LittleBigPlanet

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Awww, isn't he just the cutest?


LittleBigPlanet is a video game on the Play Station 3, and was supposed to be one of its killer apps. It's based on the basic idea of customizable, user-created funhouse levels. Critics loved it (for example, it received a perfect 10 in Edge), but initial sales were disappointing (they got better). This is possibly because it was one of the greatest 2D (okay, 2½D) platformers ever made... at a time when 2D platformers were about as relevant to gaming culture as Vaudeville is to Broadway theater. (at least in the U.S.)

However, this doesn't stop the number of user-generated levels from reaching over two million as of this writing. As Wikipedia puts it, its gameplay "revolves around the player's control of small avatars, known as Sackboys or Sackgirls owing to their Stitch Punk appearance, in a variety of platforming scenarios. Though the game features a set of pre-built levels for players to explore, of equal importance is the game's customizable nature, from altering the player's character and personal space, to building entirely new objects and levels, and then sharing and playing them online as part of the LittleBigPlanet community." It includes narration by Stephen Fry. That's right, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now your Guide to this galaxy.

Did we tell you that there's a game on the PlayStation Portable with entirely different levels but the same gameplay and features? And a sequel on the Play Station 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, which dramatically improves the editing tools available for the players? And an installment for the Playstation Vita? And a... kart racing game?

Did you also know about the upcoming LittleBigPlanet 3 for the PlayStation 4?


Tropes used in LittleBigPlanet include:
  • 2½D
  • An Interior Designer Is You: In your pod, your levels, and even the main story levels if you want.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory A less observable phenomenon throughout the series and does not apply literally. However, it is worth noting that about the same weeks that notable DLC packs come out (eg Metal Gear Solid, Pirates of the Caribbean etc), a lot of levels simply containing the new content begin to surface sucking up all the ratings and fame that they can get before the said content becomes ordinary. Probably the biggest example of this was when the Pirates of the Caribbean DLC came out resulting in thousands of people spamming levels consisting of nothing but water with the occasional rocket-powered boat.
  • Character Customization
  • Downloadable Content: The Metal Gear expansion mentioned before also gives a Snake costume, as well as Meryl, and one of the bosses. And as seen here, there is downloadable content involving The Watchmen.
    • Now, there are theme packs for the PSP. Some costumes from the packs are free, however.
    • As of 10/01/11, there is a truly massive amount of DLC, including levels, objects, stickers, costumes, and even compatibility with the Playstation Move.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Explosives of any kind create mushroom clouds in the background if you detonate enough of them.
  • Everything is Better With Everything:
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "The Material Changer is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Or on the cardboard. Or the polystyrene. Or whatever else it is that you want it to say it on."
  • Expansion Pack World: And it's Metal Gear Solid themed, to boot.
    • Now there's also a Pirates of the Caribbean pack as well. Slightly harder than the Metal Gear Solid pack, but it's the only way to be able to use Water in your LBP1 levels.
    • Other downloadable themes include ancient history, monsters, Toy Story, Marvel Comics, The Muppets, and an original world made for use with the Playstation Move.
