This little planet just got a whole lot bigger

By Jonathan Terbeche
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Just a few months after the release of the original “LittleBigPlanet” fans had already used its creation tools to make some of the most unique and awe-inspiring levels ever seen in gaming. With the release of the sequel on Jan. 18, comes more tools, more game types, and the potential for even more creativity. The only question is, is it worth picking up?

This time around the main character, Sackboy, must save his arts-and-crafts world from the Negativatron and the evil Sackbots, who are trying to eliminate imagination. The art style is adorable, using fabric and yarn and blocks to beautifully decorate the world.

At its heart “LittleBigPlanet 2” (LBP 2) is a platformer, meaning, just like “Super Mario Bros.” you play the game by running from the one side of the screen to the other to reach the goal. Controls feel good, and levels are expertly designed.

There is much more here than just running from left to right though. In one level you’ll be jumping off of trampolines, trying to traverse the complicated, puzzle-like stage, and then the very next level will be a side-scrolling shooter, with Sackboy riding atop some funny animal or vehicle.

With the inclusions of the “grabinator,” “controlinator,” and “creatinator” there are even more ways to grab, control, create, and in short, interact with everything in the game world than ever before.

One thing that has thankfully remained the same from the first title is the sheer amount of collectibles. Part of this game’s immense replay-ability comes from the amount of stickers, pins, and badges you can collect and earn throughout the game.

So other than amazing platforming and numerous collectibles, the other aspect to “LittleBigPlanet 2” is its plethora of creation options. While the community may have made some amazing things with what was offered them in the first game, this time around players will be able to create entire genres of video games.

Feel like a racing game; make it in LBP 2. Want to play a shooter; make it in LBP 2. In the mood for a complex, challenging puzzle game that rivals “Tetris;” well you get the picture. The sheer amount of creation tools, customization details, and basic programing functions are astounding.

Unfortunately being able to use all of these creation tools and actually playing them in the way you intend is somewhat cumbersome. It’s one thing to say you want to make a shooter game, but to actually get it the way you want will take much time and even more patience. It’s a grievance that definitely hinders the otherwise fantastic experience.

It’s hard to believe that within one game exists an adorable, kid-friendly protagonist, a tight platformer, a collect-fest, a character-creator, a level-builder, and a genre-maker. What results is a fun world filled with, and encouraging, imagination and creativity. What results is “LittleBigPlanet 2!”