LittleBigPlanet is a video game on the PlayStation 3, and was supposed to be one of its killer apps. It's based on the basic idea of customizable, user-created funhouse levels. Critics loved it (for example, it received a perfect 10 in Edge), but initial sales were disappointing (they got better). This is possibly because it was one of the greatest 2D (okay, 2½D) platformers ever made... at a time when 2D platformers were about as relevant to gaming culture as vaudeville is to Broadway theater. (at least in the U.S.)However, this doesn't stop the number of user-generated levels from reaching over seven million as of this writing. As Wikipediaputs it, its gameplay "revolves around the player's control of small avatars, known as Sackboys or Sackgirls owing to their Stitch Punk appearance, in a variety of platforming scenarios. Though the game features a set of pre-built levels for players to explore, of equal importance is the game's customizable nature, from altering the player's character and personal space, to building entirely new objects and levels, and then sharing and playing them online as part of the LittleBigPlanet community." It includes narration by Stephen Fry. That's right, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now your Guide to this galaxy.There is also a LittleBigPlanet game on the Playstation Portable with entirely different levels but the same gameplay and features.Now we have the PS3 sequel, LittleBigPlanet 2, which dramatically improves the editing tools available for the players.... Did we tell you that there's also a sequel for the Playstation Vita? And a... kart racing game? Oh, and now a 3rd main entry announced at E3 2014 for the Playstation 4 and 3 due out this November!In the midst of this string of sequels, the Sackboy was made a playable fighter in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale with the Sackgirl as a Pre-Order Bonus.
Tropes present throughout the entire series:
2½D: Full 3D graphics with 2D gameplay. A unique twist is that your character can switch between three layer planes on command.
Asteroids Monster: In the second game, there is a survival level called Attack Of The Mutant Marshmallows in which huge lethal pink marshmallows bounce around & you get points for zapping them. Zapping them causes them to multiply into smaller duplicates. The amount of times a marshmallow can multiply & the size of the resulting duplicates depend on its original size.
Automatic New Game: Starting these games drops you into the tutorial/opening credits as the default brown knit Sackboy.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: A less observable phenomenon throughout the series and does not apply literally. However, it is worth noting that about the same weeks that notable DLC packs come out (eg Metal Gear Solid, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.), a lot of levels simply containing the new content begin to surface, sucking up all the ratings and fame that they can get before the said content becomes ordinary. Probably the biggest example of this was when the Pirates of the Caribbean DLC came out, resulting in thousands of people spamming levels consisting of nothing but water with the occasional rocket-powered boat.
Character Customization: When you start the game, you only get a few costume pieces. Playing the story levels and collecting prize bubbles can get you new costume pieces. Of course, if you want to dress up as Deadpool, or Garfield, there's also Downloadable Content.
Everything's Better with Robot rabbits, canines, and hamsters.
Genre-Busting: Try explaining this to someone who hasn't really played it. The first game is a platformer, but encourages you to build whatever kind of level you want, whether it be an actual level in the vein of Mario or just a music or set-piece showcase. The second game, however, looks to embrace this wholeheartedly, as it was marketed as a platform for games rather than a platform game. The main game showcases some unique gameplay styles, including a side-scrolling shooter that looks like a retro arcade game. The overall effect is a mashup of Gmod for consoles, Mario, winks and nods toward Monty Python-style humor, and sinister weaponized cuteness.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: There are a few winks and nods, such as Stephen Fry telling you not to smirk when he talks about making rods stiff and erect (for use in contraption-building) during a tutorial.
Others include stripper meerkats, complete with the pole and bunny ears, seen in the Meerkat Kingdom level.
When faced with a moving spike hazard in the Islands, you'll find fresh blood stains on the floor and walls.
Eve's design demonstrates... well... you'd never think anyone would be able to make a sexy apple, and yet here it is.
The Asylum is hippie-themed, except for Eve herself... Medicinal drugs, anyone?
In the second level of Avalonia, when The Negativatron attacks, Avalon exclaims, "My impregnable fortress has been impregnated!"
In "Boom Town", the word "kinky" is on a dial, and the lyrics in the song are "had sex, had sex, had sex."
The "kinky" in that stage is on a music item. The picture, specifically.
Level Editor: Said to be better than the tools Media Molecule uses.
Living Toy: Sack people definitely look the part and are made of the right materials, but they don't seem to have ever been intended to be a toy in-verse.
One-Hit-Point Wonder: Sackboy can't really take much damage before exploding or getting thrown off and popping out of the last checkpoint. The only exception is fire, which causes him to get singed and hop away, hopefully toward safer ground. If he touches it twice in succession, he's dead.
Oxygen Meter: If a Sackperson stays underwater for 30 seconds without resurfacing or reaching a Bubble Maker, they pop from lack of air.
