on November 7, 2012
First off, I've been playing kart racers for years (since the N64 days). Nothing will top Mariokart because it was (and still is) the cornerstone of this kind of game. That said, if you go into LBPK with an open mind and not expect some sort of revolutionary experience, you will have a ton of fun. The charm of Little Big Planet is all here with the cute visuals, the bubble popping, the unlockables and the character customization. Everything is nearly identical to the LBP games, all the way down to the home hub, the planets etc. Racing is quick and the controls are responsive. The game is built on an altered version of the Modnation Racers engine which was already very solid. Story mode is very long and yes, there are some challenging (OH MY!) parts but it has great lasting appeal. The in game track customizer/builder is amazing but they definitely could have done a better job at teaching you the in's and out's of using it. A little trial and error and you'll eventually be creating some killer tracks (just like in LBP).
The reviews I've read of the game seem to be harping negatively on factors that I don't quite understand. IGN complains about the menus/interface not being as easy to use as ModNation Racers. Seeing as the game runs and is created exactly the same way as all the other LBP games, I'm not sure how this could be a complaint. You have your hub, you click on the planets and you race. Not that difficult. They also complain that the game focuses too much on defense, again, not sure how this is such a big deal when the majority of your time in Mariokart, you are trying to avoid being hit with shells etc.
For me, a guy who has a small child, I can tell you, for a family game, this is excellent. He can play along and it's not so complicated that he gets frustrated. My wife plays, my family enjoys the music and the racing and I really like all the customization. It's a game that will continually grow with official tracks and user created content. What more can you ask for?
If you're looking for fun kart game, this is a no brainer. Don't listen to the negatives who are looking at this as something other than what it was intended to be, a Little Big Planet racer. It's great.
on November 6, 2012
I picked the game up this a.m. & have now completed 71%, so have a fair idea of what the game comprises. It's levels are vibrant & creative, the soundtrack matches the mood & level themes beautifully; which range from western themes to futuristic flying ... the grapple hook, bounce pads & weaponators have all found their way into the charm & whimsy of this offering. They provide a diversity of challenges from battle arena levels to hold & keep egg captures. This game is neither a pure karting or LBP experience, but rather a hybrid blend of what makes each so enjoyable. The customization features are bountiful & deep ... right down to your engine & horn sounds. I have already over 80 skins for my sackboy, endless kart pieces, & my goodies bag over flows with a bounty of choices.
The game is a 2.2gb install & provides 71 levels. Story mode provides variety & replayability is endless between collecting the loot from each level, placing in the top 3 for each level, which then opens the vs. level for online MP & continues the player through story mode. You can set your controller to either the R2 or X acceleration scheme to allow the player control over how they play, it also supports move control & steering wheel.
The possibility is limited only by the player ... the create function & level editor awaits the brilliant & imaginative community who will create the UGC ... offering a fresh & innovative karting experience with each new published level.
My 8 yr. old son came home from school & had to be repeatedly prompted to leave the game ... he was creating karts & costumes & racing through levels with glee. This game should not be missed !
I spent a couple hours playing online against other players & it was a lot of fun - the players cast a vote for the next level to be played & then 1 level is the winner - I didn't notice any lag, was never dropped from the race, & thought it looks to be a pretty flawless interface.
on November 8, 2012
**UPDATE 12/12/12 (cool date, huh?) - I am experiencing HUGE glitches with the online part of this game. About two weeks ago, I started to explore the online portion of this game. Several friends and I have been trying to play this game with each other - both community and story mode levels. Playing online is a huge disaster. There is a 90% fail rate at joining pods, and if you happen to actually experience that 10% when you do get to join a pod or others join your pod, it will kick the players back to their original pod when a level tries to load. In the miraculous event that you do get to play a level with a friend, at the end of that level, it will kick the friend out of the game, and he/she will go back to his/her pod. This game has become quite the headache in this respect. I've completed the majority of the game by myself, and now I want to play with others because there are so many versus levels in this game! What a shame. Hopefully, they fix the glitch in the next software update, otherwise I may have to bump the rating down to a 3.5 star for now. Don't get me wrong, it is such a fun game to play! But now I'm at the point where I want to play with others/my friends, and this game just won't deliver.
