What I’m Playing Now: Little Big Planet 2, Smash 4 and Pokken Tournament

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little big planet 2 what i'm playing movie tv tech geeksI’ve been trying to clear some titles in my backlog throughout the weeks leading up to Uncharted 4’s release, and this week, I decided to play LittleBigPlanet 2, not only because I liked the first title so much when I played it at release eight years ago, but also, because I have the third installment in my backlog as well!

I also re-visited the Smash 4 online servers, as I usually do at least once per week, to taunt and smash my opponents until I’m inevitably matched up with someone who is on a completely different level and accordingly defeats me with ease. I’ve been playing Pokken Tournament semi-frequently since its launch too.


Little Big Planet 2

How can you not love LittleBigPlanet 2?

If you temporarily look past the game’s impressive physics, and platforming mechanics—which are some of the best ever—the sheer creativity that was utilized to create its levels, story, and characters will certainly impress you.

It really is interesting to think that the crazy and involved levels in the game started off as simple ideas. You certainly know what I’m talking about if you’ve played any of the titles in the series, and while the coding and technical work behind the game is nothing short of incredible, Media Molecule’s ability to turn ideas—things that most people would think were crazy if spoken aloud—into such an innovative and fun final product truly is incredible.

On a side note, the online community of the title is still relatively active, with over two thousand players having been online every time that I played (many of them were enjoying the original story levels as well). This last point is a bit of a surprise, for as good as the story mode and co-op features are, the community-crafted levels which are available for free are plainly awesome.

Getting back to Media Molecule’s impressive creativity and design skills, playing LB2 reminded by of another MM title—Dreams—that I saw at E3 at some point in the past, and I decided to re-visit it (or in other words, check its Wikipedia page because it hadn’t crossed my mind in a while!).

And man, I was every bit as intrigued today as I remember being when I saw the E3 demo. Dreams aren’t just a means to recreating your actual dreams, but rather, is a means to creating literally anything. I don’t believe that 3D-modeling software that’s this advanced and easy-to-use has been released—or even attempted— on PCs, and I know that nothing this technically impressive has hit consoles yet. What’s more is that Dreams is once again completely accessible and usable for most any player, regardless of his or her skill level. As if often the case with innovative and groundbreaking titles, it’s probably best if you ignore my “description” of Dreams and go check out some of the latest gameplay, to truly get a feel for what it’s all about.

I also found that the beta for the game is set to be released sometime this year; I’m excited to get my hands (more or less) on this preliminary version, and I suspect that many of you are as well.

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Super Smash Bros 4

Ah, a nice peaceful afternoon with a bit of Smash.

At least this is what I think every time I pop the disc in. In reality, my online battles usually end with me being dejected after being soundly defeated by a superior player, previously believing myself to be invincible. However, this time, I actually have a viable complaint, other than a yell of “That’s not fair” as the other player finishes the match: Bayonetta.

I was chugging along as usual, enjoying my online play (i.e. I was winning), and I may have accidently taunted my opponent a couple—alright, several—times.

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Disclaimer: I play as Bowser and only Bowser, and have for as long as I can remember. That’s right, I literally cannot play as any other character(s). Before you earn the right to make fun of me for this, you have to beat me—which is unlikely. Nevertheless, let me know if you’d like a match in the comments section!

In any case, I evidently pushed this particular player too far, between the taunting and the winning. He or she played as Bayonetta the next time out and beat me.

And it wasn’t even close.

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To be fair, I have only played against Bayonetta a few times since she was added to the game, as a small portion of online players utilize her (perhaps because many don’t have the DLC). Still, I think I’m speaking completely objectively and fairly when I say that something needs to be done about the character. Some of her combinations are so ridiculous—so indefensible—that I wasn’t able to avoid them at all. At around 50% damage, I was launched into the sky and unable to move, despite my best efforts.

A quick online search confirmed that I wasn’t the only one who feels this way about the character—there are plenty of online boards filled with angry players condemning Nintendo and Bayonetta. I won’t go that far, but a patch would be nice.

Oh, and if we do play, please don’t select Bayonetta as your character.

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Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament is still pretty fun. It’s no secret that some additional characters would really spice things up, but the core gameplay and the online capabilities are impressive enough to keep me (and many others) coming back.

Although I didn’t witness any hacking in terms of gameplay, I did come across a couple of players who possessed questionable records (to the tune of 900 losses and 0 wins). I say, let them hack the gameplay; artificially powerful or not, they won’t be able to handle my Suicune. And neither will you!

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back every week for a Gaming Weekly update, as well as additional “What I’m Playing Now” pieces.

Enjoy the games!

Editor’s Note: This is a new section as Max is expanding his writing to include not only his weekly MMA recaps but gaming now. We’ve been wanting to get a true gamer to cover this area, and we finally have a hardcore one. This is his weekly diary of what’s he’s playing week by week. Some of the games might be older, but we all like going back to play some golden oldies at times reminding us what we liked about them. He’ll also be playing what’s current, and as we receive review copies, he’ll be wearing those out for you.