LittleBigPlanet Karting looks and feels like LittleBigPlanet, complete with Fry, Sackboy, the Pop-it! and countless other LBP staples that have been there since the first PlayStation 3 version. This is both good and bad: it’s good because it’s familiar and it’s easy to navigate and customise if you’re a LBP fan, but it’s bad because it doesn’t lend itself to straightforward post-pub action for anyone not that used to the way Media Molecule crafted their menu system. Loading times are swift, though, and visually it’s reasonable enough. The game runs at 30 frames per second.
F1’s presentation is lovely, all big chunky buttons and obvious prompts, set across a mostly unified user interface. It’s easy to jump into a race, even if a couple of the menus aren’t fully explained, and loading times are very quick. The game runs at 60 frames per second (most of the time) too, and the visuals are beautiful, all pastel colours and big thick lines. It’s a lovely game to look at, especially when there’s a busy pack of racers ahead.
Sonic opts for 30 frames per second, and looks mostly fine. There’s some hefty load times on the PS3, though – an option to install the game to the hard drive would have been most welcome. The menu clunks and drags along a bit too, although in game it’s all nice and slick as you’d hope. There’s something of a plasticky feel to the visuals, but they’re pleasant enough and over the massive range of levels and race types it’s all consistent.
We’d probably say F1 looks the best and is easiest to get into, Sonic next, then LittleBigPlanet bringing up the rear. All three of them could learn from Nintendo though, and strip those menus back to ensure there’s no confusion.
Presentation winner: F1 Race Stars.