(today’s post: 350 words)

Shortly after the release of Fable and Black & White 2, Lionhead artist Mark Healey left the company to co-found a new company – transitioning his Kung Fu puppet game along the way to what is now known as LBP (LittleBIGPlanet). I’d been excited to play this game (and the original Kung Fu title) but it wasn’t until Lisa and Jared bought a PS3 and LBP that I realized I’d get the chance.

Why was I excited? Curiosity! I thought LBP was a game that needed four people (online, in person, or a combination thereof) to play and the game revolved around getting through platformer levels as a group that had to rely upon one another; I really wanted to see how that could work since all I could think of were the technical obstacles.

Anyone who knows the game knows my assumptions were wrong. LBP is technically a single-player platformer that can be played with up-to-four simultaneously. Players have no need to interact with one another except during the occasional two-player bonus areas that aren’t essential to completing the game (though there is the occasional racing level where you can compete directly).

Don’t get me wrong. This is a great game. It’s as well done as Super Mario Galaxy. It’s quirky and colorful (the textures are amazing), never boring, and well-balanced (difficult at times but never beyond what you’re capable of). And when you discover, at 3am, that you can hit your friends with a frying pan, it’s pretty much the most hysterical thing ever.


(LBP’s customizable Sackboy character…)

But everything that LBP does so well makes me wish there were some teamwork dynamics – like one sackboy helping another reach a higher point, and then that sackboy reaching down to help pull the other sackboy up. Or maybe one sackboy reaches out and grabs hold of a sackboy who tried to make a long jump and came up just short.

As I said at the start, a game like that only makes me think of technical hurdles. But now I really want to see someone make that effort. Hopefully LBP 2 takes that step.

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