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Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves
Score: 75%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Supermassive Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 2 - 5
Genre: Platformer (2.5D)/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:
Sackboy gets his own title, in this small spin-off of the LittleBigPlanet series. Those familiar with the LittleBigPlanet series know that Sackboy is an excessively cute plush toy who lives in a world constructed of cardboard, paper, fabric and... above all else... everyone's dreams.

The world in LittleBigPlanet games is that of a 2.5D side-scroller; while the main movement is across the screen and up and down, there are multiple levels of depth to this flat playfield, allowing Sackboy to go behind and in front of set pieces, for example. The theme for Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves, is cave-man times, where you have to contend with dinosaurs and volcanoes, just to survive.

Prehistoric Moves has the look and feel of being in a world constructed of toys. The sound effects match this feel, being somewhat whimsical and farcical. For example, rather than voiceovers during spoken text, the text is written on-screen and a sound loop is played that is more indicative (and less representative) of someone talking... this is similar to the adults' voices in Charlie Brown cartoons, or the meaningless sounds made when characters are talking in some children's games, such as SkyFox, Ape Escape and Croc 2.


Gameplay:
In truth, Prehistoric Moves is more of a demo for using the PlayStation Move technology with LittleBigPlanet 2. Based on what I'm reading, it seems likely that LittleBigPlanet 2 will feature PlayStation Move compatibility, either on release date or as a later update.

The first thing to note about Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves is that you must have at least two players to play. This made it a bit tricky to review, as I had to have someone to play with to play the game at all. Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves has two different types of players: one player uses the PlayStation Move controller to control certain parts of the environment, while the other player(s) use DualShock controllers to move Sackboy characters around the environment in a typical side-scroller fashion. At the minimum, you need one PlayStation Move player and one DualShock player to play. It is possible, however, to have up to four DualShock players controlling Sackboy characters, for a total of five players at once.

The player controlling the environment pieces has a bit of a different experience than the other players, as he is generally solving puzzles. Certain parts of the environment are a hot pink color, which corresponds with the hot-pink color that the PlayStation Move's globe lights up when playing Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves. If you point the PlayStation Move controller at these pink set pieces and click and drag them around, you change the environment. Some of these pieces act as levers, some activate catapults, and others can be dragged around the screen, some to light up a pitch-black background, others to protect the adventuring Sackboys from projectiles and still others to serve as a moving platform for the Sackboys to ride on. As the PlayStation Move player, you have to try to figure out how you can best help the Sackboys and communicate your plan with the other players and try to coordinate your efforts with theirs.


Difficulty:
There are some parts of Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves that are quite difficult, indeed. The most difficult part, however, is coordinating the players' efforts. You'll need to determine what, exactly, has to be done to get past a certain part, then make sure everyone knows what they're supposed to do - and when. Even so, there will be parts that you'll have to do more than once, even if it's just because the screen moved out from under the PlayStation Move player, causing them to move a platform out from under a Sackboy or causing them to miss a projectile they were supposed to block.

Game Mechanics:
I'm excited about LittleBigPlanet 2. I was excited before the idea of PlayStation Move compatibility, and I'm even more excited at the concept of it having this feature. That having been said, the "spinoff" marketing idea seems a bit strange to me.

Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves weighs in at a mere ten levels, making it a game that you can easily make it through in a day, given a cooperative second player. It demonstrates an interesting use of the PlayStation Move controller, but if that's what it's doing, it should be a demo, rather than something you have to pay for. Mind you, all PlayStation Plus subscribers and "thousands of LittleBigPlanet supporters" received the game for free, so it's basically available at the PlayStation Store for $5.99 so people who didn't receive a free copy can purchase one. Note, however, that if you're a LittleBigPlanet fan intending to purchase LittleBigPlanet 2 and you can wait until January 18th, when you can purchase LBP2 on disc, you will find Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves included on the disc as a bonus.

I enjoyed Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves - and it has gotten me more excited about the upcoming LittleBigPlanet 2, but at a mere 10 levels and with the requirement that you have a second person to play at all, I don't really know to whom I would suggest the purchase of this game. If you know that you like the series, hold off until LBP 2 comes out... if you don't know if you'd like it, rent LittleBigPlanet today and find out.


-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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