Every second Wednesday (OK, every so often then...), I write about a game that I've played in a short/long review. These are only my thoughts and I'm not responsible if you buy a game based solely on my review and you hate the guts out of it...
Game - LocoRoco (PSP)
Games that break convention don’t come very often. We’re increasingly looking for realistic graphics, realistic gameplay and expecting complex control systems to go with it. Well, guess what? LocoRoco isn’t one of those games. In fact it’s just good, clean, simple fun that anyone can enjoy. One that deserves all the accolades it gets.
The basic premise is that the LocoRoco, round yellow creatures, lived on their planet, taking care of it and singing their troubles away, until the Mojas come down from space to take over the planet. Being a peaceful bunch, you have no choice but to help them out by tilting the planet and guiding them to rescue everyone. How do you do this? You simply tilt the world left and right and also shake the planet to cause the creatures to jump. That’s it!
Well, almost. First of all, as you eat berries, you will start to grow. This is a good thing as you need to grow to save some of your friends (like the blue MuiMui). Unfortunately, that also means that you’ll have trouble getting through narrow gaps. To get through these small gaps, you need to scare the LocoRoco and force them to split up into smaller LocoRoco to get through to the other side (and possibly eat a few more berries along the way). You can get to a size where you eventually split into 20 small LocoRoco in each level.
Finding the berries isn’t always easy. Sometimes they are hidden from view until you hit the right area, and some are hidden further still by being hidden in secret areas that you won’t see until you jump into them. Finding these areas is great fun and prolongs your stay in the game. A level can be finished within 3 to 4 minutes but by finding every single berry, you’ll end up taking 10 to 20 minutes to explore and jump into every single avenue.
There are many other things to see and interact with while you do all this. There are a few mini-games, a mini-house and eventually a small level editor to make your own level and send to your friends. The game has a huge amount of charm with a bubbly soundtrack that your yellow friends (and others) will sing to you as you explore the levels and make you grin from ear to ear. You also start to feel guilty when you hit an enemy who suddenly gobbles up one of your LocoRoco, which is a disaster if you’re trying to find them all.
This game is quite simply superb. Easy to pick up, difficult if you’re aiming for everything. The game has one the most simple control systems you’ll see on the PSP, using only 3 buttons in a level (2 for tilting the world, and one to split the LocoRoco up). The game just makes you feel warm inside thanks to the soundtrack and the colourful graphics. If there was one gripe about it, I’d say it might be that it’s too short. There are enough levels for the person wanting everything, but not enough for those who just whiz through. Also, the game might get a bit frustrating at times. For example, the ice levels can be a nightmare when avoiding the dangerous spikes. However, don’t let that put you off. If you’re a PSP owner who wants an original game, you should not miss this unless you really don’t care. Quite frankly, you must be pretty cold if you don’t.