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February 9 2009
LocoRoco 2 - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
27/11/2008SonySonySony Japan
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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LocoRoco 2 - bright, colourful, gorgeous.
Before I start (oops... too late), some people may have picked up that I'm a sucker for wacky Japanese things; Mecha, DDR, Astro Boy, Rez and Katamari are a few things that are right up my alley. So when LocoRoco 2 landed in my lap, I almost wet myself. Not that I had any clue what it was about, but I'd seen pictures of the first LocoRoco and had heard good things about it. Wasn't I surprised then when I discovered that LocoRoco 2 is perhaps the simplest game I've ever played, yet also one of the most addictive and still manages to put a goofy grin on my face from ear to ear. LocoRoco 2 is fun and original, easy to pick up, and even harder to put down.

LocoRoco are the yellow blob things you can see in the screenshots. They were living happily in peace and harmony until the evil Moja boss Bonmucho developed a terrible song which sucks the life-force out of living plants and creatures (Moja are the black rasta cloud-like bad guys). Bonmucho is attempting to use his Moja and this terrible song to conquer the LocoRoco planet, and it's up to you to stop them.

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LocoRoco 2 heads under water.
Fans of the first LocoRoco will be pleased to know that the gameplay hasn't changed much from the original. In LocoRoco 2, you tilt the game world by using the L and R triggers, which then lets the LocoRoco roll left and right respectively. Both L and R simultaneously jump the LocoRoco up in the air, to enable it to clear obstacles and nasties. LocoRoco also gets bigger by eating fruit scattered throughout the levels. If he get too big and fat though to fit through smaller gaps, you can split him up into lots of tiny LocoRoco, which can then be re-assembled later. Sound simple? That's because it is!

In essence, LocoRoco 2 is just an extremely simplified platformer; with fewer controls available than even the original Mario Brothers, but it's just so damn fun to play. How fun I hear you ask? Well, let's just say it's a challenge to play through the first level without a giant goofy grin and laughing out aloud, I don't care how hard you try to keep a straight face.

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Not so bright when evil lurks.
New additions this time around include singing/rhythm game sections, where you must tap the button in time with the beat of songs (in the same vein as Guitar Hero). Collectable flies found during the main game can also be used in other mini-games, including pinball, a sidescrolling shooter, LocoRoco racing betting and a whack-a-mole style game. They don't play a huge role in the game, but offer a little variety from the main storyline.

While LocoRoco 2 is extremely fun for what it is, it isn't the longest game in the world, though you'll definitely come back to 100% all the collectables, and beat your old level completion times. That said, it's slightly shorter than LocoRoco, which is a little unfortunate for a sequel such as this. And while this is extremely fun, it will most probably appeal to the slightly younger gamers. However being a big kid at heart or being mildly interested in the crazy look of the game means you'll fit right into this category too.

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Another LocoRoco 2 screenshot.
LocoRoco 2 is a lesson in artistic presentation – while most games are going for pushing the most polygons, or the most detailed sprites, Sony Japan have again pumped out something which looks more like a flash game than something for the PSP. Not surprisingly like the first game, this approach works brilliantly given the character of the game – big, bold colours and round rolling shapes. And it's not just the shapes either, it's the way everything moves… from the twang of flower stalks to the elastic bounciness of the LocoRocos themselves. This game looks tops – I don't care how much bashing it might receive as looking ‘kiddy', it wouldn't work better were it any other style.

When I turned on my PSP for the first time with LocoRoco 2, I was struck by the sounds of LocoRocos cheering and babbling on – and the little bastards don't shut up for the entirety of the game. This is a good thing mind you, particularly when you've split into lots of tiny LocoRoco, the more screaming you get from them, the better! The sound effects and music alike are both bursting with character, just like the visuals.

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LocoRoco 2 is one of the PSP's best games.
Wow. Had I known I was missing out on this much fun by not playing LocoRoco, I'd have slapped myself silly and run out to by a copy of it too. LocoRoco 2 doesn't offer a whole heap more than the original game, but I guess that's part of its charm. If it ain't broke, don't fix it – right? Sadly, the only real downer for LocoRoco 2 is the short length of the game, with probably no more than 7 or so hours from start to finish. That said, you'll definitely stretch that out to find all of the LocoRoco and items to 100% the game. My only ask is that they eventually port LocoRoco 2 to the PSN for the PS3 – with this much excitement on the small screen, just imagine it all (including the motion sickness) in your living room!

Review By: Chris Gobbett

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GRAPHICSSure they aren't complex, but the presentation is top notch.
SOUNDEffects and music that sounds like gibberish, but just make you smile.
GAMEPLAYThis is what classic videogames are all about; simplicity and fun.
VALUEThe only negative nancy here is the game's length, but you'll want to hunt down all the items regardless.
OVERALLLocoRoco 2 really does bring out your inner child and make you smile, without being a completely kiddie-style game. It's simple, addictive, easy to play in short or long sittings, and looks/sounds a treat. Whether you get it over PSN or on UMD, LocoRoco 2 is a game that's almost impossible to dislike..

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