We’d challenge anyone to come up with a game quite as cheerful and relaxing as LocoRoco 2. This momentum-based game is simple to control, as you use just the PSP’s shoulder buttons to guide a spongy yellow blob through a series of surreal mazes. Unlike the original LocoRoco, the difficulty increases at a steady pace, allowing you to sit back a little more and enjoy the rollercoaster-style environments. This isn’t about hardcore challenge; the addiction comes from the pure originality of being a space hopper that sings along with the insanely catchy soundtrack. The soothing tunes are the kind that will stick in your head and keep you up nights. We’ll take them over Patapon any day.
Most of the puzzles in the game are physics-based, and many can only be completed when your LocoRoco increases in size. He does this by eating berries dotted around the course, some of which will be impossible to reach on your first run. The game doesn’t kill you off mercilessly, and in fact the first few stages feature very few enemies. Instead, it encourages you to replay the courses to perfect your path-finding and gobble up every last fruit. It’s mostly a matter of timing and coordination, although there are puzzles where you split your Loco into small adorable globules in order to fit through tight spaces.
There’s a nice element of risk and reward here, as you often end up losing some of the smaller creatures off the edge of the screen. On the other hand, gathering enough of them together at key locations rewards you with a minigame where the Locos join together in song. There are other unlockable minigames too, the most notable one allowing you to create a house for your colourful creatures, which returns from the original game with plenty of extra quirks. It’s undoubtedly one of the silliest games in existence, but also one of the most charming. Although graphically simple, it’s also extremely crisp and the level design is surprisingly complex. Perhaps it isn’t a massive step forward from the original, but it’s impossible not to love LocRoco 2.
Feb 5, 2009