Hello and Happy New Year to you all! The first Spotlight of 2012 certainly gets the New Year off to a great start. Itís a bumper one filled with some truly outstanding levels guaranteed to chase away any January blues. So drop what youíre doing, forget about New Yearís resolutions to do more exercise and get playing some of whatís on offer. You wonít regret it.
Thereís no PSP Spotlight this time round but hopefully it will return with new vigour in the next Episode.
-- InterKinetic - [in-ter-ki-net-ic] - (adjective) -- (1) Sharing a connection which transfers kinetic energy. (2) Made of many intricate and interconnected moving parts. [Co-Created with @Fotosynthesis1]
I imagine it gets pretty hard coming up with new ways to get from point A to point B. But thatís just what C_mckamey and fotosynthesis have done, and with flying colors might I add. I donít know that Iíve ever seen a level with so many moving parts! There are times when there are whole sections that shift to open new pathways. To say there are a lot of gears is a vast understatement. The whole thing is run by cogs in varying sizes and youíll enjoy jumping and swinging through a plethora of gadgets and contraptions. The design is immaculate and is surely a treat to enjoy.
This level just proves that something functional can also be beautiful. Actually, Iím not sure itís right to call this a level at all Ė itís a wonderful and well-oiled machine with cogs, pistons and gears clicking and whirring and meshing together to transport you through its workings all the way to the scoreboard. Itís absolutely fascinating to watch, genuine poetry in motion, though donít stand still for too long or youíll end up meshed yourself! Itís glorious looking too, all gleaming silver and gold and burnished wood - an antique clock anyone would treasure - and to top it off, thereís plenty of platforming and point collecting to keep you entertained. All in all this has to be one of the more spectacular levels of 2011. It truly stands out from the crowd.
On the outskirts of the Shrine of Worship a Hero awaits the discovery of His one True Fate. Past the mountain ridge, through the Mist of the Wicked, the perilous journey through The Hollows of Thornwood Thicket. Original music by @0165_vivaldi-NL [Sequel to Darkening Dreams, prequel to Eastern Gate to the Forsaken Desert]
A couple of words come to mind when playing through this next chapter of Shookieís tale of a lone hero. Beauty and serenity. The level is absolutely gorgeous and accompanied by some great peaceful music. While the level doesnít focus on gameplay, there are still plenty of bounce and grapple sections with a few neat little contraptions put in as well. And of course it wouldnít be a Shookie level without a load of score bubbles and secret areas to find. I love the structure and the use of water, both real and material to further enhance the mood of the atmosphere. Wonderful level that youíre sure to enjoy.
This series from Shookie99 just gets classier and classier. The latest episode has the beautiful ICO-esque visuals which are such feature of the series. The architecture is on a magnificent scale which matches the epic storyline and is full of wonderful details. These peaceful, lofty halls, the atmospheric music and gently falling leaves give the level a tranquil mood that draws you in. The gameplay has a pace which suits the setting, with the emphasis on some light platforming, puzzle solving and intriguing secret hunting. This is a truly polished piece of work that will leave you relaxed and amazed...that or determinedly replaying in a bid to get every hidden score bubble *cough*.
Still in the mood for a super special awesome Christmas level? Then have I got the level for you! This is a busy level. Meaning that there are a lot of things going on and plenty of decorations to see. What I love about this level is there are so many different scenes to see and interact with. Youíve Opera singers and toy soldiers and dancers and my favorite, the snowman band, complete with instruments. This is an awesome level with plenty of cool ideas to platform your way through. Donít be a bah humbug! Play this level.
This is a level which is indeed bursting at the seams with Christmas spirit and LordMagicPantís unique brand of creativity. A whole Christmas parade of wonderful characters awaits you, singers, dancers and musicians performing their hearts out on stage. Itís Vaudeville night at the North Pole and youíve been invited along. Even Father Christmas himself has teamed up with Rudolph and a polar bear in a saxophone trio. Vibrant and full of wonderful details, this level will have you smiling from ear to ear as each new tableau appears. The gameplay is just as imaginative Ė my favourite bit being the creatinator which shoots out Christmas present sackbots who grab balloons to lower platforms. The perfect level to cheer the heart on a grey January day!
