In LocoRoco Midnight Carnival, the cute blobs and bright and breezy soundtrack remain but the tweaked gameplay strikes a bum note all too often. Nevermind humming along to the song of the LocoRocos, you’ll be too busy filling the air with colorful cuss words.
The major change here is the addition of boinging, a new super jump activated by holding and releasing the shoulder buttons as you land. The stringing together of combos is actively encouraged and when the level design is tight (or forgiving) enough you can merrily ping off walls and triple jump over precipices. But it’s when tackling the looser, more freeform levels that things start to fall apart and your wobbly chum plunges into the abyss.
It is, for instance, far too easy to overshoot and miss a distant ledge and all too often you’re navigating on instinct and praying there’s another platform just off-screen. The placement of enemies is also a bugbear as shaking them off can cause you to roll over a ledge or screw up a sweet combo.
Oddly, and perhaps this has a lot to do with the game’s sound and visuals, such grievances don’t completely detract from your enjoyment. On the whole, this is a shorter, less successful and considerably more hardcore experience. But damn it, it’s still LocoRoco and it’s still sporadically fun, provided you have the patience.
Nov 24, 2009