Graphics:
9.0
Gameplay:
9.4
Sound:
9.8
Control:
8.9
Replay Value:
10.0
Online Gameplay:
9.5
Overall Rating:
9.5
Publisher:
SCE
Developer:
Media Molecule
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Platformer


Creativity and imagination are the building blocks of interactive entertainment, and with respect to the team at Media Molecule, you’ll not find a group of more talented inventors. Better still, they remind us that just about everyone has a creative, artistic streak somewhere deep within. That streak is often obscured by the latest brainless abomination in the form of a hideously stupid movie or depressingly artificial piece of music, but our imagination perseveres. Play LittleBigPlanet 2 for an hour, and you’ll begin to understand the boldness of this intro; play it for many hours, and you’ll become immersed in a singular bastion of rewarding creativity. Play it for longer and you just might be ready to sculpt something. A sequel it is, in that the foundation has already been established with the original title, but you can’t imagine how things have evolved. Oh wait…you can imagine.

Those meticulously created, almost universally appealing visuals have returned, and once again, we feel as if we’ve opened up the biggest toy box in the world. Everything in the background, from the zany characters to the smallest – yet equally impressive – detail, will charm the pants off you. Even in the darkest, most intimidating areas, we always want to smile; we feel inundated with a healthy glow of childish amusement. In truth, the graphics aren’t flashy and the special effects are subtle and simple, but the visual presentation is what separates LBP from the rest of the pack. You just don’t see this anywhere else. It’s not just the crispness and clarity that leaps off the screen, it’s the unbelievable level design and the fact that you continually say, “wow, that’s incredible; how the hell did they think of this?!” No super stunning CGI or real-time, movie-like brilliance…just a beautifully polished and pleasant palette.

Somehow, the sound is even better. The diversity of the soundtrack is most appreciated; you’ll hear everything from disco throwbacks to unique compositions within the first few minutes of play, and just when you thought you’ve heard all the music, another great track pops up. The effects are spot on and, like their graphical counterparts, are often subtle for the sake of the presentation. The pop of a collected bubble, the slightly comical dying moan of another out-of-this-world contraption, the creak of a gear, the zap of electricity…it’s all bordering on perfect. Even the voices they selected are excellent, and while those voices adopt a Charlie Brown teacher type of vagueness during gameplay, it all fits. It all fits and it all excels in just about every possible audio category. No matter where you go and no matter what you do, some of the best sound in gaming history will accompany you, and that’s quite the accomplishment.

The world of LBP2 is almost too huge to put into words. While much has been made of the insanely robust creation tools and the freedom afforded any stay-at-home inventor, the Story Mode is worthy of a purchase, in and of itself. The world of LittleBigPlanet is being threatened by the evil Negativitron, which has a long dragon-like neck and a large, machine-like head with sharp teeth and ultra-evil eyes…or as evil as the presentation allows them to be. There are over 30 levels to tackle (not including 20 other side levels) and the variety of such levels is what cements LBP2 as a legitimate single-player gem. You’d never be able to predict where you’d go next, and even those who indulged in the original will be surprised at the extreme amount of diversity. You might ride a bee and shoot honey projectiles at bad guys, explore a moving train, or tackle yet another challenging minigame that might involve platforming expertise or challenge your reactions and dexterity. It’s just nonstop fun.

And if you want to dive right into the creation aspect, you’re almost guaranteed to be overwhelmed at first. Tutorials will only go so far; at the end of the day, you’re faced with a gigantic assortment of tools and a blank slate, which is crazy intimidating. But once you get started, it’s hard to stop. After learning a bit about gluing and corner editing and other basics, you can experiment with new additions, like the Sackbots and microchips. Man, I spent way too much time with the Sackbots; maybe it’s a leftover desire to alter the NPCs I came across in RPGs. Sackbots are NPCs, after a fashion, and you can outfit them however you like (well, you can outside of the Story Mode). These little guys are surprisingly smart and can be used in a bunch of different ways, although I did notice they might do something pretty darn weird every now and then. Maybe it’s just a short-circuit.

