Little Big Planet Day 2

I jumped back into this again, just for a few moments. Which turned into an hour and a half.

Servers are up finally, and load times are way way down, so as I suspected in my last post it looks like the game was phoning home for some reason and slowing down load times.

I re-ran the level that I got 37% in yesterday and got up to 50%. Still lots of hidden goodies! Then played through a few more levels, finishing the first “section” which unlocked more modes. Tons more fun tonight than last night, with jet packs and hazards and getting flung all over the place.

I downloaded my first user-created level. The bad: it took a bit for it to download. Not, y’know, 15 minutes, but maybe 3-4, which is a long time when you might get total junk. Also, in a way it made it apparent that Trophies will be pretty easy to farm in this game, since the level had a little treasure room that I got a 50X score multiplier in.

The good… it was a simple but fun level that had me laughing out loud the first time I played it. And of course I’ve forgotten the name of it, but I “Hearted” it so if you friend me (Dragonchasers is my PSN name) I think you can see what I’ve ‘Hearted’. Now what I love tonight I might think is mediocre after I explore more, so keep that in mind.

All in all, I’m totally sold. This is as great a toy as I’d hoped it would be. I imagine it’ll also be a cash cow for Sony… I’d be really surprised if they didn’t offer weekly DLC packs (I’m thinking $1-$2 packs with a bunch of items and stickers).

LittleBigPlanet quick look

Amazon finally delivered my copy of LittleBigPlanet today. I only got an hour or so with it, so the usual huge caveats apply…this isn’t a review or even an in-depth first look.

Bad stuff first: the online servers are borked. Trying to upload a high score (which happens automatically) fails, and there are other times where I *think* (hope?) the game is trying to call home and can’t. The reason I say I hope so is that the level loading times are just awful. The screen actually will freeze for long seconds before going back to an animated “loading” state, and I’m hoping again that this has something to do with the online servers. I should’ve tried logging out of PSN and trying again.

Once you’re actually *playing* the game though…it’s just a joy. Pretty much exactly what you think it would be… a physics-based platformer. The first couple levels (that’s all I did) are a mix of tutorials and gameplay. They’re very easy to complete, but getting all the hidden goodies on level 2 won’t be easy. I snagged 100% of the items on level 1 but only 37% on level 2.

The ‘marionette’ system is really neat. Turning the controller makes you sack dude (or dudette) turn its head. Holding a shoulder button lets you control the corresponding arm with the analog sticks. So you can turn and point and wave your arms’s pretty cute (though has no impact on gameplay). And there’s all the dressing up and decorating that you’ve seen in all the videos.

The presentation is superb, with Stephen Fry narrating, a great (and now Qur’an free, I suppose) soundtrack and those super sharp visuals you’ve already seen.

Now all that said… I’m not sure its a game I’ll sit and play for hour upon hour. I think its going to be more of casual “drop in and play a level or two” kind of game for me. But we’ll see. I just think at this stage in my gaming life I’m more interesting in compelling narrative than in just completing levels. That’s not really a flaw of the game though.

Oh, and I’m guessing this will be an absolute blast in multiplayer!