Few would argue that Media Molecule created a platforming masterpiece when Little Big Planet first hit the PlayStation 3 with its “Play, Create and Share” catchcry.
PlayStation Vita is getting its own LBP instalment later this month, but this isn’t the first time that the franchise has appeared on a handheld. The PSP release in 2009 was a certainly a success, but this new Vita offering is being touted as the ‘definitive version’ of the game.
This time around developers Double Eleven have been tasked with bringing Sack Boy to life — Media Molecule has reportedly been closely overseeing the project to ensure that it meets their exacting standards, and it shows.
I was lucky enough to play through the first few levels which had the familiar high level of detail, humour and challenging gameplay. On top of the regular UI, the Vita adds new touch screen functionality not seen before in the series – players can now move objects and obstacles by pushing, pulling or simply dragging them across the screen.
The controls feel intuitive and simple yet challenging enough to keep players on their toes. As seen with the previous games you will be able to run, jump grab and shoot but you will also need to be aware of your environment for anything that requires ‘touch’, be it removing an obstacle or revealing something hidden.
The campaign in LBP Vita offers a stunning view of what the Create mode will be able to offer and is sure to get those creative juices flowing. As you navigate through each level and challenge it’s hard not to marvel at what has been achieved.
There will also be a four player co-op online mode and the all important Create suite with all the existing tools as seen in LBP2 (as well as ones incorporating touch screen). The mini games will also be making a welcome comeback — I managed to unlock a ‘whack a mole’ game that felt perfectly suited to the touch-screen gameplay.
Little Big Planet could prove to be just what Sony needs to reinvigorate interest in the Vita. Offering up a solid campaign backed with a robust create mode allowing for an endless levels, you can’t really go wrong.
Sony has announced that LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita will launch in Europe on September 19th and across North America on September 25th.