Please Subscribe to Our Channel: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a genuine comment that's actually about a level, and not begging you to play/heart the commenter's own levels. Note — This is nigh impossible. Even Liquid Ocelot resorts to spamming to garner hearts — see below.
Power Creep, Power Seep: In the Metal Gear Solid themed expansion pack, Liquid Ocelot's plan is to flood LBP with pointless trophy levels so that he can be loved, and the Metal Gear itself is essentially beaten by a Sackboy with a paintball gun.
Score Multiplier: Collecting five Score Bubbles, Prize Bubbles, or creature brains in any combination in a short timeframe gives you a 2x Multiplier. You then have about a second to collect five more of the above to increase the multiplier by one. The multiplier goes up to 100, with any bubbles collected after that added to the points that will be multiplied. In the games with the Score Giver, items tagged with it can be set to follow those rules or be worth +1 on the multiplier anyway.
Socialization Bonus: The only way to get some of the rare items in story mode. Two areas of the POTC pack also have this, but the MGS pack (and all other DLC levels) can be fully completed by yourself.
Speaking Simlish: Magic Mouths have an option that allows them to emit various versions of this.
Spikes Of Doom: The kind that kill you from the side, too. In the second game, placing enough non-danger tweakers on them removes the lethality.
Stealth Pun: Sackboy's default look is stated to be made of hessian material. It's also worth mentioning a few of his outfit sets are themed around various types of soldiers.
Sturgeon's Law: As expected of anything soliciting content from the general public, a lot of the user-created levels are... not so good. However, with over 7 million levels to pick from, that leaves a good 700,000 that range from pretty good to fantastically awesome.
Tremor Trampoline: Can be invoked by attaching the structure of an entire level to a piston that moves up and down fast enough to make everything bounce.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: More so in the sequel. LBP1 featured unlockable side levels containing various mini-games, but they were completely optional. In LBP2, about halfway through the main storyline (that is, ignoring the side levels), conventional platforming starts taking a backseat to top-down and side-scrolling shmups and other arcade genres.
Bowdlerise: One of the songs, Tapha Niang, originally contained two passages from the Koran; to not offend any Muslims who might object to the use of the quotes, Sony delayed the game right before its launch in order to patch the discs in order to replace the song with a version without the lyrics.
Collection Sidequest: Getting all of the prizes may seem like this, but they can actually be useful.
Deadly Gas: Two Words: Horrible Gas. If a Sackperson touches it (even with their arms or feet, not just their head), they dissolve. Horrible Gas actually comes in six colors, but green is the most common. The others are used mostly to make the player think it's something else, like gray gas for fog, or purple gas for some kind of monster-related thing, as seen in the "Monsters" level pack. Unless it's deliberately attached to something else (done by gluing a material to a Piston or another material before lethalizing it with the Horrible Gas Tool, as shown by the ghosts of the third level of The Gardens), it stays in place and cannot be moved. Anything that isn't a Sackperson can move through the gas, however. A lot of level creators have this as their hazard of choice, though electrified materials and the plasma balls of the Metal Gear Solid pack are just as lethal. Fire, on the other hand, takes two hits to kill a Sackperson.
Used somewhat cleverly in Boomtown. The guy who tells you to rescue Uncle Jalapeno, his mouth has the gas. Meaning you can literally die from his breath.
Endless Game: The user levels have grown beyond the point where a person could ever hope to play them all.
Least severe was the terrible, horrible server lag that was apparent for the first few months of the game, rendering it nearly unplayable online, despite the online connectivity being one of the main points of the game.
Many players encountered a bug that, when making a large grab-able material spin extremely fast in the level editor and grabbing on, they would no longer be able to respawn, stuck on some sort of infinite pseudo-death loop. Returning to the pod (main menu, basically) continued this, and this persisted even upon resetting the game, rendering the game completely unplayable for those affected. The only way to undo this was to delete the entire save data.
Still prancing around is the bug that makes your file completely unable to save new data (and gives no error indicating this. The game only autosaves), apparently brought on by having too many custom/community objects, and it's supposedly fixable by deleting all of that and avoiding community objects like the plague. Obviously, nobody wants to do this either.
In the second level, Get A Grip, items can disappear, with the only known cure being to start a new file and hope your luck hasn't run out. The "Moody Cloud" sticker is one of the more common disappearances.
Video Game Cruelty Potential:The second-to-last level has all the characters you've met up to this point locked up. It's possible to not rescue any of them, except for the King and Queen, because they're your ride to the end of the level.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Pipe Dreams, there is a symbol of a fist, where you are supposed to make the index and pinky fingers rise to create the hand that rockers use. If you make the middle finger rise, a "Denied" box appears over the finger before it fully rises.
Down in the Dumps: The final level of The Factory of a Better Tomorrow and the levels of The Cosmos that are on the Negativitron.
