It's that time again, Review Time!
Littlebig Planet Karting. It has the nail-biting frustration of its mechanics, it has extreme rubber-banding, and it's got a troubled course editor. There's little I can say about the beta that's in its favor. The track editor, while definitely more open to unique concepts than ModNation Racers, is far more awkward to use. For example, it takes three to five button presses just to be able to move a newly placed object along a flat 2D plane. The amount of assets permitted in a level also seem to be more limited than ModNation and standard LBP. Now, editor's are nice and all but the racing gotta be good, right? Wrong.
I was sorely disappointed by the racing in LBP. The draft-boost mechanic always seemed to take longer than it was supposed to and made me miss how ModNation just had you build up a meter you could use at any time. The race cars themselves seem to move very slowly without a boost, and if you can't draft, you pretty much can't compete in the race. Except for if you get the right random weapon, that is. Weapon types were standard fare, but also seemed tiered, so you might get a level one electronic attack or you might get a super electro attack that will fry half your opponents. Similarly some rockets, mines, and bombs can be set to lock onto enemies (yes mines are thrown just like bombs. But they're "mines" of course), while others just seemingly don't. And don't get me started on super powers you get if you're in last place -- although maybe that's supposed to be the alternative playstyle for people who can't drift within the specific time period the game wants you to.
I can imagine this game will get a community and some much patches, but its balancing is so broken and its level designing is so tedious I feel its improper to call it the next LBP game. It's more like a spin-off that only a few people noticed got released. With games like Split/Second, Blur, Mario Kart Wii, ModNation, and Motor Storm out there, I can't think of a niche that LBP: Karting will appeal to. Maybe people who have a PS3 but are only allowed to buy LBP games?
Before the final rating I just want to say: I realize this is the beta. Despite that, in my experience with Sony's online betas, they usually don't release a product that feels genuinely like its -right- out of its alpha stage. I hope they fix at least some of the balancing issues before launch, but I have my doubts.
Final Rating -- 5/10 Just spend your money elsewhere, this game is too badly executed to be worth anything above fifteen bucks.