Yet another fortnight has flown by at Spotlight Headquarters, and whilst the blur of levels whizzed past, on our minds was the constant thought - where is everyone? There's been a significant drop in the amount of levels posted this fortnight, but we have images of you all playing about in create mode with the new control options offered by the recently released Move pack, and we're expecting many great things from you all!
But it's not just the PS3 section that's been on the quiet side of late, as we are sad to report that there will not be a PSP spotlight this week, due to absolutely no PSP levels being published! We hope you're all busy working on something epic in readiness for the next episode.
You may remember that we advertised for more members to come and join the team last episode, and we are pleased to announce that we have four new members coming aboard. Please welcome biorogue, chazprime, LFiers, and tdarb to the crew - we're truly grateful for the extra help and we're sure that these members will be the perfect fit for our little group.
Lastly, we've had a bit of feedback lately about supplying you, our avid readers, with an LBP.me link for the honourable mentions in the spotlight. We thought it was a pretty nifty idea, so we've added them! To go queue it, just click the little icon next to it on the list, and you'll be taken directly to its level page!
It may have been quiet, but that doesn't mean we don't have any levels of quality to share! Let's get on with the showcase!
- Current Spotlights
Experience your first slave day. 1-4 Players. Tutorial Soundtrack by ibubek / Logic support by ShadowriverUB
Returning to Bobtox's intriguing level series, we pick up the story where we left off - you've been tricked into a life of slavery by the BOSS! You are dragged away from a taunting scoreboard and sent hastily to your doom. As the level starts, we are treated to a beautifully haunting post-apocolyptic menu, with lots of eye candy and a helpful tutorial. The game is so intuitive that you probably won't even need the help, but as always, Bob's cinematic skills shine and it would be a real shame to miss out on the quirky details that make this series so special. Life as a slave is pretty simple, you just try to match the on-screen commands, but that pesky little 'friend' keeps distracting you! Prepare for some comedic moments (which literally made me laugh out loud, drawing a few concerned looks from my husband in the other room) in this fun, addictive mini-game. All hail the Boss!
BobTox took a simple idea, à la push the corresponding buttons, put it on steroids and stuck it in the gym for six months until he had a beefed up version of a classic concept. In this mini-game we are starting our first day at the Skunk Factory and are tasked with repairing the soda dispensers. Sounds easy enough, right? Yeah, Dream on. I won't spoil the surprises for you, but one minute you'll be loving it, the next you'll be cursing it and then you'll be laughing and loving it again. The level itself is extremely well made with tons of details and effects to make your head spin. So if you're looking for fun and excitement all bundled into a fantastic setting, then hop on over to the Skunk Factory 2.
With this level BobTox appears to have invented a new genre – the story driven minigame and I’m a fan! The game itself is a lot of fun with some excellent twists on the usual button mashing gameplay which give it variety and a freshness all its own. However, it’s all the added extras which put this on a different plane. The visuals, menu and cinematic intro are full of those fantastic, eccentric details which go to create the dystopian world of the Skunk Factory and its megalomaniac master, the Boss. Larger than life and twice as horrid, he has to be one of the most memorable characters created outside story mode. I was glad to see that in this episode of the series, his small flunkey gets infinite satisfaction from a brief moment of revenge. I laughed aloud at this small victory for the downtrodden and I can’t wait to see what next befalls the poor enslaved Sackboy! For the time being though, this is a brilliantly packaged and fun minigame which more than deserves its slot in the series.
Left with no place to call a home, you must journey east to survive. Level is lengthy with a good amount of brain teasers. Progression time depends on ability to puzzle solve. Single player only. Special thanks to: [Noitarecal, HungByYourHalo, Raptor88Blue] for playtesting, and to [SevenIsACannibal] for sharing their awesome music.
This level has a certain je ne sais quoi about it, and as my terminology would imply, I just can't put my finger on it! I'm not sure if it's the sharp visuals, using stark silhouettes to add to the sometimes creepy, sometimes peaceful vibes. Or it could be the beautiful music accompanying you on your quest, or perhaps the wonderful rhymes put forth by the characters you meet. No, it has to be the story... well, whatever it is, this level took me by surprise – here is a real hidden gem worthy of more attention. You are left to your own devices in this level, and must rely on common sense and good puzzling skill to progress. Don't expect to be held by the hand, because it simply will not happen!
