LittleBigPlanet 2 defines the PS3
We’ve talked about the progression of the PlayStation 3, and how it is set to peak in 2011, but that all comes down to a single game in my mind: LittleBigPlanet 2. Released in Australia on Thursday, LittleBigPlanet 2 has to set the pace. It needs to get the PlayStation 3 off to a good start, while the Wii, Xbox 360 and PC are quiet on the exclusives front. LittleBigPlanet is quickly becoming much more than just another Sony exclusive. Besides setting the pace, it is essentially the PlayStation’s next flagship title.
Not so long ago it was Mario vs Sonic. The PS1 introduced us to Crash Bandicoot and the Xbox to Master Chief. In 2011, mascots and flagship titles are almost non-existent, and certainly far less important; however, that isn’t to say they should be forgotten entirely. Sack Boy and LittleBigPlanet 2, to me, define where the PS3 is heading. It’s fair to say it’s a more casual title than the likes of Uncharted and Killzone, but it has no problems mesmerizing the Sony faithful.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is almost like a Nintendo game. It looks kiddy on the surface, but anyone who knows what they are talking about will tell you Nintendo at their best are as good as any developer. Hardcore PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers have almost fallen into a rut and arrogantly refuse to play anything that isn’t MA15+ due to gruesome violence. Both consoles are also in the process of attracting the Wii’s casual audience, but the key middle ground is well and truly up for grabs.
LittleBigPlanet 2 appeals to gamers who like a good game. A REAL gamer, who has progressed beyond playing nothing but FPS and sports games. The first LittleBigPlanet seemingly came out of nowhere. Nothing about its art style or platforming gameplay suggested that it would have been such a resounding success, but the real gamers came out and knew a great innovation when they saw one.
The future of the PlayStation 3 is LittleBigPlanet. A great game that appeals to real gamers, but also offers something to the casual players. If Move and Kinect don’t interest you, fears about the future of console gaming are very warranted. However, LittleBigPlanet is the perfect balance between the two. As a more serious gamer, you should be happy - pending it’s up to the quality of its predecessor. Likewise, Sony have the perfect game to market to their hardcore fans and the new casual audience they are so desperate to penetrate.
That’s where the PS3 is heading. It’ll always cater for it’s loyal, hardcore fanbase, but they want to be just as appealing to casual gamers as the Wii. LittleBigPlanet 2 is the perfect game to do that. Even better, unlike Nintendo, Sony has a genuine chance to convert casual gamers into loyal fanboys. It starts with something like LittleBigPlanet, a game that is still accessible, but far more advanced than any Move title (to date). From there the addiction grows and before you know it, people who never understood the video games industry, become heavily ingrained in the action.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is primed to build on the foundations of the original title. It appeals to a mass audience. Hardcore gamers and Move fans are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but finally brought together by the magical world that is LittleBigPlanet 2. As a result, it has the opportunity to be the most popular PS3 exclusive of 2011. It’s the year of threeguel for the big names titles, with Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3 all set to make a big impact. However, it’s LittleBigPlanet 2 that can surpass them all, by bringing the console’s distinctly difference target markets together, and offering a unique style of gameplay that you won’t find anywhere else.
By Ben Salter
Are you excited for LittleBigPlanet 2?