The wonderful Sackboy makes his first appearance on the PlayStation Vita.
A mysterious new planet has emerged inthe dark cosmos and you’re introduced to the fairground world of Carnivalia, where the bright lights have faded and all is not as it seems. Where fun and laughter once echoed through this wonderful planet, filled with carnival sideshows, exciting rides and an endless amount of entertainment, lurks a shadowy figure known as The Puppeteer who manages to control the funfair for his own devious means. However, The Puppeteer does not work alone and is assisted by his trusty army of Hollows. These emotionless sackboy-like drones are driven to wreaking havoc wherever they can throughout this beautiful fun fair. Unfortunately The Puppeteer spreads out his bitterness across LittleBigPlanet by taking all of the love, happiness and joy. His days of entertaining the residents of LittleBigPlanet with his puppet shows are long gone, and he is determined to unleash his hordes of drones onto the planet, consuming every pocket of goodness and happiness that ever once existed in it.
The local circus ring leader has called upon your courageous services to track down the evil puppeteer, close down his plans and restore the planet to its cute and charming self. Before long you are whisked off by Colonel Flounder who wants to teach you the ways of the Carnivalian to defeat the evil puppeteer, and it is here that you learn the basics of gameplay and find your first prize bubbles, containing such treats as stickers, costumes and items to decorate the LittleBigPlanet world or, if you’re feeling creative, sticking around your sackboy sized pod, the hub around which the game is centered.
LittleBigPlanet takes advantage of the power of the PS vita touchscreen and you can now move objects around with the touch of a finger. Objects can be dragged and inserted into position, allowing Sackboy to use his environment in a more valuable way, such as moving objects to jump upon, or using the various dotted sliders that will enable access to closed off playing areas. It’s a simple, yet genius concept allowing you to feel fully engaged in the LittleBigPlanet experience. On the PS3 it would be a simple button tap, but the PS Vita features allow you to have a more hands-on experience with a tap or swipe on the touchscreen. Before long you’ll be bouncing and catapulting from springy pads to reach all the prize bubbles, and using the grappling hook to grab anything spongy or soft and safely make your way over burning fire pits or avoid being vaporized by a series of lasers. The worlds are very colourful and creative, and players will find themselves jumping up and down on piano keys or sliding past musical notes. You’ll need to discover the various keys for some side level fun and LittleBigPlanet Vita has a number of areas that will require some two player co-op action to be completed.
You begin your journey as the playable Sackboy or Sackgirl as you try your best to unravel the mysteries behind Carnivalia. If you’ve played the LittleBigPlanet series before, and are playing it on the PS Vita then you’ve made a worthwhile investment for your handheld. LittleBigPlanet Vita plays exactly like the previous games, but this time enables you to utilize the PlayStation Vita’s touch screens controls to interact and engage in the environment in a more direct way. LittleBigPlanet Vita is still very much a cute and charming platformer and the player will find themselves collecting an endless supply of prize bubbles and completing levels in good time to reach outstanding high scores.
You’ll spend your time immersed in the wonderful and creative world of LittleBigPlanet, jumping from level to level, negotiating fire pits to weaving yourself in and out of foregrounds and backgrounds trying not to fall onto spikes below, while trying to hold on for dear life to a grapple hook.
LittleBigPlanet Vita introduces The Arcade within the game, which allows you to engage in some classic mini game goodness. It is here that you can take a break from the main storyline and have some portable fun with mini games such as Super Conductor, where the objective of the game is to power all of the processors within a unit by manipulating a series of junctions to a battery to charge a processor. It’s a small puzzle game where by you have to complete each level as quickly as possible to achieve a three star rating. The early levels are very easy, but before long it pushes the brain to the limits. Another mini game I really enjoyed was Tapling, in which you negotiate a blob through a dark and gloomy forest labyrinth to unlock a series of cages in which a white blob has been captured. It’s really great fun, even if you do get spiked and fall to your doom on your journey.
The level of user creativity and the personal touch is once more the emphasis of the game, with your imagination being the playing field. You’ll find a wide variety of stickers and objects to use not only in your pod, but within the LittleBigPlanet World. You’ve got access to My Levels, which gives you a step-by-step guide on everything from getting around and editing stickers, to making your very own levels and playing with gadgets. Decorate your designs in different materials from basic wood to patchwork designs, the choice is completely yours. You can even add a variety of effects from fluffy white clouds to droplets of rain. The possibilities are endless and will probably take a great chunk of your time, especially if you are creatively minded.
LittleBigPlanet wouldn’t be LBP without its online presence, which you can rest assured, is massive. You’ll soon discover yourself engaged and the hours slipping by at a accelerated rate as you enjoy the online experience of playing within other players’ levels, having strangers playing beside you or meeting up in your pod for the odd sackboy party. With the level of creation, and downloadable costumes and content, you’ll be hard pressed to find a PlayStation Vita title more packed than this one. LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is everything you could possibly want in a handheld title and more.
It’s like Christmas every day when you switch on your Vita, knowing that there will be something new and exciting to experience each time in LittleBigPlanet Vita. The endearing charm will warm fluffy feeling every time. If you’ve never ventured into the world of Sackboy and LittleBigPlanet before, then you are in for a treat. With the magical Sackboy touch, this is the best reason to buy a Vita. Take little Sackboy’s hand and begin your journey.