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Loco Roco (PSP)

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8 Reviews

Genre: Puzzle, Manufacturer: Sony

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    8 Reviews
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    • More +
      12.11.2010 14:57
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      I need a lie down.

      Aside from the benefit of "letting off some steam", most psychologists would likely infer that spending endless hours killing in the virtual world is perhaps not the healthiest of recreational activities. Still, killing is what we want and publishers are all to happy to fulfil the public's blood-lust; whether we're sniping Nazis with antique rifles, setting zombies on fire, blasting UFOs out of the sky, or hacking dozens, nay hundreds, of hapless soldiers to pieces with a sharper-than-it-looks Chinese fan, the art of murder has become a comfortable fixture in the majority of action games.

      Thus explaining the appeal of LocoRoco to the blood-thirsty masses is something of a challenge. A game that contains no guns, gore or garrotting, it instead places you in a bright, candy-coated 2D platforming world where the sum total of your task amounts to bouncing the LocoRoco - essentially a big blob with a cute face - to the end of each level. Plot is largely non-existent but the basic idea goes that LocoRoco's live on a peaceful planet, looking after nature, and singing hyperactive melodies everyday like life is some kind of 24-hour caffeinated disco. Or something. However one day, they come under the attack from the Moja Troop; jet-black, flying bundles of scum with creepy dreadlocks (or perhaps they were tentacles, hard to be sure). Defenceless, the blobs must rescue their scholarly (read: cowardly) friends, the MuiMui, who are in hiding throughout the levels, and liberate each area from the Moja.

      The clever bit comes in the control scheme. Rather unusually, you assume the role of the planet, and so instead of navigating your LocoRoco with the directional buttons, movement is attained by tilting the environment one way or the other with the L and R shoulder buttons; causing the blob to roll in the desired direction, whilst pressing them together causes it to jump (or perhaps 'bounce' is a more accurate description). Pressing 'circle' causes a lightning bolt to split your LocoRoco into several small ones, allowing you to slip through tight gaps in the scenery, while holding the same button causes them to reform. It's as simple as that.

      The gameplay is finely judged. Never dull, but serene enough that you never feel you're being rushed; everything in this weird wonderland feels just right. An almost hypnotic gaming experience, it's reduced myself and many individuals I have known to a state of gentle swaying, inane grinning and general chewing-gum-for-the-eyes happiness. The crazily infectious soundtrack deserves much of the credit for this; it's hilarious to watch the blobs appearing to mime along with the lyrics, even when some have been unceremoniously bounced upside down. It's all the more impressive considering that designer Tsutomu Kouno penned the lyrics in a fictitious language, derived from Japanese, so the unusual style can baffle all in equal measure.

      As well as some fabulously upbeat and alliterative J-Pop numbers, Kouno flirts with a host of other musical styles, and in doing so ensures that each LocoRoco you unlock is distinctive thanks to their music and voicing. The child-like Yellow you begin the game with is followed by Pink - who has a softer, French-accented female voice and sings some quite soulful numbers. Blue, Green and the rest that follow appear to flit between jazz, latin and calypso. The difference in gameplay terms is purely cosmetic, but the variance in their songs and voices (they alert you if a Moja is near for example) means its fun to switch now and then even if you have a particular favourite.

      Many of the game's most pleasing moments are centred around smart level design, which plays to the games aesthetic qualities. Just as the early Sonic The Hedgehog titles were devised in a way that would accentuate its lightning-fast speed, LocoRoco raises smiles when the jelly-like creatures get on the end of the games various visual effects. They can be chewed up by random owls and spat out in a different shape, or split into fifteen and sent hurtling through the sky via a vacuum, or indeed when a bunch of them follow each other one-by-one through the cogs of turning gears or bobbing through water.

      The aims of each level includes finding red berries which, when consumed, grow your LocoRoco - you start with just one, and can expand to the size of twenty in any single level. Along the way you'll have to avoid spikes that can injure and thus shrink your blob, and likewise those evil Mojas will swoop in and try to take a bite out you. There are moving platforms, air fountains, spring pads and various other devices that require you to master the tilting controls, as well as the odd change of surface which leads to some unusual physics. Wintry levels offer very little traction and generally hurtle you around at high-speed, whilst the soft ground is slower to move through as the LocoRoco sinks in to it. There is even the occasional puzzle, such as splitting the LocoRoco's so they can separately press down on three switches simultaneously; it's a shame their weren't a few more teasers like this, though there's plenty of platforming to keep you happy.

