Support Clare, click to buy via us...
Little Big Planet is a tough nut to crack, but well worth it. Even boyfriend assistance didn't get me there this time, I had to make myself sit down and put the work in - so glad I did though. Amongst my eclectic pick and mix gaming experiences this is easily the most creative.
I watched the TV ads with Stephen Fry narrating, and fell in love with the little Sack people almost instantly. I'm suck a sucker for anything that raises remotely maternal instincts.
But when I first played Little Big Planet I felt like such a girl. The platforming side of things I could get along with pretty well. With a little help from my video gaming boyfriend meant I could make steady progress and unlock all manner of stickers, objects and specials - and roll around with him laughing at our Sackboy antics.
It was the game creating side of things I really struggled with. I loved the idea of creating my own patchwork paradise in which to play, but where to start. And when I did take the plunge the array of different buttons and tools were bewildering.
So much so that I pretty much abandoned Little Big Planet until just now. I then saw a trailer and guide for Little Big Planet 2, and finally the penny dropped. I think I realised that time spent creating things wasn't wasted but would be something I could enjoy now as well as take forward to the next game.
But more than that, my imagination was sparked by the wider variety of games you can make in the sequel. I've never been a huge platforming girl, so the idea of creating a racing game or shooter just clicked much better.
My imagination was sparked by the wider variety of games you can make in the sequel.
This weekend I settled down to work my way through the tutorials and apply my female ingenuity to some Little Big creation. You should see some of the strange and wonderful worlds I've now made - and perhaps you will if I pluck up the courage (and testing) to publish them.
It took a while, but as soon as I had the rockets unlocked my eyes lit up. I instantly wanted to cobble together a jet propelled skateboard, which I did. Then I tied a rocket to a piece of sponge and tied that to a wheel with some elastic - an instant crazy jet pack.
I remember reading that Little Big Planet was going to be a tough sell. That this was a ground breaking game, but one that would be really hard to explain to the non-gaming masses. Well, it took me almost a year to really get it, so I think they are right.
I instantly wanted to cobble together a jet propelled skateboard.
With Little Big Planet 2 well on its way, Media Molecule's (the developer) talk of all sorts of player in their world (consumer, creator, photographer, journalist, engineer and so on) I'm sure it will start making sense to more and more people.
In fact, with my other job being a software manual writer, I wonder if there is scope for a Oreily's, Bluffers or Missing Manual guide to Little Big Planet? There would be plenty to write about for sure.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: