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LittleBigPlanet 2, is a puzzle platformer video game centered around user-generated content, first announced on 8 May 2010 in the June 2010 issue of gaming magazine Game Informer.[source?] The game is developed by Media Molecule and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for the PlayStation 3 console.
Unlike the original LittleBigPlanet which was marketed as a "Platform game", LBP2 was marketed as a "Platform for Games".[source?] The game is 100% backwards compatible with all user-created content (including personal profiles) from the first game. It is a direct sequel to LittleBigPlanet, and the third game in the series. The disc also features Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves, a ModNation Racers demo, as well as a PlayStation Network tutorial video.
Main Article: LittleBigPlanet 2 Story
Players continue Sackboy's journey after the events of the first game and the portable version are brought to an end. An inter-dimensional vacuum cleaner called the Negativitron appears over the skies of LittleBigPlanet and begins to suck up its inhabitants, including Sackboy. Larry Da Vinci, the leader of a group known as "The Alliance", comes to Sackboy's rescue - saving him from the Negativitron.
Sony released a Collector's Edition of the game. It costs $79.99, plus tax and was made in limited quantities, but the bonuses are impressive. They include a 7" Sackboy plushie, themed bookends, a Toy Story alien, Clu from the Tron Legacy film, Ratchet and Clank, Cobra, Vulture, Mandril, Crocodile, (At the time) exclusive Jak and Daxter costumes, and five exclusive PSN avatars.
While still retaining the three-layer, 2.5D nature of the original title, with the player controlling their Sackboy characters, players are not restricted solely to platforming levels, and can now choose to create many types of levels including racing, and puzzle and role-playing games. The player may also chose to create and customise their own heads-up display to accommodate their game type. New animation recording options are available.
The online community of the game was also improved with the creation of the lbp.me website. From there, players may synchronise with their PlayStation Network IDs in order to check statistics on their own levels, as well as find new levels from the community, where they can queue them for easy access when they next play the game. Further to the official community website, improved API features mean that scoreboards and photos taken within the game may be displayed on a player's website or blog; website owners may also use the API to add live feeds and data from the game itself.
The game was first hinted at by a Sony representative in March 2010, who stated that the game was in production and would support PlayStation Move controllers, and in April 2010 by musician Ochre who revealed one of his songs had been licensed for the game. It was then formally revealed by video game magazines Edge and GameInformer in their June 2010 issues. On 8 May 2010 Media Molecule officially confirmed that they were developing LittleBigPlanet 2 on their Twitter account and hinted that the game would be formally revealed on 11 May 2010. On 10 May 2010, the official reveal was made on the PlayStation Blog with an announcement trailer and a Q4 2011 release date.
In October 2008, BBC reported before the original game was released that Media Molecule had already begun development of a sequel to LittleBigPlanet. The statement was later clarified in an interview with IGN, in which Siobhan Reddy of Media Molecule stated, "we see LittleBigPlanet as a platform... There will be a lot of additional content and it will vary in size and what it does. And we've already started that, yes." The "huge emotional investment" users have made in LittleBigPlanet, Alex Evans stated, is the reason he does not want to ship a traditional sequel. Because they don't want all of the user-generated content to be made obsolete, their focus will be to "expand the game without partitioning the audience".
In July 2008, Media Molecule mentioned that should there ever be a LittleBigPlanet sequel that the game would feature backwards compatibility with the original game's user-created levels. In November 2009, Media Molecule had said that it had no plans for LittleBigPlanet 2 as they believed that it would fragment the community, calling it "the most counter-productive thing you could do".
On 23 March 2010, IGN reported LittleBigPlanet 2 was in production and would support the upcoming PlayStation Move controller. Sony later denied this report saying that future content for the original title would be compatible with PlayStation Move. Later on in May, along with the release of the trailer, Sony confirmed that LittleBigPlanet 2 would be compatible with Move.
Stephen Fry has returned to narrate the game.
LittleBigPlanet 2 has received universal acclaim from critics. PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) gave LittleBigPlanet 2 a perfect 10/10 score. They praised the redesigned creation tools as "simple-to-grasp, all with huge potential" and said the game overall was "hugely improved" over the original. IGN's Greg Miller scored the game 9.0/10. He compliments the amount of variety that's to be found in LittleBigPlanet 2 story mode and goes on to commend the new creative tools, stating that the "focus of creating games in the game really shines through", referring to the new tool-set as "mindboggling deep". Miller does however reserve some criticism for some of the same "frustrations" from the first game which are still present in the sequel such as "floaty" jump controls. Eurogamer also scored the game 9/10 commenting on its "achingly pretty" visuals and looking optimistically on the game's community, saying "there is little doubt that LBP2 online servers will play host to some extraordinary content". PlayStation Universe's Adam Dolge states that "the soundtrack is simply wonderful, while the art style is moody with a vaudevillian flair." Paste Magazine's Kirk Hamilton singled out the game's backward compatibility with user-created levels from the first LittleBigPlanet, and also praised the game's "musical soul", both in its "eclectic collections of licensed music" and in its "outstanding original score." Edge gave LittleBigPlanet 2 9/10 commenting on the game's "dramatic and funny" cutscenes, created with the in-game tools. They also praised its more focused, witty and imaginative story levels as well as the new creation tools, saying in closing, "LBP2 represents a dazzling new opportunity for creating deep, diverse and ingenious play."