Weekly Little Big Planet: this goes to 11

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About a year ago we started featuring levels from the game LittleBigPlanet 2 that were designed by players of the game, levels which the designer of the game, Media Molecule, dubs Community Levels. We posted daily levels for a couple of months, and then shifted to featuring a level a week, often with an extended column about something else after the jump.

To say the community of LBP designers is a robust one is to grossly understate. I would not have imagined the game’s fans could support a year of such scrutiny, but it did. Easily. Along the way we found some dreck, to be sure, but by and large playing the publically designed world of the game proved an adventure, and a lovely and rewarding one at that.

After the jump, ’11 levels that made us squee

10. Blast Radius

The very first level we featured. Tom found this nifty little twin-stick shooter, and after playing it again this afternoon I have to say it holds up beautifully. As an added bonus it introduced me to a song that became one of my favorites in LBP: Ferry Corsten’s Rock Your Body Rock.

9. Coal Cart Calamity

Winner of a monthly design contest, Coal Cart Calamity defied physics through the cunning use of magnets (and other features) as your sackboy–transmogrified into a light being–endeavored to rescue a friend trapped in a cave. It was too hard for me, and that didn’t bother me at all.

8. Quadratech Mansion

Four levels in one. From the post:

Damn I loved this level. I loved it so much I was able to get past the awful repetitive music that plays throughout, and that is no small thing.

7. Another TOY STORY

I went in expecting to be annoyed by the LBP equivalent of fan-fic; what I got was a movie-themed level that was challenging and gorgeous with a great sound design. Set the table nicely for the Toy Story DLC that was to follow a couple weeks later.

6. Refuse Ridge

While the theme didn’t do much for me, Refuse Ridge made me think of how much I loved owning hamsters as a kid. I would have never put a hamster through this, trust me, but all those little Habitrail tunnels always seemed so fun to me. I mean, if you have to live out your existence in a cage I imagine a series of chutes and tubes would be welcome. Make you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

I am not making a comment about gaming. Not at all. Nope.

5. Halloween [Silhouette Platformer]

Something a bit different from the standard screamy Halloween stuff. Just follow my advice and put some alternate music on when you play it. Post here.

4. Super Bunnio

Sometimes weird is just right.

3. Gusty Forest

An entry in a design contest called “The No-Floor Platformer” challenge. I’ll let the first line of my post speak for itself:

Looks like I just found my new favorite level.

2. Artifact Hunter

One of the first levels I played that really grabbed me and made me understand the possibilities of the LBP community world. From the original post:

Artifact Hunter. That’s today’s level. Excuse me while I sigh contendedly and say, it’s beautiful. Beautiful. It’s a simple platformer puzzle level. It’s all about triggering hidden chambers and finding treasures. Actually, no…that’s incorrect. The gameplay is about that, I suppose. For me this level is about texture and music. It just feels right to me. It’s not overly challenging, but it is evocative. Not in a profound way, but in a comforting way. Especially after some of the levels I’ve dipped into recently. Levels like this make me want to try out more of the story mode of the game (of which I have played little), and I find that a happy development.

1. The Thief

I’m speaking here specifically of the first chapter in The Thief series, but while I don’t intend to try to wedge a series into a single list choice–I hate it when list makers do that–I will say that chapters two and three are worth playing as well. So much so that I fully intend to return to see if the designer, ALADCV, has continued the saga. While these are not challenging levels, they represent what makes community levels so compelling to me: transportation to a world that is separate from the game itself, yet still connected to it.

Honorable Mention:

Speaking of transportation, I give you 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Adventure. Pictured at the very top of this post, this is another level Tom discovered before I started posting. I played it again today, and it’s a level that holds up almost a year later. Plus, it was designed (collaboratively) by a member of our very own Qt3 community.

Click here for the previous Weekly Little Big Planet