**ORIGINAL REVIEW - Let me first start off by saying that I'm at the point where I have completed the main path of the Story mode, but will update as I go along.
I'm embarrassed to say that I'm 27 years old, female, and I have been a huge fan of LBP 1 and 2... But my thoughts on LBPK are no different. This is a great game for all ages, not just children and teenagers. This could easily be thought of as LBP 3, but on wheels.
I can easily see how the game resembles Mod Nation Racers, but it is different. I didn't like MNR, and I was very hesitant to pre-order, but I did anyways because of my love for LBP.
The entire game is karting. You can race others, you can race the computer. There are also mini games in which you drive around and try to get as many "hits" as you can using weapons. You decide your controls to use for gas, etc. And you decide the difficulty setting (normal or casual). Whichever difficulty setting you choose will NOT affect your trophies, which is sort of a relief considering normal mode can be quite challenging. The only downside to casual mode is that your scores will not be posted on the online leader boards. Drifting is very easy to do, and the levels catch your eye with the graphics and nostalgia of the other LBP games such as the music and original levels. I have only defeated the main path of the Story mode. Now I find myself starting over, ensuring I place first in every race. A little tip is that you have to get all the prize bubbles AND receive first place in a race to achieve 100%. And to move on to additional races, you have to finish at least third place. To get in depth with the trophy guide, you should finish all races in first place. This is why the majority of my time now is consumed on earning first place in all of the races... This is sort of a pain considering the game gets harder as you play through it... But nonetheless, I would still recommend buying this game.
I have yet to really play with others and fiddle around with creating, but as I progress through the game, I will be sure to update.
on November 25, 2012
I have been a fan of kart racers, and racing games in general, since I first fired up the family's N64 back in the day. (My family would only purchase multiplayer games for the longest time, to ensure every one of my siblings and I would get a chance to play)
If it's a racing game, you name it and I've played it. Everything from Kirby Air Ride, to F-Zero, Need for Speed, Sonic Riders, Wave Race, Myth Makers Super Kart GP, Crus'n USA - you get the idea. When it comes to kart racers, a few have alway stood out in my mind (besides Mario Kart). The two I look back on with affection would include Diddy Kong Racing and Crash Team Racing.
Which brings us to LittleBigPlanet Karting - a racer brought to us by the team responsible for ModNation Racers. Let me be frank, I'm not a big fan of ModNation. I find the load times grating, and although I respect the creative freedom it allows I feel that, as I've become more of a casual player, those features are just 'timewasters' that hold little value to me. That didn't bode too well for me. I also was concerned since I had read some rather shocking negative reviews on LBPK (namely, IGN's review that rated it a 5/10).
However, I am a fan of LittleBigPlanet (at least what I've played of it), and you already know I love racing games. I saw LBPK on sale this Black Friday, a cool 25 bucks. I figured, eh, what do I have to lose? If I don't like it I can sell it on Craigslist.
Well folks.... I LOVE IT! How on earth could anyone give this game a bad rating? Seriously. First of all, the controls are superb. Very tight. Very natural. Some modern racers make it feel like you're shifting the world around you instead of driving a car (I'm looking at you Sega Rally... and Sonic & All-Stars Racing). That's not the case with LBPK. Secondly, the graphics. Like ModNation, the graphics are gorgeous - and I would wager stylistically the designs and art in LBPK are much more realized and exploited for eye-candy goodness here than they were in ModNation. Also, load times are reasonable.
