WeView: LittleBigPlanet Karting

Media Molecule developed a 2.5D platformer that no one is going to forget any time soon with LittleBigPlanet, but it was always part of their vision – and Sony’s vision – to extend the brand. While they have moved on to Tearaway and other projects, United Front Games took the helm of LittleBigPlanet Karting, developing on previous ideas which they had started with ModNation Racers.

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At its core, LBP Karting was still about the user-generated content – that Play, Create, Share idea that Media Molecule had crafted, though it was somewhat limited in its execution in comparison to LittleBigPlanet 2, for example, due to the nature of the game. While LBP 2 was all about creating full games in new, exciting ways, Karting was more about modifying tracks and creating the best Mario Kart clone around.

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That’s not to say it was bad, and it was widely regarded as a great game, releasing alongside F1 Race Stars and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, at a time when kart racers had a bit of a boost. Overall, LBP Karting received a Metacritic score of 73, while F1 was lower at 61 and Sonic was higher at 82.

It’s generally held that Sonic Transformed was the best karting game last year, and probably the best around until Mario Kart 8 is out next year. This was shown in our Showdown article, with SEGA’s game coming out on top, “not because it’s best at everything but because it’s a better all-rounder”.

Anyway, I digress. We also did a sort of review of LBP Karting, where we didn’t score the game as we couldn’t access the online portion. We did say, however:

LittleBigPlanet Karting probably ticks just enough boxes to call itself a success, in the right hands. United Front have taken solid foundations, wrapped them around an existing (and very different) IP and just about made it work. The track editor is glorious, Sackboy’s customisation is a treat as ever, and with some friends the racing will be – hopefully – pretty popular. It’s not perfect, by any stretch, but it’s not bad either. Creative types will dig this the most, but that’s true of any LittleBigPlanet game, right?

It sounds quite good, though I couldn’t get into it until some time later, downloading it free on PlayStation Plus – I think my main problem was how slow it was, along with the strong ties to ModNation and LittleBigPlanet making it ultimately feel like more of the same.

What did you think, though? That’s what we’re here to find out! Simply drop a comment below with a quick review of the game, telling us how your experience was. Don’t forget to put a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end. We’ll round-up all of your reviews and scores in a Verdict article next Monday, so get your comments submitted before Sunday afternoon for a chance to be included!

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6 Comments

  1. It’s all right. Bargain Bin It!

  2. I really enjoyed LBPK, if felt like a more polished version of Modnation Racers with some added modes. At the same time it was still very much LBP from the look and feel of the game down to the menus.

    Personally I liked it a lot more than F1 and Sonic Transformed due to the number of modes and level of customisation.

    I would say Buy It because of the replayability and variety but if it was an option I’d say really you should just get PS+ as it’s currently available on that.

  3. A decent spin off with great customisation options and online service. I did find the karting to be largely underwhelming not even really holding up a great deal to the mechanics of CTR. Its little big planet with karts, has Stephen Fry in it and its for free on plus.

    It is not worth a purchase but certainly ps+ it.

  4. After playing Crash Team Racing a lot with my house mates I was looking for something that could allow more people to play, and this game is perfect for that, and just as good. It’s fun, explosive, and really competitive. Perfect for party play. As always the customization is brilliant. As a single player game it’s a little boring, so BARGAIN BIN IT.

  5. Avoid this like the plague. The karting feels horrible. It’s extremely diffcult to pick up obstacles and the different routea because of the garish colours used for almost all the levels and the computer AI is really cheap on single player. I didn’t buy this but got it through PS+ thankfully but it really is a let down to the Little Big Planet brand. I love all the other little big planet games but this really is a terrible blot on the it’s record. I tried to enjoy this but it’s just awful. Mod Nation racers handled so much better and apart from the loading times was loads of fun online. it’s nowhere near Mario kart which is obviously the pinnacle of the genre. Avoid avoid avoid!

  6. It’s only £5 in Sainsburys. I remember the TSA comparison article, and from playing the demos, I think I probably agree, Sonic was the best out of the three.

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