But outside of that, once you get involved with the microchips, your head might explode. I won’t go any further because I’m sure you get the picture: the creation and customization tools are fun, relatively easy to use and, oh yeah, there are a ton of them. I also liked that when you jump online, it’s easy to find the best user-created content, and I was able to upload my profile from the original LBP. Just a few nice features I figured I’d mention. You may want to bounce back and forth between invention and more passive partaking of another’s genius; the Story Mode really encourages you to replay levels for the sake of finding all the items, and many of the later areas are super challenging. How many collectibles, stickers and outfits do you want? All of them? The majority of them? If so, you’re going to have to invest some serious time in the single-player aspect of LBP2.

And that’s great news, as far as I’m concerned. But as impressive as this production is, it isn’t all roses. The following may be more subjective in nature but they did impact my enjoyment of the game and therefore, they can’t be ignored: firstly, you may notice that there’s a lot of debate centering on control in LBP2. It’s basically the same as it was in the first game but this also means the same detractors are being vocal. Some will argue the control isn’t quite responsive enough, and the collision detection can be wonky. The latter is definitely true but as for the reliability and accuracy of the control, I just think it’s something to which you have to become accustomed. Sackboy does have an original style of movement, it seems, and he doesn’t react like a hero in a standard platformer. This can be frustrating and many deaths and failures can be attributed to control that requires a bit of learning and adaptation.

That being said, the control isn’t erratic and remains consistent throughout. After playing a few levels, I believe even newcomers will have a firm grasp of Sackboy’s movements. The other issue is the camera; we don’t always have the best possible view of the action, especially when things get a little chaotic. Furthermore, the camera tends to zoom in and out in too often in certain spots, which often makes us lose sight our little stuffed buddy. So when you combine a control scheme that some may dislike and a camera that isn’t always 100% reliable, you do have a slightly problematic gameplay mechanic. But even when we take this into account, the brilliance of the entire production quickly overshadows any drawbacks and leaves us with a feeling of complete and total satisfaction. In fact, if you wish to lose yourself in this latest and evolutionary take on the “Play, Create, Share” philosophy, you will undoubtedly name LBP2 as one of the most fulfilling titles of the generation. You could play this one quite literally forever.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is a masterpiece of ingenuity. With something new around every turn and a seemingly endless supply of creative imagery, many gamers will be smitten in minutes. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, you just have to appreciate the amount of effort involved, and we at PSXE always like to reward supreme talent in the artistic field. The development tools are wildly versatile, the Story Mode is engaging, humorous, and constantly diverse, the technical elements bolster the entire presentation with apt slickness, and the replay value is absolutely through the roof. One could complain about the control (and I’ve always thought the grappling hook could sometimes seem frustrating) and the camera isn’t always in the best spot but beyond that, Media Molecule has delivered a must-try. The game even supports DLC and user content from the original! There’s just so much to see and do; it’s downright mind-boggling.

As I said, creativity and imagination are essential in any form of entertainment that can be considered artistic in nature. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing , that tops LBP2 in terms of ingenuity, and certainly nothing that makes an entire community dip into a wellspring of prolific inspiration. MM has a ton of it and you know what? We have it, too.

The Good: Legendary creativity and ingenuity. Immense diversity and variety. New additions prove significant. The best set of development/creation tools ever. Great stability and flawless presentation. Community is huge and very involved. Story Mode is long and extraordinarily well done.

The Bad: Control can really be a thorn in the side of some. Camera isn’t always reliable. Creation aspect can seem overwhelming and tutorials fall a little short.

The Ugly: Ugly? Where? It’s all so cute.

