LittleBigPlanet Vita Review

Kevin Mitchell on October 04, 2012

Sackboy’s new adventure takes him to the carnival themed planet of Carnivalia, threatened by the evil Puppeteer and his minions of Hollows – soulless puppets – by stealing the joy from the local inhabitants. Enter Sackboy who must save the day by helping some of the quirkiest characters in the series yet in order to stop the Puppeteer before it is too late to return the planet to its former glory.

Helping to bring the themed worlds to life on the fairground planet are fully voiced cutscenes that add an extra touch of personality that you do not get from the gibberish and text bubbles during gameplay. While not developed by Media Molecule, I must say that the worlds in LBP Vita may be the most enjoyable and wacky in the series. From the inside of the Spooky Mansion – complete with a basement laboratory -, to a neon lighted Tron style world the themes are beautiful crafted and designed.

In typical fashion, as you progress through the locations you will acquire power-ups that are required to use to get around the environments; utilizing a grappling hook, a rocket launcher and even the Grabinator from LBP2 to make your way through. Launching rockets utilize the touch screen capabilities of the Vita to guide your rocket, you may run into a jam when you have to guide a rocket through narrow passages, as your finger will block your view of the screen slightly.

Each level allows you to play with friends locally or online with up to four people. As a staple in the series, playing with friends is the best way to experience the game and the only way you will be able to collect every item. Need a break? Try your hand in the Arcade with a collection of different minigames that require the use of the Vita’s different control methods.

Using the NEAR function you can send challenges to other players or anyone on your friends list to compete against your score for a particular level, but I never could get it to work properly. Upon accepting a challenge in NEAR, I was simply placed in my pod which acts as the hub to all of the content in LBP. There is no indication of what the level for the challenge is nor does the game automatically launch you into the level – which I was expecting it to.

LBP Vita really shines visually as a handheld title and looks much sharper and cleaner than the console iterations. The controls feel much tighter as well – except for the touch controls which do not have the same precision as using the analog stick or buttons. The float-y feeling is still apparent in the game, but not as dominant as it was in the past. While I felt it hampered traversal across the environments in the original, I never had that feeling in LBP Vita.

When you get tired of collecting every single bubble and item in the story mode, head over to the community section for a never-ending amount of new levels. Creators have more options to create levels than in any other LBP game to date, including all of the tools from the previous titles. And yes, there are Shark Attack survival levels already.

Simply Put

LittleBigPlanet Vita is a great example of how to release a PS Vita game with both a strong single player and multiplayer portion. It’s all about sharing, creating and joining in with other Sacklings and having fun together. The levels are so charming that you don’t mind going through them multiple times as well as trying to beat a friend’s score in the different minigames. For a platform that is in desperate need of a hit, LBP Vita may be that game, as long as it has the same community backing that the console games already have.

Note: The LittleBigPlanet Vita review was written based on the Vita version of the game provided by the publisher.

Note: The LittleBigPlanet Vita review was written based on the Vita version of the game provided by the publisher.

LittleBigPlanet Vita

LittleBigPlanet Vita 9
Controls feel tighter than the console versions
Contains all the tools from the previous LBP titles
The 45 story levels leave you wanting more
The rear touchpad isn’t as precise as it needs to be