Since arriving on the market earlier this year, Sony's PlayStation Vita has seen plenty of good games, but a true "killer app" has yet to make its way to the powerful portable device.
Sure, launch titles such as "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" and "Super Stardust Delta," along with more recent offerings like "Sound Shapes" and "Gravity Rush," showcased the Vita's unique capabilities and presented exciting gameplay possibilities, but few have had the mass appeal to be a true system-seller.
Enter "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita," a potent portable experience that puts one of the PlayStation 3's most beloved franchises in the palm of your hand. Not only does "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita" retain all of the charm and style of its console predecessors, but the franchise's classic platforming gameplay and bite-sized levels are arguably better-suited for the Vita and its on-the-go gaming.
Make no mistake, though -- no corners were cut in order to bring a true "LBP" experience to the Vita. Everything you loved (or hated) about the console versions, from deep character customization and sticker collecting to the floaty feel of the platforming, is here, including all of the excellent user-created content fans of the series have been churning out for years. Vita owners can also create, save and share new levels designed from the ground up in "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita," though the creation process itself remains rather complicated. Multiplayer is also supported for up to four players.
"LittleBigPlanet PS Vita" feels instantly familiar, and with good reason. This is, essentially, the same game we've been playing on the PlayStation 3 for years. But "LBP PS Vita" also offers some innovative features, such as the introduction of the Arcade, a world within the story mode that features unique mini-games like air hockey and a "LBP" version of "Tetris."
And then there are the touch and motion controls. It should come as no surprise that "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita" would make use of all of the Vita's various bells and whistles, including the camera, but what was surprising was how well they worked and how little they disrupted the overall flow of the game. Whether it was using the touchscreen to pull down launchers or the back touchpad to activate switches, the controls were quick and responsive. Developers would be wise to take note of how "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita" handles touch controls and follow its lead.
It's no secret that I've been a big proponent of the PlayStation Vita since its release. From its gorgeous display to its pure power, the Vita is unrivaled in the handheld market. But a gaming console is only as good as the games you play on it, and the Vita was in desperate need of that one "killer app" that would make non-Vita owners take notice. "LittleBigPlanet PS Vita" is that game.
Developer: Tarsier Studios, Double Eleven Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available for: PlayStation Vita ($49.99)
Rating: E 10 for everyone 10-and-up