  • Genre Busting: Try explaining this to someone who hasn't really played it. The first game is a platformer, but encourages you to build whatever kind of level you want, whether it be an actual level in the vein of Mario or just a music or set-piece showcase. The second game, however, looks to embrace this wholeheartedly, as it was marketed as a platform for games rather than a platform game. The main game showcases some unique gameplay styles, including a side-scrolling shooter that looks like a retro arcade game. The overall effect is a mashup of Gmod for consoles, Mario, winks and nods toward Monty Python-style humor, and sinister weaponized cuteness.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There are a few winks and nods, such as Stephen Fry telling you not to smirk when he talks about making rods stiff and erect (for use in contraption-building) during a tutorial.
    • Others include stripper meerkats, complete with the pole and bunny ears, seen in the Meerkat Kingdom level.
    • When faced with a moving spike hazard in the Islands, you'll find fresh blood stains on the floor and walls.
    • Eve's design demonstrates... well... you'd never think anyone would be able to make a sexy apple, but there you go.
    • The Asylum is hippie-themed, except for Eve herself... Medicinal drugs, anyone?
    • In the second level of Avalonia, when The Negativatron attacks, Avalon exclaims, "My impregnable fortress has been impregnated!"
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: Your base, The Pod, is a rocket ship made out of a cardboard box.
  • Level Editor: Said to be better than the tools Media Molecule uses.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Sackboy can't really take much damage before exploding or getting thrown off and popping out of the last checkpoint. The only exception is fire, which causes him to get singed and hop away, hopefully toward safer ground. If he touches it twice in succession, he's dead.
    • However, in Little Big Planet 2, you can pilot contraptions with health meters. Some player-created levels also give a health meter to Sackboy himself.
  • Oxygen Meter: If a Sackperson stays underwater for 30 seconds without resurfacing or reaching a Bubble Maker, they pop from lack of air.
  • Please Subscribe to Our Channel: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a genuine comment that's actually about a level, and not begging you to play/heart the commenter's own levels. Note- This is nigh impossible. Even Liquid Ocelot resorts to spamming to garner hearts- see below
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: In the Metal Gear Solid themed expansion pack, Liquid Ocelot's plan is to flood LBP with pointless trophy levels so that he can be loved, and the Metal Gear itself is essentially beaten by a Sackboy with a paintball gun.
  • Punk Punk: Stitchpunk.
  • Rainbow Speak
  • Socialization Bonus: The only way to get some of the rare items in story mode. Two areas of the POTC pack also have this, but the MGS pack (and all other DLC levels) can be fully completed by yourself.
  • Speaking Simlish: Magic Mouths have an option that allows them to emit various versions of this.
  • Stealth Pun: Sackboy's default look is stated to be made of hessian material. It's also worth mentioning a few of his outfit sets are themed around various types of soldiers.
  • Sturgeon's Law: As expected of anything soliciting content from the general public, a lot of the user-created levels are ... not so good. However, with over 3 million levels to pick from, that leaves a good 300,000 that range from pretty good to fantastically awesome.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Determining a Sackboy or Sackgirl is based solely on what clothing and design options the player places on them.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: More so in the sequel. LBP1 featured unlockable side levels containing various mini-games, but they were completely optional. In LBP2, about halfway through the main storyline (that is, ignoring the side levels), conventional platforming starts taking a backseat to top-down and side-scrolling shmups and other arcade genres.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can slap other players, or drag them around.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The Moon. A lot of level slots, and so much items (if you're an item bubble collector, or if you were going for the Booty Master trophy).

