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Shining Aquas
01-27-2009, 08:24 PM
Frustration. It happens. Making complex levels will definitely eat away at you, playing complex levels can have the same effect, and overall it can lead to getting stressed out over a game that is entirely designed to be about fun.

I've fallen victim to this. After playing many levels or even trying to build my own, there does reach a point where playing the game almost feels like doing chores. However, there is a solution.

Just because you find yourself getting mad at the game doesn't mean the levels are bad, it just means you are trying way too hard. It's good to look back every once and a while and find a level you like to play simply for the purpose of playing it and having a good time. Also, it's not a good idea to limit yourself to LBP, there are many other games out there to play that might give you a break from constant platforming.

So, here I will share some of my personal favorite "fun" levels and also some of my favorite "other games" that might be right up your alley.

LBP levels

World of Colour!, by Geosautus
This is one of the earliest levels that LittleBigPlanet has to offer. It's amazingly simplistic, very casual, and overall tons of hearty fun whether you play by yourself or with friends. Actually, this level is significantly better when playing with friends. Very relaxing, incredibly simple, and overall one of the better levels of 2008.

Distress in Ocean, by YAMAME3
This level isn't exactly trying to be relaxing, it's trying to be silly, and silly it is, but it is also one of the best levels I've ever played, easily one of my personal top 3. I put it on the queue, so I'll review it eventually, but let it be known that the level is amazingly fun and also amazingly epic in numerous ways. Also, if you aren't laughing by the end of the level, you might want to see a doctor.

Netty's Fuzzy Fumes, by Randofu
Oh dear god, this level is amazing. This is a spirited level that has tried to recreate the 9th level of the SNES Yoshi's Island: "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy!". Balls of gas float around and if you touch one, the level starts getting crazy in an attempt to simulate what it looks like to see a drunk sackboy. Don't take this level too seriously, or you will only end up frustrating yourself further, because the level is a ridiculous challenge.

(Can't read the title, all in Japanese), by CHOBBY
Look for the artist CHOBBY, and look at his published levels. One should be in full blown Japanese, and that level........that level.......is sooooooo ridiculous. It's absolutely impossible to take it seriously, which is one of the reasons why I like it. I don't think anything is more entertaining than riding on that car trying to shoot down a giant flaming demon thing with a cannon that shoots leek.

Colors in the Dark, by SirenRose
This is another one of those simple but fun levels, kind of like World of Colour. It's completely in the dark and uses neon lighting to make it a very imaginative and very created stage. Once again proving that it's always a good idea to "keep it simple". Making a super complex stage is great and all, but if all it takes for a level to be fun is having a few rockets and ramps than maybe you should find something that's less overblown and more casual. Let it be known that I personally don't like "Ramp!" nor do I think it deserves nearly any of the publicity it has managed to create for itself.

Story Level: The Terrible Oni's Volcano
I'm sure what it is about this level that makes it so fun. It's not especially difficult, but it's soooo much fun. Especially with people. This level is so amazingly well done, perfectly created, and generally well designed from the atmosphere to the objects and even the final boss.

Remember, the levels that you play for fun are mostly based on preference. It doesn't matter what the ratings say or how many hearts, stars, and horseshoes a level's got, all that matters is that you like it and want to play it. After all, isn't that what LittleBigPlanet is all about?
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If you want take a breather from LittleBigPlanet (blasphemy around here, apparently), here are some of my favorite titles available for the PS3/PS2/PSX:

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PSX) -1999-
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PS2) -2003-
In my opinion, I honestly think that Klonoa could've easily been the Playstation's official console mascot, right up there with Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon way back in the day, but alas the advertising was poor and platforming was really dead during that time, so it really got lost under the piles of "3D" games. Klonoa to me was one of the first games that ultimately proved to me that 2D gaming is always capable of being good, no matter when it's made so long as it's done well. In fact, if it weren't for Klonoa and it's absolute beauty, I probably wouldn't be nearly as interested in LittleBigPlanet today, a game that by itself made me constantly go back to the Klonoa games over and over again. No game is more heartfelt and earnest to me than these 2. Granted, the games are a little hard to find now. As far as the PSX version is concerned, you are better off looking for an emulator and rom. The PS2 version should be floating around eBay or Amazon or something. And hey, if that doesn't work, you could always wait for the Wii remake coming in Spring.

Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) -2008-

Gorgeous game. The art style is brilliantly done, the gameplay mechanics are ultimately well thought out and lots of fun to play with, and the game's storyline is top notch in every regard. The characters are so full of depth too, it really gets you into the game amazingly well and let's the story unfold in great and wonderous ways. Give it a try at the very least, there should be a downloadable demo on PSN (though the demo is NOTHING in comparison to the final product)

Odin Sphere (PS2) -2007-

Most beautifully made 2D Sprite art game in existence. I cannot think of any 2D game that runs on sprites that has looked so utterly rich in detail and full of lush splendor (other than possibly Blazblue: Calamity Trigger). Fate has weaved tales of an impending Armageddon. Though there is a grand storyline being played out, you will see the entire thing from 5 different perspectives, 5 characters all going through different events in the same period of time, and watching how at the end all of them come together to fight against something as stubborn as fate. This game is so detailed, it actually has the power to lag a PS2 (don't think it can lag the PS3 though). It's also fairly cheap now, so definitely give it a try.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (PS2, or Wii I guess) -2007/2008-
I'm sure everyone has probably played Street Fighter at some point in their lives. It's a cult classic as far as fighting games go, and it has inspired a large plethora of fighting game series since then. Guilty Gear is one of those titles, and it's also one of my personal favorites. 23 characters, each with plenty of variety in playing styles and move sets, no 2 characters are the same and every character is amazingly well balanced (unlike some Brawl game I've been hearing about, lol). Also very cheap, started off at $30 new so I can only imagine the price has gone down. Lots of fun with friends.

Lumines Supernova (PSN game) -2008-
As far as puzzle games go, this one is one of the best, and also fairly easy to get a hold of unlike my other favorite puzzle games (Panel de Pon GC, Puyo Puyo 15th anniversary, Meteos). Lumines is a perfect blend of music an puzzle gaming and has a certain allure about it that makes it an instant winner in my book.

Xenosaga, Episodes 1,2, and 3 (PS2, three games) -2002,2005,2006(7)-
Probably one of the best storylines I've ever seen in an RPG, it's amazingly well crafted, incredibly brilliant, and even though the second game is a little tough to struggle through, the story remains constantly good. It was supposed to be 6 games, but got canceled early.

That's about all I've got right now. LBP is still amazing for me, even though I have been playing it nearly constantly since release day. Although, the game didn't really start getting interesting again until I found this community of creators. I wish everyone the best in future level creation.

Risen
01-29-2009, 04:18 PM
It's my understanding that Xenosaga is part of a 6-part story, of which those are episodes 1 2 and 3. However, you can already play episode 5 on PSX under the title "Xenogears".

Xenogears is the best RPG I've ever played.

Dimo1138
01-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Netty's fuzzy fumes is a cool level. I always enjoyed the "touch fuzzy, get dizzy" level from Yoshi's Story. While fuzzy fumes doesn't exactly nail it, it was definitely creative implementation of the same idea on a different game. And as far as Odin's Sphere is concerned, I liked that game for a bit, the art style is really good, I agree, but I found the gameplay to be a bit repetitive after a while. Another one that I would be interested in checking out (not sure if it's been released yet) is "Muramasa", I think that's what it's called, on the Wii. That game looks like it will be really cool.

Neverynnal
01-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Aye, Xenogears is probably the best RPG ever (along with FF7). The first Xenosaga is AMAZING while the second one I quit prematurely because it really frustrated me. Probably half as good as the first.

NinjaMicWZ
01-29-2009, 07:04 PM
Good advice from the OP, and some good recommendations. Klonoa is one of my favorite PS1 games.

...never knew you were a Xenogears fan, Nev... that is one of my top 10 games of all time.

Dimo1138
01-30-2009, 05:16 PM
Also, a lot of my time on this game is spent in the create mode and I have this weird habit where I like to give myself deadlines to have a level completed. If you are like this too, then that can add very quickly to "LBP burnout". Times like that I like to leave creator mode behind for a little while and go and post reviews and feedback for others. I actually participate in a review thread on another site and I find providing feedback, not only as helpful to other creators, but helpful for me to get inspired when having a bit of creators block.

Neverynnal
01-30-2009, 05:29 PM
Yeah the Xenogears battle-system is unrivalled by any other RPG I've played to date. Plus it has a great story to boot. What an amazing game.