LittleBigPlanet's Cross-Controller pack is released today, showcasing the fact that PlayStation 3 and Vita can more than match the features of the Wii U. Using both Vita and PS3 you can control LittleBigPlanet 2 on your Vita while also being able to utilise some of the Vita's special features, such as the touchscreen and gyroscope. It works well, although there are a few niggling issues which we will discuss in this article.
First things first though, the Cross-Controller Pack for LittleBigPlanet 2 is fantastic. The way some of the features work honestly put the ideas seen on the Wii U so far to shame. For instance, in most levels you'll come across a wormhole which will allow the player on the Vita to jump onto the handhelds screen and play through a sub-level, while the players on the PS3 benefit from the actions of this player, be it by moving walls or any other obstacles which are in their way.
In a similar fashion, the player on the PS Vita can use the gyroscope to make platforms move closer, or show other players the otherwise hidden lasers within each level. During a level the screen on the Vita will generally be taken over by a robotic sackboy figure (think Holly from Red Dwarf), however once a Vita symbol appears within the level you'll then see the obstacles which are in your path, be it those mentioned above or some of the many other puzzles you'll encounter along the way.
Away from the main mission, players will also be able to take part in mini games which show off the cross controller features even more. In one level for instance the Vita players uses the handheld to move a spaceship back and forth whilst fighting against incoming ships. The PS3 players meanwhile have to get through the level from within the ship using grappling hooks, all while it's moving around thanks to the movements of the PS Vita player.
Of course, while the included levels are fantastic fun there are only around six of them, so it's all the more important that the developer has included tools for the community to make their own Cross Controller levels. This obviously means that very soon we'll see some very innovative levels pop up across the community section and I for one can't wait to see what these clever people come up with.
As mentioned there are a few niggling issues with the cross controller pack, for instance it's not that easy to set up at first. Setting the pack up you'll need to select the cross-controller option from the LittleBigPlanet 2 menu, once this is done you'll then need to select the Remote Play option on the PS Vita and then follow the instructions for the Cross-Controller pack. This setup consists of a rather large download, although once this is done the option will be on a separate section of your Vita under the guise of LittleBigPlanet Cross Controller. Once you have set this up for the first time you'll simply need to select this option on PS Vita and again on LBP 2 on PS3. So after the initial set up it's fair to say that it's quite easy to get started.
Another small issue is that if you are playing solo you'll need to make sure your Dualshock 3 stays connected. Occasionally if you PS3 controller turns off due to you not using it, the game will freeze until you press the PS Button. This seems a bit silly since when playing solo you'll be controlling the game with the Vita and not the Dualshock 3, but providing your controller is not set to turn off automatically then it shouldn't be an issue.
Overall the Cross Controller pack seems an absolutely brilliant addition to the PS3/PS Vita relationship and yet another string in the bow which joins these two systems together. If you have LBP 2 and a Vita then this pack is pretty much essential.
(Version Tested PS3/PS Vita)
- Some fantastic ideas which work well
- Can be a little fiddly to set up