Little Big Planet Karting Review
The racing in Little Big Planet Karting is enoyably off the wall, but a poor level editor tutorial saps some of the game's potential.
Much of the appeal also comes from the aesthetics. Karting draws heavily on the cardboard-cutout style from the Sackboy-starring platformers, and the arts-and-crafts atmosphere is immediately welcoming. Whether you're cruising through swampy locales or racing through a futuristic city, every stage in the extensive story mode has an enticing visual theme of its own. The music feeds into these artistic pleasures. Songs ranging from tribal chants to '50s-style "world of tomorrow" pieces ensure there's plenty of diversity, and you'll be nodding your head along to the beats while guiding Sackboy across the finish line.
There's more than just driving on offer in Karting's story mode. Battle arenas pit you against your stitched foes in an anything-goes test of your physical might. These types of face-offs are standard in karting games, and though it's still fun to pelt your enemies with missiles while avoiding their retaliatory attacks, there's little to distinguish this mode from the glut of similar experiences that preceded it. Other diversions are more interesting. A top-down competition echoes R.C. Pro Am's pint-size challenges, and a side-scrolling level has more in common with an endless runner than a traditional race-to-the-finish racing game. Although these extracurricular activities are entertaining, their role is more to show off what you can create with the extensive creation tools than to provide incredible content on their own.
And once you have a taste for what Karting is capable of, you can try your hand at creating something that rivals the best tracks from the developer. Just be prepared to pour hours into learning how to use the editor first. Unfortunately, the tutorial does a terrible job of walking you through the process of designing your own tracks. Each of the more than 50 included lessons is a noninteractive video. So instead of trying out the various features on your own, you're forced to watch while the game slowly lays out what everything does. Sitting through every video takes more than 90 minutes, and good luck retaining everything you've watched once you set in on your own tracks. Considering games are about doing, rather than watching, there's no excuse for such a poor tutorial.
If you do learn how to use the editor, a wealth of possibilities open up to you. Developer-made examples show levels that are far different from the standard racing and battle fare that populates the campaign. Everything from tower defense to tile-flipping match games are possible, so those who are properly motivated can concoct tons of different game types. However, don't expect these forays into alternate genres to supply the thrills of a stand-alone game. It's certainly novel being able to play a first-person shooter in what was designed as a kart racer, but the controls and weapon design are far below even standards set by the most rudimentary entries in recent memory. And don't get too excited by the prospect of boat races, given that the water physics are closer to a wet roadway than an undulating ocean. Still, being able to design far-reaching genres shows how powerful this tool is, but it's unclear if the non-racing levels will mature to more than simple curios.
Little Big Planet Karting resides in a tricky position. Taken on its own, it's little more than a standard entry in a genre that offers far more enjoyable experiences. It's up to the level editor to separate this game from the pack, then, and the lousy tutorial limits those tools to only the most dedicated designers. At least there are extensive sharing tools to make it easy to play others' creations, opening the door for a wealth of imaginative content. Thankfully, the core racing is exciting, and the lengthy story mode offers a variety of well-designed courses to compete in, so even if the community never takes off, there's still plenty of entertainment to be had.
It looks decent enough, I just don't understand why this needs to exist in a universe where Modnation Racer is a thing.
I really want to play this, Im so unsure about it.
Cant believe it only got a rating of 7!
I will wait a few months and pick it up second hand and give it a go ha
Such an underwhelming release... might still pick this up eventually, even if only at a rent. The gameplay didn't seem very far off from Modnation Racers, which I didn't enjoy that much. It's too bad, this game did have some potential, but I guess I'll still have to play it to make a full opinion.
I think F1 race stars will be better and probably the Sonic and All-Stars as well. Still going to give this one a go though!
Was hoping this game would be awesome. Ive been waiting for a decent kart racer since I sold my wii (and therefore mario kart) Maybe F1 race stars will be the ticket.
@joe_b1_kenobi Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing is an awesome kart racer for PS3 or Xbox. Hoping the next one will be up to standard!
Littlebigplanet was a shotty platformer at best anyway and should have never produced a kart game that is obliviously dwarfed by mario kart.
Good, that is the word that appears right under the score, 7.0. Everybody seems to get carried away by a single number. Dust: An Elysian tail got the same score, guess what the game was actually really fun. At the end of the I play games for enjoyment, I read reviews to get a general idea if a game is worth the monetary plunge. Life's pretty short why not take it easy, play a game maybe. Hahah, or pull your lip over your head and swallow real hard.
The bad he mentioned does not seem even relevant. The score was decided earlier and then the review. Reviews are so shit these days and this guy is just bad. Reviews are just the numbers matter to some so it looks good on paper.
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@Gelugon_baat Didn't you read Steba93's comment ? It was humour. I have no problems with Tom McShea's review.
@Gelugon_baat I've disagreed with Gelugon quite a bit, I feel the need to agree here. He's actual one of the more varied reviewers that I've come to love anyways.
IDK why they let United Front make this game. Its Media Molecules series, they are awesome. But UF sucks
Quite a disappointing score, but at least not as harsh as IGN's. It seems that Karting will not be the "Mario Kart killer" people are searching for.
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@Gelugon_baat Life's so inconvenient when you have to use discernment, eh?
And laugh about yourself. I mean, seriously, who does that?
@Gelugon_baat I'm not going to announce my use of humour for you. Sorry.
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Did I miss something? I went through both pages but there is no mention of online. Is there online for LBP Karting? If there is, should that be talked about. I want to know how good the online performance is and how easy it download and share other people's levels.
But if there is no online, then how the heck does this game get a 7.0?
Ah, Tom McShea review. Personally I like Tom, but oh boy... just can't wait for the "Tom can't review shit" and "this should've gotten higher score because my opinion is better than GS" comments...
@Steba93 Tom can't review shit. This should've gotten higher score because my opinion is better than GS.
@Steba93 Actually, I expect this time he's going to be criticized for giving the game a "7" when the rest of the critics give it a much lower score. It looks like a dreadful and completely unnecessary game, especially considering that ModNation Racers already did most of what LBPK does, but apparently a whole lot better.
My impressions of the Beta were that this is a decent Karting game wrapped in a license that doesn't fit it all too well. Aside from the beautiful crafty looks, the popit interface and creation tools just aren't made for a karting game.
Modnation Racers seems preferable to this.