LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly Special

LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly SpecialI love the idea of LittleBigPlanet. The whole concept of a cute little “sack boy” adventuring through a world were imagination is king, and creativity fuels everything just takes me back to being a kid. I really enjoyed the first game in the series back in 2008, as well as the Sony PSP version that came out in 2009.

Last winter saw the release of the inevitable LittleBigPlanet 2. In that game, everything was taken up a notch in regards to the story mode, and additions to not only the single player gameplay, but to the user-level-creation system really made it shine. I won’t go too much in-depth about the basic game itself, as Our Man Dan reviewed LittleBigPlanet 2 last winter.

The game I’m talking about is the recently released LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition. In the special edition, over $35 dollars worth of DLC is included on the disc, and now, the entire game has been formatted for use with the PlayStation Move controller. In last year’s game, there were ten bonus levels, (well, more of a side story) that allowed you to use the Move controller to move the Sack Boy. Now there is full Move support.

Also included are Disney/PIXAR Toy Story costumes for alien, Buzz, Slinky, Hamm and Rex and two Toy Story Universe-inspired levels. The levels number seven total (five standard, two mini).

LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly Special

There are also other costumes, like a suite of pet outfits (dog, cat, iguana, etc.), and a handful of other little things to round out the special edition.

The best part of this package (aside from the brilliant game itself) is the new adventure, “Rise of the Cakeling.” RotC offers up five new levels, and seven mini levels for you to conquer.

Now, in a game where user-created level creation is encouraged, new levels shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But no matter how great the community levels are, content designed by Media Molecule Imaginationists themselves is just awesome and worth the title of “special.”

LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly Special

Now, let’s go back for a second to discuss the PlayStation Move support feature of this package. As of September of 2011, both LBP games were patched to include full Move support. So, while it is a nice feature on the disc, that issue had already been rectified by a PSN download. So, if you own LBP2 (standard edition) and are looking to this game as a “new” Move experience, don’t. I just want to save you the disappointment.

With that being said, I want to go into a little detail about the Move support. Last fall, when the Move controller hit retail, there were the usual launch games that were designed to show off the controller’s capabilities, and there were a few already released games that were patched to include support, such as 2K Sports’ NBA2K11 and the depressing Heavy Rain. From experience, those “added on” features normally end terribly. And when LittleBigPlanet 2 shipped to retail with the blue “PlayStation Move Compatible” tag across the front of the box, I was leery.

When I started playing this game, I refrained from using the Move controllers, because I just felt it would ruin the experience for me. I was wrong.

Now that I’ve played the game using the Move controller I am instantly hooked. The controls are incredibly intuitive and match up surprisingly well with the standard Six Axis/Dual Shock controller.

LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly Special

Honestly, there isn’t a drop off in gameplay at all, and if anything, the Move system makes the game better. Sack Boy no longer stares at the ceiling (his head physics are mapped to the six-axis, so as the controller is comfortably nestled in my lap, he looks up all the time) and his actions seems more realistic with the Move controller. I will actually proclaim that this is the best experience I’ve had with the Move Controller system. Hopefully, it is a sign of things to come.

The Move-centric features in the new Special Edition ‘Rise of the Cakeling’ level are spectacular. I love the Brain Crane, and miss it when playing the regular LBP2 story. It allows Sack Boy to move certain objects with a helmet he wears. You use the T button on the Move controller and point to the object and the Brain Crane grabs it. You can then reposition the object as you see fit. The whole ordeal is very similar to the “lasso” used when creating levels on your moon, but now it is part of the story.

All in all, LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition is just that: special. With free DLC content on the disc, new Move-specific levels, as well as full Move support through the entire game, this edition easily exceeds last years offering.

Shop for LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition on Playstation 3 for a discounted price at (November 15, 2011 release date).

LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition Review: Truly Special

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