Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita Trial Impressions

About two weeks ago, I downloaded the Trial for LittleBigPlanet PS Vita and gave it a whirl on my GO trip in to work.  Outside of tinkering with LittleBigPlanet during Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08, I haven't truly experienced the franchise and wasn't sure what to expect, aside from the fact that I'd be controlling a well known character called Sackboy.

Well, the trial for LittleBigPlanet PS Vita starts off with style and humour where a wonderful British narrator takes you through the basics and outlines the gist of Sackboy's upcoming adventure in the world of Carnivalia, a place that once embodied joy and laughter but has become twisted by the evil Puppeteer.

Right away I was completely impressed by the game's colourful and lively art style, its use of music and creative humour to draw me in, and the sense of fun the title simply projected.  I enjoyed customizing my Sackboy and taking him through the well established tutorial and beginning the first levels of the Trial.

Of course being a PlayStation Vita title,  LittleBigPlanet PS Vita makes use of the handheld's touchscreen, allowing you to not only select items but to also place and resize stickers, move specific blocks and jump pads, twirls various platforms, and to interact with the various Side Levels available.  While in some PlayStation Vita games I found the use of the touchscreen to be very gimmicky, I didn't have that feeling at all with LittleBigPlanet PS Vita's Trial, and it seemed to me like the developers were actually using the touchscreen to compliment the gameplay instead of to dominate it.

I was also impressed with the length of the Trial. There are six levels to complete, including two Side Levels consisting of a whack-a-mole style mini game and a Tetris styled game, and you can go back and replay them as much as you like provided you don't actually exit the game or shut off your PlayStation Vita.  Sadly, being a Trial version, there's no way to actually save your progress, meaning that you need to play through the entire Trial in one sitting which took me nearly an hour and a half.  While the Trial's length is certainly great, it's a shame that without the ability to save your progress it doesn't really cater to the concept of portable gaming.

In truth though, that's the only con I found in my entire experience with LittleBigPlanet PS Vita's Trial.  It offered me a simple, fun, and intuitive platforming experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and would love to play more of.  While I might not pick the game up right away, as I'm expecting to get a PlayStation Plus membership in a month or so and want to see when it'll arrive to the Instant Game Collection, I fully intend to play through LittleBigPlanet PS Vita at some point.  Games showing this level of style and creativity don't come along too often anymore, and this is one experience I won't want to miss out on.

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