LocoRoco (PSP) review
"LocoRoco are a blissful blob race that look over the plants of their estranged fantastical planet. The Moja fiends are invading, and as the Locoroco you've got a mission to fend off the Moja to keep your world alive. You'll be finding and eating as much pink fruit as possible so you can get fat. Once you're fat, you can summon bolts of lightning to separate your body into mini Roco's, then collectively sing a song to wake up various anthropomorphic moons, suns, and rectangles. You'll have to..."
LocoRoco are a blissful blob race that look over the plants of their estranged fantastical planet. The Moja fiends are invading, and as the Locoroco you've got a mission to fend off the Moja to keep your world alive. You'll be finding and eating as much pink fruit as possible so you can get fat. Once you're fat, you can summon bolts of lightning to separate your body into mini Roco's, then collectively sing a song to wake up various anthropomorphic moons, suns, and rectangles. You'll have to avoid spikes, jump over stuff, launch yourself with trampolines or be carried around by some kind of conveyor belt: these are some means of travel you'll encounter. Ideally, to reach the end of each stage where you sing again to unearth a disfigured tree stump of happy planet preservation.
The object of the game is to get to point A to point B in often wondrously simple territories with your LocoRoco. The controls are simple. L and R rotate the screen (This is how you move the Locoroco's!) and tapping L and R simultaneously makes your Locoroco hop. Pressing circle summons a lightning bolt that breaks you into smaller LocoRoco's, depending on how big you've gotten from eating fruit. Breaking up allows you passage through small spaces. When you break the LocoRoco up, all the little Roco's hop about with a friendly disposition for grouping together. If one of them goes off screen for too long, you'll lose that chunk, and pressing Circle brings them back together. Sadly, you'll die if you're last Locoroco bites it... but I don't think I've ever "died" playing this game. There are a few enemies: the basic Moja, black squid-like flying creatures that dumbly float around untill you get near them. There's an evil green owl. And sometimes bigger Moja's.
Why is this game worth playing? The music has a very ethnic feel to it with a mix of Japanese oddity in a kind of pop-song form. It's a diverse sound. As you advance through the different "worlds" you'll meet new LocoRoco, different colored ones with equally cute faces. Each one has their own singing voice that they contribute to the song of the stage that is played. A nice touch. There's a kid's voice, a woman's, an older Japanese guy and a surfer guy (he sings in this pop-rock song.) My personal favorite is the pink Roco, the woman's voice. 'Cause she sounds sexy.
The Roco you control also appear to sing the words of the song that's playing. When you break the Roco up into smaller Roco’s, you'll notice that a harmony part will introduce itself into the song in real time (that means all the little Roco's are now singing for the song.) This effect is pretty cool when many Roco's are being poured down various pathways, rolling into revolving door type mechanisms, or are being blown through Sonic-like tubes at fast speeds. Sometimes you'll just be watching what happens to your Roco's for about 15 seconds at a time, and it's times like this that the game seems to come together.
Each stage has something like 150 some smaller fruits, 19 pink fruits, some peach fruits and 3 MuiMui's to collect. I don't really care much about that. Collecting the MuiMui's will add stuff you can use for your Loco House. You'll get house pieces you can use to build the layout of your house, and also earn music or different house templates to use. You can play around in your Loco House afterwards, but personally, I find it kind of childish. Like this childish game. It's completely innocent in it's nature, but it kind of has a wider mainstream appeal in that sense.
Suffice to say, I think this game would be best experienced by 7 year old kids in Japan. The utterly simple and sugary design of the game gives it that childlike feel. This may turn off some people, where it may delight others in its cuteness. Getting past that, the game certainly has funkaliscious moments. And if anything, LocoRoco isn't a game that puts you in much stress. It's a joyride because the threat posed to you is always so low. However, some of the music is repetitive and annoying (most of it is tolerable), and because of this I usually can't play the game for more than a half hour per sitting. I also think this game is better enjoyed in intervals over a long period of time, instead of plowing through it right away, and never touching it again. Kind of a fresh experience, but nothing groundbreaking. It'll make you smile, at least.
For it's ingenuity and quality of production,
LocoRoco bounces in at a 7 / 10.
Community review by Aquas (December 24, 2007)
Aquas is an STG fanatic, score-chaser and arcade lover. He hosts the Shooting Game Weekly on Youtube, a show that goes in depth on various shmups with passionate fans of the genre. Favorite video game: EarthBound.
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