This racer also brings back a more fluid racing experience, complete with weapons you can use against your competitors a la Mario Kart. The weapon system here is integrated very well. I think a lot of kart racers outside of Mario Kart have a hard time making the weapons feel natural to the game, and striking a balance with weapon usage. The genius thing here is, like Mario Kart, you can choose to use your weapon offensively to attack others, or defensively to protect yourself. Good call. Although, like Mario Kart, you probably will have a few moments of frustration when somebody out of nowhere knocks you from 1st place - but I would argue this is the nature of the kart racer. It's the great equalizer - so if you're playing against your mom or a younger racer they have at least a tiny chance of winning or finishing in a respectable place.
That's not to say you won't be rewarded if you are a more skilled player. Obviously there is some strategy involved, and certain tracks have 'shortcuts' to exploit if you take the time to research the landscape.
Also, unlike ModNation, I felt that the creative aspects of LBPK - like building your own karts, racers, etc - seemed much easier to swallow and less daunting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying ModNation was rocket science, but LBPK does simplify things which is great if you'd like to experiment but don't have the time to get too crazy. The interface even seemed more streamlined.
I guess the driving point here is that everything feels right with LBPK. No, it's not groundbreaking - but is it supposed to be? It's a kart racer! And a really good one at that.
My only complaint is that the choice of racers is limited unless you've purchased a lot of costumes in previous LBP games. And even then, you're pretty much always playing with a version of Sackboy - so it's not like you can pick and choose your favorite character based off their stats or anything. This sometimes makes the racers feel generic. Then again, you can always create your own. And luckily, Sackboy is a pretty charming character to begin with.
Also, similar to that complaint, is the track selection. Many of them are simply gorgeous. A lot of them are well-designed. But, like some negative reviews have pointed out - they're not as memorable as other racers. They all do the job, but only a few stand out. And it' weird to say that, because while you're playing you probably won't notice it, as the tracks really do look great and it's really fun. It's just probably going to be hard to look back on it later and remember a specific track.
Either way, don't let that scare you. This really is a good purchase. Is it worth $60? Um. No. But I honestly don't think any game is worth $60. If you can wait for it to hit the $40 mark (or lower), it would be a good investment and nice addition to your library. I had too much fun with this to give it anything less than 5 out of 5 stars. Subtract a star or two if you're not a big fan of the genre.
on November 8, 2012
Little Big Planet Karting (LBPK) is a karting game developed by the same studio as Modnation Racers (MNR), and it brings a kart racing experience to the Little Big Planet universe.
For background information, MNR is a karting game for the PS3 developed in May 2010 for the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) and Little Big Planet is a series of 2 dimensional platformers for the PS3. Both titles focus on play, create, and share, where users can develop their own content and share it with everyone else online. Personally, I spent far too many hours of my life playing and creating tracks on MNR and have tons of experience with the editor. I have also created in Little Big Planet 2 and feel that I have some competency with the editor.
LBPK is a game that sits awkwardly between a 3 dimensional platformer and kart racer. If you go into the game expecting a solid racer like MNR you will be disappointed. However, if you accept the game as what it is, a "Karting Adventure," there is much fun to be found. On normal difficulty the game suffers from relentlessly aggressive AI creating some frustration (easy difficulty is supposedly much more accessible). LBPK forgoes the boost/shield system of MNR for a standard block using your current weapon, similar to Mario Kart. The speed of the karts is reduced from MNR and the handling feels "floaty". The handling options and kart speed options are not readily adjustable (they can only be adjusted based on the confines of a specific track). The track design is fantastic, even without the user created content. Load times have been much improved over MNR. Online play is functional but limited thanks to some strange game-flow and interface decisions. It follows the LBP formula where you choose a level and start online play from that level. This relies too heavily on other people playing the level, and doesn't necessarily work as well for a racing game. Overall, the racing experience is average when compared to other kart racing games.
In addition to placing in a race (actually racing), LBPK offers bubbles and prizes that can be found and collected on each track. There is also a wealth of different mini-games and play modes to compliment the racing experience including a battle mode. I find that bubble collecting and playing the mini-games are far more enjoyable than the racing aspect of the game.