I have never before played a level where I felt genuine compassion for my character. We've all seen the "silhouette" syle of levels before, but not like this. I don't like to use the word "level" here, because it's so much more than that. This work of art completely took me by surprise with its engaging story, scenery and fantastic musical score. The moment it began, I was taken with the story and at how well it was presented, so that when I took control of my character, I didn't want to see the little guy get hurt. Journey through this masterpiece, solving well made puzzles and encountering interesting characters along the way. This is one you truly don't want to miss.
This level will inspire and capture your imagination. The opening scenes tell a story which starts by plucking at your heart strings and then only intensifies in drama. Some great lighting and cinematic effects are used to paint a vivid picture of fear and fire splashed against the dark skies. Fleeing into the night, you find yourself launched on a quest to find the Shrine of the Winds. On the way you will encounter hooting owls and rhyming will o’ the wisps and will need to solve many a puzzle to progress. This is a level whose silhouette style owes more to Japanese shadow puppetry than it does to LIMBO and the puzzles are only one strand in a richly coloured skein made up of gorgeous visuals, beautifully atmospheric music and a compelling story. I can’t wait to see the next instalment in this tale.
- Backlog Spotlights
How long can you survive on this scrolling, spiky speedway? Gradually getting faster and more difficult, this survival challenge is not for the faint-hearted! | Thanks to comphermc for his scrolling level assistance! | LBPCentral.com
I often get a hankering for a good old-fashioned survival challenge, and Holguin's Perilous Passage fits the bill perfectly. Dashing your way through the emitted sections, and attempting to always stay one step ahead results in a joyous feeling here. But it isn't without its own challenges! Just as you're starting to get into the swing of things, watching yourself blitz through the level to the accompaniment of some pretty darned catchy music, You'll suddenly notice something has changed. What's that? Oh... the floor appears to have caught me. Never mind, let's try again shall we?
Now I'm not one for survival challenges and I tend to pass them by, but I decided to give this one a go and Boy! I'm glad I did. This is a well designed side scrolling survivor level that will test both the new player and the most seasoned alike. The level kind of reminds me of the Hedge Hopping level in Da Vinci's Hideout, with its clean lines and smooth, side-scrolling fast paced action. I would say the visuals were stunning, but who has the time to look at visuals when you're bouncing and swinging for your life! If you're looking for a fun, fast paced level to play, look no further than the Perilous Passage.
With levels like these, the fun truly never ends; they're the gifts that keep on giving. You'll come to love this about Perilous Passage because you have the opportunity to enjoy venturing further and further through this infinite corridor devised by Holguin for as long as you like (or survive)! Full of intriguing platforming, engaging audio, and well made visuals, who wouldn't want to stay in these corridors forever?
Beautiful. Inviting. Tranquil. Pristine... Or is it? What truley lurks within the depths of this slice of deceptively perfect paradise? Find out within.... the adventure awaits.
LFiers gives us a level full of curious contradictions. The scenery is serenely beautiful and but is transformed at the flick of a switch into a place full of traps and hazards. A bridge collapses and you are flung headlong into adventure; you pass safely through an underwater puzzle only to have your escape route turn into a terrifying tunnel filled with bullet-shaped electrified blocks gunning for you. There’s a “surprise” around every corner, most of them seemingly arranged for you by a small deceptively cute rabbit creature! LFiers has packed a huge variety of clever and original gameplay ideas into one level and given the whole thing great pacing and a fun story to boot. It turns out that the rabbit was just “helping” you all along...hmmm, yeah right...not entirely sure he’s to be trusted! The final note of artifice in this wonderful Symphony of Dissonance!
Wait... he was trying to help me?! I could have sworn he... and the... and what about the kabow?! Urgh... These woodland folk have a strange idea of the definition of 'help'. Throughout this level, yet another great offering from LFiers, you are... helped... by an engineer of the woodland folk, as you fight your way through an onslaught of deadly contraptions and obstacles. One particular favourite of mine involves stopping spinning platforms as they zoom through the air, and attempting to get it just right so that you are able to cross. Always a treat, go check it out!
The town of Swineburry has a problem. Seems like something is amiss in this Southern town. Embark on a perilous journey and discover this town's dark secret.