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dfm078
dfm078
10 years ago

Great review! Easily one of the best casual/hardcore mix (if there's such a thing) out there. Congrats to MM and all innovation/creativenes fans ot threre

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

This was a great review. Best thing about this sequal for
Me so far considering i havnt got to play ;), was loading my LBP profile. I love the fact that we are able to do that, as we should and as we knew we would be able too. But its almost rewarding, in that everything not only we have done but the community and developers have done, in the way of levels and dlc all goes with you in the new adventure!

556pineapple
556pineapple
10 years ago

I really really enjoyed the first one, and still pop it in to see what new levels people have created, but I thought THOSE creation tools were too overwhelming. It seemed like I spend hours going through tutorials, and there was still an endless supply of them ahead of me. I'm the type of person who's not satisfied doing a half-assed job, so I never managed to finish a level, probably because I was trying to bite off more than I could chew.

That being said, I have a deep appreciation for the level of creation these games offers and I really look forward to trying my hand at the new creation tools. If I can get myself to start off simply enough, and get more complicated as I make more levels/games, I think I would really enjoy creating, instead of finding it more of a chore. I will be purchasing this game in the fairly near future, and I really look forward to seeing what amazing creations people come up with. Glad to see you gave it a great score (as if there was any doubt in my mind.)


Last edited by 556pineapple on 1/18/2011 9:47:50 PM

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

That 9.5 is overrated!!!!

NOT!! I find it weird, if LBP2 is anything LBP was and bigger in everyway possible.
How can most critics gave it a 9.0!?!?

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

I think the reason why is most critics see this as a game that relies on te creativity part. Ive read too many times that the reviewers are frustrated because they cant create something. Personally thats a terrible way to review the game. Just because they cant get aomething to work doesnt mean it wont. I cant count how many times ive tried creating something, it not work, the come to find out someone has already done it. WAY BETTER!


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/18/2011 10:02:58 PM

Vitron
Vitron
10 years ago

Maybe they see it as a not so serious, and a 9.5+ score is too much for a kiddy-like game like that.

Well just maybe. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LBP and I'm enjoying it right now.

Great review as always Ben!

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

Yea LBP isnt realy just for kids regardless of how it comes off. Its obvious the game is about creativity and it takes a little more brain development to build some of these epic levels ive seen. Not saying a young kid cant do it, just saying theres some great content out their that would take a lot of creativity. So thats a terrible excuse to use.

Also id like to go back to my point about critics not being able to use the tools like they were implemented, and point out that just because they cant figure it out doesnt warrant a lower score.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/19/2011 12:34:05 AM

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

Great review. I get it later since I don't have the money. Btw destrotid(I think I spell it rigth) gave it a 7.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
10 years ago

The fact it's by Destructoid should tell you why they gave LBP2 a 7.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Shock of shocks.

Oxvial
Oxvial
10 years ago

Of course it was Jim Review, he put the same score at Splatterhouse lol.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

Yeah, he's not a good writer, either. When a site brags about having "brutally honest reviews", they're going to try to stand out from the rest to give the impression they are somehow more honest. lol

But right now they look just silly with the average being 9.3 currently. 3 sites gave it 8+'s, while the other 30 are all 9+ reviews.

Yet they still seem to have sheeple who agree with him (yet likely have never played it themselves).

Honestly, the number of people who commented on how you have to do all the creating for the game to be fun… they don't even realize there's a great big campaign!!!

Now… where's that eye of moron….

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
10 years ago

Yeah I agree with you there. 7 for LBP is just wrong, no matter which way you look at it.

Oxvial
Oxvial
10 years ago

An isn't like he has high standards , he put a 10 on Darksiders and Alan Wake =S, so he isn't being honest.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

He actually gave it a 7.5, not a 7. But still oddly low.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Guys, you have to understand that Destructoid only operates on shock value. They know an oddly high or oddly low score for a high-profile title will bring in a lot of traffic. Anything that stands out gains attention.

