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Back Into The Fray
Sackboy, finally one of the smallest and adorable exclusive figures from Playstation is able to have its name on a standalone game. With that being said let’s start with the Sackboy A Big Adventure Review
I’m a “Big” platform fan and it was with great enthusiasm that I reacted to the announcement of Sackboy: A Big Adventure on Playstation 5’s Reveal event on June 11th 2020! Just take a look how cute it looks in this costume! Have you ever seen anything this adorable?! Probably yes, but let me be happy with my own opinions!
Let me be honest with you, I haven’t played LittleBigPlanet, however I own the original Sackboy plush toy that Sony released at the time and I always found it adorable. I never played Little Big Planet due to the creator genre idea surrounding it. Therefore, imagine my happiness when I realised Sackboy is a platform game, when this is probably my favorite game genre since childhood (Looking at you Crash Bandicoot and Sypro, wink).
When I realised that the game would be produced by Sumo Digital, I was happy and apprehensive at the same time. After all, this was the studio that launched the latest version of LittleBigPlanet (the third one) and as such, they are who have the most experience with this IP from Sony
The story begins in a quick and simple way, just like they showed us in the trailers before the game launched. In reality it’s a basic plot of good versus evil, in other words, the Sacklings live happy in their little corner when Vex appears (Villain, you can tell by the name even if you didn’t know, it’s that basic) and he wants, well, do what every villain do which is conquer the world.
I don’t want to seem like I’m oversimplifying the story, but the reality is, this is the story! It’s simple, easy to understand for all members of the audience who are watching or better yet playing! Anyone that has never played LBP, they won’t feel (like what happens in many games) that they are losing track of the story or that they should know more about the story. Vex is the villain that has to be stopped otherwise bad things are going to happen, and we are the heroes that have to save the day.
The first levels are very simple and they introduce the elements in the game, possible actions and how the various types of enemies function. Once more, it’s simple and effective, which relates to the fact that this game is targeted to children over seven years old to play with their parents.
In the end of the first level, it is presented to us the objectives we have to accomplish to reach the three different levels of trophies (classic again: bronze, silver and gold). But just as soon as I reached the screen at the end of the level, it started to come to mind memories of another games within the same genre, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is heavily inspired by previous successful entries in the platform genre, and there’s nothing wrong because what isn’t broken doesn’t need to be fixed.
When I reached the sixth main level, “Treble in Paradise”. The rhythm and music kicks in!… And what is that sound I’m hearing? This rhythm is familiar… and that’s when I noticed… It’s from Uptown Funk from Mark Robson ft Bruno Mars! Which again brings me back memories to another platform franchise! It’s a trip down memory lane.
And no, the budget didn’t only allowed Uptown Funk, in our time with the game, we reached another level where we have “Let’s Dance” form David Bowie (yes,all way back from the 80’s, for all the parents out there that are gonna play this), as well as a version of the song “Jungle Boogie” from Kool and the Gang. There will certainly be more examples, but these were the ones we encountered thus far.
We also have collectibles and this is the part where things get interesting. In Zoom Zoom’s Shop you will be able to customize and create your own Sackboy! And I mean literally, you can modify everything from the eyes, to the character colour and even add funny costumes like Elvis Presley alike or even getting to create your own version of the Little Red Riding. Additionally you can create your own Sackboy from scratch with mixed costumes!
There are some issues with the character costumes with clipping as we will mention below however being able to create your own character further expands the replayability of the game so you can unlock even more costumes or for the purpose of letting you reach 100% of game completion and let you and let you obtain all the available costumes on Zoom Zoom’s shop (please, when you go there, just stay there awhile and listen to the character’s dialogues, it’s hilarious!
Performance wise, we tested the game on the “old” reliable PS4 Pro (as it seems like things from 2016 are old nowadays) and I have to admit, loading times are very slow, but not detrimental for the game experience overall, if you know what I mean. during some of the cutscenes it was we could notice …, but nothing game breaking. Apart from that, we found some bugs in hub world animations (with some specific costumes), clipping on some of Sackboy’s body parts (common by today’s standards) and only an error that left a bitter taste.
While playing one of the time trial levels, in Couch Co-Op with three Sacklings, two died and only one reached the end of the level, despite the timer having stopped and the game saying we had reached the gold trophy, that never happened! The remaining Sackling was able to walk freely across the map, getting no damage from enemies and it could even surpass the map limits! So basically we had to start the level all over again twice (because this happened a second time) until we were able to finish the level.
All these problems are possible and relatively easy to fix through a patch, if the developers intend to do so (Please do fix it, this game deserves it). Therefore, we will be waiting for news on upcoming updates.
Gameplay wise it is very enjoyable and fun overall. Little details like Sacklings being able to grab onto each other in Co-Op mode (and this works in either online Co-Op and couch Co-Op) to be able to reach some of the level’s areas, or game mechanics, like the seeds that you put in the pots that reveal prizes ou secrets are simply fantastic. The Time Trials (that again, remind me of Crash Bandicoot or Rayman Origins/Legends) are challenging but not too difficult to the point it would get frustrating at all. About the performance, it remains stable, either while playing solo or with two, three or even four friends, even on the PS4 Pro.
In conclusion, Sackboy’s “Huge” Adventure is a cute and fun platform game, suitable for all ages and occasions! It brings the best from the old games of the 90’s, and it mixes them with characteristics that we got used to from modern platform games, all of this in an enjoyable, musically rich and colourful 3D environment. We do hope that the success this game has on PS4, PS4 Pro and PS5 will be more than enough for Sony to think about a sequel, and that it would be even bigger and bring even more improvements. We love you, Sackboy.
- Simple yet effective Storyline
- Fun and dynamic gameplay
- Customisation is plenty to pick from! Create your own Sackboy is Genius
- Clipping issues on the Sackboy depending on the clothes
- Slow Loading / Pop in issues on PS4 models