Sackboy: A Big Adventure Review

Sackboy finally has a game to call his own. The smiley mascot for LittleBigPlanet and, occasionally, the PlayStation brand has always been treated as more of an icon than a character, a cutesy tabula rasa through which all video-game-related things are possible. In Sackboy: A Big Adventure, his purview is much more traditional. He’s a jumpman, a platformer in the tradition of Mario, Sonic, Crash, and all the other mascots that came before him. Sackboy, both the character and the game, rises to succeed the mascot platformer mantle well in many respects. Though its aesthetic often feels bland, its solid platforming makes for a worthy challenge.

Like many platformers, story is not Sackboy’s strong suit. You’re jumping around Craftverse, the world of LittleBigPlanet, to save it from a villainous jester doll called Vex. Though you’ll get a fairly steady stream of updates reminding you of Vex’s evil presence, there’s not much you need to know. You could say the story is a waste of Sackboy’s surprisingly compelling cuteness. On the other hand, you could argue that Sackboy’s cuteness keeps your interest in the game afloat, even without a compelling story.

Sackboy regularly evokes LittleBigPlanet’s arts-and-crafts visual aesthetic. Sometimes, the motif works well. There are great visual details in many of the levels, like hard-drawn cutouts of animals in the backgrounds or platforms made from stacks of books, which imply that the levels were set up in a child’s bedroom. More often, though, it leads to generic “imagination-world” design. Most of the enemies are multi-colored animals or blocks with cute but angry eyes. And, even with those craftsy details, the basic level settings–space, the jungle, under the sea–all feel vague.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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