LittleBigPlanet Karting Preview
Sackboy is just so adorable. And it really won’t matter if he’s jumping around colorful, ingeniously created environments or piloting a highly customizable kart around an entertaining track…he’ll always be good ol’ Sackboy, accessible to all and always prepared to smile. That’s why LittleBigPlanet Karting should put a smile on the faces of many when it releases (hopefully later this year).
As you might expect, there’s going to be a huge amount of freedom when it comes to your own personal design and creative flair. You’ll be able to generate vehicles from scratch using an in-depth set of development tools, and by the way, you can do the same with circuits. Basically, this is ModNation Racers fused with the highly inventive and singular style that is most often associated with LittleBigPlanet. For instance, the pod – the home hub from which you select your destination in the LBP adventures – will be in existence, and here you’ll change your sack dudes and dudettes, fiddle with your kart, and select your track.
You’ll have access to just about every aspect of the game, from tossing a new steering wheel onto your ride to tweaking every minor detail of a track. Plus, we’ll have a variety of different chassis styles from which to choose, and this includes Formula 1-types, motorcycles, tanks, and some truly bizarre options that you’ll have to see to believe… The chassis you select will dictate the racing experience; as you might expect, the bikes are fast and agile while the tanks are slow but extremely durable. So like, Koopa vs. Donkey Kong in Super Mario Kart.
When driving around, the item pick-ups we’ve come to expect from kart racers will be in abundance. We’ll nab both offensive and defensive weapons and skills, which will range from standard missiles (homing…?) and basic shields to more powerful weapons that can get you back in the race. If you’re lagging behind, the chances of you scoring one of these crazy effective weapons are greater, which means it’ll be tough for anyone to run away from the competition. But perhaps one item stands out; it should distinguish this game from any other karting title you may have played.
It’s the grappling hook, which you unleash to swing across gaps and even access new routes and shortcuts. If you remember your PlayStation history, you’ll recall the Jet Moto games, in which the grapple skill was essential for ultimate success; what we see in this new game could be similar, albeit more elaborate. There will also be a drift mechanic to master, so don’t think you’re in for an over-simplified racing game for kids. Just about all the gameplay elements common to arcade racers should be here, along with a few very cool twists.
Lastly, there will be Battle Mode, which doesn’t really focus on racing; rather, it involves you smoking your opponents with a heavy arsenal. It’s a free-for-all where just about anything goes; there will be obstacles to hide behind and a bunch of power-ups to grab. And again, in keeping with the spirit of the entire game, this too will be customizable, in that players will be able to set their own battle parameters. At this rate, it looks like LittleBigPlanet Karting will offer just about everything the arcade/kart racing fan enjoys…with that little extra dash of Sackboy charm.
5/7/2012 Ben Dutka