LittleBigPlanet Karting Preview
When I first saw LittleBigPlanet Karting I thought it was just a re-skinned Modnation. Since it was coming from United Front Games; the clever minds behind Modnation, you can probably see why. Well after playing the public beta for a few hours I can honestly say that LBP Karting borrows more from other karting games than it does Modnation. This is just LBP with wheels and a third dimension, not to mention all the crafty cuteness that people love about LPB thrown in.
If you’ve played Modnation then the basics of how the Karts handle will be familiar because it’s almost the same, but thankfully for originalites sake…that’s where the similarities end. This time the weapons are random and don’t become more powerful, there’s also no shield to use or boosting from drifting and midair spins. Another thing missing is the sense of speed that you do find in Modnation, it’s just gone.
Thinking about it, it’s more like playing Mario Kart than anything else, which for me was a tad disappointing. I liked the weapons setup in Modnation and being able to use a shield or a nitro boost because they added more of a competitive edge to the game. Since there are no shields, your driving skill is pretty much a moot point and it mostly comes down to who can get blown up the lease. It certainly makes races far more frantic and wild, albeit less skill based. Weapon pickups are far more varied this time around with all kinds of different attacks, speed boosts and mines.
If you walked in on someone who had just booted the game up you’d think that they were just playing LBP. You still have the pod to decorate and the ability to customize your sackboy or girl, visually there really isn’t any difference other than there’s a Kart sitting next to you, even the menus are the identical.
One of the big draws of the LBP games is being able to create and share user levels, but this was strangely left out of the beta. Once you finish the seven “story” mode races you can play a few user created levels that were made for the beta but you can’t make any of your own.
Another thing thing that really sets LBP Karting apart from Modnation are the mini games that you can play. They’re fun little distractions that help keep the game fresh and add a little variety to the mix. The word is that you’ll be able to make on your own when the game releases, I certainly hope so.
Overall I can see this being the Karting game aimed at people who love the LBP universe or those that didn’t like Modnation all that much and want something more akin to Mario Kart. It’s not bad and it’s a lot of fun, it’s just different and those that like Modnation won’t be jumping ship anytime soon to play LBP Karting.