All three companies now have a kart racer, and Sony’s looks like another unique take.
LittleBigPlanet Karting sometimes feels like a game with the LittleBigPlanet branding, but some tropes are in
LittleBigPlanet Karting is something different to Mario Kart and Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, both in feel and aesthetic. Just as LittleBigPlanet brought a new approach to the platforming genres, LittleBigPlanet Karting looks to be doing the same.
William Ho, Design Director on the game, previously worked on ModNation Racers. That game was built around designing characters and tracks, so LittleBigPlanet Karting looks like an ideal fit for him.
Stages are more elaborate and vertical than some fan-made creations, though, while height allows players to view the rest of the track and get a sense of what’s to come. Though the game certainly knows where it’s drawing influences from.
Characters, levels and props from the games are featured. Like the games, Sack Boy – the mascot – is in and the tracks have a hand-made stitched look to them. Mechanics such as the grappling hook are in, with one levels requiring users to use the grappling hook to attach to foam which launches them from one end to the other.
The racing lacks friction, though, in a way other racers use tracks from roads to dirt to metal pipes. LittleBigPlanet Karting uses glass, wood and dirt. Driving apparently feels more like hovering, maintaining that loose feel of Wipeout games.
Though the game uses elements seen in most kart racers: picking up items, using power-ups to gains advantage, from the speed boost to a rocker. Let’s hope a Blue Shell isn’t in, because winning races and losing them at the last second is incredibly frustrating. Players can also slap nearby racers to stun them.
Non-traditional modes in the kart racing genre, such as finding hidden items, hide and seek or waypoint races. There’s also a Battle Mode, with is an arena style battle supporting up to eight players.
Multiplayer has been compared to Auto Log in Need for Speed, which compared users against times from their friends list.
The Pod also returns from LittleBigPlanet, which is where users can customize their character and select vehicles. Any in-game object can be turned into the weapon and be painted.