SCE Cambridge Studio
United Front Games
|Publishers||Sony Computer Entertainment Europe|
|Platform of origin||PlayStation 3|
LittleBigPlanet, commonly abbreviated LBP, is a puzzle platformer video game series created by Media Molecule and published by Sony Computer Entertainment across multiple PlayStation platforms. The series follows the adventures of Sackboy and has a large emphasis on gameplay rather than being story-driven. All of the games in the series put a strong emphasis on user-generated content and are based on the series' tagline "Play, Create, Share". The tagline represents the three core elements of the series; Playing alone or with others online or on the same console, creating new content using the in-game creation tools and sharing creations and discoveries online with other players.
The series comprises five games across three gaming platforms. The series was launched in 2008 with the PlayStation 3 game, LittleBigPlanet which was followed in 2009 by a PlayStation Portable version of the same name developed by SCE Cambridge Studio. The sequel to the PlayStation 3 version, LittleBigPlanet 2, was released in January 2011 alongside a smaller spin-off title called Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves. A PlayStation Vita game was developed by Tarsier Studios and Double Eleven, released in September 2012. The games are all published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
The core mechanics of the series revolve around its tagline "Play, Create, Share".
The Play component involves players taking control of Sackboy and navigating him through various levels. In the first two instalments of the series, gameplay consisted primarily, but not entirely, of traditional two-dimensional platforming like jumping and avoiding obstacles to successfully navigate to the end of a level to win. Since LittleBigPlanet 2, gameplay has expanded to being a "platform for games" with the introduction of numerous mini-games and other genres into the game, diversifying the game from being strictly a traditional platforming game. Most LittleBigPlanet games involve a player playing solo or co-operatively with friends to navigate through a level whilst collecting various "bubbles" along the way. These bubbles come in two types: Small ones, known as Score Bubbles, which constitute points and larger ones, known as Prize Bubbles, that contain new costumes, stickers, or other types of collectibles. These collectibles can be used in level creation or to customise Sackboy. There are also numerous co-operative parts of levels whereby certain prize bubbles can only be collected with the help of at least one player or more depending on the number of players stated in the level.
The Create component primarily refers to level creation in the game, on which LittleBigPlanet places a major emphasis. Players can create their own levels with the built-in level creator. Items that are collected while playing through the story mode and from LittleBigPlanet's comunity can be used to help with level creation. These levels can remain as the original LittleBigPlanet platforming gameplay, or it can be expanded to many other game types such as racing, fighting, shooting, sports and nearly any other game type that the player can think of. The players can also make non-gaming creations such as music and movies (movies are commonly known in-game as cut-scenes). In LittleBigPlanet 2, Sackbots were introduced to give players more control over Non Playable Characters in their levels as well as make the levels in their entirety more intelligent. The creation technique introduced on the game gave the possibility for both logic, and being able to build sets of machines and complex contraptions. This type of building is used to promote a much more technical mind, and to help kids' imaginations grow and give them confidence. One of the updates introduced was to take away a function where one could "boo" a level. This was done because people just learning were getting their confidence lowered when they were "booed" as they tried to build levels, and expand their imagination.
Lastly, the Share component relates to sharing creations with the game's community by uploading levels to the PlayStation Network. To-date there are in excess of Seven million user-created levels available to play in the PlayStation 3 games. Since the release of LittleBigPlanet 2 and the LBP.me community website, the Share component has also had a strong emphasis sharing discoveries. Players are encouraged to share levels they find with other players by writing reviews and comments in-game and by sharing links to creations' LBP.me pages via social networks.
The game takes place in a world known as LittleBigPlanet, sometimes referred to as Craftworld, which was created by the eight curators. Each curator is in-charge of a part of LittleBigPlanet and they govern them independently. LittleBigPlanet has geography inspired by the real-life Earth, with various levels inspired by Africa, Australia and Japan among others present in the game. All games in the series, follow the main protagonist Sackboy, (also referred to as Sackgirl; or the gender-neutral alternatives Sackperson, Sack Thing, or Sack) a small, anthropomorphic, humanoid creature made of fabric. Sackboy can be customised to the player's liking using costumes that are either unlocked in the game, or bought as DLC from the PlayStation Store. Sackboy can express four emotions; happiness, sadness, worry and anger. The player controls Sackboy's expression, each of which has three levels of intensity. In the English-language version of the game, the narrator is played by Stephen Fry.
Main Series 
LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3) 
The first game in the series was released on the PlayStation 3 platform in 2008 and was the first title developed by Media Molecule, under the name The Next Big Thing. The game received extremely positive reviews for its design, gameplay, and customisation leading it to win many awards. In the game, players control Sackboy as he travels around LittleBigPlanet, helping the eight creator curators of LittleBigPlanet with their problems in their own respective realms as he tries to stop The Collector, one of the eight creator curators who, unlike the other seven, has gone rogue, kidnapping the creations of LittleBigPlanet.
LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation Portable) 
Following the critical success of the original game, a portable entry of the series was developed primarily by Cambridge Studio in association with Media Molecule for the PlayStation Portable. The game, released in 2009, shared the same name as the original game; however, it was not a port of the PlayStation 3 game, but rather a new entry in the series. It boasted an entirely new story-mode with new levels and still featured many of the same mechanics of its PlayStation 3 counterpart, such as customisations, albeit without the multi-player component of the game. The game takes place after the events of the PlayStation 3 version of LittleBigPlanet, in which The Collector has already been defeated. A massive carnival is being held and Sackboy decides to go around the world to invite the eight curators of LittleBigPlanet to the carnival whilst finding materials for his own carnival float.
LittleBigPlanet 2 
The third game in the series is a direct sequel to the first LittleBigPlanet and was developed by Media Molecule for the PlayStation 3 for a release in 2011. The sequel saw a major shift in the direction of the series, going from a primarily traditional platforming game in the first two entries to a more varied style of gameplay called a "platform for games". The second game gave players a wider variety of options when it came to level design, which saw the creation of levels other than platforming such as racing, puzzles, and even fighting games. Following the events of the first two entries in the series, the game takes place when an antagonist known as the Negativitron invades LittleBigPlanet and begins to suck up all its inhabitants. Sackboy must then team up with a secret organisation known as "The Alliance", led by Larry Da Vinci, to save LittleBigPlanet from the Negativitron as they travel around LittleBigPlanet battling Negativitron. The game also supported the PlayStation Move, with an update post-launch.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita 
The fourth game in the series is developed by Double Eleven Limited, Tarsier Studios and Sony XDev Europe for the PlayStation Vita handheld and had a 2012 release. The game features the same core mechanics from LittleBigPlanet 2, with the focus being on a "platform for games" rather than a platformer like previous entries in the series before LittleBigPlanet 2. The game utilises the unique controls of the PlayStation Vita by using its multi-touch touchscreen and its rear touchpad to navigate through various obstacles in stages as well as for level creation by users. In the game, the planet of Carnivalia was once a happy place, kept happy and entertained by a mysterious figure known as The Puppeteer. Growing sad and lonely, The Puppeteer slowly lost control of his performance, causing him to hear "The Dreaded Boo!" He then threw his puppets away. The planet lost its happiness and joy as it descended into chaos with the invasion of "Hollows", supposedly created by The Puppeteer. Carnivalia seeks to sap joy from LittleBigPlanet itself, and Sackboy embarks on a journey to save it from The Puppeteer. The game supports cross-buy of DLC costume packs between LittleBigPlanet 2, as well as the upcoming LittleBigPlanet Karting, a cross-play pack was released for LittleBigPlanet 2 on 18 December 2012.
LittleBigPlanet Karting 
The fifth game in the series and the first to use a completely new genre for the series, with it being a kart racing game instead of platforming. It was originally intended to be a spin-off but became a main part of the series, as it continued where LittleBigPlanet 2 left off. The game was developed by United Front Games in conjunction with series creators Media Molecule for the PlayStation 3. As part of the LittleBigPlanet series, the game will still retain the series' signature "Play, Create, Share" concept. It also has its own story mode, venturing through LittleBigPlanet, Monster Islands, Victoria's Laboratory, The Progress Emporium, Eve's Asylum, Avalonia/The Space Bass, and Hoard, Sweet Hoard, to put an end to the greedy, grabbing Hoard racers, who snatch many pieces of the different planets to stash them in the Garage at the End of the Universe.
Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves 
The game was developed by XDev as a spin-off from the LittleBigPlanet series utilising the PlayStation Move on the PlayStation 3. It was released in December 2010, as a downloadable title from the PlayStation Store and was later bundled with LittleBigPlanet 2. The game was described as a "demo" and featured 10 prehistoric inspired story levels. Unlike the main games, which can be played as a single-player experience, the game required a minimum of two players to work. This was due to the main mechanics of the spin-off whereby one player would control Sackboy traditionally using the gamepad for platforming while a second player had to use a PlayStation Move similar to a pointer to move obstacles and objects out of the way in order to successfully navigate a level.
|LittleBigPlanet PS Vita||88.70%||88/100|
Most of the games in the series have been well received by critics with the LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation 3 and PSP gaining Metacritic scores of 95/100 and 87/100 respectively. LittleBigPlanet 2 garnered nearly as much acclaim as the first game with an average score of 91/100. LittleBigPlanet PS Vita also received critical acclaim and was the highest-ranked PS Vita game at the time of its release with an average score of 88/100. Critically, LittleBigPlanet Karting is the worst-performing game in the series so far but still gained a "mixed or average" Metacritic score of 74/100.
See also 
- List of LittleBigPlanet downloadable content packs
- List of LittleBigPlanet 2 downloadable content packs
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