Weekly Little Big Planet: paging Statler and Waldorf

, | Features

Why do we always come here
I guess we’ll never know
It’s like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show

Let’s see…adorable Muppets? Check. A mess of costumes and decorations? Check. Some new playable levels? Check. “Attract-O-Gel” that gives my sackboy the power to walk on the ceiling? Check. Cloning Hat? Pictured. All that should combine to make some most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational DLC.

Then why do I find myself siding with those crotchety old blowhards in the balcony?

After the jump, not time to get things started

That picture pretty much captures it. My sackboy was as horrified as I was.

I know this cannot be the case, but playing through the new levels in the LBP Muppet DLC I got the distinct impression that the designers were neither fans of The Muppet Show, nor particularly interested in Little Big Planet. Now the latter part of that statement is particularly unfair, and not because I’m sure they are interested in LBP, rather because where this content will truly get a chance to shine is in the design tools it provides to the community. Witness last week’s featured level, for instance. My problem is that I have played so many great community levels that I’ve gotten spoiled. I’m not just talking about the one I just referenced either, which is also Muppet themed, but the multitude of others I’ve played over the last year that leave the gameplay in this level pack in the dust. Aside from the wonderful Cloning Hat that shoots out Beakers, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything in this level pack that is particularly notable. Now that I think about it, nothing original really even comes of the Cloning Hat (joke not intended) aside from some disturbing moments that made me think of the movie The Prestige. You might as well be shooting balls or whatevers. There’s nothing particularly Beakerific about the Beakers when it comes to behavior. They look appropriately cute and silly, which is supposed to be enough I guess.

Even the one thing we’re supposed to be excited about, the gooey new surface that lets Sackboy walk up walls, doesn’t amount to much more than an annoyance. That is true of a lot of the gameplay here, sadly. It all feels slapped together. Unfinished. Which is weird considering the level I last raved about, Let’s Meeting Circus troupe, was supposedly built in a week. That feels polished compared to this. This plays like a demo.

Again to be fair, that’s probably the best way to view this DLC, as a demo. At least as far as the new playable levels (excepting the two mini-games with single life limits…I’m not even going to hint at giving you guys any benefit of the doubt whatsoever) are concerned. Viewing it in this way is all well and good, it’s just disappointing after last year’s Toy Story DLC was such a pleasant surprise. I expected more, regardless of the fact that the true pleasure in this game is what the community continues to do with it. The greatest promise of this DLC is probably going to be realized by community designers who will take the materials provided here and bend it to their awe, or break it all to pieces.

Whatever they do with it, it’s sure to be better than this. Huh guys.

Click here for the previous Weekly Little Big Planet