but these materialistic rewards pale in comparison to the thrill of topping the scoreboards.
By including points and a leaderboard, LittleBigPlanet Vita goes beyond what most platformers offer – it’s no longer just about completing a level, but completing it with the highest score. My drive to be the best online led me to replaying the same level numerous times back-to-back, each time figuring out new ways of getting bubbles in quick succession – thus adding multipliers to my score – and getting closer to that top spot. It’s challenging and it’s exciting, and when you do make it to number one – which at this stage was rather easy given the small number of people playing – it’s a great feeling.