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Controller Freak

Chad Sapieha leads you deep into the world of games, covering gaming trends

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LittleBigPlanet 2 community bears Plants vs. Zombots Add to ...

Some people still don't believe that LittleBigPlanet 2 gives average folks the power to make games like pros. To counter that conviction I present Plants vs. Zombots, a remarkably accurate recreation of Plants vs. Zombies made by LBP2 user Foggles. Take a moment to watch the demonstration video in the sidebar then pop back here. I'll wait.

Okay. Sure, its hobby-shop art design is a little different than-but not inferior to-the cartoony graphics found in Popcap's preternaturally popular tower defence game. And yes, the controller-based interface is clearly dissimilar to the controls for the PC and smart phone versions of Plants vs. Zombies. However, all of the really important stuff-level design, play mechanics, strategy, and even music-is pretty much just like the game that inspired it. I was comfortable-and, more importantly, engaged-within seconds.

And that's not the only skilfully emulated Popcap game floating around the LBP2 community. Pegged 2 from user Chimpanzee is an addictive remake of Peggle. Aim your gun, pop a ball, and watch it plunk down the screen, Plinko style, off blue and orange pegs. It even has Peggle's long-shot bonuses and purple power-ups.

Another tribute worth checking out is Bluetonberry's recreation of a dungeon from the orginal Legend of Zelda. It's not identical to the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic but its hidden keys, patrolling skeletons, and pixel-y bricks certainly evoke the spirit of its muse.

Dadrester's Little Big Retro Arcade 2, meanwhile, has players maneuvering their sack people up to lovingly rendered cathode-ray tube televisions to play familiar games like Pong, Race Ace, and Tanks vs. Zeppelins. They won't consume hours of time, but if you're like me you'll marvel at their delectable old-school vibe and attention to detail (the virtual TV screens upon which they're shown have the aged, milky look of decades-old sets).

Of course, these polished tributes are just the tip of the iceberg. From original action, puzzle, and role-playing games to short pieces of machinima (movies made using a game engine--check out the recently shared Back to the Future film by user Rigzz), the LBP2 community is clearly doing some pretty amazing things with Media Molecule's amateur game-making platform.

What's more, LittleBigPlanet's creative inspiration has moved beyond the confines of the game. A few weeks ago American magazine The Escapist posted a live action LittleBigPlanet level complete with cardboard cut-out backgrounds, live vocals, and a happy, confetti-filled finale. It's a beautiful celebration of the game's imaginative spirit relocated to meatspace, and sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who counts him or herself a fan of this truly mind-expanding franchise.

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