      How much you put in dictates how much you get back, though the game will feel equally enjoyable for novices and seasoned gamers alike. Newcomers are just as likely to finish the game - bopping through the levels and seeing the sights doesn't make for any less engaging an experience, as you'll still get to witness all the clever bits and colourful scenarios. For those willing to deliver a little deeper, there's plenty of secrets hidden away in each level. Once you've developed an eagle-eye, you'll spot pieces of wall that are slightly the wrong shape, allowing you to jump straight through and discover a secret area. Similarly, suspiciously-flat bits of 'roof' are worth bouncing into as they can be smashed to reveal new areas.

      The net gain of all of this is reflected in the LocoRoco House. Essentially a feature to play around with, rescuing MuiMui's from the levels grants new music, larger house models and literally dozens of different building blocks, giving it the feel of a mini-level editor. Admittedly, compared to the main game, the House will get relatively limited use, though there's also a trio of mini-games, the best being an arcade-style, UFO-grabber game.

      On top of its other qualities, it's also among the most beautiful games ever released for the PSP. The simplistic utopian world is quite childlike, yet wonderfully vivacious; its uncluttered yet attractive levels use bright shades and hues to gorgeous effect. It's sharp and high-resolution, resulting in some eye-poppingly vibrant menus, whilst in-game LocoRoco repeatedly impresses with flawless-looking characters that merge perfectly with the environments, which themselves are populated with beautiful little details that make the world feel more active.

      ...And 40 levels is plenty to seek your teeth into. It may be argued that over the distance, the game's simplicity starts to work against it a little as maintaining a tangible sense of variety becomes difficult. That said, it's hardly a one-trick-pony and is an ideal game to play on the move in twenty minute bursts. Playing a couple of levels a time ensures you never get frustrated but still get the mind working.

      LocoRoco is not only a victory for originality and oddness; it's a great success from a design point of view and a lot of fun to play. As a 2D platformer it's unique, and a great fillet for the PSP, which has been criticised for not having enough in the way of defining exclusives. A quirky ray of sunshine, it may prove just the tonic if you've become jaded from all the killing.

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      • More +
        03.07.2010 16:13
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        A truly sublime PSP game which is pleasing to look at, pleasing to play and a very uplifting game.

        Only once every few years to you pick up and play a game so refreshing, so unique and so beautiful that you truly are breath-taken. Loco Roco is one such game, with boundless charm and an excellent gameplay engine.

        Presentation

        This game is simply beautiful. So blissfully simple, but abundant in colour, polish and shine, this is a joy to look at. The menu itself is an unusual deviation from convention, featuring lots of the LocoRocos singing and bobbing about outside their 'home'. Around them sit a number of game modes etched onto separate boards, while a charming and uplifting soundtrack runs on loop in the background.

        The graphics are brilliant for such a simple game. Colours are the richest I've ever seen in a game; the LocoRocos themselves are delightful, little round ball-like characters which gently bob about and jump around while singing along (visibly) to the soundtrack of the level. Each set of levels has its own unique soundtrack, and all of them are new, unique songs. Though you can't hear any lyrics as such, you'll soon be singing along happily to the tunes as you guide your Loco around the level. Environments are amazingly varied; whether you're in a lush green forest in one level, or a dark night scene in another, it really does offer great eye candy. Yes, the game is simple. But the graphics are still incredibly impressive.

        Gameplay

        This is probably the simplest game you'll ever play on any console, but to its credit this is part of the great experience you'll have. Put simply: the premise of the game is to control a Loco Roco and guide it through an entire level. You have to eat fruit and collect certain things (including finding little MuiMui characters that help you). To do this, you have to tilt the screen and let your character roll down. You then have to jump, achieved by tapping the L + R buttons at the same time. This really is all there is to it, and it is a joy to play.

        There are five different worlds (each with 8 levels) and the game takes a while to beat. Every level you play tracks stats and the time taken to complete, so there's always a chance to improve and a need to keep on playing. There are also three mini games to play, which are all pretty fun, as well as the ability to kit out a Loco House with parts you've found in the respective levels. As you progress onto new levels, you play with new LocoRoco, keeping the game varied and fresh all the way through. What's more, you can choose to play any level with any LocoRoco you unlock, a simple but nice addition to the game.

        Summary

        By far the most unique, simple and pleasing title the grace the PSP, this is a blast to play. A must buy for any PSP owner, and cheap for under £10, this comes highly recommended and will uplift you every time you play it.

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          17.05.2010 13:26
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          Don't be put off by childish exterior and enjoy the fun.