AT fust ah was mad as a weasel in a blender thet Jerry made a level about mah fambly, but af'er playin' it, ah's acshully quite flattered, cuss it all t' tarnation. If you've never played one of Jerry The_Hog_Flu's levels, well 1st, shame on you and 2nd, you're in for a treat. He is one of the masters at character creation and for putting in details that no one else would think about. In this series The local establishment is running out of um..refreshments and you're tasked with finding out what's happened down at the brewery and to get it fixed. Traverse through varied landscapes and obstacles while meeting colorful characters along the way. So whaddya waitin' fer varmint, a dadgum golden ticket? Git yer rear in gear and queue this hyar level, ah reckon.
As you leave home (leaving your beloved ma to her fried chicken) you are filled with a sense of something. Is it the stench of moonshine, the sound of wasps buzzing around in the blistering heat, or is it the imagined sound of a bluegrass band playing down the way? Who knows, but down in the bayou we have a sayin' – quit yer gawkin and git! The real thrill in these levels came from the exploration involved – so many little hidden areas await you, it's really worth taking your time to explore thoroughly. My favourite moment probably involved swinging from unsuspecting possums hanging from the trees. What? They asked for it...
Never before have I LOL'd so much in a level. Jerry's character design will either leave you ROFLing for half the level, gawking at your TV stunned by the awesome detail, or in most cases, both. While managing to do both the above at the same time may be quite a feat, pulling off a level series such as these is a much bigger one. Jerry, along with his fantastic characters, incorporates rich and realistic scenery and visuals, entirely unique gameplay elements, AND is able to include all of these into all three of the levels. Please do yourself a favor and give Hillbilly Hijinx a play immediately!
Platform through gorgeous green caverns where flames blaze in emerald hues. Don't let it distract you! All hint cameras are skippable with O. Thanks for playing!
Emerald Embers is a well crafted level. The music and scenery will lull you into a sense of security, but be careful. Get too comfortable and you could find yourself in a hot situation...fast. A great blend of platforming, Interesting puzzles, and just good old fashioned fun, make this level one that anyone will be glad they played.
Classic platforming at its best. Another beautifully designed level by Jayhawk_er which will have you leaping, grabbing and swinging through gorgeous caves lit by shimmering emeralds and flickering green flames. Great pacing - helped by long sweeping bubble combos - and some fun mechanics keep things interesting, but the real jewel in this emerald crown is the circles which fling you helter-skelt...erm, in a graceful, controlled fashion *cough* from here to there. A finely crafted level which works smoothly and looks stunning. As one short but to the point review said: “It made me happy”. Precisely!
Crash your flying saucer on a distant world... And freak out the locals... [10,000 point bonus for completing the race in 60 seconds..] (ver 1.07b)
Drunkenfist_lee took one of his classic little big planet 1 levels and ramped it up with LBP2 technology, giving it great sackbot acting and special effects. You've crash landed on an alien planet and just want some help. Is there a mechanic in the house? The inhabitants fear you and think you are a monster intent on eating their brains and will hurl themselves off of cliffs in order to escape your clutches. Will you find help or be stuck on Planet X forever? Don't miss out on this humorous sci-fi tale. Queue it now.
Human nature is a funny old thing – I don’t know why causing innocent aliens to die of a heart attack or throw themselves frantically off cliffs by your very approach should be quite so hilarious but believe me it is! It also gives you large numbers of points - so double the satisfaction! Plenty of chortles then in this level filled with DrunkenFist_Lee’s own brand of zany humour. You'll be treated to some cracking dialogue and a laugh out loud finale which I won’t spoil for those (few) who haven’t yet played. Underpinning the humour is some fun and well designed gameplay with great bubble combos, difficult to get at/secret prize bubbles and an exciting race to top it all off. It’s not easy for a level to stand out from the crowd in LBP2 these days but this level does it effortlessly. The only downside is that we’re left with a cliff-hanger and no sequel as yet! I want to know what happens!
The Negativitron has been defeated, and our sack hero is living it up in the Discotheques of Sackville. But a secret from Craft World's past threatens the very fabric of life for sack folk everywhere.
Wow! Bercilak raises the bar with this one. If the opening scene doesn't get you, then you better check your pulse, because you are not in the land of the living. This is a very well done level with great special effects and a story like none you have ever seen before. Sackfolks are "spontaneously stitching" (exploding) all over town and leaving tufts of cotton everywhere. The Seamstress sends for you, the hero that defeated the Negativitron, to aid in the investigation. Can you do it? Will your stitching last long enough to save these poor folk from "spontaneously stitching?"