First things first. Donít let number of levels in this series scare you off. Yes, itís seven levels, but trust me, youíll be so engrossed that you wonít even know it. In this story Santa and Mrs. Clause, does she even have a first name? Anyway, they have been kidnapped by Santaís sinister twin brother, Santa Claws and itís up to you and Rudolf to find them and save Christmas. But first, there seems to be a problem. Rudolfís nose has also been taken as well and we have to find that first. Canít go flying around in the fog without his nose you see. That would just be foolish. Our journey is not without peril and youíll soon learn that the evil minions have turned even the snowmen against you. Be quick, or theyíll freeze you into a solid block of ice. This series is full of some brilliant platforming and probably the funniest dialogue Iíve heard in a long time. Wonderfully voice acted and the scenery and characters are brilliantly crafted. What are you waiting for? Go play this series already!
This series puts a wickedly dark spin on the usual ďsave ChristmasĒ story and gives it a shot of real humour to boot. Itís packed with quirky characters (with a fajita-loving Rudolph being my favourite), cracking dialogue and a whole load of visual and other jokes which I wonít spoil by mentioning here. The humour, though, is underpinned by some seriously good gameplay, full of original features and cool mechanics. I loved being turned into an ice cube by the snowmen and sliding irresistibly downhill into large black hole Ė just doesnít get old! It all looks stunning too, beautifully decorated and with Joeyís own special brand of lighting. The music was wonderful and varied and fitted each level perfectly. I could go on but then Iíd be eating into time which youíd be better off spending playing these joyfully irreverent and magical levels.
Well, how did you end up down here? Escape from these dangerous underground caves by using the old minecarts and machinery. But beware - someone's not happy you're here! | LBPCentral.com | LittleBigPlanetarium.com
Alright! A good old mine level. Wait a minute! This ainít your typical romp through an abandoned mine level. This is of a more diabolical nature. What has sackboy gotten himself into now? The level starts out peaceful enough, just a casual stroll through the park then AAAAHH! You fall into a mine. Cool, Iíll just use that mine cart to get myself out of here. What ensues next reminds me of the mine cart scene from Indiana Jones or from Donkey Kong Kountry on the SNES. You have to jump your cart over bomb crates, huge gaps and moving platforms. Make it through that, and you get to dodge maniac miners as they careen down the tracks! Catch your breath with some outstanding platforming amongst cool old machinery then go to war with one of the most unique boss battles that Iíve come up against. This is an awesome level from start to finish and the design and details are impeccable. Queue this up and see if you can Escape from the Mines.
What some people are prepared to go through to get their ball back! So having fallen down a mine shaft in pursuit of your ball, you now need to run the gauntlet of all sorts of perils to escape. For starters, although the minecart seemed like a good idea, it looks like someone has carelessly left a whole load of dynamite on the tracks and then there appear to be some lunatic miners who donít drive as carefully as they might and finally you encounter some mad guy who really shouldnít be allowed to be in charge of a large drilling machine! All very disturbing. Then the mine itself is full of spikes and the way out requires you to negotiate a number of complicated lift systems (a real health and safety hazard, if you ask me). Or, in other words, Holguin has excelled himself again with this beautifully designed platformer with its clever use of backtracking, well-thought out obstacles and cool Boss fight. Add some great visuals, atmospheric lighting and music and you have a level which is deeply satisfying as well as great fun to play. Welcome back to LBP, Holguin!
RESTART LBP RIGHT BEFORE PLAYING THIS TO AVOID CRASHING! IF LOADING FAILS, TRY AGAIN --First part of the Sealed Fate series. Play as a young rune magician who is destined to determine the fate of the world. Features an innovative combat system mixing realtime action and drawing gestures to cast spells!--Special thanks to Qrii_Nakari for art and other stuff! Custom music by Velvet--Audio, battle music by Arexion. (v. 1.05)
Wowza yowza! This ainít a level, itís a stand alone game! This game is just brilliant, amazing, phenomenal etc, etc. I was blown away by this. The environments created here are gorgeous and are really vibrant and detailed. As awesome as the environment is, the gameplay is where itís at. Youíll be extremely impressed with your magic abilities. Weíre given the fire ability right off and have to earn the others through a great level up system. To cast spells you have to draw shapes with your wand in order to summon the spell. Nifty hunh!? The spell effects are astounding and never get old. The level up system is great in that you can assign points to several different attributes such as magic, health and spirit. There are tons of monsters to encounter so youíll have no problems leveling up. This game amazed me from the get go and I caught myself forgetting that I was playing LBP because at paths, I kept pulling down on the stick to go down a path to the front. Simply amazing. You have to see this RPG.
