LittleBigPlanet is an interesting franchise. While it’s a 2D platformer at its heart, for many it’s also a breeding ground for an infinite array of wholly different games and experiences because of its expansive level creation tools. The sheer creative freedom that LBP offers its players is unheard of on consoles, and certainly a huge part of the series’ charm. Whether you play LBP games for the platforming or the creation, it’s a heck of a franchise. That said, LBP isn’t perfect, and here are a couple of things Sony could change that might improve the experience for all.
Pace the Story Better
Story can play a very important role in a video game, but it should never negatively impact gameplay. In the case of LBP, its narrative too often causes awkward pauses, interrupting a smooth run through a stage in order to interject a block of text. Of course, that’s not to say LBP isn’t effective as a vehicle for story, as the games in the series have all been amusing in their own way. So rather than do away with narrative, I think the developers at Media Molecule should simply find a better way of incorporating it. Put the dialogue and narrative in towards the beginning and ending of each stage, and gameplay will be able to flow smoothly and naturally for the duration.
Streamline the Map
I’ve never been a big fan of the LBP series’ world map of planetoids and their branching pathways. I appreciate the creativity, but in a video game, form shouldn’t come before function. It should be a lot easier to look at the map and know what I have and haven’t done without so much strain. When I haven’t played a LBP game for a while, sometimes I get a little lost trying to find exactly where I left off. It’s a small fix, but it would be more than welcome.
Spruce Up Those Controls
Ok, this is probably more of a “me” thing, but I’ve always felt that Sackboy is a little too floaty and irregular in his jumping and movements. LBP’s controls are more than serviceable, and I can honestly say nothing about them has ever ruined my time with any of the games, but they can be inconsistent. Sometimes, Sackboy just isn’t moving the way I want him to with regularity. Polish those controls, Media Molecule, and Sackboy will truly be on the same level as Super Mario himself.
With the power of PS4, Sony has the potential to do something absolutely crazy with the LBP franchise moving forward. I really hope that they do, and if they follow my suggestions here, the series can be better than ever!