Thursday, February 10, 2011

LittleBigPlanet 2

My review of LittleBigPlanet 2 is up at Flame away!

When I complained on Twitter about how lacking in imagination I found the suggested user levels to be, Joystiq's Ben Gilbert quickly recommended a few levels for me to try. They weren't terrible, but I had the same experience with them that I had with almost all of the rest: an initial burst of "Oh, cool!" followed by an extended comedown.

One was a roller coaster level that looked kind of neat, but didn't require me to do anything except hold down the R1 button. Another was a cute concept, with a pet Sackboy in a typical suburban house, but it had almost nothing in the way of interesting gameplay, and for some reason ended with Sackboy hopping in an ersatz UFO and shooting lasers. None would have been remarkable if they had come from a professional developer.

Oh, also, doing the "text search" for the names of those levels did not bring up those levels even close to the top of the search results. So there was that.

I don't deny that there is value in creation. To the extent that LittleBigPlanet 2 has merit, it is that: most games ask you to follow along with the creators' vision, and this one asks you to be the creator. I get that. You might not be able to tell from the review I filed, but it's true.

But just because you created something doesn't mean that it's worthy of adulation from the masses. People spend $60 on a video game that was made by professionals, and even most of those aren't actually any good. Why are we doing backflips about a game that lets users make pale imitations of other games? That was almost all I saw in this LBP2. Let's run down the list:
  • A Vietnam-era first-person shooter in which the iron sights shot about an inch and a half to the right of where the crosshair was.
  • A Batman film where, among other crimes against the English language, Batman saw the Batsignal and said "Look's like im in need!" In need of a copyeditor, maybe.
  • A Donkey Kong clone in which it was impossible to jump over a barrel.
  • A Super Mario Bros clone in which it was impossible to jump over a pit.
  • A Wipeout clone in which there were no hovercraft.
  • An inFamous clone in which there was one building to climb.
  • A "Fun House" level in which the word "Buffoonery" was repeatedly written on the walls, in case you didn't get it.
And on, and on, and on. I genuinely do hope that some LBP2 players go on to bigger and better things. They could hardly go on to anything else.


Gaming in Public said...

Yeah I found a Peggle clone as well but it lacked the special powers that each unique character had in Peggle.

Dorin said...

My problem with LBP 2 is that if you lack creativity and the will to learn the game's tools you'll end up losing a lot of what the game gives you making your purchase seem like a waste.

jBusiness said...

I think that these games are only okay when purchased about a year from its release. I don't have the patience or desire to make my own stuff, and I don't have the faith in the other creators. Usually a year is enough time for at least some good creations to bob up on the surface.