Review by fermented

Reviewed: 09/11/06

Great game for Japan freaks or collection freaks

First, I would like to start of by saying that this game is most certainly not for everyone. It will most likely appeal to two types of people:
Japanese game lovers - This game is on par with Katamari Damacy for pure Japanese bizzarity, with cute creatures making silly noises, bright colors and infectious music (again, for those who like the music style) and a unique style of gameplay that I have not seen elsewhere. Though the controls can be frustrating at time, the game seems to have a lot of ambience, and plenty of just plain odd stuff.

Collection game addicts - This game has a level of collection that I feel is comparable to Yoshi's Island. With four different collectible objects per stage, not to mention the house parts, this game is simple to finish, but quite difficult when it comes to total completion. If you loved Yoshi's Island there is a good chance you will enjoy this as well.

Now to the actual categories.

When it comes to gameplay, this one has it simple. By controlling the planet, you can tip the stage left or right with the L and R buttons (respectively) and launch the Roco into the air by holding both down and releasing them. Additionally, you can scare the Roco apart with lightning by tapping the O button, then bring them back together by holding O down for a moment. Although this seems simple, it can be difficult to get the hang of the controls, and some of the platforming can be quite frustrating when it comes to total collection. Usually the straightforward part of the level, which is often just plain amusing, is very simple and will not tax your abilities too much, but if you have to get every fruit, Mui Mui, Pickie and house part, you may find yourself grumbling a bit. Because of that, gameplay earns a 7.

The story is your standard save the world story: Gather your Roco, eliminate the Moja, and restore world peace. It is indeed a minimal part of the game, but it exists, and so I will mention it.
Though, I do often wonder, when moving the world about, what happens to all the OTHER roco on the planet?
Story - 7

The graphics, true to the silly Japanese game style, are extremely colorful and simple. Everything moves fluidly and objects are well defined and attractive. I should note that, as I was playing this game, I felt many things were inheritably photographable, which made me extremely glad that the game offered a built in camera function that lets you take pictures at any moment in a level. These pictures will probably be my wallpaper for a while. As for the music, it is highly addictive, and the main theme particularly will stick in your head, though not as much as Katamari's Na Na Na theme. Also, the Roco will sing along during the levels, and the voices are very distinct. As long as you like the style of music, you will have no problem with these, and so, I give Graphics and Sound an 8.

Replay Value
For me, I felt this game had a high replay value, as it challenges you to both collect all the objects and complete the levels in record time, and includes two mini games which are simple and a good distraction between levels. True to portable game style, the levels are short, from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the level and whether or not you want to collect every object or not. If you want to speed through the levels it probably will take about 3 minutes for most, but as ambiance is a strong part of this game, you probably should just relax and let yourself go at your own pace. You can also, if you like, spend a sizable amount of time designing an amusing house with all the different parts in the Loco House editor, not to mention it lets you collect more house parts. probably the weakest part, to me anyway, is the level editor, which lets you create a level to play through. Since the level shape is predesigned and you can only add parts and not full walls and such, it feels just tacked on because they could do it. The only reason the Loco house is so much more interesting is because you do not control the Roco, so it can be fun to make a design where they are simply tossed around at your own whim, and you can challenge yourself to make them reach a particular point (IE, the point where you can collect another house part).
Replay Value - 8

Overall, if you are a fan of Japanese style games, or if you like games that have a heavy collection element, you will almost certainly like this. If not, you might want to rent this before making a decision.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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