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Graphics:

 

7.6

Gameplay:

 

5.7

Sound:

 

6.8

Control:

 

5.2

Replay Value:

 

6.0

Overall Rating:       6.0

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

EA Bright Light

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Puzzle

Customization and creation has become quite the attractor this generation; the added power of our capable new hardware allows players to become developers. One only needs to view the latest super-robust editing tool in a blockbuster title, take a gander at a new Sims installment, or check out Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet. Create probably shouldn’t be compared to such games due to the heavy focus on inspired puzzle-solving but at the same time, it’s tough to get away from the inevitable comparisons. When we do this, we see EA Bright Light’s production is somewhat bland and tedious, and there simply is no comparison to LBP (or even certain game editors). A lot of it is fun, it’s a bit more entertaining with PlayStation Move, and I suppose it could be great for the whole family; i.e., “hey, try this!” But I can’t get past the obvious: it just doesn’t do enough.

The graphics are the main highlight. They’re sharp, crisp and pleasant throughout; many of the items are painstakingly crafted and the appropriate lighthearted atmosphere provides a nice bit of flair. The special effects fall right in line with the crispness of the background and some of the later levels feature quality design. It does appear quite sparse if you don’t go to the trouble to decorate your surroundings, and a few of those items don’t exactly leap off the screen, but the visuals are a definite plus. The developers knew enough to give us a fun-filled setting that appeals to all ages; setting down a little truck with a ramp attached, or attaching a balloon to a little toy car will bring out the kid in you. However, I should add that much of the game looks too static and lifeless. It really could’ve used more in the way of ambient effects and stand-out animations, because the basic stuff can get a little boring.

The sound is in much the same boat, despite a repetitive – albeit fitting – soundtrack that drags the audio down a few notches. The effects can sparkle in certain situations, and they’re capable of putting a satisfying punctuation mark on your ingenious puzzle-solving creation. There is no voice acting to speak of so the sound relies entirely on those rewarding special effects and a music selection that complements the laid-back presentation. I just wish there was a bit more in the way of available tracks; this is one game that could’ve used the benefit of custom soundtracks. After all, we’re in full control of what happens on the screen; shouldn’t we be able to listen to our personal favorites when brainstorming? But at the very least, the combination of the pleasing effects and colorful visuals gives Create a viable foundation. It’s nice to have a set of technicals that…well, just tries to be nice.  I sort of like it.

For the record, the title of this game is a little misleading. If you simply glanced at the box, you would assume you’d be making a bunch of stuff, right? Well, you will and you won’t. Mostly, it’s all about elaborate puzzle-solving: you are presented with a particular goal, which usually involves getting one particular object to a particular location. The game shakes things up with Scoretacular and Contraption-o-matic sections that require you to be even more creative but in general, you’ll spend most of your time sifting through your available tools and examining the screen. The further you go, the more difficult the challenges and the more tools you will have at your disposal. You can also decorate any given level with stickers and other items you gather up, but it’s almost purely optional and doesn’t add much to the experience, unfortunately.

With such a game, I think it’s best to deal with my personal reactions, just because Create seems to morph and adopt a certain form and style, depending on the player. It’s quite open and depending on your patience level, ingenuity, strive to customize and direct, and overall puzzle-solving skill, this production will boast various rewards. For some, it’ll be just the ticket for a quiet evening at home with the family gathered ‘round the living room. For others, it’ll be an exercise in tedium and ultimate disappointment. While I appreciate the design effort and I always support any interactive experience that makes us think, I’m leaning towards the disappointed side of the spectrum. The problem revolves around a two-fold issue: firstly, the overly demanding – i.e., the demand to be far too precise – control, and secondly, the lack of that certain “oomph” we required.

Sure, I had fun for a while. The first few levels hold your hand and get you accustomed to this puzzle-solving situation, and after a time, I really got involved with ramping up my scores and going for the flashy Chains. And as is the case with most anything involving puzzles, a strong sense of satisfaction accompanies every solution. I particularly liked the micromanagement part (must be the almost dormant RPG fan inside of me) and kicking back, racking my brains for the best possible answer to the problem put a smile on my face. But that warm, fuzzy feeling ebbed away after the first hour and before long, I found myself becoming indifferent. There just isn’t enough here to warrant a lot of my attention. And it has nothing to do with the longevity; there are 14 different levels and 10 Challenges in each level, so there’s plenty of gameplay. It’s just that it all starts to feel too similar, and some of the later challenges are really obscure.  It's a touch annoying.