          Rolling a singing ball from one side of the screen to the other, surely a handheld console with the power that the PSP possesses should be able to come up with better than this. I am of course under selling the magic of a truly great game. In all honesty my first sentence was my opinion of this game for a couple of years. I could not understand why all of the games critics and user reviews were so high. What could possibly make rolling a ball around a screen so good? I had no intention of ever buying this game and then 1 day I went into a shop and saw it was on special offer. I'm not sure what it was but I made a decision there and then and bought the game.

          Just like in my Little Big Planet review I was soon aware that writing this game off was criminal. Yes the essence of the game is rolling a ball through a level but to just describe it as that would be like describing Super Mario Brothers as running around. You move your character, which is a ball of jelly type substance called Locoroco, through easy level and along the way you collect what I think are berries. There are also big fruit type power ups along the way which every time you eat you get bigger. If you collect all of these by the end of the level your Locorocco is about 10 times the size. The final things to collect are your friends which are called Mui Mui, these are hidden through the level and when you rescue them they give you a present for your house, more on this later. At the end of the level it tells you how much of the 3 were in each level and how many you managed to collect. This gives the perfectionists amongst us the chance to go back and do the level again until they get 100%.

          The sound on this game is some of the best I have heard on the PSP it makes you fall in love with these lovable balls of jelly called Locoroco. There are certain parts of the game where something is blocking your path, usually a creature that is asleep. To wake this up and get past you Locoroco splits up into tiny Locorocos and sings. Now they don't blast out Cigarettes and Alcohol or anything like that and what they do sing is probably best described as Cheesy Japanese pop. This being said I can't get enough of it, it sticks in your head all day and I'm even humming it to myself now. As well as meeting sleeping creatures which need waking up you also meet plenty of awake creatures which are happy to help you on your way. This varies from bouncing on them to them sucking you up and blowing you over an obstacle.

          As you progress through the various worlds in the game you are rewarded with new Locoroco characters to play with. These are slightly different in appearance, have different voices and sing new songs. This aside as far as I can see they are the same they don't jump any higher or have any magic powers they just look different.

          The genius of this game lies in the control system. It is so simple yet so brilliant in the main you only use the shoulder buttons. The right one tips the screen to the right and the left one unbelievably tips the screen to the left and as a result your Locoroco rolls the way the screen has been tipped. If you press them both together then you can jump.

          Everything is not all rosy in the Locoroco garden though and there are a few bad guys knocking about to ruin your day. These are called Moja. As you pass they attack you and bite bits of jelly off you. Just like for every time you eat a large fruit you get bigger then every time they bite a bit of jelly off you get smaller. Until you are back to normal size and the next attack will finish you off. There are 2 forms of defence against these vile beasts firstly you can try to outrun them or secondly you can jump into them to send them packing. Be warned if you choose the latter option your jump has to be at speed otherwise they will catch you in mid air and take a chunk out of you.

          I mentioned earlier that when you find and rescue your Mui Mui chums they reward you with a present for your house. I would love dearly to explain to you the benefits of this but unfortunately I do not have a clue how this feature works no matter how much I have read the manual.

          Overall this a game full of charm and has earned every good review that has been written about it. It does look very childish and reading back through my review it does sound very childish but anybody who plays this game will find out that it is so much more than that. If you are looking to kill a few hours with fun and laughter then you could do a lot worse than this game and now it is available at a bargain price there is no excuse not to join the Locoroco revolution!

          Review also on Ciao under same username

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            22.12.2009 16:25
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            Loco roco - worth buying cheaply for a bit of fun

            This game is great fun and I would recommend buying it especially now it's cheaper since it's release a few years back. The story of Loco Roco is about a species of animal called the Loco Roco who live on a far off planet. They have a blob like shape to them and are happy creatures. They are very peaceful living in their world until that is intruders arrive on the planet and start to destroy everything. It is your job to guide the creatures through each of the game levels safely.

            You guide them by tilting the planet left or right with the shoulder buttons, but you can also make the planet bump them into the air by hitting both at the same time. In addition to this, you can also break your Loco Roco into smaller Rocos by pressing the circle button which causes lightning to strike down on the rather blob-acious fellow. Your main task in the game is to guide the Loco Roco to the end of each area. Sound simple? Well there's actually a bit more to it than that.

            In order to successfully split into many Loco Rocos you will first need to make your current Roco larger. This is accomplished when it eats the various fruits scattered around each level. Separating into smaller Rocos is used to gain access through sections of each level in which you can't quite squeeze through, sections where you're too heavy to float through, or when you'll need more than one Roco to get multiple pieces of fruit. A few secrets are built around this feature, but besides that, it's mainly just there for show.