LittleBigPlanet 1 Tropes[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Skulldozer is the "run away until you reach the end" type.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The third chapter of the Gardens, Skate to Victory, has one of these.
    • The entire Wedding level. It's being celebrated by skeletons.
  • Blackout Basement: The Darkness.
  • Bowdlerise: One of the songs, Tapha Niang, originally contained two passages from the Koran; to not offend any Muslims who might object to the use of the quotes, Sony delayed the game right before its launch in order to patch the discs in order to replace the song with a version without the lyrics. It wasn't so much because of the fact that they might offend the Muslims, but it's more likely that they did it because of the fact that you hear talk about how everyone's going to die while swinging around on random safari animals.
  • Collection Sidequest: Getting all of the prizes may seem like this, but they can actually be useful.
  • Deadly Gas: Two Words: Horrible Gas. If a Sackperson touches it (even with their arms or feet, not just their head), they dissolve. Horrible Gas actually comes in six colors, but green is the most common. The others are used mostly to make the player think it's something else, like gray gas for fog, or purple gas for some kind of monster-related thing, as seen in the "Monsters" level pack. Unless it's deliberately attached to something else (done by gluing a material to a Piston or another material before lethalizing it with the Horrible Gas Tool, as shown by the ghosts of the third level of The Gardens), it stays in place and cannot be moved. Anything that isn't a Sackperson can move through the gas, however. A lot of level creators have this as their hazard of choice, though electrified materials and the plasma balls of the Metal Gear Solid pack are just as lethal. Fire, on the other hand, takes two hits to kill a Sackperson.
  • Endless Game: The user levels have grown beyond the point where a person could ever hope to play them all.
    • Also, the survival challenges.
  • Eternal Engine: The Wilderness, ironically enough.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Collector, the main antagonist of the game showed up in all the previous worlds before being introduced in the final boss battle.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Uncle Jalapeno, the Mexican character, has a lowrider in the first America level.
  • Game Breaking Bug: Unfortunately plagued with many of these:
    • Least severe was the terrible, horrible server lag that was apparent for the first few months of the game, rendering it nearly unplayable online, despite the online connectivity being one of the main points of the game.
    • Many players encountered a bug called the "Wheel of Death" that, when making a large grab-able material spin extremely fast in the level editor and grabbing on, they would no longer be able to respawn, stuck on some sort of infinite pseudo-death loop. Returning to the pod (main menu, basically) continued this, and this persisted even upon resetting the game, rendering the game completely unplayable for those affected. The only way to undo this was to delete the entire save data.
    • Still prancing around is the bug that makes your file completely unable to save new data (and gives no error indicating this. The game only autosaves), apparently brought on by having too many custom/community objects, and it's supposedly fixable by deleting all of that and avoiding community objects like the plague. Obviously nobody wants to do this either.
    • In the second level, Get A Grip, items can disappear with the only known cure being to start a new file and hope your luck hasn't run out. The "Moody Cloud" sticker is one of the more common disappearances.
  • Humongous Mecha:
  • Malevolent Architecture: The wheel of death in "The Bunker" level.
  • Ominous Russian Chanting: The Battle on the Ice, which is played during the final stage and many a custom level. Also would have had hints of ominous Arabic chanting if it wasn't for the aforementioned bowdlerization.
  • One-Woman Wail: "Cries in the Wind".
  • Remilitarized Zone: Most of The Wilderness.
  • Rescue Romance: One of the trailers subverts this at the end.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Sackboys and Sackgirls even spend much of their time with their mouths open, possibly with their tongues hanging out like little happy puppies.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Canyons.
  • Sinister Subway: The second level of the Metropolis is a subway without the "sinister".
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Wilderness.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Boom Town. Goodbye patience!
  • Worthy Opponent: Ze Dude sees the Sackpeople as this.
  • Wutai: The Islands.

