I was lucky enough to get to check out the GDC demo of LittleBigPlanet at the tail end of Sony’s Gamers Day. I played the Evil Knievel sackboy with three other people, including one of the developers. One of the first things we were told about is the emote system where you press directions on the D-pad to change your sackboy’s expressions. If you get smacked you automatically get a sad face and your sackboy hangs his head down while walking. This was a neat little touch explained during our smacking battle. The control for smacking each other is sort of interesting too, you hold the left shoulder button and flick the left analog stick up to make your sackboy slap on the left hand side.
While smacking each other is part of the game, you have to work together to complete the LittleBigPlanet demo level. Early on you need to push through a group of beanbags and way up top is precious orange sponge. You can just run past the sponge and continue through the level or you can work with the three other players to build a staircase to collect the extra sponge. Why bother collecting sponge? It’s the currency of the game and it unlocks additional items in the level editor. While you want to grab as much sponge as you can, sponge is in a sense limitless because you can replay levels to get additional sponge. Later on players had to work together to grab seashells and throw them in a lever to open a gate. There is a sense of weight to objects in LittleBigPlanet. If you grab a large object you move slower unless you get help from another player to move it too.
At the end of the demo three of the players jumped on to the skateboard and I pushed them down the ramp towards the finish line. I couldn’t jump back on the skateboard in time. Instead I hung on the back of the skateboard as it rolled down the ramp. The experience was short, but sweet. There’s something about LittleBigPlanet that’s just fun, like how Ouendan is simply fun and the idea of letting players share their own levels should make LittleBigPlanet a huge hit if it can get a community.