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    mfthomps's LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

    [August 24, 2009 01:13:23 AM]
    GAMEPLAY

    Although I have never been a huge fan of playing online, I did try this time around. And although I tried about 3 or 4 times, most of the players who entered were to busy changing their outfits or goofing around rather than actually progressing through the level, which was a bit frustrating, since most levels actually have one or two multiplayer puzzles, which means of course that with out another person you are unable attain certain items without the help of another. Also, I found that it at times makes the game a bit sluggish to have another person join in from another console. So, I asked my roommate to pick up a controller and found that playing with her was much much easier and a whole lot more fun as each level is a competition as well as team effort. Whoever gets the most points (by collecting bubbles) is declared the winner of that level. Also because we are playing on the same console (but under different user names) any stickers, objects, etc. either of us collect counts on both of our separate profiles (even if I am playing on her account with my user name), which is quite handy.

    I mentioned previously about how humor is very much a huge part of what makes this game such a joy to play. I just encountered a moving enemy in the Islands world (which is essentially a sort of edo-like place) and the enemies are ninjas, and sumo wrestlers, which I expected, but also SUSHI. Yes, sushi, with little eyes (there was one with egg, one with shrimp, and so on). I almost died laughing. What an idea for an obstacle. That is creativity at it's best!

    As of my last session, although I haven't finished my own level (this may take awhile!) I did create my very own obstacle that bears a remarkable resemblance to Kirby(lovable round pink character from classic NES and SNES games such as Kirby's Adventure and Kirby Super Star). My only problem, which is somewhat frustrating is that I am unable to make him move because he is a bit to complex apparently. I am not sure as to why it's not working, but I was hoping to make a rolling, talking Kirby-esque object, but it will not move because there is too much attached to it (because you must attach a brain in order for an object to move and in a sense you are making your own CPU).

    DESIGN

    Just as it is the most creative, having layers is at times the most annoying part of the game. Trying to move from back to front at times is difficult. Often you'll swing back in forth between layers when you meant to stay in the same one and vice versa when you decide you want to change layers. As for online play most of the time I found people asking to join my game. Sometimes they would end up leaving in two seconds or I would have to kick them out for doing something weird like simply grabbing on to me and trying to pull me into harm's way. Another challenge I noticed is that when playing online the chat mode is a bit difficult without a keyboard. It's like typing on a cell phone (and not an iphone, mind you). Also trying to find players to connect with. You have to connect with people before the level, which was a bit weird to figure out. Therefore, communication is a bit difficult and that really is key to pulling off the multiplayer sections, at least in my opinion. I really preferred accomplishing those sections with a friend, since we could discuss strategies, and laugh together when we failed miserably. Either way, a keyboard and headset are extra accessories Nevertheless, it's an incredibly addictive game.

    I do like the idea of having to play a level multiple times. Trying to get everything in one turn is a bit ridiculous, so you can spread it out. One time, try to ace it (i.e. not die) and just focus on that rather than trying to rack up items and points. It totally changes your strategy depending on your goal is for this particular run through of the level. One time, I may be working to get certain objects that are hard to reach, in which case I make use of check points by returning to certain ones that haven't been used up (Each time you die, you return to a checkpoint, which is a lit up circle, and the light in the circle decreases every time you die, until it's red, meaning if you die again, you have to start over). So basically, if you have a red checkpoint, you can go back to an earlier one that may not have been completely used up. That way you may have to start earlier in the level but it's better than starting over completely. Also, another nice element is that every time you collect something, regardless of whether or not you complete the level, you keep the items you found (another factor that changes your strategy each time).

    The downside of this however, is that acing a level is sometimes ridiculously frustrating because most of the time, the easiest time to die is towards the end of the level, meaning you must start all over. Although this makes sense from the standpoint that games are supposed to be challenging, it is a bit tedious to keep redoing a level over and over. I still wouldn't change it though, as difficult as it can be at times. Mostly because if I struggle with something, I stop and move on to something else, but always revisit it after I've had a bit of a breather. I find that's the best way to handle difficult situations in most games/

    As I mentioned before, each world has a different theme, and thus a very different level design. In the Metropolis, you drive a car for different sections of the first level (which is appropriately named "lowrider," because including the car you drive, other cars have a button that makes the front of the shoot upward (like a lowrider). This is only something you can find in Metropolis though, as it is a rather humorous take on stereotypical americans and american life (most worlds are like this, and the Brits who created this game also poke fun at their own stereotypes in the very first world which features Henry the 8th). I have never played a game that can change so drastically every stage you play. Even within certain worlds, each level offers it's own unique obstacles. The second level of Metropolis, the subway, involves jumping from car to car on a subway as well as traveling on lifts.

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    [August 24, 2009 12:20:02 AM]
    SUMMARY

    Little Big Planet, on the surface, seems like a cute but glorified 3D side scrolling game, is much MUCH more than say a super mario sort of "jump and grab coins" game. You start off controlling a sac person, and each world you travel to has specific goals in each level, but overall the point of the game is to collect prize bubbles: stickers, objects, outfits, etc. Now, normally this would seem a bit pointless, but the reason for collecting these items is not only so you can give your sac person a unique outfit and hairdo. It is so that you can build YOUR OWN unique levels, via the "MyMoon" option (instead of traveling the world and completing stages, you can create your own by going to your own personal moon!) You may also publish them on the web if you have an internet connection so that other players can try your stages out for themselves.


    GAMEPLAY

    So far, I have only played by myself in the Little Big Planet world. Characters are exactly what you make of them. Essentially they are avatars that can have fangs, wild fros, wrestling masks (you name it!). Don't mistake this for a cute version of Second Life though. As someone who's enrolled in a game design class, with no experience whatsoever in programming, it is incredibly fascinating to be able to create your own level, yes YOUR OWN personal mario-esq side scrolling level with obstacles that can be cut in any shape your heart desires from any material you've collected in story mode (you can even light said objects on fire!) To ad the competitive element to your stage, you may add bubbles (which give points when you run into them). I've only been through the tutorials on how to create your own world (there are around 30... so far), which should tell you just how creative you can get with your levels.

    As for story mode (as well as create mode I suppose), one of the more creative aspects involves the multiple layers of a 3D side scrolling adventure as opposed to Super Mario Brothers. Often levels must be played multiple times to acquire all prizes and each level is rather different from the next. For example, in one level you are trying to outrun a giant machine while avoiding lava pits and grabbing items (as it swings multiple things at you). And yet, in another you'll be trying to break a man out of prison by learning about using bombs (some of which explode on impact!). Your surroundings are always rather creative, which makes for a fun and entertaining environment.
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    Status

    mfthomps's LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 18 August, 2009

    Opinion
    mfthomps's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on LittleBigPlanet

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : LittleBigPlanet (PS3) by jp (rating: 5)
    2 : LittleBigPlanet (PS3) by Peely-1993 (rating: 5)

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