LittleBigPlanet Vita User Review
The first thing you will notice when you begin LBP Vita is that production-wise it is right there with its console brethren. Everything from the excellent Stephen Fry narration to the quirky cast of characters is here. LBP Vita is the real deal. The PSP version was bare-bones LBP, but LBP Vita has every bit of polish, charm, and content that the console versions do. This is one game that will last you a while.
The graphics of LBP Vita are almost indistinguishable from the console versions. Besides some very rare “jaggies” and a few occasions of slowdown, there is nothing here that is out of the ordinary. The colors are vibrant, the animations are silky smooth, and the physics are just as true. The water effects were especially eye-opening and really showcase the processing power of the Vita.
Accessing content in LBP Vita is pretty much the same as it has always been, but now you can use the touchscreen to scroll through stickers, costumes, etc. This makes accessing your pop-it menu a breeze and being able to place stickers with your finger will become second nature. LBP Vita takes full advantage of the Vita’s touchscreen features and it is probably the best use of the front and back touch to date.
In addition to using the touchscreen to navigate menus, it is also used to interact with the environments of LBP. This ability fits perfectly within the world of LBP and adds to the already creativity-focused narrative. Objects in the environment that can be pushed will be blue, while objects that can be pulled out (using the back touch) will show up as green. While not necessarily earth-shattering, it definitely feels natural and it provides an extra layer of depth, especially when it comes to some of the light puzzle-solving elements. So, aside from your usual hopping, swinging, and bouncing, you will now be grabbing objects, activating switches, and launching Sackboy through some incredibly diverse levels.
The touchscreen is also used in the arcade mode, which is a separate mini-game centered area. Some of the arcade levels make ingenious use of the touchscreen, while others tested my patience (Pipedreams-esque puzzle games should be banished from the earth). Nonetheless, having this extra content available in a game that is already huge is definitely appreciated.
Speaking of content, the single-player campaign is pretty robust compared to most platformers, and the collectibles scattered throughout the levels will keep you coming back. Some of the items will also require extra players (just like in the LBP and LBP2), so get on that friends list and partner up!
I really can’t say enough about LBP Vita, so I’ll say some more. The developers really outdid themselves this time, but the user-created content that is available has already made it worthwhile to hop into the community levels. Some of the creativity that is on display is pretty-mind blowing, and keep in mind that it hasn’t even been out for two weeks yet (That is, unless you got your copy early)!
As of this review, I have not taken much time to dabble in the level-editor, but I can say that it is just as complex as LBP2. I’ve never been much of a designer, but having the ability to use the touchscreen ensures that I will spend more time in LBP Vita than I ever did with the console versions. Being able to resize, rotate, and place objects with a few flicks of your fingers will make trying to use a controller feel clumsy and unnatural. Maybe someday I will create something…someday. Probably not, though.
LBP Vita is quite an achievement by developer Tarsier studios. All of what makes LBP a special franchise is here, but the real kicker is the near-flawless inclusion of the Vita’s unique features. If you own a Vita, there is no excuse for this game not to be in your collection. If you are considering purchasing a Vita, I recommend LittleBigPlanet Vita as your first purchase…along with a memory card. I dare you to play this game without a smile on your face.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.