So, are four free games enough to atone for the inconvenience and privacy violations Playstation owners suffered during last month’s PSN outage? I dunno, I’m pretty happy with the arrangement myself.
I’ve been an Xbox 360 man from the very beginning, so the Playstation Network’s downtime barely affected me at all. Hell, I don’t think I even owned a Playstation 3 when this whole mess went down! Still, I never pass up a chance to scoop up free games when they’re offered, so Sony’s peace offering was welcomed with open arms here at Casa Del Blitzo.
Without a PS3, I had to settle for two of the games offered for its pint-sized cousin, the PSP. However, it hardly feels like “settling” when the games on tap are as good as Little Big Planet. I spent a little QT with this one after the much-too-lengthy downloading and installation process, and I’ve got to say that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.
Sure, the game is a bog-standard platformer… you hop around, scooping up the widgets in each stage for points. However, the quality of the design and the promise of nearly unlimited customization are what add the extra to this ordinary side-scrolling action title.
The game looks fantastic for a handheld release, and the gentle British humor strikes a middle ground between the work of A.A. Milne and Monty Python. The narrator’s attempts at player empowerment sometimes have the distinct aftertaste of self-promotion (“you can do anything you want… IN OUR WONDERFUL GAME!”), but the writers’ hearts are in the right place. More or less.
I haven’t tried any of the customization options beyond dressing my Sackboy in black boots and throwing a few stickers around, but I’m in no great rush to make my own stages. However, I would like to know if the design engine offers all the flexibility of its PS3 counterpart. I remember someone making a pretty close approximation of the first stage from Gradius in the original Little Big Planet. Would such a feat be possible in its handheld counterpart, or is it strictly limited to platforming? Inquiring minds want to know!
I’ll be giving my other PSN freebie, Modnation Racers, a spin next. I’m not expecting the greatness of that other kart racer (you know, the one with those Italian guys in it), but for the price, who could complain?