Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 10/10/06

Another simple yet fun platformer title for the PSP

When I first heard about Locoroco I just had to have it. I tried to download the demo but I couldn't get it onto my PSP for some reason. Maybe my memory card is too small? Amway, I ended up renting the game, which I had to pay for and I'm not happy about that fact but it was worth it. I'll be keeping it on my Christmas list for sure this year. But for the casual gamer, is this a rental or a buy? Read on!

Locoroco has a simple plot. Our little blob like friend has to free his friends and bring their planet back to life from the evil black fuzzy guys. I'm really not sure what the guys are called but oh well. The plot doesn't advance much from there besides finding new friends and the final stage, which I loved. Locoroco feels more like a puzzle title than a real story driven game though, kind of like Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS.

The game is 2D and the levels are colorful. There is just something that is charming about the visual style of the game. It actually feels like one of those gumball machines that tosses the gumball all around. The use of colors and stuff is nice and everything fits the theme. I love the inside a giant monster stages. I also loved the style of each world’s final stage; it felt a lot like Nightmare before Christmas.

Sound wise I was mesmerized by the game. There really isn't a whole lot of voice acting and I'm not sure if they are speaking gibberish or not but oddly enough each different color guy has a different accent. Be it French, Asian or whatever. It’s hard to describe but it's there. Sound effects are simple on some stages but on others it's almost like each thing you land on is a musical instrument. The music itself is by far the most childish music I have heard in a long time. I didn't find it annoying like a lot of people and I could not get the songs out of my head. I was humming them after turning the game off. It's slightly scary how much I enjoyed the music.

Locoroco uses perhaps the simplest controls to date for a game and they work perfectly. You never move your character. Holding the L button will tilt the screen to the left, R button tilts to the right. Press both together to jump. Tap circle to break apart or hold circle to form as one. It is just that simple. I think that's another reason I liked the game so much. It didn't require a lot from me and was just simple and fun. The learning curve is very low.

I pretty much summed up the game play in the description of the controls but let me talk about the levels and worlds. The game offers 5 worlds, 8 stages in each. Each stage has a theme and they swap places for each world so while it's the same 8, they are never the same order from world to world. This keeps it interesting and never feels like the same level theme. None of the levels are the same in design and while most are simple to finish, the game has so much more to offer than just getting to the end.

The levels are huge and have branching paths and hidden paths. It's hard to describe the level design itself but I think my gumball machine analogy works perfectly. You need to tilt our friends around the level. Gears, branches, water, springs and all of that add to the puzzles but you rarely need to solve a puzzle to get to the end. Puzzles kick in when looking for the many hidden items in the game.

Let's jump back real quick. You start off with one little guy. Eat a flower and you gain another. By the end of the stage you should have 20, if you found all of the flowers and not all are out in the open, some require you to solve puzzles or find hidden areas. You can also lose some if an enemy grabs them or you land on a spike. You can always attempt to get them back but only for a few seconds so think quickly about it when you get hit. Some walls aren't really walls and you can roll into them. So while a level may take under 5 minuets to rush through, it's longer to get to the end with everything. Besides that there is fruit in the levels and these 3 little men are in each level. Finding the men unlocks the ability to listen to the music whenever. Also there are tons of little pink flies, these work as money for the mini games.

The game took me about 4 hours to beta at about 50% of the items found. The game will take a while to get everything. You also get rewards for having X amount of guys when reaching certain spots. These tend to open new areas which gives you house parts. I really don't understand the whole house thing but it's almost like a very tiny level creator. I didn't care for it but it’s a nice diversion. Same goes for the mini games. I had only the Crane game unlocked and I just didn't like it.

To be honest, Locoroco isn't for everyone. If you're a fan of puzzle games like lemmings and Exit then you may really enjoy this title. It's not hard but its fun and offers a lot to unlock in its world. The levels are imaginative and the music is very catchy. Some may find the game too simplistic or just too childish but I enjoyed it and it's a fun game for any age.

Story - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 9/10
Replay value - 8/10

Final Score - 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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