Have Kart, Will Travel
Out of every new franchise that has been born from this past generation, my favorite would have to be the LittleBigPlanet series. It allowed its players to enter a craft world full of whimsical charm, platforming fun, and a massive amount of creation, giving people like me the chance to make their own levels and utilize their imaginations to the max. The series hasn't really moved out of its genre as of yet... until now. LittleBigPlanet Karting is Sony and United Front Games' attempt to cash-in on the Mario Kart crowd. Whether that crowd owns PlayStations is up in the air, but what the final product is is one worthy of a look. Rev your engines, Sackpeople across the planet, and get ready to race. It's LittleBigPlanet Karting time.
The main mode of LittleBigPlanet Karting is the Story Mode. This sees a monstrous menace known as the Horde madly picking clean every area they infest. It's your Sackperson's job to save the craft universe through visiting multiple planets to right the wrongs the Horde have caused. Each planet takes you through a varied round of events, some as simple as three lap races while others are more involved, such as fighting Horde members in a battle arena, participating in a waypoint race against the clock, and playing keep-away with a dinosaur egg.
The first track of LBP Karting takes players
back to a familiar setting for fans of the original LBP.
|Beware! The AI can be pretty cheap.|
Use the L1 button to grab onto these blocks
and swing across large chasms.
|What is this, Nickolodeon with all this slime?|
By far the most ingenious part of the LittleBigPlanet series is the ability to create your own stuff and share it with the community at large. Instead of making 2D levels like the series proper, you're making your own fully 3D track, and it's as easy as paving a road through driving a Sackboy across the lay of the land. You can even have the game auto-finish your track if you're really lazy. You can create the typography, time of day, what music is played, ambient sounds, camera angles to bookend the race on your track, and objects that will line your track (or you can use the ones already pre-made). Breadcrumbs can be used to let players take the road less traveled instead of being restricted to solely the track you paved. This is the way to create shortcuts and other interesting routes.
|A look at my own work in LBP Karting.|
|What some creators have made is simply incredible.|
While it's not the best kart racer on the PlayStation 3, or even the best kart racer released in 2012, LittleBigPlanet Karting is a serviceable racer that doesn't really do much to entertain in the Story Mode, but really shines when you dive into the creation and community aspects of the game. You have to give the developer credit on taking the LittleBigPlanet universe and effectively transposing it to the kart racing genre. You don't, however, have to give credit to the cheap AI even on the easiest difficulty. That will certainly turn off a lot of younger players, and possibly even the less patient older players. That said, LittleBigPlanet Karting is a charmer, a competent racer, a nice addition to most PS3 owners' libraries.
[SPC Says: 7.5/10]