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Mar 10, 2009

Review: LocoRoco 2

LocoRoco 2
Available for the Portable Sony Playstation

If one had to sum up the first LocoRoco game in two words, those words would be "pure happiness" as the game was full of bright colourful graphics, lovable characters, cheerful music and addicting game play with all made you just want to smile. SCE Japan has come back with the next instalment in this series with Loco Roco 2 and this reviewer was more than happy to check the game out to see if lightening genius struck again for this series.

In LocoRoco 2, our little yellow blob hero, Loco, returns to fight the ongoing war with the Moja infection. The Moja were defeated in the original LocoRoco, now they have returned seeking revenge on the peaceful Loco planet. Accompanied by Bonmucho, the Moja’s leader, the Moja start to spread their illness across the land with the help of the wicked Bui Bui. The Bui Bui are basically the evil version of the Mui Mui who are Loco’s little Blue friends. The little LocoRoco’s have an upward battle for this jelly-bouncing blob, but it is nothing the little fellah can’t handle with a little tilt action.

Not much has changed in terms of the controls from the first game to the second, as you still have to help lead your little hero, Loco through the maze of levels by tilting his world and helping him jump over obstacles. As well, you can still split your loco into smaller, multiple versions of himself in order to fit through smaller areas or solve puzzles.

Each level has various amounts of fruit that will increase the size of your loco and how many tiny pieces you split into. This is important because some puzzles require a certain amount of tiny locos to solve and levels require a certain amount to fully complete. You can also collect gifts that can be used to decorate your Mui Mui’s house later in the game.

Each level also has mini bosses for your loco to bounce into oblivion in order to save the inhabitants of that level. New additions to the game include rhythm games within the levels and underwater levels that allow your loco to swim.

At first glance, LocoRoco may seem like a kid’s game but the game is deceiving. Each level has a final score that tallies your efforts on each level and though you can finish a level, you really have to use your head to earn all the locos you can as well as find all the fruit and gifts in the level.

While LocoRoco 2’s graphics don’t match the polygon count of say, God of War: Chains of Olympus, the graphics are colourful and diverse enough that you still love every minute you spend traversing through the game’s environments. The big and bright shapes in the levels jump out on the PSP screen which make playing this game not only easy but enjoyable as well. I don’t think anyone could look at this game and deny how adorable it is to look at.

Much like the addicting tones of Patapon, the main theme song for LocoRoco will probably get stuck in your head permanently from the moment you first hear it. The fact that it’s sung by a child makes it all the more cute to listen to. Each element in the game from the Mojas to the Mui Muis has their own music which really makes listening to this game as much as playing it. Music plays a huge part in the mini games as well, so I would suggest keeping your headphones handy with this game for those times when you can’t hear over loud noises in the room.

When you have market so full of first person shooters, it’s nice to see unique games like Patapon and LocoRoco getting the attention they deserve and the sequels that they deserve. For anyone who’s looking for something different for the PSP, then I can easily recommend LocoRoco 2 as the game to buy. The levels are fun, yet challenging and the music will definitely get stuck in your head.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Buy it!

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