When I first got Little Big Planet
, it was a lot of fun. I hopped online and quickly played other levels that other people made, and created a few of my own. I jumped into online multiplayer games whenever possible, hoping to find good 4-player groups.
Later, I got New Super Mario Bros Wii
. It lacked the incredible level editor of Little Big Planet
, its physics, and even the online play. But I kept coming back to it and playing it with my brother, although I felt that it was a royal injustice how it managed to sell more copies than Little Big Planet
, a game with far more features, a robust level editor, and online level sharing. How could Mario
outsell a game that represents what Mario
When my brother and I attempted to return to Little Big Planet
, even playing other people's levels, we just couldn't get back into it. It just wasn't that fun anymore.
My younger brother explained the reason to me, and I'd been thinking the same thing: "You know, the platforming mechanics just aren't that good." I soon remembered that my older brother, when I tried to show him the game back at the time I was still enthralled with it, had said: "This game looks like it'll impress people who like to make levels, but the gameplay doesn't look that good."
Sadly, I now have to agree. There's plenty of platforming challenges, puzzle-based levels, vehicle driving levels, and tons of other ideas created in the community by players. There are also amazing levels designed simply to show off, putting players in fun situations like shooting at dinosaurs with a paint gun and riding a train through a city to escape. But the actual jumping and movement mechanics just don't have the polish of a Mario
game. And the coolest levels out there are largely such because of scripting and flash, not because of the high quality of their gameplay.
Don't get me wrong, Little Big Planet
represents a huge step forward in giving creative control to the player, and truly amazing things have been done with its editor. And the ability to share levels online with the community, and play with total strangers in either your levels or theirs, is a stroke of genius.
But sadly, the core gameplay could use some work. Fix that, and you'll have an undisputable masterpiece.