            The level designs are extremely well done and each of them have colourful themes which gives added interest to the game.
            However, like with most platform games there are enemies and obstacles to avoid. You will come across these in the form of Black Mojas in a lot of the levels you cross. They will consume one of your Loco Rocos if you are hit by them at any point. Along with that there are various other enemies that you have to tackle on route.

            The only problem with the game is that it's not the hardest game in the world as the enemies are quite easy to avoid at times and without the various secret levels you find throughout the game it would not hold interest for too long. Having said that it's a bit of fun for a while at least.

            The graphics are the extreme high point of the game. This is the part of Loco Roco that is great. The game has a very colourful happy appeal to it. It is simple, but the graphics are so smooth and that they add an awful lot to this game. Every area and level has a unique character to it.

            It's worth getting at a low price like £5 or something but wouldn't pay much than that. It is unfortunately a bit too repetitive and not that challenging and the graphics save it somewhat.

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            13.05.2009 10:31
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            10/10. Definitely recommended

            This game is great fun, buy it!

            Although it would probably win awards for being the worst, and shortest, review on the net the above sentence sums up my feelings about this game perfectly. However, as I don't want to be run out of the DooYoo village by any lynch mobs I will of course elaborate......

            The Story:
            The planet (like Earth but more colourful, more squishy and more.....fun) has been invaded by Moja, the nasty black blobs who land on your brightly coloured blob and eat you. Although my description makes it sound like a poorly animated horror game it is in fact a light-hearted, fun side scroller where the aim of the game is to jump, slip and slide your way to the end of each level picking up as many bonus items as you can along the way.

            Gameplay:
            The player controls the game by using the L and R buttons to tilt the planet to either side and your character then slides or bounces that way - pushing both buttons together enables your Loco to jump. As you make your way through the level you collect small oranges which, when eaten, gives you another Loco - there are 19 to be found in each level and they can be in plain view or hidden behind fake walls/down a hard to find passageway etc. You can also collect bonuses which give you more items for your house or new mini games (more on this below).

            Main Menu:
            From the main menu you can choose your level (each level is unlocked when you finish the previous) from the 5 Lands, you can play the minigames (these are unlocked through the main games and use a token system to limit the amount of games you can play) or can access your house. In your house you can use the items you unlocked through the main game to make your own mini level - I have not spent much time with this section as the small amount of space you are given severely limits your scope for designing a level and I found it quite disappointing.

            Recommended?:
            Yes! I bought this at full price a couple of years ago and still play it today - as I mentioned above it is a fun experience which will have you smiling rather than a deep, engrossing game which takes over your life for a few weeks/months. Given that it can now be picked up online for less than £10 I would have absolutely no hesitations in recommending this to absolutely everyone!

            A sequel is now available which I hope to buy soon and a review will of course follow shortly after!

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            10.02.2009 22:46
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            Buy if you can find it cheap

            Bought this as saw it in a catalogue and had heard it was very fun.

            All in all that's true, locoroco certainly is a fun game for all the family, the controls are simple, using the L and R buttons to tilt the world and pressing simultaneously to cause your blob to jump.

            Simple story, being to defeat the "Moja" who have caused harm to your planet and to rescue your friend locorocos who have been scattered throughout the world. The game includes puzzles to solve, items to collect to build your own loco house (which perhaps I doubt many people are actually bothered to do) and minigames, which are quite fun but require unlocking.

            However, the game is by no means short, there are many levels within each world and many worlds to explore. Ive been playing for a month or 2 and still havn't completed all levels. Completing the game with 100% would be very difficult as all items and locorocos in each level would require finding.

            I picked the game up for 9.99, and for the gamelife I think is very good value for money. Overall a gd fun game for all the family whatever age

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            06.11.2008 08:45
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            Recommended

            In this era of games requiring high specifications and with 3d graphics, touching reality, its hard to imagine a game with simple 2d graphics yet good enough to compete with all these high end games.

            Even the name of the game is interesting enough. its "Loco Roco". Loco roco has these blobs like creatures. The blobs are more like mercury! A lot of blob join to make one big blob while one big blob splits itself into numerous small bobs to get through narrow spaces. The left and right keys of the psp are the basic controllers for this game but you do need other buttons for some actions like shake-splitting of the blob and joining them. The sound effects are really cute, with Japanese songs playing in the back ground and the blobs singing and shouting in some language that sounds totally alien to me.

            The game is so colorful and catchy that for a moment you forget its a game and start treating it as mercury or something like that as I found my siblings and even myself tilting the psp in the direction towards which we wanted to move the blob. Sony might consider adding an accelerometer to the psp which would add a lot to the gaming experience.

