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PlayStation Vita  header logo

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita

For: PS Vita

LittleBigProblem

Product: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | Developer: Tarsier Studios | Developer: Double Eleven | Publisher: Sony Europe | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Platform | Players: 1-4 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
 
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Back when I previewed LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, I was struck by just how close it was to LittleBigPlanet 2 for PS3.

The resemblance is still striking, and it's undeniably impressive to see a game of this calibre running on a system you can chuck in your bag.

However, while this remarkable parity is LittleBigPlanet PS Vita's strongest selling point, it's also the source of its biggest issue.

This Vita version is trying so much to be like the latest home console outing that it forgets to truly innovate beyond a few clumsy attempts at integrating the touchscreens and Sixaxis into play.

Of course LittleBigPlanet 2 is a very good game in its own right, and Tarsier Studios has done well to reproduce that experience on a portable. Where you could clearly see the cut corners in LittleBigPlanet for PSP, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is the real deal. Consequently, the gameplay transfers wonderfully.

In stitches

After listening to Stephen Fry chat about the power of creativity, you're given a Sackperson to customise. This task achieved, you go gadding about the single-player mode.

Fry sticks closely by your side for the first hour or so before quietly retreating to let you make your own progress, offering advice when something new crops up.

The customisation options just for your Sackperson - let alone your hub-like Pod - are staggering. Unlocking outfits, stickers, decorations, and more by collecting item bubbles throughout each level gives you the impetus to explore and take risks in pursuit of lovely new hats and the like.

Many of these items also increase the number of parts to work with as you build your own levels. It's simpler than ever to create something cool quickly, or something achingly intricate over the course of an evening.

Touch too much

The process through which you gain access to all of this content - the platforming - is enjoyable enough, but it falls short of previous games in the series.

One problem is that there's very little challenge, with a minuscule number of enemies to face and fewer points where you'll feel any sort of genuine threat for your Sackperson's safety. Rather than the cheeky cool of previous entries, this one's a bit touchy-feely.

Speaking of which, you're asked to tap, swipe, or rub either the touchscreen or the rear touchpad throughout your adventure, and the experience is less than perfect: when you try and move your character around while pressing on the touchscreen to shift an object about, the game often forgets your input, meaning that you drop whatever you're carrying.

Even if you do manage to master the controls in single-player, you'll really struggle when online - the multiplayer is generally atrocious, with very noticeable lag. While getting access to (and publishing your own) community-made levels is fast, having four players in a party invariably cripples your game session.

Point one

Despite all this, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is still worth every penny. There's plenty of content included, the community is already creating its own levels, and the added bonus of transferring items you purchased in previous games is the stitched icing on the cloth cake.

But there's no escaping the sense that this is LittleBigPlanet 2.1, albeit with a LittleBigPlanet 3 price tag. While it's fun to play, it does nothing new beyond the single-player levels and touch mechanics.

Buy it, play it, enjoy it - but don't expect to be blown away by innovation.
 
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 21 September 2012
It plays just like the home versions of LittleBigPlanet, but that's ironically to its detriment. However, it's still a quality product in its own right
 
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Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
2
John Evans | 19:35 - 22 December 2012
@Peter Willington so you mention Tarsier Studios but you totally don't give Double Eleven any credit. As a professional reviewer I thought you would know simple information such as that.
Joined:
May 2009
Post count:
104
chanandler | 22:42 - 21 September 2012
I grabbed this the other night from the store and have played it a lot, it's great! Yep it's just like the PS3 version, but hey that's a good thing I reckon.... Anyway did anyone else get an email from SOE today apologising for messing up the download and telling you they have refunded your credit card? No idea what is going on there, my downloadable version is still running fine, no mention that I can't play because it's not in my account.
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
93
@RaveofRavendale | 19:46 - 21 September 2012
I won't be picking this up until I spot it for cheap, simply because I've now played 3 LittleBigPlanets, and they're all pretty much the same thing every single time. LBP 1 was absolutely fantastic, then LBP PSP was great, but pretty much the same time. LBP 2 was good, but once again, the very same thing. If you take a level out of any of the three, you wouldn't be able to guess which game it came from.

From what I've played of this one at press events, it is once again the same thing, albeit with gyro and touch-screen bits in for good measure. I'm afraid I'm not up for paying full price for a game I already own three times over!
Joined:
Aug 2012
Post count:
12
Mr Bendel | 18:58 - 21 September 2012
"It plays just like the home versions of LittleBigPlanet, but that's ironically to its detriment."

Not sure I follow how thats a negative. If the home version is amazing, why wouldn't having that on a portable be a good thing? The initial point you make as to it being a negative is that it fails to innovate beyond the console
 
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