Finally, creating is perhaps this game's greatest strength. LPBK has a deep and versatile track editor. However, character and kart editors are limited (it is worth noting the developer promises to carryover most character costumes from previous LBP games, but this feature was not available upon launch). Unfortunately, the track editor can be dense and overwhelming with boring tutorials. Laying a track is simple enough, but creating objects, logic items, and moving parts quickly becomes a complicated affair. The editor doesn't limit the player to just creating races, the player can create weapons and mini-games as well. All created content is also readily shared and easy to find online giving this game endless possibilities if the community supports it.
on March 1, 2015
Horrible. So disappointing. I normally give great reviews but this game falls flat on its face. Sony delivered on time, and the game was in fact great shape as expected, but the game its self was such a bummer. It is literally single player, what is the fun in Mario cart if you play it all by yourself? Such a bummer. Make it local multiplayer or online multiplayer and I'll give you five stars sony
on January 7, 2013
My preference: I enjoy action & adventure games mostly. Uncharted, Metal Gear, Infamous, Portal 2, All of the Mario games as well
My Background: I've played Little Big Planet 2 at my leisure. I wasn't committed to it but enjoyed the levels from time to time. I've always enjoyed Karting from way back in the SNES days all the way to the last one on the Wii. Since I recently sold my Wii I figured I'd give Little Big Planet Karting (LBPK) a try.
My 2 cents on LBPK: This is an incredibly addictive and absolutely FUN game to play. Every aspect of this game looks and feels like LBP. So if you love LBP or even just enjoy the occasional sackboy challenge (like in my case) then you will absolutely love the Karting version. The levels are as creative and fun to look as they are in LBP and the craziness related to the classic Karting is present in it's fullest form. One famous reviewer online has rated this game poorly and it's obvious the fat nerd is comparing apples to oranges.
First of all, this is NOT mod racers. Very little resemblance. So if you are coming into this expecting that game or anything related then re-adjust your expectations. As the title bluntly says it shoots more for the Mario Karting experience then the Mod Racers. This is simply the art of LBP with a little Mario karting mixed in. That's exactly what I was expecting (and hoping) and was surprised to see just that. The one thing about Mario Kart series that would bore me was the lack of levels. Mario levels were excellent craftsmanship, mind you, but got old quickly. In addition the presentation and overall feel was very kid-like and immature. I was a teenager when I got into Mario Karting so I didn't care too much but with the Wii days that factor made the game old. The ONLY thing that would make me play Mario Karting is to play with a friend. No friends available then no reason to play with the limited amount of levels since it got old quick. LBPK is an entire different category with endless amounts of levels and different types of levels (not just the regular 3rd person karting look)
In addition, LBPK does have a mixture of kid-like aspects but doesn't over do it like the Mario series. A major aspect in that is the MUSIC. Wow what great music! Very few if at all kiddie songs here but great rhythmical beats that really get you into racing and trash talking with friends. While you still have that cute cuddly look that's well known with LBP it's balanced with Great Music to keep you engaged. The scenery in the tracks also play a major role. You won't be over saturated with the typical Cartoon scenery & goofy 2 dimensional items you always see in Mario Karting. Instead they differ from level to level and are vivid, illustrative & creative.
The levels are also created with imagination. Most of the major levels have 2 versions. One for the campaign and another for the multiplayer. So if you played a level that you really enjoyed then right beside it you can play the multiplayer version with others online or in a split-screen. Sometimes they mix up the multiplayer version (I've only tried playing with 2 players on 1 screen, however, I understand that's the max which could be a negative if you have a household with 4 players and 1 screen.)
In addition, they mix things up by giving you different type of racing levels. Not just the regular racing. This was a big factor for me because as I mentioned I found the Mario Kart series to be boring after awhile. If there were no friends in sight then playing Mario Karting by yourself got old very quickly. LBPK, however, has a great campaign with various levels just like LBP. Like others have mentioned the story makes no sense and I always skip it. But let's face LBP has always seem to have a pot head hippie behind the stories and with Karting this was just a bonus not really a necessity (or a selling factor in my case since all I want to do is race).
