Cards on the table: I wasn't too enamoured with the previous LittleBigPlanet games, certainly not to the degree many others were. It wasn't just the floaty, fiddly physics-powered platforming either: I found Stephen Fry's narration overbearing, and never felt it meshed the elements of create and play quite as effectively as it could have. For my money, the raves that greeted Media Molecule's debut and its follow-up should have been reserved for the vastly superior Tearaway.
With the Guildford studio busy working on a port to the Vita's best game alongside an all-new project, it's handed over the keys to its world of fabric, cardboard and sticky-backed plastic to Sumo Digital. New developer, new approach? You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise after sitting through the nauseating live-action introduction which sees Fry witter on about Cerebrum-bilical cords and Imagispheres, two terms that join Levelution and Drivatar in the rankest part of gaming's lexicon of made-up words. "Let's spark together," coos Fry, severely testing my gag reflex. Let's not, Stephen. Let's shut up for five minutes instead.
Happily, it gets better, even if Fry's garrulousness - and, indeed, the verbosity of the rest of the cast - is a frequent irritant. LittleBigPlanet 3, like its predecessors, might be generally aimed at a younger audience, but I don't think I've played any kids' game that spends quite so long explaining everything in such painstaking detail rather than simply letting you get on with discovering what everything does. Once it dares to let go of your hand, LittleBigPlanet 3 can be a lot of fun, and it starts with a campaign that's more expansive and interesting than its predecessors.