When I first decided to invest some time in this strange, yet highly-recommended, title I was expecting a unique experience. Since PSP owners haven’t exactly had a particularily healthy selection of great games since the system was launched, for a game to be as big a cult hit as LocoRoco there simply had to be a reason. After experiencing the game first hand I can safely say I know why; The game is positively a blast to play.
LocoRoco is pretty light on story. In fact, aside from a few short animated cut scenes, there really isn’t much of a story to speak of. You pretty much just need to remember three main things while playing the game: your characters are cute, the bad ones are ugly, and red fruit is good to eat. Keep those things in mind and you’ll be fine. If you want to get a bit more in depth it seems obvious that the black blobs (remember: ugly = enemy) are attempting to take over the world that the LocoRoco inhabit. This, of course, causes the LocoRoco to defend their homeland, which is where you come in.
Graphics & Sound (5 out of 5)
Though it might look simple in screenshots, LocoRoco is beautiful. Crisp graphics, smooth animation, and bright colors all help to bring this cartoony world to life. Each race of LocoRoco is different and along with having a distinct appearance all their own, they each have unique voices which they use to sing along with the in-game music. Overall, LocoRoco is very easy on both the eyes and ears.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
Controlling LocoRoco is also an experience you probably won’t forget. As with the rest of the game, simplicity is the main focus here. You use only the top two shoulder buttons to move your character about the world. Holding down the right shoulder button will cause the entire screen to tilt to the right and your LocoRoco will become a slave to gravity and follow suit. The same goes for the left shoulder button and once you learn that tapping both shoulder buttons at once allows you to jump, you have just learned the majority of the control scheme in three easy steps. The final action you’ll want to learn is how by pressing the X button your big LocoRoco can be broken down into many, smaller LocoRocos. This may even sound a bit too simple to some of the more seasoned gamers out there but let me assure you, there is still plenty of challenge to be had. You’ll play as a number of different races of LocoRoco through the game while traversing a variety of environments. Along the way you’ll be helped by the Mui Mui, who are small, seemingly cheerful, little creatures of which there are three in each level. You’ll also consume your fair share of tasty red fruit that, upon eating each one, cause your LocoRoco to gain one size. All these mechanics add up to a fresh experience that will leave you feeling very satisfied at the end of each level.
Overall (5 out of 5)
It’s hard to find another game to compare LocoRoco to in terms of individuality but if I was pressed I would have to liken its charm and overall scope to something like Katamari Damacy. It’s a game that simply needs to be experienced before you can truly appreciate how good of a game it is. And, with a sequel having just been released at a bargain price, there’s never been a better time to hunt down this gem and give yourself a reason to dust off that PSP you have laying around.