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            07.12.2007 20:42
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            I would definately say that anyone who owns a PSP shouold have this game, it is a pleasant diversion

            I was bought a PSP recently as a bit of a fun gift, its well known that I have a bit of an addiction to gaming, and what better than a playstation i could carry around?

            My shiny new toy came with LocoRoco, and while I am usually an RPG player I wanted something I could play on the go, without having to compose that evelasting question "ok, now i havent played this in a couple of weeks, just where the hell am i in the story?...ok stuff it, i'm starting a new game"

            LocoRoco delivers all this and more, it is a lovely little compact game, engaging and endearing, Appealing crossmarket, and the proof as they say, is in the pudding, I couldnt wrest my little console from my mother for an hour after I offered to 'give her a go'

            --Story--
            Well, there actually isnt a whole lot to say about the story. the peace loving and simple locoRoco are under seige by the mean and nasty Moja. Naturally we must rid the world of the Moja and save the LocoRoco from harm.
            Interestingly the player is not the LocoRoco, but instead plays the planet itself, more about that below.

            --Gameplay--
            As the planet, you want to save your inhabitants, you arent at all happy about the Moja infestation and do anything you can to help the bouncy LocoRoco defeat them.
            The player must tip and tilt the landscape using the shoulder buttons bumping the balloon-like LocoRoco along the horizon, timing bumps to launch them into the air either with the help of run-ups (which can take a few attempts) or air currents, or other helpful inhabitants.
            There are many LocoRoco on the planet, and they have the ability to merge into larger singular beings, you can ask LocoRoco to join up so you can move them along easier, as which point they all start shouting at each other until they have all melted together, certain actions will divide them again, spliting them up into lots of little creatures to fall down pinball machine-like holes or be blown along air currents.
            It is nessecary to have enough LocoRoco in your party to sing the melody to wake up certain gatekeepers, or to be heavy enough when joined to open up parts of a level or ending.
            LocoRoco, having no set form will also mould themselves into various shapes if asked, either by being swallowed by a helpful owl and spat out in a more solid shape, say a square, or by sliding into shaped holes in the landscape. these can help you solve certain puzzles like pushing a particular button.

            I have noticed more than one person leaning to their extreme left or right while attempting to shunt the LocoRoco off a precipice of the landscape, its as much fun to watch someone playing it as it is to play it yourself in my opinion.

            Graphics
            By far one of the game's selling points. On the PSP's crystal clear screen LocoRoco shows up bright and clear and cheerful. Initially it looks childish and simple, as do many aspects of the game.
            The planet (the player) has a stylish and iconic landscape, lots of strong dense shade and solid shapes of colours, the characters themselves are maliable, most often in the shape of gelantinous blobs with cute faces. Other creatures in the world are equally as simply drawn. The Moja are jet black and look menacing enough that you can spot a bad guy a mile off, but if you get too close it will suck up a LocoRoco from your party and swallow it, a rather disturbing occurence as you do get quite attached to these little guys.

            Sound
            As you might expect from such a stylish game, the music is no exception. As you progress in the world you can meet other types of LocoRoco, and these have their own style of music, soundtrack, and their own melodies. You chan choose at the start of a level, which breed of LocoRoco you want to play as, which in essence only really affects the music and sound effects you hear.
            When seperated groups of LocoRoco sing together to wake up a gate keeper, I cant help at be amazed at the creativeness of the designers, they dont all immeadiately sing in unison, it takes them a little while to get in synch, sounding like an unruly school choir. The same happens when you ask them to merge, all of them have a little voice of their own, all calling "join!" at different piches and each one goes silent as they join up into the main LocoRoco.
            I think the sound as a result is one of the most delightful aspects of this game.

            --sidequest--
            There are a few little sidequest games, accesible from the main menu, which you can spend tokens found in the main game to play. My favourite is the grabber-machine game...like the arcade machine that you try to pull a teddybear out of a bundle with a ludicrous butterfingered grabber....
            You grab parts for your house in the grabber game...

            --the house--
            Now the house is a hotly contested area, many people feel it isnt necessary, I find it just adds an extra playing element to the game, you dont need to play it if you dont want to. You find building blocks in the game or win them in the sidegames, you can build all sorts of wacky buildings that have an air current flowing through them, a LocoRoco will move continuously forwards through the environment, and the aim is to pick up the bonus that is placed somewhere on the screen. Since you cant jump the LocoRoco like you can in the main game, you need to build all sorts of levels, moving platforms and aircurrents to get them to touch the bonus and collect it. I found it frustrating sometimes, and havent spent much time on it.

            Take a look at LocoRoco if you have found yourslef in a rut from all the racing games and handheld RPG ports, a real gem.

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