It's just business. They'll give Uncharted 3 a 5 and say everyone is just fooling themselves, and give some obscure thing a 9. They gave GT5 a 10 because the game had come under sudden fire for not being up to snuff. Had everyone else said it was great, they would've tossed up a 6.

They don't actually MEAN the scores the give, is what I'm trying to say.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/19/2011 3:05:46 PM

mexgeo86
mexgeo86
10 years ago

Great review; I shall be picking it up this week, perhaps with Mass Effect 2 and another title (for the Best Buy deal)

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
10 years ago

Wait six days and throw in Dead Space 2 as well.

Of course, if you wait six days the deal most likely will be dead. So don't listen to me.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Got my copy today in the mail. Loving it so far. Actually feels like a new game and not just a sequel with a few added features.

sonic1899
sonic1899
10 years ago

It was 6 pm when I put in this game. Then when I looked at my clock, it was 12am. That's how it gets ya 0_o

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

As Ben has said before

"Babe magnet"

And this quote is what truly seals the deal for me

"You might ride a bee and shoot honey projectiles at bad guys, explore a moving train, or tackle yet another challenging minigame that might involve platforming expertise or challenge your reactions and dexterity. It’s just nonstop fun."

That's what platforming at its core is all about.

booze925
booze925
10 years ago

holy crap.
The Ugly was the best part of the review.
nice one ben. i loved it

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Very well written review. I couldn't help but remember the game's narrator's voice as I was reading it.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Top-notch review as always.

I may have to figure a way to get around my reticence to purchase this. I do REALLY want it, given that I loved the original, but I felt that I missed out on the best part of it by not being connected to the Network. The single player was great, in both story and create modes, and this is clearly a massive step-up on both fronts.

But then, I am determined to hook up sometime soon, and this will hit my must-have list almost immediately. For now, it's looking at about March, because I don't think there's anything else coming out then that I want, and I should be fairly well caught up.
Peace.

___________
___________
10 years ago

predictable.
really disappointed to see they have not improved on the controls and camera from the original.
thats the whole point of a sequel no?
anyway………………..

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

In order to maintain the backwards compatibility with the pre-existing user-generated content, MM had to keep the same controls. However, I've read elsewhere that one is able to customize the controls and physics (altering gravity for example).

I was never a fan of the touchy z-axis movement (jumping and stepping in and out of the screen), nor of the momentum of Sackboy that gives the feeling of "lag" in his movement, but it was easy to overlook this in light of all the creative brilliance that this game is all about.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

The controls are a subjective thing. Some people will find them easy to acclimatise to, and others will not. I was in the former of those, and had a great deal of fun in working out just how far it was possible to float Saq.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

I agree. For me, the physics do give it a sense of real world immersion. This is because of the physics being so accurate and enacting on everything, including Sack, and because of this physics engine, people are able to create and purpose levels intuitively based on real-world scenarios (dominoes, levers, jumps, etc…) rather than just a limited set of possibilities based on simpler gameplay mechanics.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Oh yes, the physics were outstanding. The implementation of that system made getting a certain piece of a level falling in just the right way every time all the more rewarding. And being able to create physics based puzzles, using the level creator was awesome. But at the same time it made everything so fiddly.

___________
___________
10 years ago

i dunno, sackboy always felt like a 500 pound drunk person for some reason.
he took forever to get moving, than when he did he had so much momentum.
he just feels like your trying to cart a truck around!

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
10 years ago

Predictable? As in your post?

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

Name one 500lb drunk person that can jump 3 times his own height and tell me your point is relevant.

coverton341
coverton341
10 years ago

I get it. You (_____) come on here just to make incendiary comments and ruffle everyone's feathers because you have a psychological predisposition to conflict right? Did your parents bicker a lot when you were young so now you have to find a way to have non-stop bickering in your adult life?

Anyway….

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

'ignores'

Kiryu
Kiryu
10 years ago

Anyone who is interested in creating their own games and playing games made by other people should buy this Masterpiece!

