LittleBigPlanet PSP at Eurogamer

As Britain laments the passing of its few summer days and moves on into the winter months, most of us find ourselves becoming a little down in our nature. However, for gamers this is a time of anticipation, a time we can look forward into the coming months with great expectations for what’s to come. Myself and our glorious CG leader; Master Luke (see what I did there?), found ourselves at the Eurogamer Expo, filled to the brim with new up-and-coming games, developers, and PR people, most of whom would soon find themselves being bashed around the head with a rolled-up sheet of questions until they told us what they know (yes, we believe in tough love at Critical Gamer HQ). One of the first places we decided to venture to was the PSP lounge area, where we were greeted with odd shaped seating and umpteen PSP Gos attached to tables and large Sony branded cereal bowls.

LBP PSP kangaroo

The main attraction on the PSP (for us at least) was the chance to get some hands-on time with the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet, and before I say anything about the game I’d like to point out it was also my first hold of a PSP Go. Now, I have small hands and have always been comfortable holding smaller gadgets, but the Go seemed too small even for my girly sized digits! In its defence though I should point out it was attached to a table via a tether-wire, which meant I was playing tug-of-war whilst trying to play. Not to be put off by this I continued with the LBP demo I had found. The first thing to hit home was its similarity to its bigger brother. The character animations are smooth and move around the screen with the same enthusiastic bounce as their PS3 counterparts. The backgrounds are also bright, vivid, and share the same art style we have become accustomed to from LBP. The theme of the demo levels were of the Australian persuasion and although it was hard to hear those little PSP speakers, I could definitely hear lots of didgeridoo twangs and kangaroo-type noises. So, all very cute and lovely then? Well, not quite. One of the things that has frustrated the LBP community is the way that Sackboy/girl moves between the three planes, sometimes getting stuck next to 3D objects for example; and while the PSP version only has two planes, on the smaller screen this seemed to be a bit of an issue. Although my contorted fingers were wrestling with the size of the Go (and I was still playing tug-of-war with the selfish table that clearly wanted its PSP back), which probably didn’t help matters. I think the only real hindrance here would be if you were playing a level as a race or chase.

LBP PSP Australia

Unfortunately there wasn’t any option to have a go at creating a level on the demo either, which is one of the things that concerns me the most. We’ve already heard from Luke how Cambridge Studio have overcome the ever elusive second nub problem on the PSP, but it would have been nice to be able to see how creating a level works without that all important second stick. We’re assured that it will become second nature, and I’m sure if focused on just the PSP version, newcomers will be none the wiser. Though having never tried it, don’t take my word as gospel.

PhotobucketMy thoughts on the PSP version of LBP? A smooth transition from the big screen to your pocket. Controls for the most part seem tight and responsive, costume tailoring is also quick and easy just like the PS3 version and from what we hear, there will be an extensive costume catalogue to come. The graphics are a little rough around the edges in comparison, but obviously the PSP does not have the horsepower of the PS3, so this is to be expected. It’s unfortunate that you have to download levels rather than just play them while connected, although this also means you can keep your favourites and take them anywhere with you. If Cambridge Studio put as much effort and support behind this as Media Molecule have the with the PS3 version, then this will quickly grow into a must have for PSP owners old and young. Maybe even a reason for those without to buy a PSP.

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Written by R.Furie

Ross has been playing games since he can remember and has had games machines around him all his life. He's what we now refer to as "Old Skool" because he grew up playing games with a hand carved wooden joystick on a TV forged from rope and stone. Nourished on a diet of Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Joust, Gauntlet, Bomber Jack and other various wholesome arcades he has grown to become a versatile and open minded gamer. Favouring the style of open-world games he's sure VR can't be far away, and looks forward to attaching himself to a colostomy bag and slipping into a deep VR coma so he need never have to deal with real life again.

2 comments

  1. Fellow Reviewer /

    Way to break the embargo… reviews aren’t supposed to go up until Tuesday.

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