If there is any franchise ripe for a Vita iteration, it is LittleBigPlanet. The whimsical platformer is simple to play, and loaded with enough content that you could leave the cartridge in your system for months. We recently got a chance to check out a preview of the game showcasing a nice handful of levels in the circus-themed portable version. Sackboy has made the leap to the Vita and will be on store shelves on September 25th, but for now let’s take a look at what to expect.
Sackboy is embarking on a darker journey this time around. While he won’t be grizzled with a machine gun, the world of Carnivalia definitely invokes a grimmer tone than past games. The world has been taken over by the evil Puppeteer, and it is your job to restore balance to this former land of fun and games.
Anyone who has taken on the role of Sackboy before will be familiar with the style. You still get the quirky intro from Stephen Fry explaining all the mechanics, you still collect stickers and customize your sackboy and of course you can still create, create, create. Added to this preview, we also got a look at the minigames that will be included with the final version. These are small spinoffs that take advantage of the Vita’s touchscreen, and remind me of simple apps you might find in the iOS App store.
The basic controls remain fairly recognizable with Sackboy’s soft jump from platform to platform and his ability to grab onto objects to either swing or drag them around. The Vita has also given the developers a chance to change things up by allowing players to manipulate parts of the environment by swiping on the screen. You can load springs to send Sackboy flying into the air, or spin objects by making circles with your finger. The implementation is well done and actually looks to expand the core pieces of the gameplay.
The best part about LBP has always been the user-generated content, so it will be interesting to see how all of that is handled upon launch. Co-op is still in as well, and there are sections in the preview that you need to have more than one player to access. Again this will all depend on how many people commit to this particular version to see how it will hold up. LBP has always been about community, and the Vita isn’t exactly on fire right now, so that is always a cause for concern.
With all of these aspects, and the possibilities added with the touch controls, LBP for Vita has a chance at being one of the most sought after titles on the system. Vita needs solid software, and from what we have played of LBP Vita so far, this looks to fill that void. The big question is whether people will adopt the portable version of Sackboy and his adventures. We will find out on September 25, but for my money, if you like the series and own a Vita, this is a no-brainer.