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June 19 2006
LocoRoco - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
29/6/2006SonySonySony Japan
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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Squeezing through the gap.
As we said in our preview there was plenty of doubt about LocoRoco ever being released in Europe and Australia. It's a childish looking game with simplistic gameplay, but what you can't easily judge is just how enjoyable this game is to play.

So you're wondering just what this game is all about. Well, LocoRoco plunges you into a colourful world where jelly-like creatures (LocoRoco) sing, roll and bounce their way through levels to reach their goals. It really is that simple, but much like Tetris or Lemmings the game is simply an enjoyable experience rather then a detailed action game.

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Rolling around the forest.
LocoRoco is a very easy game to get to grips with. In terms of game mechanics gamers use the PSP's L and R buttons to tilt the ground up to about 30 degrees in either direction, hence rolling your ball, or LocoRoco, in the desired direction. It it also possible to make your LocoRoco's jump by pressing down both the L and R buttons simultaneously and letting go to reach platforms or other items, such as fruit above the ground.

Indeed as you progress through each of the 40 levels you may find some fruit which can be eaten, each one enlarging your LocoRoco slightly. Each level contains 19 pieces of fruit, making your character quite large. Fortunately by tapping the circle button you can split your LocoRoco into smaller characters to squeeze through tight gaps. By holding down the circle button your character reforms into a larger blob. As you progress through the levels you'll uncover different coloured LocoRoco's including pink and black. They don't really alter the gameplay, but you can switch to which ever colour you want during the game.

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It's getting a bit chilly here.
There are some disappointments with the title. Firstly, perhaps it's just me but I didn't quite get the whole idea of being able to build your own LocoRoco house from the numerous parts collected around the game world. To me it seemed like a basic level editor - with no goals. Secondly the game is too damn short. Most of the 40-odd levels can be breezed through in around 10 minutes, with the game easily completed in under 10 hours, and probably closer to 5 depending how much exploring you attempt. Finally the mini-games aren't overly entertaining, and the game lacks multi-player modes.

Graphically LocoRoco may appear simplistic - and perhaps even childlike - but that is certainly a major part of the games charm. The levels are well designed, with several hidden areas given away by subtle terrain clues, and the characters themselves ooze personality despite, for the most part, simply being a blob.

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A picture of one of the smaller levels.
Audio in the game is certainly one of its more interesting, and enjoyable aspects. The range of music isn't the greatest ever heard, but it is among some of the most cheery ever in a video game. Even if you're not feeling the greatest this games music, in combination with the dancing from the LocoRoco's is sure to put a smile on your face.

Overall, LocoRoco is another delightful game on the PSP. The game mechanics are basic, but exploring the levels, unlocking all the secrets and achieving high scores is always rewarding. I really do wish the game was a bit longer - even at 40 levels you can get through it a matter of hours, although the replayability is quite high. Certainly one to add to you collection if you're after something unique.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSQuite plain but at all times very high quality. It's a lovely art style.
SOUNDSome unique music tracks gives LocoRoco a very upbeat tone.
GAMEPLAYIt's quite basic to play, but always entertaining and relaxing.
VALUEOnly 40 levels to complete is a bit disappointing, needed some more.
OVERALLLocoRoco is another title which I feel will be undersold on the PSP. It's a brilliantly unique title on the system and while it doesn't set any new benchmarks is a perfect short burst game.

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