Another richly detailed fairytale from Bercilak. The story is beautifully set up in the short but sweet prologue which opens with a luminous needle and thread stitching a brand new sackboy into being and ends with Sackthing setting off to try and bring an end to the truly horrible affliction which tears those same stitches apart. Part 1 of the series sees our intrepid hero descending into the Royal Thread Mines where wild minecart rides, perilous contraptions and a suitably vile and slimey boss await him. Once again, Bercilak combines a gift for story-telling with quirky, artistic visuals to deliver a genuinely arresting series. These levels exude charm, but a charm shot through with humour and something altogether darker. It’s a beguiling mix.
Also from the Showcase...
Played everything in the Spotlight and still looking for more?
These levels stand out from the crowd for a variety of reasons, so be sure to check them out!
- [LBP2] If the road to El Dorado was a platformer, we're sure it would look something like The Golden Passage by TulioR10, with it's slick platforming and beautiful style!
- [LBP2] Konnichiwa, welcome to the anime-inpspired >>PLAY Factory by dajdaj03, where you compete against your friends to be the best recycle bot there is!
- [LBP2] A whole construction site packed with great little details and some nicely themed gameplay to play around in? How cool is that?! So slap on your hard hat (you’ll need it!) and get exploring in Project 01: Building Platforming by mcdonald1967.
- [LBP2] Get ready for fast paced, crazy action and great mini games in this pinball table. Best of all, YOU are the "ball" in Cosmos Pinball by foxdie84.
- [LBP2] Ever wanted to walk on water, slow down time or freeze it at your will? Well now’s your chance! Lots of cool gameplay concepts and beautiful scenery to enjoy in (LBPC4) In the Nick of Time by se-mi92.
- [LBP2] If you love puzzle platformers, you'll adore all the hidden treats that await you in Escheresque by arbiekko. Expect stairs. Lots of stairs!
- [LBP2] From its nostalgic introduction to its 8-Bit ending, The Great Giana Sisters by Hanfi1311 is a faithful 1:1 pixel remake of the Commodore 64 game - guaranteed fun for any retro gamer!
- [LBP2] An abundance of beautiful, quirky visuals and enjoyable platforming await you in the form of Waterfall Village by fatalityPL.
- [LBP2] Grab your Move controller and put it to good use, getting your sweet revenge on those devious bots in Whack-a-Sack (Move) by Breezy-The-Pro.
- [LBP2] We see a lot of costume levels on the spotlight team, but we loved the presentation skills put forward in Anime and Game Costumes by jowife1993.
And last but not least, levels of note from our ever-shrinking backlog!
- [LBP2] We all get a moment where we just want to chill out and look around. If that's your bag, why not explore the beautiful scenery in Another Day, Another Adventure by songwr1tten.
- [LBP2] Shhh, we're hunting wabbits! Grab your Mallet and catch those blighters on the bonce in the simplistic and addictive Wack-a-Wabbit by Slaeden-Bob.
- [LBP2] Get the enemy in your sights and get your trigger finger at the ready for some 3D shootin' fun in Night Hawk by O-K-I-N-G-O.
- [LBP2] Enjoy a collection of imaginative puzzles, where your task is to light up every block on the board in Mindsmasher by matt54123.
- [LBP2] You arrive at the gleaming labs and beautiful gardens of the space station but something is terribly wrong. Will you survive the horror, as the adventure continues in Space Garden Episode 1 by Bender_82?
- [LBP2] JustinArt's series continues as we follow Hero, Max and Koji to the beautifully naturalistic Sector Beta. Save the insectoids in Cybernetic Adventures Beta: Insectoid Garden.
- [LBP2] For a different kind of tank battle play Paper Tank Combat by Palatch. The tanks are made of paper and the combat ground is a giant exercise book filled with doodles. The cute way to thrash your friends!
- [LBP2] Control a tank on a dangerous military mission, blast helicopters from the sky and blow bunkers apart in this fun and challenging level. Lieutenant Sack reports for duty (and a good time) in Tank Mission 3D by Jenne1980.
- [LBP2] The artwork in this tribute to Eureka 7 is just stunning. Even if you’re not normally a fan of anime you’re sure find something to inspire you in Eureka Seven by monstertruckpipk.
- [LBP2] This side-scrolling r-type space shooter certainly lives up to its billing, as frantic action is guaranteed as you blast the awesome monsters filling the screen. We can’t wait for the final version but in the meantime you’ll love the beta version of Frantic - Classic by Luos_83.