I’m still relatively new to the Little Big Planet scene. I just got a PS3 a few months ago, and though I’ve had Little Big Planet 2 sitting on my shelf for a while, I only recently started to give it a shot. I’ve been continually charmed by this game’s style, innocence, and complexity all packaged in an exceptionally customizable and accessible interface. I’ve had multiple friends play the game, each with a varying degree of gaming skill/knowledge, and everyone I know who has played it has given it a solid “two thumbs up,” myself included. That being said, DLC is a great way to enrich the life span of any game, and the Muppets Premium Level Kit does just that. With 7 great new playable levels, tons of new items and sounds to unlock, and a fun story that really captures the nature of the Muppets universe, the Muppets PLK is a shining example of what DLC in general should be.
The story levels place your Sack Thing as a guest star in an episode of The Muppet Show at the Muppet Theatre. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, and the rest of the team are all there on stage while Statler and Waldorf sit in their usual balcony seats, heckling away. The first level is all cutscene, setting the stage as your Sack Thing becomes mixed up in the goings-on of the stage. Trademark corny Muppet humor ensues as you all discover that there’s a mysterious saboteur messing up the show and you have to find out how to stop him. Everything about the atmosphere is done right; the voice of the characters don’t actually speak, but their tones sound just like the characters from the show. The theater and levels are all gorgeous, and the music doesn’t disappoint. This creates a great environment for you to game in.
The levels themselves are great, giving you 5 story levels and 2 survival challenge missions, levels that continue on forever as you rack up a high score…or, they continue on until you die. These new levels introduce two new items into the fray: Attract-o-Gel and the Cloning Hat. Attract-O-Gel gives a surface its own gravitational field, allowing you to walk up walls and under platforms in pursuit of new stickers and points orbs. The cloning hat allows you to shoot a clone of Beaker out of your hat like a cannon; not only can be used to grab items in hard-to-reach places, but he also interacts with items, providing weight to activate switches. He hangs on to certain objects as well, which can be a much needed benefit. Though I’d sometimes have trouble detaching myself from the gravitational fields of some of the low-gravity Attract-o-Gel zones (no spoilers), these issues didn’t ruin the experience.
The puzzles and gameplay throughout the levels stayed consistently fun and exciting. From the beginning when you first experiment with Attract-o-Gel (and its sticker component, Attract-o-Tweak), all the way to the final battle and a scene where you’re running away as fast as you can from certain doom, the levels keep the energy high and the fun going. There are only a couple of locations that require multiple players to access, and those can give you tons of new stickers to boost your score, though both of them felt relatively simply compared to other co-op sections I’ve played through. Even so, the rest of the levels definitely are a blast to play.
With over 300 pieces of new content (249 stickers alone), the included Rowlf costume, and 7 brand new playable levels, the Muppets Premium Level Kit is a must-buy for Little Big Planet and Muppets fans alike. Some may say it’s a bit short, but at $6.99 this pack offers more fun and replayability than some full games themselves. Toss in the wit, charm and humor of the old-school Muppets nostalgia we all know and love, and this DLC makes tossing that dusty copy of Little Big Planet 2 back into the PS3 completely worthwhile.