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Little Big Planet Vita Review

rating:4.5

Little Big Planet has finally found it's perfect home on the Vita. With the additional ability to save during user created games, a full five world story mode and making smart use of the systems touch controls, this is not only the best Little Big Planet game available, but also the game the Vita needed to tide it over until it starts getting consistent releases. As an early adopter of the Vita, sold on the high build quality of the hardware and creative launch titles like Gravity Rush, I've been using the system mostly as a way to play PSP games that I missed like Half Minute Heroes. Little Big Planet Vita not only succeeds as a creative, addictive and polished platform game on a system in need of games, but also packs a PS3 experience into the tiny handheld and serves as an effective development and delivery platform for user created Vita software. For those initially worried that the transition from Developer Media Molecule would harm the series, don't worry, Double Eleven, Tarsier Studio and Sony XDev Europe have kept everything that was great about previous entries intact and shrunk the whole experience down to the small screen. Unfortunately that also includes some of the series negatives like the €œfloaty€ jump arc and platforming precision. This game doesn't control like a Mario game yet, but luckily it's design is such that you don't often have too many issues caused by that. The PS3 versions long load times are also still present and all the more noticable when you're trying to get in a quick play session on the bus. The games touch controls work extremely well. Compared to games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss which shoehorned in touch controls for the sake of including them, moving platforms, pulling blocks and compressing springs in LBP Vita all feels very natural and works to improve the experience. The game also never asks you do use touch controls mid way through a timed section or one containing lots of action, so you always have time to use the controls as and when you're ready. For anyone who has had a chance to play Rayman Legends at one of Nintendo's recent public Wii U events, the touch controls are very reminiscent of using the Gamepad's touch controls to aid Rayman. The place where LBP Vita really shines, beyond the expected quality of its main platforming adventure, is in the way it encourages sharing user generated content, both new LBP levels and entire new games. The game creation features introduced in LBP 2 now include an item called the Memorizer which allows users to save their progress and come back later. The brilliance of this is that users can now create multi level games, games several hours long, and gives it the potential to flourish as a competitor to the app store for indie developers looking to get their games onto the vita. The service has not been available very long but really impressive games are already beginning to pop up and hopefully the quality of games will just continue to grow. The only problem with the game development tools in LBP Vita is the barrier to entry. Creating complex games will definitely require huge amounts of time, dedication, and having a natural head for game design. I started work on a game idea I've had brewing for a while and while the tools to create it are all their, it's going to be a very long time before I'm ready to show it to anybody. There is a large tutorial in the game, but even with that there are a lot of design and technical challenges you will have to learn to overcome before successfully creating games for people to play. After completing the games five worlds and over forty levels you'll unlock a sixth world made of games made from the in game development tools, showcasing ways that the system can be utilised. Multi-touch can allow for two players to play airhockey together on one touchscreen for example. The quality of these games is impressive and should give inspiration for those looking to create their own titles. Little Big Planet Vita should be on every Vita owners radar. The game has very few flaws and contains a huge amount of content, with even more free content coming every day from the community. While the level creation tools were good on the PS3, the ability to spend ten minutes on public transport working on your level then come back to it later is a much needed improvement on the idea. This is one of the best Vita games available, easily the best Little Big Planet game available right now and could be the saving grace of a system which is struggling to pick up steam. Little Big Planet Vita is available to buy now.
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Long time JRPG and Nintendo SuperFan, Laura is a passionate gamer who comes to WhatCulture to share her nerdy ramblings with the world.