reviews\ Sep 6, 2006 at 8:00 pm

LocoRoco - PSP - Review

I am so sick of hearing people complain about the lack of creativity in a game, but these same people will never go out and purchase a game that is truly unique because it is “to different.” Here is the scenario I have come up with. People will complain about the lack of innovation in games, that everything is carbon copied off “insert popular game X” with a few tweaks. Some developers will agree with you and create this amazingly unique game, but how does it do in a financial sense? It never does well, because people do not buy it. Since there is no financial gain in making games that no one buys, we are stuck with the same game with new faces all year round. Thankfully there are some developers out there that still create new and fresh games, and a new one entitled LocoRoco has just rolled into stores. Read about why you should purchase this game when you see it looking at you next time you visit your favorite store that sells video games.

The story of this game is pretty simple in nature, but that is what this game is mostly about: simplicity. You see there are these peaceful creatures call the LocoRoco that live on a distant planet and one day it was attached by the malicious Moja Corps and they are trying to wipe them out. The planet realized this and now it much help the LocoRoco get out of danger and steer them too safely.

What really makes this game stand out is that you are not controlling the actual LocoRoco around in the world. You control the PLANET that they reside on, which really makes you think about the game design and how interesting it is. Keeping that thought in mind, I would like to tell you that this game is really simple to control. You use the two shoulder buttons on your PlayStation Portable to tilt the world around to move the LocoRoco. To make the character hop you press both shoulder buttons at the same time. Your objective is to get fruit that is placed all around the stage to make your LocoRoco get bigger which helps with various objectives. If you hit the monsters that are in the level you will lose some of your mass, which is not a good thing. Also to get through some of the objectives you will have to split the LocoRoco in smaller ones to get through the puzzles that you will face.

As simplistic as this game sounds it is really challenging to make sure that you get all of the fruit around the level and avoid many pitfalls. I really like the puzzle elements that you have to solve to get through many different portions of the level, such as splitting off the LocoRoco in many smaller portions and navigate them though small wholes then trying to get them all together again to merge the to clear this big jump. The developers did a great job of mixing up puzzle elements that keep this game really fresh and fun to play. Not only that but as you go through the game you will find out that there is more then one type of LocoRoco, and they have their own unique voices and actions that they can do.

Unlike many released games that try to squeeze as many polygons with multiple effects on the screen, LocoRoco takes a different approach. It uses a simplistic 2D animation that really fits well with the entire game. The landscape that the players will transverse is very nice, because you will be going off of grassy plains, slopes, and many other “surprise” landscapes that are all fun to go through. The atmosphere of the game is one that makes that game want to keep playing just the look and feel of the environment that you are in.

The sound to this game is really good. It is nice to hear the various voices of the LocoRoco as they sing or scream out to the other LocoRoco that you find hidden throughout the level or when you are merging or splitting off from each other. The music have a very pop sound to it, and is very light-hearted which gives players a really “feel good” sense to themselves while they are playing the game.

At this point the game looks very solid and has a nice artistic feel to it and makes players want to play the game just to look at the various environments that you are put into. In other words this game looks very smooth on your PlayStation Portable and it is something you will want to share with your friends to show the fascinating-strange appearance of it all.

One last thing that makes this game really fun is that you have three mini-games that you can participate in if you get tired of the main adventure of this game. It is always nice for the developers to put in little extras like this game that help give it more replay value, and this is especially true with portable games.

LocoRoco is rated for everyone.

Review Scoring Details for LocoRoco

Gameplay: 9.0
To put it bluntly, LocoRoco is a sheer blast to play. The ease to controls means that you will be navigating the levels like a pro, but it also means that you can show even more in-experienced gamers how fun this game is. If you want to slowly introduce someone into game this might be the game to do it with.

Graphics: 8.7
Even though the graphics are simplistic in nature, this game has a real artistic look and feel to it. The animation of the LocoRoco rolling throughout the level is really fluid and looks really nice on the PlayStation Portable screen.

Sound: 8.9
The game has a very unique sound to it and I really like it. The entire game has a very cheerful sound to it, which makes you want to progress into the game even more.

Difficulty: Medium
The game is really easy to get the hang of, but that does not mean that it will not have its challenges in later levels.

Concept: 8.8
I love the entire idea of LocoRoco; this is a great game that everyone should be able to play. This is a game that the whole family can play together.

Multiplayer: N/A
At the time of this review I was unable to test out the wireless features of this game.

Overall: 9.0
LocoRoco is a really great game that is so simple and challenging at the same time that it just keeps players coming back for more. This is a game that you can show all the people that like to condemn videogames for everything that is going wrong with society that shows that not all videogames have to contain violence to be fun. If you see this game in stores I would suggest you pick it up to see for your self that rolling around is really fun to do.


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