LittleBigMemories

January 1st, 2010 -

Well, the holidays are over, and one of the biggest updates in LittleBigPlanet has come. After just over a year in stores LBP has grown into one of the best gaming experiences in my life, and this post is to highlight just that. Let me take you back about a year and I’ll recount my days of LBP. *time warp sound effect: go!*

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I first heard of  LBP from Ryan and wasn’t to keen on the idea “Play, Create, Share” being the motto which the game boasted. Early on it looked like a lame kind of kiddish game in my eyes (narrow minded, I know), as if Sony was trying to cash in on all the Mario kids of the Wii. That they would one up Nintendo by adding in a crappy level builder. Boy was I wrong! When Ryan actually got around to showing me some stuff on it, I started to change my opinion. Then I started watching videos of gameplay, both playing and creating levels, and was blown away at the depth of customization and atmosphere this game was bringing to Sony’s plate. What was once a “kiddish game” now looked like a game I could get into.

Mid October rolls around and the game is in our grasp (literally, we got it in a week early where we work) and news of a delay/recall hit us. The culprit: offensive lyrics in one of the game’s songs. So the next day corporate issues a recall in our stores and we have to send them back, but all was not lost. While Ryan was on lunch that day he did some digging/calling and found a local game store that was still going forward with the release. They had six copies and we got four of them (one for Ryan, Jason, a fellow co-worker and I). Ah the excitement! Not so much for me, more so for Ryan, but the fact that we had a recalled game felt really cool. I was among the lucky few of you who purchased LBP on its original day one.

Got home to boot up the game that night and online wasn’t working, not that I expected it to. So I started to play the single player portion and again was blown away at the amazing work Media Molecule did at making those levels. Didn’t delve into level creation until much later, and even today I’m not that great at it. It was a rocky start that first week. When online finally hit, it was riddled with lag and other problems. About two weeks passed and they patched the game fixing a lot of the issues. So online play was good, had fun playing lots of levels with friends, as well as random people. One of my favorite things to do to Ryan was grief him. If I was hanging from a ledge and he was hanging from me I would proclaim I loved him and then let go, resulting in both of our deaths. It was great!

Couple of weeks go by and I’m obsessed at this point. Playing the game, having fun, getting trophies, and then DLC comes out. I believe it was the MotorStorm costume that started me down my spiral of LBP purchases, yet it’s not a day I regret. Ever since then Media Molecule has released a steady stream of great DLC and I’ve bought every single one of them. It was like the Pok√©mon syndrom; I had to collect it all, and I had no problem doing so. By buying all this stuff I was giving support to a great company, and with great packs like the MGS levels it was very hard to stay away.

Months go by and LBP takes up less of my time, but it’s still very fun to play with friends. Ryan decides he’s going to make a bunch of new levels for the hell of it, and they turned out quite awesome. Dig Down was the fun and zany level that let you die and still accomplish something (oh, and it has explosions!). He did a couple others, but it wasn’t until he built his two parter Mystery of the Volcano that I really saw him as a top notch level designer. So what else was a guy like me (who wants to build cool levels, but sucks at it) to do? I recruited him to help me design a three part level/story. At this point I actually drew maps, wrote scripts, and had little LBP hangout sessions to get this level made.

LBP had me hooked again. I was happy to be able to lend my wacky imagination to compliment Ryan’s amazing design capability. All was going good until I lost interest in the project for awhile. Seems like that always happens with me though, but we’re back! The level is coming along great. It’s seems that LBP will always have things to offer. Even a year after its release it is still seeing support from Media Molecule.  Seldom do games still have support a year after release, and Media Molecule is still planning things for 2010.

I look back on my first year of LBP with awe and can’t help but wonder what’s to come. There are still a lot of great things Media Molecule can do with this game. Hell, we still haven’t gotten that Final Fantasy pack that they showed off earlier this year. There are even several goals I want to achieve in this game: my platinum trophy (oh so close, yet so far), the finished versions of my trilogy of levels, participating in a new beta, being able to buy the Media Molecule shirt (I know, pathetic), and the attainment of a LBP crown (so far fetched with my skills that it’s ridiculous). So while the new year wrings in, with it comes another great year from the dreamscape.

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