Also, if you’re using the standard Dual Shock 3 controller, you’ll be tasked with infinitesimal movements and sometimes, it’s not that you don’t know what to do, it’s just that you were off by a half a millimeter. Therefore, you actually spend more time adjusting, tweaking and fiddling than you do settling on a plan of attack. And you know, that just isn’t much fun. Experimentation should be more about depth and freedom of creativity rather than taking a particular item and shifting it about a dozen times before the puzzle works. The entire process just got too repetitive and too tedious; the developers had the opportunity to present us with something special, but they didn’t inject enough substance. What we end up with is an okay effort that falls well shy in terms of implementation and execution. It’s not that it isn’t worth playing, per se, it’s that most gamers will come away with a “meh” feeling after playing for a few hours.

In the end, Create might be a decent option for the family, it works well with Move, there’s a ton of ingenuity in many of the challenges, and the amount of satisfaction gleaned from completing a tough puzzle is worth the time invested. But the repetition and tedious nature of the control and gameplay, the lack of any in-depth “creating,” and frustrating, constant adjustments only adds to the irritation. It’s just another one of those “what if” games where one is left thinking, “what if they had continued on the path and expanded and refined?” Sadly, it didn’t happen. It might be good for just the right audience but for everyone else…

The Good: Pleasing, solid technical presentation. Some well-designed puzzles and environments. Good PlayStation Move integration. Can be satisfying and rewarding.

The Bad: Gameplay is often repetitive and tedious. Control can be frustrating. Not enough done with “create” formula. Puzzles can be obscure. Difficulty is erratic. Lack of in-depth substance.

The Ugly: “Oh, so it’s off by a tenth of a millimeter…of course, how stupid of me…”

12/13/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (14 posts)

Scarecrow
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 10:26:53 PM
Reply

Yeah the images alone make this game look kinda silly when you know what LBP looks like.

This is just a cheap attempt... Could have turned out great it if was actually funded as well as Medal of Honor or some of their bigger games.

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DazeOfWar
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 10:38:03 PM
Reply

Good review. Now I know not to bother with this. Hey Ben do you think you could do a review of Beat Sketcher. I thought about getting it but with no demo it pushes me away.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 12:42:52 AM

I'll try.

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DazeOfWar
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 7:03:22 AM

@ffrulez: I just looked again this morning and I still don't see a demo anywhere for this. I looked under PS3 demos, Move demos, newest demos and found nothing. If there was one I could download I would have seen it.

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PAKINIPS
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 7:17:07 AM

There's definitely a demo, it's pretty much paint with move, got boring pretty quickly in my opinion

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DazeOfWar
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 7:56:04 PM

Not sure where you guys are finding the demo but it sure as hell isn't showing up when I search for it. Is it a UK only demo cause I can't find it on the American PSN.

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H8WL3R
Monday, December 20, 2010 @ 1:04:37 AM

Daze,

Well I'll not speak for anyone else, but I'm quite sure I installed the Beat Sketcher demo from the Move Demo Disc found in the Move Bundle(which in this region also included Sports Champions, the PS Eye, and of course Move Controller). Furthermore the demo seems to be nothing more than freestyle sketching/drawing/painting for single player use. I think in the full version howver there are things you can trace to gain scores and general improvement. I'm quite sure I also saw a few multiplayer modes as well. It can be fun to mess around with accasionally though, and my niece of 5 yrs old, as well as eldest nephew of 4 yrs old really do enjoy it. They often request to play it when visiting (either here or when I bring the PS3 there since they currently have a PS3 and Wii.)

Oh and FYI if you or anyone else does get a chance to try it out and Move Controller doesn't seem to respond in that game, make sure it is assigned to slot #7. It's because I had tried it and it seemed to be fine. I had attempted a few more times and no response. It wasn't until I read it somewhere after another editirial someone mentioned that.

Last edited by H8WL3R on 12/20/2010 1:11:56 AM

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tes37
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 11:21:22 PM
Reply

I was interested in this game for my daughter, but I won't bother with it now. Nice review, I'm hoping they'll do better next time, if there is a next time.

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frylock25
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 11:25:50 PM
Reply

some one will just recreate this game in lbp2 and there wont really be the need to play this.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 11:36:33 PM
Reply

sad

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frylock25
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 11:59:04 PM

whoa dude sweet avatar lol good choice

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 12:01:01 AM

which is strange because I like to rip this kind of stuff apart, but, yeah this time its just sad.

Edit: thanks Frylock, I'm having a week to week affair with Tifa. She f*cking loves it.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/14/2010 12:01:54 AM

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tlpn99
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 2:54:26 PM
Reply

This sounds like it's tried to be a poor mans Litle Big Planet but with something different type of thing. Hard to put into words what that actually is looks ok, but if you got LBP and soon to be LBP2 coming out you don't need this I guess.

Last edited by tlpn99 on 12/14/2010 2:54:46 PM

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dkmrules
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 @ 12:25:51 AM

they both cost 60 usd, but lbp (and lbp2) are SO much better!

Thats what you get when you buy exclusive

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