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Friday, 28 January 2011

Nude Katy Perry Chocolate Sauce Bonanza!

I apologise for the title, its a social experiment of mine. If you've come here expecting some extra-marital cocoa based fun-time from Mrs Brand, you're going to be very very disappointed. Although, if you ask nicely, I might send you a picture of myself eating a Topic bar. Damn I love Topic bars.

So, I finally managed to get a hold of Little Big Planet 2 on Wednesday. I had scoured the shops on the way home from work over the past few days and had, each time, come away with nothing but a cheese twist and some mussels in garlic butter. Thankfully, Tesco relented and gave up its secret hidden stash of everything I want and so the other day I came home with Little Big Planet and a jar of peanut butter - it was going to be a good evening.

So, I sat down on my sofa - after a pretty crappy days work, I might add - and slipped the disk into the machine and my Little Big Planet life whirred itself back into existence. Immediately I was lulled into a semi-slumber like state as the voice of Stephen Fry floated through my tellybox and into my ears. Fry introduces the game over images of people going about their day, shopping and drawing and talking and stuff and with each thought that passes through their imagination little shapes and doodles float up into the air and out to the sky. Stephen tells me that these little lost nuggets of imagination float away to Little Big Planet - my heart swells, tears form in my eyes... this is what it was like to be a child.

Thats the feeling that LBP1 and 2 both swell up inside my tummy, that indescribable feeling of being warm and clueless, childlike. The bright colours and soothing music is reminiscent of those early morning childrens shows which consist of nothing but moving shapes and soft piano plinking.
I have come to a realisation that what I really appreciate in a game is attention to detail, I am thoroughly looking forward to Guild Wars 2 because the art is so beautiful and LBP2 fills my veins with the same visual heroin. Each of the levels I have played so far have been beautifully designed - even the introduction level is witty and welcoming.
The first "level" just has you literally running through the credits as you get used to the controls. Being a LBP veteran as I was; I was able to import my Sackboy (saved from nudity as he was dressed as Monkey!) from the first game and Stephen skipped a lot of the controls stuff. As you dash through the intro level the heads of the crew from Media Molecule dance around you; they burst with hearts and stars; or fly around on rockets or stuck to the front of giant Sackbots. As you reach the end, you meet the antagonist of the piece, the evil Negativatron - he begins sucking up all of Craftworld and you are only saved by Larry da Vinci and his giant grabber dealio. From there I've gone through a training program to join "The Alliance" and fought my way through a bakery/castle scenario - throwing jam globs at passing cake monsters. The single player campaign looks as if it is going to be a blast (although, I've heard the final boss is a complete pain in the arse), there are new items to use like the Grabinator, Jump Pads and Sackbots, and I can't wait to see what else the MM team have in store for me.

Whilst the campaign is fun, if you know LBP you will know it is in the user-created level department that the games really shine. In LBP1 I tried my hand at creating a level (its still up there if you fancy giving it a go,  - all the levels from the first game have been ported to the new one! PSN: Distilledwill) it was called "Gobbler's Lair" - it involves you jumping and swinging your way to the center of the monster's lair and then jumping down his throat, negotiating your way down his gullet, past his lungs, through his stomach and then climbing his chest cavity to his heart to finish him off. In the first game this took me about 10 hours total to make, over the course of about 3 weeks. I won't lie; it was a complete pain in the arse. Nonetheless, it was incredibly satisfying to get it all finished and see that people are playing it. I've heard good things about the creation system in LBP2, that its far more user friendly and expansive. So - keep a look out, there may be a "Gobbler's Lair 2: Momma's Home"! There's even a new community website where you can search for new levels and create your own profile: http://lbp.me/

There are gripes, as with every game - but not many. The movement still feels a bit fluffy and your jump is floaty, but thats just how the game plays and you get used to it. Other than that, I've not come across any major problems so far. Even if I did, I'm not sure they'd matter, I love these games so much because they have an air of friendliness which is missing from the majority of games nowadays. Closing comments: it's about as fun as an afternoon bathing in chocolate sauce with a naked Katy Perry on my arm. Oh yes.

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