As a point of disclosure, I am a huge Xbox fan. Since the first Xbox, and then through the five different 360s I have owned (thank you, RRoD), the Microsoft console has been my platform of choice for gaming these days. The controller is my favorite, Xbox Live is great and I am absolutely hooked on achievements.
That said, the game I am most looking forward to this year is on the Playstation 3. Ever since I saw a video of early gameplay (below), accompanied by the quirky Go! Team music, I was eager to play Little Big Planet.
LBP is part platformer, part creator. The game is highly interactive with its environments and focuses on cooperative play. Like many platform games, the characters have to make it though various levels, solving puzzles to reach bosses.
But where LBP is unlike a lot of platform games is in its customization. Both characters and levels allow the user high degrees of creativity. Players will be able to create entire levels – from start to finish – using existing backgrounds and elements or by creating their own.
What’s more, players will be able to edit the levels that ship with the game: Having a tough time with a certain part of a level? Add another element to make it easier! Edit mode is just a button-push away and is instantaneous. Players will be able to choose from a huge library of objects or create their own.
Equally customizable are the in-game characters. The lovable default character, Sackboy (or Sackgirl) is a knitted, floppy fun fellow. Of course, you’ll be able to change his base material, add clothes, hair, masks and other accessories to make your character uniquely yours. From early previews of this mode, it appears like you could spend an entire playing session just customizing your character.
But where this game should really excel is on the Playstation Network, where players can trade levels, modifications and play online together. There are hundreds of videos on youtube – level creation, character creation, interviews and more – check them out if you’d like to see more.
My kids and I are highly anticipating this release – in stores on October 22 in the U.S. – and we can’t wait to play. Whether this game will pry me away from my Xbox is yet to be seen. But at least I’ll have something to do with my PS3 than watch Blu-Ray movies. We can’t wait!