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post #41 of 69
10/27/08 at 8:32pm
|1UP's 10 Favorite User-Generated Little Big Planet Levels (So Far)
Sackpeople of the world, unite!
By Shane Bettenhausen, 11/07/2008
Blazing trails is always a risky endeavor fraught with potential pitfalls, and Sony's genre-busting platformer, Little Big Planet, has hurtled headfirst into several during its first few weeks of release. Most notably, its online servers -- which are absolutely crucial for sharing your creations and meeting up with buddies for four-player cooperative action -- have intermittently gone down for extended periods of time. Although the game still offers plenty of rewarding offline content (a full Story mode to venture through along with the game's robust, open-ended level-editing tools), LBP's true magic lies in its global exchange of its users' creativity. Luckily, the servers appear to have gained some stability in November, so hopefully, everyone will be able to play one another's creations with ease. So how do you go about discovering the coolest user-created stages? With hundreds of thousands of offerings already out there (and more appearing every day), it's quickly becoming a quagmire of overwhelming excess. Sure, you'll randomly stumble upon some gems among the chaff, but it helps if you know where to look. Here, we've gathered together 10 levels that we feel accurately represent the diversity and creative potential offered by this pioneering product.
Check these stages out, let us know what you think, and feel free to suggest other hot offerings that you've sampled (or created!) in the comments below. Also, it can sometimes be tricky to find the specific level that you're after, even if you search for the correct stage name. We suggest searching for the stage's creator if you're having trouble. And for everything LittleBigPlanet checkout our LittleBIGPlanet University.
1) Libidius.jp by RRR30000
Gradius . Others have attempted to craft a forced-scrolling shooter, but nobody's pulled it off with such shocking finesse. Here, you cleverly exchange your jetpack-equipped Sackboy for a pixelated spaceship and do your best to shoot down legions of enemy ships and turrets while avoiding their return fire. Slightly wonky controls (and one-hit deaths) mean that it's even harder to finish this level than the original Gradius, but it's so addictive that you'll likely stick with it until you achieve mastery. We can't wait to see what this level inspires others to attempt!
2) Little Big Colossus .v2 by Danielsan88
Shadow of the Colossus -inspired stage accurately captures that game's desolate beauty, challenging platforming sections, and apocalyptic boss encounters. So what if your beloved steed Agro looks more like a cuddly hobbyhorse? Shadow-inspired stages seem to be springing up like weeds across the LBP universe, but so far, none have bested this amazingly polished effort.
3) Little Big Calculator by Upsilandre
You might have heard about this one already: It's a fully functional calculator capable of adding and subtracting two two-digit numerals. While there's no actual "level" to speak of, the sheer amount of wiring required to make this contraption operational boggles the mind. After getting your math on, grab the jetpack and fly around the upper regions to spy the absurd mechanical minutiae.
4) Illumina Garden by ShadowFlareX
Rather than simply using some of the myriad premade backdrops and objects to decorate his stage, ShadowFlareX takes a more oblique, aesthetic approach with tremendous results. Illumina Garden expertly utilizes silhouettes and light sources to create a subtly beautiful, slightly confusing, and altogether impressive stage. It offers a great change of pace from all of the intense, obstacle-laden courses you're accustomed to. Head here when you're looking for a chill-out zone.
5) The Azure Palace by gevurah22
This stage delivers an epic adventure through a complicated, puzzle-packed dungeon. Much of the level requires a jetpack for traversal, and lethal spikes and pits pepper the map. Tricky obstacles and enemies abound, and you're even tasked with carrying a key through the stage if you want to snag the elusive final prize. Can you solve this in one attempt?
6) Zombie Town USA ep. 1 by budsaq
Sadly, quality zombie-themed stages remain scarce on the LBP servers. Perhaps the game's warm 'n' fuzzy ethos simply doesn't appeal to fans of rotting corpses? We've found a few valiant efforts, though, including this delightful romp packed with drooling undead, exploding buildings, and a refreshing jolt of sacrilege.
7) thatgamecompany.com by Amish_Granish
While we haven't received official confirmation as to whether or not this stage actually hails from thatgamecompany, the developer of Sony's offbeat PSN fare such as flOw and the upcoming Flower , it certainly appears to. And even if the level itself feels a tad simple and insubstantial, it contains visual nods to those two games, along with some neat thatgamecompany-inspired unlockable items. Assuming that this is a legit creation from the developer, it bodes well for other game creators to join the LBP fray.
8) LittleBig Train Heist by dfyb
Levels focusing on madcap vehicular mayhem are a dime a dozen, but few do anything clever or ambitious with all those skateboards, rocket sleds, and clown cars. This one's different: Here, you must first make a daring leap onto a runaway train from a moving car and then traverse the train's danger-packed interior before reaching the engine and pulling the brake before it rolls into a poison-gas zone.
9) GAF: One Final Heist by slayn777
The LBP Beta spawned two highly creative heist-themed stages (Heist #1, Heist #2), but this one ups the ante considerably with its complex whodunit narrative, wildly ambitious puzzle-solving mechanics (bypass the surly rat by giving him the moldy cheese!), and an incredibly wacky sense of humor. Plus, its layout is nothing like a traditional platforming stage: Instead, you traipse around a multifloor mansion.
10) No Surprises by HappyBivouac
Music-themed stages have become a popular growth segment among the more artsy LBP editors, but really, many of them are a total snooze. Don't necessarily blame the creators: Forging tunes isn't easy, since you have to painstakingly place and tweak each note to play as you pass it. This one, however, excels at offering a recognizable song (Radiohead's "No Surprises") while still delivering a fun gameplay experience.
11. Destroyed Beauty Xtreme by EGMshane
Ok, this isn't technically one of the 10 hottest stages out there, but it's the latest creation to stem from our staff that's suitable for public consumption. It's a more polished effort than the scattershot "Cooter's Holler" Shane built in the beta, but it still fails to live up to his lofty ambitions. Still worth a playthrough, though!
|Metal Gear Pack Coming to LittleBigPlanet December 23
Even if you don't buy it you can still play it all with someone who did!
By Kyle Stallock, 12/19/2008
A post on the official PlayStation blog heralds the upcoming arrival on December 23 of the previously announced Metal Gear Solid-themed level pack and costumes for Little Big Planet to the PlayStation store. More than just palette swaps, Konami worked with Media Molecule "to create 5 new Story Levels and 1 new challenge level." Along with the new levels come new toys, including (as listed on the blog):
Naturally there are awesome accompanying costumes as well. On the same day, tiny stitched-together versions of Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, Screaming Mantis, and Raiden can be purchased separately for $1.99, or as a package for $5.99. The Gurlokovich Solider (pictured on the far left in the picture above), on the other hand, is only available in the premium level pack