For the launch of its Playstation 5, Sony tried to please several audiences with its “small” line-up: seasoned / hardcore gamers with Demon’s Souls Remake, superhero fans with the successor of the spider-man with Spiderman Miles Morales, the free Astro’s Playroom game showing the know-how of the DualSense controller, and a software more intended for “the youngest” in quotes: the Sackboy A Big Adventure platform, which we are discussing today ‘hui.
The character of Sackboy is very well known to lovers of the Little Big Planet (LBP) license. Launched in 2008 on PS3, this new platform franchise, at the time developed by Media Molecule (the first two parts) to which we also owe the series Tearaway or more recently Dreams, was very focused on the creative aspect. Indeed, LBP offered a lot of possibilities in terms of creation and this via a complete level editor. You could achieve great things before you could share them with the community.
As for the third part of LBPis Sumo Digital, a studio working on Team Sonic Racing and Crackdown 3, among others, who took care of Sackboy A Big Adventure. We prefer to tell you straight away, with this title do not look for a level editor because Sackboy is fully intended for the Platform. And given the potential there was, it’s still a bit of a shame.
Sackboy vs. Vex
For this episode, if the scenario remains classic for a platform, Sumo Digital manages to transcribe the universe of Sackboy but also his humor. In addition, the youngest will appreciate the full French version.
The weft takes place in the universe of the imagi-sphere, where creative ideas and thoughts have given birth to a quiet planet called the Patchwork World. In the village of Créaville live peacefully Sackboy and the Sackripants. Quickly, Vex, the villain of the adventure, arrives and puts his plan into action: remove all the Sackripants to make them his slaves. Fortunately, Sackboy manages to escape him, and thanks to a paper representing a plan that he took from Vex, he will then do everything to put the villain out of harm’s way.
A nice and generous little platform but with some perspective problems AND inaccuracies
As was suggested from the announcement trailer, Sackboy A Big Adventure is a pure platform game, sympathetic moreover, where we evolve in various 3D environments. Yes in 3D, something appreciably new since LBP (Little Big Planet as a reminder), gave us the benefit of an in-depth 2D evolution like 2.5D.
With this transition to a 3D view, we encounter some problems of perspectives and inaccuracies but this remains relatively rare. Each place that we walk through follows a classic Yoshi’s Crafted World, that is to say that to be able to progress in the adventure and its World Map, it is necessary to have a certain number of dream orbs, the latter being able to be obtained in several copies in each stage.
This “typical” HUB World Map doesn’t just host five different worlds, but represents the levels that can be crossed, the bosses to be defeated, and if you are looking well there are also additional bonus levels and secrets to discover, in addition to Zom-Zom the title merchant. The latter has a shop where you can buy a lot of funny costumes in exchange for collectables (the currency of the game) that you find by browsing the various stages.
In addition to that, and the fact of having to complete each course from point A to point B with all the same a set of puzzles and platform phases, the places visited are full of objects to collect (collectables, costumes, etc.) some are easily missed. Collection and 100% aficionados will therefore be delighted by this means of increasing the lifespan of the software tenfold, especially as there are also secondary objectives to fulfill such as reaching a specific score or not losing a life, among others, as well as challenges.
To access this 100%, you have to use all the subtleties of Sackboy. If the grip is relatively intuitive, the movements are more classic for the genre with the possibility of jumping, of hovering briefly after a jump (à la Yoshi), of striking with the fists, of catching / throwing elements or to hang on, even if the latter ability is more rare to use.
During the various stages, one also learns other subtleties for temporary use, in other words one can for example use a grapple in specific levels only. Thanks to this and a few other ideas serving to renew the interest on the length, the Sumo Digital team has succeeded in dosing the software with a difficulty going crescendo, ideal to resist a little more to the amateurs of platformers. However, rest assured, if in our introduction we specify that the software is aimed at the youngest, it means that the adventure remains accessible and affordable for all. A good point for Sackboy A Big Adventure, even if it does not yet reach the greatest of its kind.
To finish on this part, as for the previous adventures he lived in LBP (Little Big Planet), Sackboy can be played with four players in cooperation. Locally for the moment but also online in the future (an update will be available by the end of the year), and if the adventure can be experienced with several people, some courses are exclusive to this multi functionality, this which allows a more pronounced axis of cooperation compared to the basic levels.
Charming universe and top music
As the title is available on both Playstation 4 and Playstation 5, it made sense that Sackboy In Big Adventure did not take advantage of all the intricacies of the machine, as it did with the first PS3 / PS4 titles.
The artistic direction is frankly pretty with a very cute and childish side, the app has a certain cachet with its patchwork coating, the levels are colorful, there are also a lot of details and elements reminiscent of titles like Yoshi’s Crafted World or Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World in some ways. Clearly, Sumo Digital has mastered its subject with very skilful choices, even in terms of lighting effects.
Likewise, during our sessions we did not encounter any slowdowns which is an excellent thing, as well as super short loading times. However, we have a small regret on this version, we would have liked the capabilities of the DualSense to be much more exploited.
Let’s finish with the sound part. As we said earlier in this test, the software is in full French version, something to delight the youngest. Regarding the sounds, we have some nice surprises in the musical themes. Indeed, the developers have associated several well-known music such as the famous Jungle Boogie from Kool and The Gang and have adjusted them with the stages so that the movements of the elements of the scenery and the enemies are in adequacy. A very good idea reminiscent of the musical workshops of Rayman Legends/ Origins like the Castle Rock stage with the song Black Betty by Ram Jam for example.
Tested on PS5
For its first foray on PS5, even if we would have liked more innovation from the developers, Sackboy offers us a very nice platform. With its generosity, its universe, its visual touch, its accessibility and its OST, Sackboy A Big Adventure, intended for platform enthusiasts as well as for the youngest, will undoubtedly be of interest to families who also want to play in multi with their children. The app remains a good gift idea for the end of the year celebrations.