E3 2011: Touching, Poking & Getting Down With LittleBigPlanet For PSVita

By Colin Tan on June 13, 2011, 3:29PM EDT

LittleBigPlanet and Sackboy have been pretty big hits since their first debut on the PS3, soon followed by a sequel as well as a portable spinoff on the PSP. Offering a myriad of brain-teasing puzzles, a suite of creative tools for creating your own levels and even sharing them with other players all over the world, it's no wonder LittleBigPlanet is one of Sony's several franchises to spearhead the launch of the PlayStation Vita. We managed some hands-on time with Sackboy at E3 this year and fans can certainly expect a whole ton of fun from this new creative adventure.

LittleBigPlanet Vita is as LittleBigPlanet as one has come to expect. Moving around is as simple as using the dual analog sticks, hitting the X button to jump and holding down the R button to grab onto something. I'm not going to bore you with what you already know, LittleBigPlanet Vita has thrown in a whole bunch of new ways to tackle puzzles thanks to the hardware's built-in Sixaxis sensors and touch screens.

LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita - Onoes! <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5273/5829453761_341349728f_z.jpg" width="300 alt="LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita - Zoom zoom!">

Kicking off the demo, the first noticeable thing is just how intuitive all of these new control methods are. I didn't see any Sackboy on screen and the first thing I did was to naturally pull away at the curtains with my finger, revealing a checkpoint and everyone's favourite LBP mascot, Sackboy! Before moving on, the rep was kind enough to hint that elements in the level covered with star textures denoted objects that can be used with the touch screen.

Moving right along the demo level, I was introduced to various simple puzzles: playing piano keys with the touch screen opened a door, while tilting the Vita induced gravity and physics to move platforms or objects towards whichever direction I needed it to go; tapping on the rear touch pad shifted objects that blocked my path towards the front, opening up pathways for little ol' Sackboy. I soon came to a bit where Sackboy had to grab onto star-textured object whilst I rotated it clockwise with my finger, tossing Sackboy up into the air and onto the right path. It all just feels really intuitive and, more importantly, really fun.

LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita - Level creation LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita - Minigames

What about the looks, you ask? Well, needless to say, LittleBigPlanet on the PlayStation Vita looks pretty darn good and very much like its PS3 counterpart. However, from what I've played, it seems it only has two levels of depth. That, or it might have just been the demo level. In any case, LittleBigPlanet Vita definitely adds more to the way you play LBP. Unfortunately, Sony wasn't showing a whole lot of the creative tools for the game, but you can expect that building levels is going to be just as intuitive as playing the game, what with the new touch controls.

The reps were also a bit coy when asked about some form of CrossPlay between LBP2 and LBP Vita. The community created levels and DLC may make their way into LBP Vita, although Sony would not fully commit to it. However, the thought of CrossPlay, not only with levels and DLC, but with online multiplayer is certainly a very welcomed feature. WipEout 2048 has CrossPlay with WipEout HD/Fury on the PS3, giving us more than enough hope that the same can and will be done with LittleBigPlanet Vita.

LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation Vita - Return of the Sackbots

Alongside Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Sound Shapes, Virtua Tennis, WipEout 2048 and more, LittleBigPlanet is just one more golden title among the Vita's solid launch lineup - and definitely a sign of things to come on Sony's new handheld. From the touch screens to the Sixaxis sensors, there are a lot of new ways to play, create and share in LittleBigPlanet. I'm personally looking forward to the release of this game at the end of the year.

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