Technically, Sackboy counts as a Sixth Ranger for the Alliance, since Sackboy's the last to join.
Game-Breaking Bug: The Lethal Sackboy glitch, which results into "Spawn-Pop Cancer". For reasons unknown, doing the glitch sometimes leads to becoming lethal to YOURSELF. Meaning that you did as you spawn, repeatedly. If this happens, you'll need to import an old save. Hope you made a backup!
According to Game Informer's June 2010 reveal of LBP2, all story mode themes were supposed to have a clash of themes: Da Vinci's Study mixed modern technology with the Renaissance, Avalonia was described as "Fluffy High-Tech," the Factory of a Better Tomorrow included neon styling and Cold War-esque propaganda, Eve's Asylum was "based on a designed, controlled version of nature," and The Cosmos fused LBP's classic handmade look with old-school arcade graphics.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: One boss fight has you fighting one of the Negativitron's ships while protecting Avalon's ship, and keeping it from taking too much damage. However, once you deal the final blow, the enemy ship shoots a missile and brings down Avalon's ship anyway.
Hey, It's That Guy!: Sadly, subverted; that's notJohn Cleese as the voice of Larry Da Vinci, as a careful scan of the credits will tell you. However, that won't stop you from flinching when you first hear Da Vinci speak.
Hoist by His Own Petard: In the PlayStation Move level pack, the Cakeling, a sentient cake, attempts to bake the Sackbots and Victoria into a cake, as an act of revenge. In the final battle, he gets knocked into the oven himself, and baked into a non-sentient dessert.
Kaizo Trap: In the third boss stage, when Copernicus comes back on fire and Clive defeats him for good, if you're standing too close to the area where he falls, there's a chance you'll fall along with him.
In the Cosmos level "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Negativitron (Part 1)," there's a malfunctioning arcade machine that a Sackbot is trying to fix. Entering the controllinator and inputting the code makes it explode and sets the Sackbot on fire, prompting him to run away. Behind the machine on the wall is a message of stickers that, on a phone keyboard, says Free Love.
Serial Escalation: According to one estimate, LBP has so many levels (over 8 million now) that it'd take more than an entire human lifetime to play all of them. And they're (with a few exceptions like certain Good Bad Bug-based levels) 100% compatible with the sequel.
Super Not-Drowning Skills: The "Scuba Gear" powerup. Made safer by the fact that you can't take it off while you're in water, unless you touch an Enhancement Remover. Of course, it doesn't protect you from other underwater hazards...
Tree Top Town: Eve's Asylum for the Mentally Alternative, although it's more of an insane asylum than a town.
Another of the "Cruelty" variety: Way too many people make levels where all you do is kill your friends, either until you get bored or the other guys get fed up and leave. Usually, it's the latter that happens to most people.
Wall Jump: With the DC Comics pack, there's a new Wall Jump Material and Tweaker.
Apocalyptic Log: You find The Puppeteer's diary just before the final boss.
Cloudcuckoolander: Mrs. Sunshine. She has tons of imaginary friends that she made up to keep her company while she was lost in the Spooky Mansion. These imaginary friends in turn have what she believes to be imaginary friends, who are actually real people.
Everybody Laughs Ending: An actual plot point that helps The Puppeteer find joy again, turning all the Hollows back into their normal selves.
The Man Behind the Man: Throughout the game, you are led to believe that The Puppeteer is the main villain, but it turns out that The Hollows are actually behind everything, and have locked The Puppeteer up.
Perverse Puppet: The Hollows. It turns out that the characters that you meet are a much friendlier version of this.
Rise to the Challenge: The boss of Jackpot City is this, where you must ascend through an obstacle course to avoid getting vaporized by the rising laser below, while chasing the giant computer brain up the tunnel.
Nostalgia Level: The entire first world is based on the Gardens, Wedding, Savannah, and Canyons settings from the first game in the series.
Rocket Punch: One of the power-ups you get for being behind the competition is this, which you ride on.
Self Plagiarism: LBP Karting is often accused of being redundant as it intrudes on a niche already filled by Modnation Racers. As a matter of fact, the developers of Modnation Racers co-developed this game.
Soundtrack Dissonance: In the racetrack "Mine the Gap", you race through a mine. The music playing in this level? "Inmóvil" by Mexican quintet Kinky. Its lyrics are in Spanish, but the whole song is about lust and loneliness in the digital age. The official music video for this song is definitely NSFW, as it has full frontal female nudity and a man following a beautiful woman to a topless bar as she strips. This is a song that was included in a game that is rated E by the ESRB, and it plays in a Minecart Madness level, no less.
Fishbone's contribution to the soundtrack, on the other hand, despite bearing the title "Skankin' to the Beat", is a fairly innocent little song* save for one mild sexual reference named after a reggae dance move.