Though I'd seen LittleBigPlanet before this weekend's Penny Arcade Expo, my first chance to play Sony's world creation game came earlier this morning -- and I think I'm in love.
Most of the game isn't actually much of a game. Players are given the opportunity to create Super Mario Bros.-esque levels from LBP's wide selection of building blocks.
Once created, these levels can be shared with players all over the world, and even sold via an online marketplace reminiscent of the iTunes store.
Don't have a creative need to mold virtual worlds? The game can also be played near-exactly like Super Mario Bros. Your character -- a super adorable anthropomorphized hackey sack -- runs and jumps through worlds populated with extremely clever puzzles and objectives.
Unlike most world-building games, this platforming section is robust enough to functionally be its own game, much to the delight of those who don't have any desire to slap together oversized fire-breathing cranes for their friends to play with.
Even this side of the game bears the thing's trademark customizability: Your SackBoy can dress up like a cowboy, an extra from Tron or God of War's Kratos. None of these changes affect the actual gameplay, but the whole thing begins to border on basket-full-of-kittens levels of hyper-adorableness.
Without any hyperbole -- blame my lack of sleep -- this is the game that will allow the PlayStation 3 to catch up with the Xbox 360, if only in mindshare.
Oh, and as a side note LBP has the greatest soundtrack of any game I've seen since Rock Band. Jim Noir in a videogame? Thanks Sony!
This whole conference has killed more of my brain cells than cell phone radiation and swimming in the Willamette combined, so just watch the video below. It makes much more sense once you've seen the thing.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!