Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Little Big Planet 3 (PS 4)

I rarely review video games that I don't finish, but I was so close to finishing the main story in Little Big Planet 3 that I'll make an exception.

The biggest issue with the game on the PS4 has been the loading screens. While I also faced slow loading times on the PS Vita, and even the PS3, I've been reconditioned by the superb PS4 experiences so far to be unpleasantly surprised that every little sublevel on this title entered me into a loading screen. Not only are there a lot of loading screens, but they are ridiculously, unpleasantly long. Even in cases when you die during a level, you'll get a loading screen. If you die a lot, eventually the Hybrid SSD installed on my machine would cache it so that it's no longer unpleasant, but given that no other game seems to have loading screens, Little Big Planet 3 stands out in particularly poor fashion.

All this would be OK if the game play was great or a step up over prior versions of Little Big Planet. The introduction of 3 new characters, each of which have special game play features and puzzles are promising, but you use them far too little in the main game.

What broke the camel's back in this particular case was the final mission. You have to unlock 3 different levels. The problem is, there's no checkpointing whatsoever between the levels. So if you died in the middle of level 3, for instance, you'd be flipped back all the way to the beginning and you'd have to do everything all over again. This would be unpleasant if you're 9 years old and had plenty of time to play. For a busy parent, this is player-abuse, and caused me to ship the entire disk back to Amazon.

Between the loading screens and lack of respect for the player's time, this game gains an avoid rating. (Yes, I invented a new rating for games you should actively avoid)

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