I never imagined that the iconic Stephen Fry would aid me in learning how to drift my car, until I experienced Little Big Planet Karting that is. Our favourite Sackboy returns armed with a thirst for competitive motor racing. With action-packed racing splendour in abundance, is Little Big Planet Karting simply the PlayStation equivalent to Mario Kart? It’s time to rev up the engines and find out!
Little Big Planet Karting begins by delving into a tutorial, narrated aptly by the magnificent Mr Fry. The tutorial allows you to allocate suitable buttons to accelerate and drift. During the tutorial, demonstrations such as drifting and use of weaponry are provided. Upon viewing the demonstrations, you are required to replicate them, to clarify that you understand the controls. The tutorial allows you to select a difficult for the gameplay. The casual difficulty provides little challenge from the computerised opponents. The normal difficulty sees the computerised opponents providing a challenge and acting competitively. Utilising a difficulty system is useful, as this allows the game to be accessible for children to play, but challenging enough for adults to enjoy.
Little Big Planet Karting provides a story and multiplayer experience. The focal point of the story is for Sackboy and his Sackbot teammates to rid the kingdom of the Hoarders. Your Sackboy races alongside the Sackbots to defeat the Hoarders. The story takes place across an eclectic range of themed worlds. There are seventy one levels included within the game, scattered across the various worlds within Little Big Planet Karting. Alongside the racing levels, the title provides mini-games in which you can partake. Some require you to play cooperatively with an individual. If you proceed and have no friends to play with, the game allocates an individual for you to progress through the level alongside. As you delve into the levels and mini-games, you have the opportunity to unlock stickers and customisation items. Whilst racing, you can also collect prize bubbles which provide you with a score upon completion of the track. Dependant on how many prize bubbles you collect, you are placed within a community leaderboard for that specific track.
The multiplayer experience allows you to search for other budding Sackboy enthusiasts to race against. The game provides a quick search for individuals who wish to delve straight into the action-packed mischief. For those seeking a particular race type or track, you can search manually for the perfect race in which you seek. Upon completing a race, you have the opportunity to vote for the next race type and track, or replay the previous race.
Whether you’ve experienced a Little Big Planet title or not, it’s fair to say the titles are renowned for the customisation capabilities they possess. The title allows you to allocate a unique identity to your Sackboy through thorough customisation. Little Big Planet Karting allows you to customise the vehicle that you utilise to race. The game allows you to adjust an array of parts, a handful of examples are the wheels, seats, engine sounds and kart horns. The quirky customisation options are particularly interesting to observe when you do partake in the multiplayer section of the game. Whilst playing online, I saw an individual’s Sackboy dressed as a bunny rabbit. Looking back, this was probably tactical as it distracted my attention from the racing for a split second. That rabbit was certainly rampant…
Little Big Planet Karting is a title that is extremely easy on the eyes. The colour schemes within the various themed worlds are vibrant and add to the quirkiness of this title. I feel passionately that music plays an integral part within video games and racing games in particular. It would be unusual to find an operatic soundtrack to such a fast-paced title. The music within Little Big Planet Karting is quite wacky and eccentric, which replicates the racing experiences throughout the title. If anything, such a quirky soundtrack lightens the competitive situation before you, and allows you to enjoy the light-heartedness of this title.
With high-speed action and over the top weaponry in abundance, it’s easy to see why people may state that Little Big Planet Karting is simply another Mario Kart. There are obvious similarities between the two titles, but Little Big Planet Karting allows a more personal racing experience. The intricate customisation tools does this title justice and enhances the playability immensely. The various scenarios and tasks involved within the story levels will keep any individual entertained. The game isn’t completely focused around the idea of competitive racing as it allows you to delve into trials and other mini-games. Little Big Planet Karting takes the foundations that Mario Kart unveiled and takes them that one step further. So what are you waiting for? Fasten your seatbelts and propel yourself into the wonders of Little Big Planet Karting. Don’t forget though, drive safely…