Though you'll be using the same basic moves and tools in each new realm, each creator's environment feels completely unique and separate from the others. Clive's factory feels nothing like DaVinci's lab, and really nothing can compare to the experience you'll have in Avalon Centrifuge's training facility. LBP2 does an excellent job of subtly crafting levels that require an ever-increasing degree of Sackboy mastery. You can make it through to the end without too much trouble, but if you want to hit all the prize bubbles - a real must for anyone interested in dabbling with LBP2's creation tools - you'll need to work at it. Most levels require more than one playthrough in order to grab everything, and you'll usually need some friends along, too; some areas are only accessible when two or more players are along for the fun.
If LittleBigPlanet is known for one thing - besides its adorable star, of course - it's the game's robust creation tools, which are even more impressive in LBP2. Experienced designers will be thrilled by new additions like water, neon, and microchips that allow you to program objects with basic commands, while newcomers will appreciate the effort that went into the dozens of tutorials the game provides. Newbie designers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities LBP2's creation tools provide, but the joy of seeing your work come together as a playable level is difficult to overstate. Even players who swear they don't have a creative bone in their bodies should take a crack at crafting a level; the design tools are so incredibly simple to use that even fashioning a simple environment is rewarding.
Bottom Line: LittleBigPlanet 2's controls leave a bit to be desired, but the game is so charming that it's begging to be played anyway. The main story is pretty short, but the player-created levels will offer near-endless supply of Sackboy experiences. The level creation tools, with their new additions, are so vast and easy to use that you might even wind up creating a few levels yourself.
Recommendation: If you have a PS3, you should own this game. It is happiness in cloth form, tied up with whimsy and dotted with brilliant.
This review is based on the PS3 version of the game.
Game: LittleBigPlanet 2
Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: January 17, 2011
Platform: PlayStation 3
Available from: Amazon
Susan Arendt is determined to create her very own level, complete with cheese, a conveyor belt, and a large, angry cat.