How do you port a critically-acclaimed, inventive and innovative game like 'LittleBigPlanet' to a handheld? It seems like a gargantuan effort that's doomed to failure. But SCE Cambridge and Media Molecule aren't just your average development team.
'LittleBigPlanet' has managed to leverage most of the PSP's hardware strengths with this port. And the first example of this would have to be in the visuals.
'LittleBigPlanet's' clean and simple style is easily accomplished on the PSP's high-res screen, with levels looking bright and colourful while still retaining the charm of the original. While the game doesn't have as much going on during levels and Sackboy can look a bit jaggy at times, the overall feel of the game is indeed there.
Stephen Fry's voice-overs add a certain degree of style and flair to the game, with the audio in general complimenting the visuals extremely well, thanks to simple music tracks doing a pretty good job.
Also, there are none of the over-the-top voice-overs that characterise more generic platformers ? though this could be due to the limited space of the UMD format.
Load-times are annoyingly long though - it's a small gripe perhaps but one which can really grind your gears if you're in search of a quick game.
The game's selling-point
The levels themselves are pretty unique and inventive, with early stages being easy to finish. The real challenge early on comes in the form of collecting all the tokens scattered around - a must for those seeking the 100 percent score at the end of each stage.
The levels get progressively harder as one would expect, with some unique obstacles to overcome and 'vehicles' to make use of, such as koalas, sheep and surfboards. Later stages see more complex additions to the stages such as rocket packs, see-saws and swinging vines. Of course, the levels aren't as complex as those seen on its PS3 cousin due to the hardware limitations of the PSP, but they come extremely close.
The control system is extremely simple to get into as all good platformers go, allowing non-gamers to pick up the controller and start playing. The only problem lies in the uncomfortable shape of the PSP, causing cramps when playing for any extended period of time.
Although the maps themselves are quite different in the PSP version, for all intents and purposes very little content and features have been dropped from the PS3 version, though there are omissions...
'LittleBigPlanet' does away with the multiplayer modes ? a bit of a downer considering that ad-hoc multiplayer and sharing would've been a perfect fit for this iteration. One would think that ad-hoc level sharing would take off in a big way with 'LittleBigPlanet' on the PSP.
While the lack of multiplayer is a glaring omission, the 'LittleBigPlanet' online community is still present and thriving, with a near-infinite amount of levels to download as well as the ability to upload your own creations. The level editor itself is extremely robust, with your creativity being the only obstacle. The online functionality significantly boosts the long-term value of the title as a result. The variety of levels is startling, with even a Super Mario-themed level making an appearance.
With a variety of story levels, a huge amount of downloadable stages, intuitive controls and a robust level editor, 'LittleBigPlanet' for the PSP is an awesome addition to the series. Whoever said there aren't any good games for the PSP should check this out and be silenced.
Buy this game: PSP