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LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 is a puzzle-platformer video game, centred around user-generated content. The game is developed by Media Molecule, published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for PlayStation 3. It was originally scheduled for release in November 2010 but was delayed until January 2011. The game was released in North America on 18 January 2011, in mainland Europe on 19 January 2011, in Australia and New Zealand on 20 January 2011 and the UK and Ireland on 21 January 2011.

It is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed 2008 title LittleBigPlanet and the third game in the series following a PSP version released in 2009. Most of the more than 3 million levels created by users in the first game carry over and are playable and editable in LittleBigPlanet 2. Unlike its predecessor, which was marketed as a platform game, LittleBigPlanet 2 was marketed as a "platform for games". Support for PlayStation Move was added to the game through a software update in September 2011, allowing users to play the game using the PlayStation Move motion controller in conjunction with a Navigation Controller or gamepad.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Plot

Players continue Sackboy's journey after the events of the first game and the portable version are brought to an end. An inter-dimensional vacuum cleaner called the Negativitron appears over the skies of LittleBigPlanet and begins to suck up its inhabitants, including Sackboy. Larry Da Vinci (Robbie Stevens), the leader of a semi-secret semi-organised group known as "The Alliance", comes to Sackboy's rescue, saving him from the Negativitron (Jeremy Mayne). The organisation is dedicated to battling with the Negativitron and defeating it before it destroys Craftworld (Alternate name for game's environment). After Sackboy passes the tests in Larry's Hideout, he tells him that they must get to Victoria Von Bathysphere's (Judy Sweeney) Laboratory, since she has built a Sackbot army for the Alliance.

However, the moment they get there, the Negativitron attacks and sucks up some of the lab and the Sackbots, mutating some of them into Meanies. Victoria, after escaping on her train, tells the group that they need to get into the factory and shut down the machine making the Meanies. After shutting it down, though, the Negativitron makes the machine come alive into a spider-like creature that scales the wall of the laboratory. After destroying the machine, they find out that the Negativitron has taken the Sackbots to The Factory Of A Better Tomorrow.

Upon arriving, Sackboy and Larry find the factory's owner Clive Handforth (Barry Meade) hiding in a can after the Negativitron took over the place. The Sackbots have become enslaved inside the factory, prompting them to rescue as many as they can. When trying to escape from the factory, one of Clive's guard-turkeys escapes and tries to stop them from leaving the factory with the Sackbots. After losing him, Sackboy, Larry, and Clive take the Sackbots to Avalonia for re-training.

In Avalonia, Avalon Centrifuge (Colin McFarlane) takes Sackboy on a training course to learn combat using his machines. Half-way through, though, the Negativitron attacks Avalonia and spreads Meanies throughout. After rescuing the Sackbots among the wreckage of the facility, they get loaded back onto Huge Spaceship and prepare to leave Avalonia, but a Meanie warship attacks the ship. Even though Sackboy defeats the warship, Huge Spaceship crashes and is in need of repair, but only one creator can make it fly again. Victoria suggests the great inventor Dr. Herbert Higginbotham (Ewan Bailey), but Clive tells them that when he was at his factory, he was infected by a Meanie during the Negativitron attack. Avalon sends Sackboy and Clive to Eve's Asylum for the Mentally Alternative to liberate Higginbotham.

When they arrive, it turns out that the asylum is under attack by Meanies. Eve Silva Paragorica (Jules de Jongh) asks them to help save the asylum and the patients within, then she will lead them to Higginbotham. After clearing out the Meanies in the asylum, they find Higginbotham. Eve proposes that they should get rid of the infection by shrinking Sackboy and sending him into Higginbotham's head. Even after clearing the infection, Higginbotham still appears to be insane. Upon their return to Avalonia, Higginbotham repairs Huge Spaceship, but as they are about to leave, Avalon decides to make a speech, and is abducted by the Negativitron.

