Written by Lucy Vincent - Communications Intern at Liquid Crimson - @Lucyjvin
LittleBigPlanet is one of my all-time favourite games! I have very fond memories playing it with my dad and brother as a kid. There are many things that I loved about it… the costumes, the levels, the community, and who could forget the adorable Sackboy himself. In fact, I love him so much that two of him stand on my desk to this day!
LBP was one of Sony’s most successful PS3 titles, selling a mindblowing 3 million copies worldwide. While Media Molecule have gone on to develop other awesome games in the creative gaming genre - such as Tearaway and Dreams - LBP is still very dear to the Mm community and remains one of the greatest games the Molecules have created.
SACKBOY: THE CHARACTER & COSTUMES
LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy became one of Playstation’s mascots - and one of their most iconic. In fact, if you caught the Uncharted movie recently, you would have caught a glimpse of him in the opening animated ident.
Is that a new PlayStation Productions animation? 👀— PlayStation (@PlayStation) February 15, 2022
See it on the big screen before the @UnchartedMovie action begins! pic.twitter.com/FB8kXyyMAy
But what makes Sackboy so special, and why did the gaming world fall in love with him? I think it may be down to his carefully executed animations, coupled with the fact he is so very customisable…
The game controls allow for a number of expressions - according to the LBP Wiki Sackboy can show more than 13 emotions - which include three different neutral, sad, happy, and angry ones. Now that’s some attention to emotional detail! It gave me immense pleasure messing around with the controls and making faces. I’d wind up my bro and dad by slapping them at the end of a level if they tried to pull a smug face at me for beating my score. It was hilarious and entertaining, for me at least - I used it to my advantage to try to get into the victory picture every time!
Mm did a superb job at keeping creativity at the core of LBP. Sackboy starts off as a plain, knitted ragdoll with a metal zip fastener and buttons for eyes but as you progress through story mode you can collect new clothes, accessories, and materials for your Sackboy character - I was constantly trying out new looks!
The ability to customise Sackboy to be whoever I wanted and play around with different outfit saves gave me a lot of joy. One minute I’d be prancing around wearing bunny ears with a ‘Pink Dot’ or ‘Plain Natural’ skin, the next I’d look like a cute little green Leprechaun. The possibilities seemed endless, and each was more adorable than the last!
It comes as no surprise that Sackboy is still such a beloved mascot - since LBP there’s been over 30 video game licenses featuring other successful PlayStation games made available as downloadable Sackboy costumes. Previous examples have included Bioshock, Final Fantasy VII and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Most recently, Sackboy appeared as Aloy and Sylens - to celebrate the new Horizon: Zero Dawn release.
THE LEVEL CREATION & COMMUNITY
Even though LBP had an excellent story mode of its own, with fun levels and mini-games - my personal favourite being Skateboard Freefall where you could roll down a ramp on a giant skateboard - it was very much a community-driven title. Players were given the opportunity to find their passion and creativity by not only playing the game, but creating and sharing their own levels and enjoying other people’s creations.
The tools provided were easily accessible and usable so that almost anyone could make something cool in LBP and share it with the world. The community contributed to the making of over 300,000 levels and made the game what it was. Rumour has it that there used to be a digital counter in the Mm studio that tracked how many community created levels had been made for years after the game’s release.
In true Mm style, creative mode in LBP is fun and accessible for all players! I watched my dad make all sorts of cool levels from a rollercoaster to a christmas-themed music box one that played the song ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby - created using the music sequencer tool available in the game. I do remember annoying my dad (as you do as a kid) by stamping stickers everywhere because I thought it was funny and dragging out sponges to fill the entire screen… my contribution to the creative process, obviously!
Through playing LBP with my dad - whether watching him create levels, being a sticker stamping menace or enjoying amazing community-made levels (like the one where you’re getting chased by dinosaurs and shooting them with a paintball gun - classic!) - the best part was getting to enjoy quality time together, all thanks to Guildford studio Media Molecule.
THE MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS
The music in LBP is something I will never forget! It was so unique and the music styles were varied throughout the game. By far my fave song has to be 'Get It Together' by The Go! Team as it's just so memorable, fun and reminds me of the adventure through levels that makes me feel warmly nostalgic. The songs were carefully selected and in a play through discussion of LBP back in 2015 it was said that Sony sent 1,000 tracks and Mm whittled it down to just 20 or 30.
If you’ve also played LittleBigPlanet and love it as much as we do, let us know any Sackboy memories or stories you may have over on Twitter @GUGamesFest - we’d love to hear from you!