Sony was kind enough to send us a preview code for LittleBigPlanet on the PS Vita. That got us into the first section of levels, the level builder and the community areas.
This preview is, then, extremely limited. We’ll reserve our thoughts to quick impressions. More than likely, let this stand as a preview for our review. Yeah, we’re not crazy about the idea either.
LittleBigPlanet works really well on the PS Vita. In fact, if the final product comes out perfectly, this will be one of the best games for the system. It’s beautiful, the charm remains intact (despite the fact that MediaMolecule isn’t in charge) and the gameplay works really well.
The touchscreen is used brilliantly in two aspects: level building, as one would expect, and mini-games. The mini-games play like smartphone titles, and there will likely be a ton to choose from once the community steps into the picture. That means, stay with me here, LittleBigPlanet for the PS Vita will offer up a suite of free games (not including the price of the title itself) for anyone with an internet connection.
The only nitpick we really have with this preview is that apparent need for touchscreen gameplay to invade the general platforming space. Touchscreen usage makes sense in mini-games (like the five great arcade offerings we got to play), and it absolutely makes sense in level creation; however, Sony’s developing studios elected to make touchscreen a mechanic in level traversal. That much, we didn’t like.
You’ll have to grab and move certain platforms in order to reach destinations. Even worse, you’ll have to push platforms forward by touching the rear pad. These features are all well and good, but they break from the otherwise seamless platforming experience. You’ll need to physically remove a hand from the fantastic analog controls in order to make use of the touchscreen. We didn’t like that.
While we will certainly have to save our major judgements (and an official score) until we finally have time with the retail release of LittleBigPlanet for the PS Vita, we’re confident in telling you that it’s good fun. The smattering of levels, the smooth gameplay, the possibilities of touch in mini-games and the thought of a pitch-perfect Sackboy on the go are all great reasons to get excited.