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Vita gets its killer app with LittleBigPlanet

How does one of the PS3's staple franchises fare on the most powerful portable around?

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Jeff Bakalar
Scott Stein
2 min read
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Watch this: Game trailer: LittleBigPlanet

Vita owners rejoice! LittleBigPlanet has instantly skyrocketed to the top of the must-have list. Sure, it seems like a no-brainer for the Vita, what with its touch and tilt functionality, but what you might not know is that the portable version was not developed by Media Molecule, the studio responsible for the PS3 games.

Instead, Tarsier Studios had some big shoes to fill, shrinking the highly successful franchise down to Vita-size. After weeks with the final game, I can safely say the team has done a masterful job doing so.

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The game looks absolutely beautiful, boasting some of the best Vita graphics to date. Control-wise, LittleBigPlanet performs just as good as its console brethren. With the added touch control, I almost feel guilty saying the game is more fun on Vita than it is on PlayStation 3.


Why is it more fun on the Vita? Because touch control is such a natural mechanic for a platforming game like LittleBigPlanet. Sure, the game prompts you when to touch, but it seems like second nature.

The team at Tarsier Studios has done an excellent job with utilizing all of the features of the Vita, especially in the level design mode. All of the superb sharing functionality that has immortalized the replay value of the two LittleBigPlanet games on PS3 is packed in the Vita version, but the touch control in level design mode can't be matched. It's the absolute best way to construct.

If your Vita has been taking a rest since the first outpouring of launch games you can now rest assured: LittleBigPlanet will keep you busy for months.


Talk about a perfect marriage. In one corner, you have the PlayStation Vita, a great piece of hardware desperately in need of as much excellent content as possible, content to rise to the quality of its own design. In the other corner you have LittleBigPlanet, a highly respected, wonderfully creative franchise for PlayStation that's unique, exclusive, and totally brimming over with user-made content and replay value.

LBP is Sony's Super Mario, so why shouldn't it be the game to show off the Vita? Even though LittleBigPlanet had a good mobile game on the PSP, the Vita version feels like the version I was expecting all along. Dual-stick controls, perfect presentation, and, as you'd expect, a ton of user-created levels, ranging from challenging to downright weird.


The very idea of shrinking down LittleBigPlanet to portable form fits the game and its conceit better than the console; after all, how much cozier can a little big planet be than on the PlayStation Vita? Playing on a smaller screen, the miniature worlds feel more precious, more personable. Maybe this is how LBP should have been played all along.

The Vita needs more games like these. If it does, I think a lot more people are going to want to buy one.

CNET recommendation: Buy!

Without a doubt, LittleBigPlanet delivers on every single possible level, immediately making it the must-have game for the platform.