Prior to this past weekend, I had never really played any of the LittleBigPlanet titles. I was always curious, of course, but for one reason or another, I never acted on that curiosity. I have now spent the last five days playing, re-playing, and creating my way through a preview version of LittleBigPlanet on my PS Vita, and I find myself eagerly anticipating its full release next month. The PlayStation Vita has been in a bit of a long-term slump since its launch, as far as its library is concerned, but E3 gave us a look at what we could expect for the rest of this year, and I think LittleBigPlanet Vita will be a strong part of that entertainment salvo.
I’m not a visually creative individual. I draw stick figures, but even my stick figures have lopsided heads and lack straight arms or legs. With that in mind, you can understand why the creative aspect of the LittleBigPlanet games was always very intimidating. They are, after all, visual mediums for creating completely unique and wonderful environments with nothing more than a blank canvas and an increasingly larger supply of materials. With LittleBigPlanet Vita, that supply of materials has increased yet again to previously undreamt of heights. Aside from the ability to build environments using new mechanics, thanks to the PS Vita’s dual touchscreens, you can now use the PS Vita’s cameras to create stickers and environments taken from your waking world. The game itself understands that the creative aspect is incredibly robust and complex, so an in-depth tutorial is provided to help you wrap your head around what this system can truly do.
For those of you who are Sackboys or Sackgirls at heart, take note: you can now build save points into your custom built levels so that your own self-imposed limitations on size due to single session playability are now a thing of the past.
Being slightly more artistic than, say, a dog, the creative mode is fun to dabble with, but is not where I spend my LittleBigPlanet time. My time is spent adventuring through the game itself, and when they become available, through the levels created by others who possess far more skill and talent than I. Platforming through LittleBigPlanet Vita is at once relaxing and focused. This newest iteration of LittleBigPlanet takes full advantage of the PS Vita’s hardware, utilizing the front and rear touchpads, as well as the accelerometer and camera, sometimes using various mechanics in conjunction. From a selection of arcade games to a whack-a-mole of Sackboys using the touchscreen, LBPV has me intrigued.
At the end of the day, the best thing I think I can say about the preview version of LittleBigPlanet Vita is that it is the direct cause of my upcoming original LittleBigPlanet marathon. I’m hooked, and I can’t stop playing.