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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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‘Little’ game offers gigantic fun

Game: Little Big Planet

Developer: Media Molecule

Publisher: Sony Computer

Entertainment

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Genre: Platformer

Players: 1 – 4

MSRP: $59.99

ESRB Rating: Everyone

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There’s a strange, beautiful world available to those who have the means for entrance. While this world may look like our own at first, the further one dives into it the less familiar it will appear. In this world there are puzzles that must be solved, people who need to be rescued and quite a lot of fun to be had. And developer Media Molecule must be highly praised for creating a world so vivid and imaginative that one wishes it was real.

“Little Big Planet” (LBP) is a side-scrolling platformer, featuring Sackboy (or Sackgirl), a truly adorable character if there ever was one. Throughout the game the player will use Sackboy to run, climb, jump and grapple through over 50 levels of varying difficulty, all of which can be played with friends. Along the way the player will have to solve physics based puzzles as well as collect hidden items before reaching each level’s end. Sackboy is also customizable, and the player is able to add stickers to his body and change the color of his skin. The more story levels played the more stickers and objects will be available for customization. The player can even customize Sackboy’s face to give him an ear-to-ear grin or a heart wrenching frown.

The gameplay is quite intuitive and easy to follow. There’s hardly any button mashing, which can sometimes plague the genre. The somewhat 2D graphics, while having the potential to make games look less than great, bring out the vibrant and cheerful colors. Levels are each unique in their own right, though, and don’t seem to follow any specific pattern.

But the biggest draw to “LBP” is the level editor and creator. Those more interested in creating their own levels will find the tutorials to be quite helpful and even humorous, as Stephen Fry, narrator of the “Harry Potter” audio books, guides the player through the set up of their own level. The player must first choose a background or start from scratch with what looks like a seemingly endless stretch of sidewalk against a blank canvas. The creating devices, while easy enough to use, take some time to master since there’s so many of them. From then on it’s up to the player to create any look he or she wants. The further the player gets into the creation of a level the more fun it is as their creations start to unfold before them.

After playing some of these levels it’s easy to see just how much time some people have on their hands. While some of these match up to the levels in story mode, others appear to be hastily put together, much like mine was. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this was seeing the many different themes players used to create their levels. These themes ranged from Ninja Warrior, which was nearly spot on, to “Saw,” which was quite fun and true to its source material. Not all the user created levels in “LBP” follow a theme, though. Many are simply the creative offspring of the player. While the story mode has a finite amount of game play, the user created levels will provide unlimited hours of entertainment. Anyone who has a connection to the Internet can upload their levels and play others’ free of charge. With nearly 84,000 levels now online there should be something for everyone.

While those used to the blood and guts of other games may find it too childish to play, there is something to be said about a game that can use incredibly mild violence and beautiful level designs to make everyone feel like a six year old again. To play a game for the sheer joy of seeing what the next level will look like is an experience that cannot be understated. While poor college students may balk at the $60 price tag, the near endless amount of fun “Little Big Planet” offers makes it worth every penny.

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