While traveling through the Cosmos to find the Negativitron's core, they are attacked by the Negativitron who vacuums up parts of the ship, damaging it. Sackboy is sent to launch the escape pods to get the machines and the Sackbots out, and then escape. Huge Spaceship crashes on the Negativitron's core planet and is shut inside a forcefield. Larry Da Vinci sends out a message for Sackboy to help them, and after finding a White Sackbot Knight and rescuing him, he finds one of the Robobuns and uses it to rescue the Alliance. After defeating a giant robot that was holding Avalon hostage, they make their way to the Negativitron's core. The Negativitron shows up and launches his army of Meanies and guard-turkeys at them, but the Sackbot Army defends the Alliance members. The Negativitron tries to discourage them from fighting him by saying "If you destroy me, you destroy yourselves", but is defeated after a long and dangerous battle with Sackboy and the rest of the Alliance. The Alliance congratulates Sackboy for rescuing them and saving Craftworld, and they decide to return home.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Gameplay

While still retaining the three-layer, 2.5D nature of the original title, with the player controlling their Sackboy characters, players are not restricted solely to platforming levels, and can now choose to create many types of levels including racing, puzzle and role-playing games. The player may also choose to create and customise their own heads-up display to accommodate their game type. New animation recording options are available and players are able to create full-motion cut-scenes to go with their level design, manipulate the camera for both cut-scenes and gameplay, and record their own sound effects for use in the level. As well as including a wide selection of original and licensed music, the game also includes a robust music sequencer. Multiple levels can be linked together, so that finishing one level immediately takes the player to the next in the series.

Sackbots can be programmed to follow Sackboy.

A new tool to assist in gameplay creation is the "Controlinator" (formerly the "direct control seat"). This allows players to assign specific actions, such as button presses or Sixaxis motion control, to specific aspects of their gameplay design. Players are not restricted to using the controlinator on level elements, however, and they may use it to direct the actions of the player's Sackboy character, allowing greater freedom of movement; Media Molecule made this design choice in response to the large number of homages to early platforming games, in which players had to "hide" and manipulate the Sackboy character in specific ways to replicate the style of gameplay. In addition to this tool, more gameplay items, similar to the Metal Gear Solid paintball gun released as downloadable content, are available including a grappling hook, the "Creatinator" - a hat which is worn by Sackboy and can be configured by the Creator to fire any object - and the "Grabinators" which allow Sackboy to pick-up and throw grabable objects. Media Molecule plans to regularly update the game with further items.

Enemy creation has also been improved. Players can now create "Sackbots", which are non-player characters whose AI can be controlled by the level creator. Options include determining weak points on the Sackbots, as well as programming routines for the AI to follow. Sackbots can be customised using costumes and decorations in the same way that the player character is and the AI for may be copied and pasted between multiple Sackbots. Sackbots may also be controlled by the aforementioned controlinators.

All downloadable content from the first game is usable in this sequel, as are most user-made levels from LittleBigPlanet. As of June 2013, almost 8 million levels have been uploaded and created for both the LBP games on PS3.

Reception
LittleBigPlanet 2 has received universal acclaim from critics. PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) gave LittleBigPlanet 2 a perfect 10/10 score. They praised the redesigned creation tools as "simple-to-grasp, all with huge potential" and said the game overall was "hugely improved" over the original. IGN's Greg Miller scored the game 9.0/10, complimenting the amount of variety found in LittleBigPlanet 2's story mode. He went on to commend the new creative tools, stating that the "focus of creating games in the game really shines through", referring to the new tool-set as "mindboggling deep". Miller did however reserve some criticism for some of the same "frustrations" from the first game which are still present in the sequel, such as "floaty" jump controls.

Eurogamer scored the game 9/10 commenting on its "achingly pretty" visuals and looking optimistically on the game's community, saying "there is little doubt that LBP2's online servers will play host to some extraordinary content". PlayStation Universe's Adam Dolge states that "the soundtrack is simply wonderful, while the art style is moody with a vaudevillian flair." Paste Magazine's Kirk Hamilton singled out the game's backward compatibility with user-created levels from the first LittleBigPlanet, and also praised the game's "musical soul", both in its "eclectic collections of licensed music" and in its "outstanding original score." Edge gave LittleBigPlanet 2 9/10 commenting on the game's "dramatic and funny" cutscenes, created with the in-game tools. They also praised its more focused, witty and imaginative story levels as well as the new creation tools, saying in closing, "LBP2 represents a dazzling new opportunity for creating deep, diverse and ingenious play."


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