I know itís become a bit of a habit for people to say that they canít believe a particular level was made in LBP but with this level, for once, it would not be hyperbole. I think Felkroth must have a different version of the game with all sorts of extra tools in her popit because otherwise I just canít understand how she managed to pull off such a remarkable and wonderful creation. Again itís the attention to detail that makes this level standout. She has nailed everything you would expect from a fully-fledged RPG. The environments are beautifully detailed and lifelike. The main characters are properly fleshed out and thereís some funny and entertaining dialogue all of which makes the story so much more engaging. But itís the combat system thatís the star of this level. You get to cast a number of different spells by drawing shapes in the air with your wand, conjuring fantastic effects from out of nowhere. Add to this different difficulty settings, a detailed levelling up system, the ability to buy upgrades for certain attributes, a perfect working menu with a world map and you can see the depth and complexity of the gameplay. Oh, and itís fun to play too! This is a truly amazing start to what promises to be a series like no other on LBP. No one should miss playing this.
The cool night air seems safe and quiet... Don't look up! Welcome to Aeon Quest. A learning adventure two years in the making. Brought to you by cdubb024, HASTAC, and The MacArthur Foundation. Can LittleBigPlanet be used a a learning device? Let's find out together! Join the adventure and strap in for an epic journey.
Listen up, class is now in session. This is a brilliant level series that is not only pleasing to look at, but is educational to boot! Which is confusing for a person of myÖletís just say experience, because games arenít suppose to teach us anything, but here I am learning new ways to do multiplication! Thereís a story too! Earth has been destroyed and you are brought aboard a sentient space ship that is all thatís left of mankind. Youíre task is to complete various missions so that the ship can build a device to go back in time and save Earth. Youíll visit different planets and have a wide variety of gameplay mechanics at your disposal and the educational elements are integrated into the story mechanics in a fun and unique way. The design of the series is of a sci-fi nature and is truly a sight to behold with wonderful contraptions and little details to feast the eyes on. The series really takes off after you prove youíre worthy in the first series of test. It wonít be easy, especially when you have a plasma wall moving at you while you try to do simple math. Watch that thing, it burns! Trust me guys, you donít want to miss this one.
Get ready to embark on an epic adventure in Aeon Quest. The amount of work that's gone into these levels is staggering. With 20 levels under its belt, this series is probably the longest one I've seen in LBP to date, and it's all top quality stuff. The journey starts off on a mysterious space ship which abducts you.. but.. an alluring voice greets you and requests your help, which easing any strange fears of what may happen during an alien abduction almost immediately. The voice has a mission for you. To help save its creators.. but sadly they have already died out. The only hope is to craft a time machine, but all this ship has is a brain. The ship will need your hands and others if its plans can manifest and ultimately succeed. From there you'll learn many things to aid you in your quest. Journeying throughout a galaxy in search of people, materials and anything else which can help you on your way. The series was created with education in mind so there's plenty of brain twisting puzzles in there. Even a bit of math which I totally didn't use a calculator on.. It's an experience not to be missed. The voice work is very authentic and the visuals are spot on.
Aeon Quest is an ambitious project and yet it succeeds beautifully. Things intended to be educational so often end up just being dull, but this is certainly not the case with this level series. True, you do learn things along the way (who knew there was a whole new way to do long multiplication!) but the creators never lost sight of the need to make the game, just that, a game and a fun one too (some of the dialogue is just hilarious!). You start with some initiation tests including one where you have to do maths as a huge red laser...death ray...thing... steadily pursues you and frazzles you if you donít input the correct answers quickly enough. Wow, certainly sharpens your focus - there are maths teachers all over the world who would kill their own grandmothers for such an educational tool! The pace picks up after the initial tests and you find yourself playing with different power ups in all sorts of environments, solving puzzles and doing maths. The whole series looks fantastic and an enormous amount of care and attention has clearly gone into making this as good as it is. I urge everyone to give it a play.
What...what is this? I've been away from LBP yet my inner creative genius has created without me...but things appear to be missing...only a skilled Sackboy can Fill In The Blanks!
Unique ideas can sometimes be hard to find in LBP, but lucky for you, I have just that, a very unique level. It seems that I have stumbled upon a level that I have to help build. Now donít go into a hissy fit. You wonít have to move boxes around with the move controller or draw out complicated platforms. What you will have to do is press the correct button at just the right time to emit key elements in the level, such as mine carts, bounce pads and swinging sponges. The design of the level is reminiscent of the Canyons levels in LBP1 and the gameplay is smooth as a babyís bottom. Be quick, and you may have just what it takes to ďFill in the Blanks.Ē
Elguerogigante has created something fun and fresh with El Guero's Disembodied Genius: Fill In The Blanks. The premise is to play through the level, but various pieces are missing.. and the only way to make them appear is to stand in front of zones and press a button. This will make various useful things appear which can help you progress. Simple right? Well yes, at first it is, but quickly things ramp up and it'll take some good timing as you zip around on mine carts and attempt to press the various prompts to ensure your safe passage. These prompts are random too so you can never get comfortable and remember a pattern. So for a fun platformer with a unique twist you should check this one out.
