The plight of Sackboy, the main character in Sony’s LittleBigPlanet2 video game, rated E for everyone and available on the PlayStation3, is simple but brilliant.
It’s obviously envisioned by a parent who, like me, dreams of a super toy-sucking device to rid the living room of Nerf bullets with one sweep.
LittleBigPlanet2 features Negativitron, a gigantic, lighted mechanical creature that comes down from the sky and sucks up the objects below – all objects.
As a mom who spends significant amounts of time gathering thousands of Nerf bullets from the crevices and corners of the house and little teeny weeny Star Wars action, figures not to mention Lego pieces the size of pin heads, it’s hard not clap for the mighty Negativitron and give a whooping “go” as objects disappear up, up and away.
But then there’s Sackboy, the protagonist. He is so cute and endearing that you do hope he survives the sucking. And he does. Saved by Larry Da Vinci, Sackboy, your character as a player in LittleBigPLanet2 (LBP2), is now on a quest to join The Alliance, destroy Negativitron (Oh, no!) and save other sackbots on Craftworld.
Some sackbots are turned into Meanies – like people who are turned into zombies in other video games – that must now also be destroyed. Still other sucked-up objects are transported to the Factory Of A Better Tomorrow. (I liken this to the resale shop where I quarterly take my son’s outgrown items and neglected toys. In fact, I’ll start telling him now when he on occasion mentions missing a toy here and there that, “Maybe the toy is having a better tomorrow.”)
LBP2 ($60 for the basic game) is creative, colorful and one of the most imaginative and artistic games I’ve ever seen. Sackboy is a knitted, big-headed, dwarfed-body, sock-like creature that can be dressed in hundreds of outfits. Kids can spend hours just decorating their Sackboy. Most recently, three Muppet costume packs were added to the game along with Muppet storylines. Players pick their Sackboy’s color, costume and style. Put him in a mustache or fur hat, a top hat, a kimono … on and on. In addition, there are add-ons for purchase – Pirates of the Caribbean, the Green Lantern and the Hulk, to name a few.
That’s one of the perks of this game; it’s constantly evolving and allows unlimited creativity for players to create their own levels – race, solve puzzles and role-play – traveling the world as Sackboy who runs, jumps, shoots, grabs, hooks and flies Mario-style to save the day! There are 30 story levels but 3.5 million user-created levels from the original LBP that are now accessible with this latest 2011 version of the game. Stil, players are creating new levels every day, keeping the game fresh and exciting for the playing community.
Everyone starts out in story mode and then heads out, with your big headed character, into the wide world of play, never running out of options or levels in this addictively fun game.
Up to four players can play or create together, at home or over the Internet, co-operative or competitive. Users can play the game using the PlayStation Move motion controller in conjunction with a Navigation Controller or gamepad, although regular players report the game is best without the motion controller. There is also a PlayStation Portable version featuring Sackboy but with a different plot from the PS3 game.
The beauty of the game is its reach across all ages, levels of creativity and interest of video play. Young people can play and be mildly involved even just dressing and re-dressing their Sackboys or advancing to play in Toy Story mode where they can collect Toy Story stickers; tweeners can engage in the storyline, the quests, puzzles and creativity while appreciating a challenging but non-violent venture; and adult gamers can be challenged by the never-ending levels and add-ons, packages and the like.
Find community of players, and there are millions, online when you post your gaming achievements, and game developers have recognized LBP2 with varying visual and audio awards.
Although the housecleaning mom in me has trouble not cheering for the vacuum, ultimately I acquiesce to Sackboy and think you will, too.