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

i love this game. very well done. will bring lots of entertainment. collectors edition is cool. love the sackboy plush. might order a couple more for my kid.

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

Well this review has got me excited. Trying to convince somebody to buy for me, but no look. I already spend gaming money this month on ME2. Next is KZ3. I will eventually pick this up along with Dead Space 2 before or during the summer. Thank god grad school is a year away.

JSwayze
JSwayze
10 years ago

Great Review….should be picking up LBP2 this weekend if the Safari lows don't drop

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i'm still deciding which edition i want to get. i heard the CE item quality disappointing. I'm thinking of getting it with the buy 2 get 1 sale but i'm still not sure about mass effect 2. maybe i'll wait for it to go on sale.

anyway, theres one thing thats bugging me though. the playstation store released a 1 week only rare tshirt add on. they are charging 5 bucks for it which is making me think that theres more to it than just a tshirt add on. maybe they're planning some sweepstakes type of tie in and the dlc enters you in it. i just dont see sony and media molecule charging 5 bucks for just a single t shirt add on.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

Nothing special with the shirt it's just rare. They did it with lbp 1 and when lbp came to psp (the shirt with the star) and cost 5 bucks each.

RadioHeader
RadioHeader
10 years ago

Not available until Friday here in the UK, so I have one question; Does LBP2 do EVERYTHING LBP did? …except the campaign, obviously. If so, I can give my LBP away.

Btw, my 6 year old niece has been with me all the way in LBP and she has no problems with the controls, so I kinda have to laugh at the complaints from others.


Last edited by RadioHeader on 1/19/2011 5:56:18 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Lol, yes but look at who the complaints are coming from and it's not surprising.

Jed
Jed
10 years ago

Wow. I love everything I've been hearing about this game. Can't wait till I can get my hands on it. Not sure when that will be 🙁

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Great review Ben. MM have really out done themselves, but not surprised… we were expecting them to do a great job on LBP2..

On the controls… that is what was my problem with the first one… they needed to be crisper… pity!

Unfortunately I have to make a choice between this and KZ3 in February, and I am going to go with KZ3… I will consider this a little later on in the year, with a couple of other games I want to pick up.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 1/19/2011 8:02:16 AM

tridon
tridon
10 years ago

I'm pumped for this and I haven't even beaten the first one yet! The first is quite challenging in the final levels and unfortunately for me, I moved on to another title.

Now I can't wait for this sequel! I have the Collector's Edition pre-ordered and I guess it got stuck in a snow storm somewhere so it's taking its [email protected]$$ time getting to me now. As soon as I receive it, though, I'll be playing with Sackboy on my TV screen while my girlfriend plays with the Sackboy plushie! LOL! Can't wait!!!

spiderboi
spiderboi
10 years ago

Looks like we have the same plan tridon. Planning as well on the collector's ed. Problem is, no word yet on when it will release on our country. There's an region 3 of the game, but I want the region 1 to fully transfer my costumes from the 1st.
And the Sackboy toy's for my gal 🙂

Sir Dan
Sir Dan
10 years ago

Came home with it last night and was treated like some kind of God/hero/genius/messiah by the kids. They looked like their heads would explode. After eating all their veggies they were allowed to play. Damn game looks pretty good. I love that the data was imported from the first game. I love you sack boy.

gumbi
gumbi
10 years ago

Great review Ben. This game looks like just so much fun. I love the first game, I only wish I had more time to play and really get into the creation aspect of it.

I suspect I'll be picking this up before long anyway and sacrificing a little sleep to hang out with my pal sack boy.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Good review. I am a little disappointed that the controls haven't changed though. I was hoping to read that they'd been fixed.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

What's not broken can't be fixed.
The controls were made that way, because sackboys do have weight.

People want realism yet they whine about it when they get it.

If my female gamer friends can play this why are people whining? lol

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