Little Big Planet 2 - Courtesy of Sony

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JOYSTICK: LBP 2 is a sack full of family fun

Published 5:00pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video games don’t get cuddlier than Little Big Planet 2, the latest entry in Sony’s flagship series featuring an adorable stuffed doll named Sack Thing (formerly Sack Boy) and his adventures in a fabric and cardboard-laden world.

LBP 2’s game play is familiar, and with a few new options, some more monsters and a heaping helping of more creative output, LBP 2 is a great family find on the PS3.

This puzzling platformer is known for its unique alternative-looking aesthetic and a vibrant online community that designs playable levels for little Sack Boys and Sack Girls to run around in.

The game gives players all the tools they need to create their own worlds and stories, and lets players earn more options to create things through its story mode, this time focusing on an alien presence called the Negativitron, which is depressing everyone in the world.

The cutesy cartoonish story isn’t really what make this game a good family game, however. The gameplay is deceptively simple, but easy to pick up.

The puzzles and actions the game takes you through makes it surprisingly enjoyable, such as a ride down a steep slope or running and dodging an enemy.

The difficulty ramps up as players progress through story levels, with seemingly easy jumps turning into nightmares and a lot of death. If you can make it through at least some of the story levels, the game opens up its online community, where the real fun begins.

LBP 2 offers more level creation options than ever before, with access to all of the created levels from the first online community. The game consistently encourages online play throughout, and there’s a ton of trophies to be earned by creating, rating and playing through levels everyday people have created.

The difficulty and the somewhat forced online play are the only drawbacks to this game. While it’s fun, it does get a bit tedious at times and there are way too many trophies for online gameplay, which isn’t fair to those who don’t have wireless Internet or broadband.

Despite these drawbacks, LBP 2 is still a heck of a fun game, with a lot of cool features like grappling hooks and the opportunity to post photos taken with the Playstation Eye directly into a level. Families looking for less violent games to share with their kids should definitely consider picking up a copy.

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