While the controls aren't as crisp as I would prefer I think they tried to be innovative with that as well which deserve credit. By incorporating sliding/boost when you take a turn as well as defensive weapons to protect yourself and using the right analog stick to punch your neighbors as a bonus weapon while you are driving all draw in some challenges when maneuvering. It makes it very different from any other Karting game out there.
This game is no Mod Racer nor Mario kart but started with the creators of the former and borrowed small aspects from the later. You can compare and contrast but at the end of the day this game is in a very special Planet on it's own (no pun intended:). The simple fact that this game has the Little Big Planet feel to it makes it a hit in my book and playing it truly feels just as fun if not more fun then Little Big Planet!!
on January 1, 2013
My kid and I love to play the Little Big Planet games. We own 1, 2 and now Karting.
We were disappointed that as of 01/01/2013 we can't use our Little Big Planet costumes we earned in previous games in this one! I had to dock it a star because if you're a fan of the little big planet franchise, you know that your other costumes from the other games generally roll forward into the latest Little Big Planet game you're playing.
You do got a nice reward on your Karting sack person for owning the previous games. That's pretty nice... but they need to finish up their support for the old costumes in the newer game. Their website says this is a work-in-progress.
As far as the game itself
This game is basically a ripoff of Mario Kart, but that's okay because it is a ton of fun. I have a good time building new race tracks for my kid and I to play on... and we can also race on other unique tracks made by the community when we go online.
If you're a fan of Little Big Planet, you should get it because it has all of the customization of the previous games, plus you now have the added customization of creating your Kart any way you choose. All Karts are created equal when it comes to speed, acceleration and handling... but cosmetically speaking, the sky is the limit. You unlock new Karts and Kart Parts by racing on the tracks through Story Mode and Challenges. Once you have an entire new "Kart" you have access to all of that Kart's parts, and you can use them to build a totally unique custom Kart.
If you're not a fan of little big planet, but you still like whimsical, non-realistic racing games... go ahead and pick this one up. There is also a "deathmatch" mode where you zip around an arena and use the pickups to score points by shooting eachother's Karts. They don't call it "deathmatch" because it is a kids game... but that's the gist of what you're doing in that mode.
on December 25, 2012
This game is a lot of fun. It allows for multiple players and is very easy to learn its control system. The down side is that you cannot upload your information from previous games. This issue is only a temporary one though as the manufacturers are working to correct this.
on December 3, 2012
FINALLY, Finally a racing game that you can play coop and advance the storyline. Do you know how hard it is to even find a local coop (split screen game) for the ps3, very hard. This one exceeded every expectation I had for it. There's your stand LBP level creation system, coop up to 4 player local and 8 player online. We've been playing for a few hours every night for over week now, strictly story mode (with one online game just to get a taste) and we're only 50% way through the main story. There's jumping, weapons, drifting, fast forward power ups, you name it, Racing, battle mode. There was even one boss level where you ride these fire beetles and fire continuously at a this centipede until is slowly starts loosing parts of its body until it's dead.
As far as kart racers go I think this is the best with, Mario Kart 64 coming in a distant second. The controls for LBPK are excellent, it's not like Mario Kart Wii where if you so much as touch the steering and your kart goes flying off the screen. Speaking of Mario Kart 64, someone has been rebuilding the tracks from it in the custom creator online.
We (my wife and I) really enjoy local co-op racers and have just about everyone of them available for the ps3. To give you an idea I'll list the ones we have out here with a rating of 0-5 (0 being awful)
Little Big Planet Karting - 5
Blur - 4
Split Second - 4
Motorstorm Pacific Rift - 4
Motorstorm Apocalypse - 3
Modnation - 2
Gran Turismo 5 - 0 (ZERO) the split screen racing is a joke, no other cars on the track and unless you pick the same car it's very unbalanced
Bottom Line - If you like local coop racing - Get this game!