Tropes present in LittleBigPlanet 2[edit | hide]

  • The Ace: Avalon Centrifuge.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Copernicus the Guard Turkey, of the "run away until you win" type.
  • Asteroids Monster: The fifth boss.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Most characters, but Avalon Centrifuge really takes the cake.
  • Background Boss: The Negativatron, in two of his 3 phases.
    • Not really, since him dropping his head hurts you, meaning he's on the same layer and technically not in the background.
    • But LBP only has 3 layers anyways, so the fight's about as close to a Background Boss as you can get.
  • Big Bad: The Negativatron.
  • Big Good: Larry Da Vinci.
  • Blackout Basement: A part of "Fireflies When You're Having Fun" is lit only by the flaming flies.
  • The Cameo: Most of the NPCs from Little Big Planet 1 show up at Eve's Asylum, apparently having been driven mad by the Negativatron's virus.
  • Ceiling Cling/Wall Crawl: The Attract-O-Gel material and Attract-O-Tweaker from the Muppets DLC pack enable both of these abilities.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: Part of Victoria's Laboratory drifts into this.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dr. Higginbotham. Even when cured of his mental illness, he is still pretty out there.
  • Colossus Climb: The giant robot near the end of the game.
  • Crapsack World: The Factory of a Better Tomorrow, since that the Negativitron destroyed it and made the only inhabits Clive and the brainwashed Sackbots
  • Darker and Edgier: It's still pretty adorable, but you're fighting an Eldritch Abomination with elements of The Corruption this time around, and the game actually has a plot.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Pipe Dreams, there is a symbol of a fist, where you are supposed to make the index and ring fingers rise to create the hand that rockers use. If you make the middle finger rise, a "Denied" box appears over the finger before it fully rises.
  • Down in the Dumps: The final level of The Factory of a Better Tomorrow and the levels of The Cosmos that are on the Negativitron.
  • The Eeyore: Clive Handforth.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Negativatron. Think of it as a giant purple space vacuum cleaner. That's just its head- the last levels of the game take place on the actual body of the Negativitron.
    • Arguably Sackboy, after you get the tentacles outfit.
  • Eternal Engine: The Factory of a Better Tomorrow, and the inner parts of Victoria's factory.
  • Face Ship: The Huge Spaceship, which has Sackboy's face on it.
  • Feathered Fiend: Copernicus the Guard Turkey.
  • Five-Man Band: The Creators form one.
  • Game Breaking Bug: Two bugs in fact, one is the "Spawn-pop Cancer", caused by resizing your Sackperson which causes your character to no longer spawn in levels, figuratively breaking the game. The second is called the "New Era" and also causes your Sackperson to not spawn, but can be contracted like a virus from a level that was created by a person infected with the bug.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: "Ready Sack Thing? Unleash heckfire in the name of The Alliance!"
  • Glorious Mother Russia / Commie Land: The Factory of a Better Tomorrow contains many Soviet Russian elements, such as the red fists and "comrade!" signs.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: One of the new items introduced in this game; used in some of the levels of Story Mode.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Victoria's level mixes Level Ate with Eternal Engine.
    • Avalonia mixes Floating Continent (it's a city in the sky) with Tomorrowland.
    • According to Game Informer's June 2010 reveal of LBP 2, all story mode themes were supposed to have a clash of themes: Da Vinci's Study mixed modern technology with the Renaissance, Avalonia was described as "Fluffy High-Tech," the Factory of a Better Tomorrow included neon styling and Cold War-esque propaganda, Eve's Asylum was "based on a designed, controlled version of nature," and The Cosmos fused LBP's classic handmade look with old-school arcade graphics.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: One boss fight has you fighting one of the Negativitron's ships while protecting Avalon's ship, and keeping it from taking too much damage. However, once you deal the final blow, the enemy ship shoots a missile and brings down Avalon's ship anyway.
  • The Heartless: The Negativitron, or so it claims.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Negativitron.
  • Locomotive Level: "Runaway Train"
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Ducker. It's an option that lowers background noise when a Magic Mouth is speaking.
  • Not So Different: The Negativitron tries mixing this with Tomato in the Mirror, claiming that he IS the protagonists... or at least their vices, anyway. This is never elaborated on, though, nor ever mentioned again.
  • Old Save Bonus: Pretty much everything you made or unlocked in the first game is present in the second, and can be added onto your LBP2 profile
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Negativitron.
  • Serial Escalation: According to one estimate, LBP has so many levels (over 3 million now) that it'd take more than an entire human lifetime to play all of them. And they're (with a few exceptions like certain Good Bad Bug-based levels) 100% compatible with the sequel.
  • Spider Tank: The second boss, although it's not so much a tank as a giant rogue brainwave machine with giant legs.
  • Shout-Out: Much more than in the first game. Mostly in the level titles, but they appear in the levels too.
    • Amongst the sequencer instruments, one of them has a picture of a badger on it. The Weebl's Badger perhaps?
    • One the things Sackboy does when bouncing off a bounce pad is Mario's famous jump pose.
    • An Easter egg late in the game has you input the Konami Code.
    • The Grabinator works like a more physics-based version of the Super Arm.
    • There's even a shout out to a few of the Creator Curators of the first game, but its in Eve's Asylum, apparently being the collector's friend doomed them to insanity.
  • Sour Supporter: Clive Handforth.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Victoria's lab.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: The "Scuba Gear" powerup. Made safer by the fact that you can't take it off while you're in water, unless you touch an Enhancement Remover. Of course, it doesn't protect you from other underwater hazards...
  • Tree-Top Town: Eve's Asylum for the Mentally Alternative, although it's more of an insane asylum than a town.
  • Video Game Caring / Cruelty Potential: The Sackbots. You can actively seek them out and personally escort them all to safety Pikmin-style... or use the Grabinator to throw them into a fiery pit
  • Womb Level: One of the levels has you shrunk down and entered into a character's body in order to fight a boss inside his brain. You have been warned.