Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS5): COMPLETED!

Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS5): COMPLETED!

I talked about this a lot more on the ugvm Podcast, but for those who don’t listen (who even are you?), here’s a written account instead.

Firstly, I want to point how how bad I thought the Little Big Planet games are. As toyboxes, as creation tools – they’re great. Clunky, but great. As actual platformers? Awful. Some really great ideas, totally ruined by stupid controls and physics and wonkiness. For this reason, I never even looked at Sackboy: A Big Adventure, which took away the good bit of the series (makin’ stuff) and left the bad bit (jumping about). PS+ thrust it upon me, however, so I thought I could at least have a peek.

And I’m so, so glad I did because it is glorious. By binning the construction, they’ve concentrated on the platforming and they absolutely nailed it. The physics feels right! The levels don’t feel bodged into existence! It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s inventive and it’s brilliant. Seems all they needed to do was completely remove the entire point of the series. Who knew?

I played through it in co-op with my daughter, which was another revelation. In LBP, “co-op” was misused. No matter how much you wanted and tried to work together, invariably you’d end up in each other’s way, grabbing them by mistake, causing death and being left behind and making the game unnecessarily harder. Here, it’s real proper co-op, where a second player is an asset not an obstacle. You can throw them to reach bonuses and secrets, take down baddies quicker, and zip through areas that need lots of button/switch/object manipulation. Two player improves the experience rather than causes frustration.

The levels themselves are varied and feel so much like Nintendo platformers it’s uncanny. You know the thing about Super Mario Galaxy where they bombard you with ideas that are often one-and-done and never used again, but there are so, so many of them? This feels like that. In fact, if you were to replace Sackboy with Kirby or Yoshi, this could very easily be a Nintendo platformer. Yes, that’s high praise – because Sony platformers are generally terrible. Between this and Astrobot on the PS5, my mind is being changed.

Oh, and it has Dawn French in it and you can slap each other. What more do you want?

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