While playing through LittleBigPlanet 2 I decided that there are some really great user-created levels that haven’t gotten the type of attention they deserve. Only way I could think to rectify the matter is to make a monthly editorial focusing on some LBP2 levels that I found amazing but haven’t been picked up as an MM pick or gotten massively popular just yet so here we are. I’m going to try and find at least 3 levels each month and this month the credit for originally finding and posting these levels goes to Ranger X and his fantastic thread at Neogaf.com
This level is great for those who always said they liked LittleBigPlanet but hate the controls. CAMDEN1 uses a sackbot and logic to give your character a higher and more precise jump as well as a dash ability by holding Square. He uses this for a tough level that rewards players for skill by giving everyone a starting score of 5,000 and decreasing that by 100 every time you die. Couple all that with an interesting visual style and platforming that links the rhythmic movement of its platforms with custom music and you have a great game in the same vein as the Stero/mono series without all the seizure inducing visuals.
Bunchy’s Adventure (a pixel platformer)
If Beat Factory’s slightly tweaked platforming isn’t different enough for you and you’re just sick and tired of Sackboy’s lovable face then maybe you should try Bunchy’s Adventure by Mr_Hijinx. You take control of a lovable little parakeet in his quest to apparently stomp in other birds and kill a big tomato (yeah it’s not big on story arc). It’s all done using the holographic material and logic to make for a classic platformer feeling so everyone that wishes Sackboy controlled like Mario can finally shut their mouths. It’s not the most complicated platforming level but if nothing else it’s a really cool proof of concept and I can’t wait to see what other classic platforming levels come out of LittleBigPlanet 2.
Poultry Panic is one of the best levels I have played and the impetus for me creating this article series. It's a woefully ignored level that uses cutscenes, sackbots, jump pads, and the creatinator to surprisingly polished effect. Pacing is almost perfect with new gameplay elements added in at just the right time to keep the level from feeling repetitive. Puzzles, platforming, and a boss battle; there is nothing missing. If I were to lodge complaints it would be that The_Pencil_Rain could work a bit at the presentation and sometimes my AI partner would get a bit lost, but these are small complaints and I'm sure he/she will get better at the presentation elements with time.
This was a great level when I was playing through and the gameplay added new elements and variety at just the right rate to keep me excited, but what made it amazing was when the touching ending story sequence played out. The creator had gotten me to care about characters that I'd only known for 10 minutes and who never spoke. Even a shorter game like Ico is a novel compared to Poultry Panic but it still invokes a similar feeling of connection to an AI controlled partner. It's the perfect example of what new heights LittleBigPlanet 2 can help creators achieve even if they stay within the platforming genre of the original.
So get out there and play these levels. If Poultry Panic is still below 1,000 plays in a week I will be severely dissapointed in myself. If you have any LittleBigPlanet 2 levels that you love and don't get the credit they deserve feel free to give me a link to the LBP.me page in the comments and I'll check them out and give you credit if I use it next month.