First Level: LittleBigPlanet PSP

We go hands on with the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet.

LittleBigPlanet was a surprise. Yes, I was expecting it to be good, but nowhere near as fun, addictive and downright playable as it was – I still want to dedicate a full weekend to making a level, for example, and Media Molecule’s constant drip feeding of DLC means the game always manages to stay fresh.  And whilst the team aren’t, apparently, working on a sequel, that hasn’t stopped Sony Cambridge from taking the initiative and producing a smaller, slimmed down LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation Portable. 

Yesterday I got my hands on the game, and 1.3GB later I’m here to tell you all about it.

Well, I say all about it – this being a First Level means I’m not in a position to talk extensively about the Create mode because a) I’ve only just unlocked it and b) It should probably have it’s own article.  Rest assured though that a few concessions aside, such as simpler building blocks, it’s almost exactly the same as the PS3 version and hugely impressive given the host platform.  To be honest I was surprised that Create mode was still in there, because I’m assuming the effect required to get it to work on the PS3 was fairly immense, let alone cramming practically the exact same thing into the much more humble PSP.

But that methodology appears to have carried over into the full game, too – the Story mode (again voiced by Stephen Fry) is rather brilliant, this time based more closely on the Earth (you start in Australia before moving onto China) with each continent having its own set of levels and a distinct visual identity.  There’s even the secret keys to find which unlock some rather brilliant minigames, just as with the PS3 version.  I’m impressed so far with the 6 or 7 levels I’ve played through – they’re all brand new, just as craftily created as ever, and crammed full of collectables ensuring masses of replayability.

Controls work just as you’d expect – X is jump, R is grab, d-pad for expressions, SQUARE brings out the pop-it menu and so on – and the PSP version carries exactly the same aethestics through from its big brother.  You’ve still got customisable Sackboys, stickers and everything else from the PS3 title except multiplayer, which actually isn’t as big a deal as you might expect.  The graphics are gorgeous, the sounds just as appealing as you’d want and the new, original music is rather brilliant.  Honestly, even the PSP version’s limited 3D depth (there’s 2 fields, rather than 3) works in its favour bringing simpler controls and tighter levels.

I’m impressed, this is brilliant. More soon.

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