The journey continues but this time not in a forest but a temple... Thanks to berry for her epic costumes she made for this series :)
Ooooo, I feel like Indiana Jones in this one! Every step I take is a new and wonderful obstacle to either avoid or puzzle through. In this chapter we are in a temple full of cool contraptions and must platform and puzzle our way through tight chambers and dangerous obstacles. The design is very appealing and done in such a way that you feel as if you are in some forgotten trap filled temple. The next chapter continues in a more open environment, but this time we are not alone. We have manís best friend right by our side to help in the journey forward. Youíll need to switch control between master and beast, beast? No, heís a cute little puppy. Control both master and puppy in order to figure out some well engineered puzzles and platform areas. Wonderfully designed with great ambiance. A great series that is definitely worth playing. Go check it out.
The Cillian Saga by Legoloco is a very engaging series with a good story, cool characters and well-designed gameplay. This episode sees you platforming through a temple. Itís a place well known to our hero, Cillian, and his family and so it should be a piece of cake avoiding his enemies and getting through using this handy shortcut, right? Wrong! Not only have mysterious Genghis Kahn-type villains penetrated the temple but itís full of traps and hidden (and not so hidden) hazards. Having successfully escaped capture so far, we embark on Part 3 where Cillian is joined in some underground caverns by his loyal dog, Hazel, who will help him negotiate the puzzles ahead. Legoloco has created some really excellent co-op puzzles which require you to switch between playing as Cillian and his dog. Timing and good coordination are key and lack of them has proved the undoing of many a player *cough* This is an original, well-crafted and fun level series which definitely deserves more attention.
:[1 P L A Y E R_O N L Y ]: far from any civilization deep in the heart of the jungle is an long forgotten realm.... The mighty Ruins of Kalahr.... explore the gorgeous Ruins and solve her tricky constructions.... [:D I F F I C U L T : M E D I U M:] N O T E: you can collect some maya mask for points......
The Ruins of Kalahr are very beautiful but treacherous for any Sack who dares to venture in amongst their decaying grandeur. To pass through the Ruins will take skill and a strong nerve as fiendish contraptions abound and no path is safe. Z1091990 has done a superb job of creating a jungle environment Ė the lush foliage, crumbling pillars and ribbons of tumbling water all make for a gorgeous, almost realistic environment and the Ruins have a splendour all their own. There's some beautiful lighting too with shafts of sunlight piercing the jungle canopy. You canít afford to linger, though, as youíll be launched and spun and catapulted left right and centre through the obstacles, grabbing cunningly placed Mayan masks, where you can for points. A stunning looking and cleverly designed platformer - wonderful stuff.
The Ruins of Kalahr is a very pretty but dangerous place. The landscape is in ruins as the title suggests and nature has started to creep back in with greenery dotted around. All this creates a believable scene which is a pleasure to roam through. Well I say roam.. you'll be trying to avoid death next to non stop.. And yet while the place may be in ruins, there is still loads of functioning mechanisms around the place, which are rather impressive. These mechanisms will help you navigate or more often than not kill you. For treasure hunters there's a fair few Mayan masks dotted around which will take a bit of brain power to figure out how to get them. But the boost in your score will be more than worth it. A solid and beautiful platformer, well worth a play.
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] A hugely fun race across the rooftops grabbing presents, avoiding the baa (!) humbugs and ending with a helicopter boss fight. A truly action-packed Christmas romp guaranteed to put a smile on your face - Revenge of the Mighty Humbug - 1 Player. by lordwarblade.
- [LBP2] Woah, spikes, spikes and yet more SPIKES in this sleekly designed and fantastically lit level. Up for a fun challenge? Then youíll love Illuminare ( 1 player recommended ) by Lakera-13.
- [LBP2] Looking for a relaxing platformer, beautifully decorated and full of interesting and imaginative gameplay? Then The Golden Forest by Justaboy4Life fits the bill perfectly with its mix of puzzles and platforming all set off by charming gold-themed visuals.
- [LBP2] A lonely child in a dark, bare attic is about to get a magical surprise in A Christmas tale by EnochRoot - an interactive movie with bags of charm and atmosphere.
- [LBP2] Youíll be deeply impressed by the use of the 3D cam to create the Zelda inspired gameplay in this level. Great character animations, cool puzzles and monsters to battle all add up to a great level - VIKIN 3D a Zelda inspired game engine. introduction to gamplay by archdan.