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Wednesday | October 17, 2018
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LocoRoco 2 (PSP)

LocoRoco 2 (PSP)


We don’t often review portable titles here on Gamingheaven, mainly because a huge portion of them hold no interest to our readership. One such game which will appeal to many however is the followup to the hugely successful LocoRoco released on the Playstation Portable a few years ago. This time around developer SCE Studios Japan have incorporated a new series of game play elements to keep things fresh and fun.

LocoRoco 2 takes place after the first game ended with the Moja forced back to their own world after being defeated. Bonmucho the Moja leader refused to concede to the cheerful goo blobs and has designed a new plan of attack on the LocoRoco world with a powerful new musical weapon. This weapon drains the life and colour out of anything in listening distance and covers it in darkness. To make matters worse the Moja have recruited the Bui Bui, evil counterparts of (LocoRoco friends) the Mui Mui in the attempt to wipe them out.

Once again its up to the balls of goo to gather everyone together to repel the enemy attack and to try and free their world again. The game plays rather similarly to the first but there are some gameplay changes to keep it entertaining.

As anyone knows LocoRoco was one of the most enjoyable games on the PSP – it required only three buttons to let you control your bouncy buddies with the Left or Right triggers tilting the screen and letting you jump over obstacles. The circle button splits and reforms the characters and for the most part the previous mechanic is in place with the exception that the LocoRocos now have more advanced abilities.

This time around the gooey creatures can squeeze themselves through little cracks in the environment to reach new areas and they can swim through water and fit into shells or afro wigs to protect themselves against spikes. They can also break through rocks and other materials. There are also sections that can be unlocked which trigger question mark style thought bubbles. When these areas are reached the Mui Mui will teach the Loco Roco new abilities such as pulling creatures out of the walls or being able to be thrown from tree branches.

Your LocoRoco still sing songs and gather fruit so the core mechanic is still the same. The greater number of large berries you gather the more LocoRoco you will have under your control. Increasing the number of LocoRoco means that you can take advantage of musical mini games in which you try to match the notes of a song to their outlines that line the edge of a screen. Collecting these notes is important because the notes aid the goo creatures in their mission. Really you are collecting these notes to counter the Moja musical weapon which is destroying the planet.

These notes also provide you with bonuses such as protecting your creatures from spike damage as well as gaining stage maps which show you exactly where every berry and hidden area are on every level. To get everything from any given level, multiple replays are going to be the order of the day.

Replaying the levels also lets you track down hidden Mui Mui who provide you with objects as well as collecting items that are used to build the Mui Mui house. This is more focused than the first game because you can now create rooms and objects inside them and you can instruct the Mui Mui to use them. Ordering a Mui Mui to create a guitar for example then asking him to play along with the background music is hilarious. The Mui Mui house is also packed with a plethora of hidden objects such as the Camera which is used to take screenshots. By continually expanding the house you can even unlock various mini games to get away from the main story line.

The original Loco Roco had two mini games available but this time around the number has been tripled to accommodate six separate levels. The LocoRoco race game lets you bet on which goo blob will cross the finish line first. Another race lets you pilot a Mui Mui plane to attack enemies with cannons as you collect items. Loco Rider is a bumper car styled game where you can try and push your opponents into thorns to reduce the size of their blobs. The game can be played with up to three other friends via ad hoc although everyone has to have unlocked the mini game on their own console to have the option to select.

Each of these mini games costs a specific amount of fruit to buy and depending on how well you do within them you earn further items you can use in the Mui Mui house. As well as all the mini games there is an option called Loco Stamp which lets players collect different stickers and insert them into stamp sheets referencing scenes from the game. You can even watch movies that have been unlocked in the Album of Memories. Furthermore if you manage to complete a level with 20 LocoRocos you then unlock a story behind some of the creatures in the game which gives an interesting viewpoint to the overall experience. All of these options obviously add to the long term re-playability of the title.

Unfortunately we come to the point where I mention the downsides to the title and there is one glaring issue which I can’t ignore, even though I am a massive fan of the series. LocoRoco 2 is much shorter than the first. The original LocoRoco lasted for around 40 stages and LocoRoco2 is only around 20 which is massively disappointing. So while you have a lot more things to unlock and explore, the overall game has been reduced in size. That said, the game will still hold value for money if you are the kind of gamer who has to explore and collect everything from all the levels.

LocoRoco 2 also has a character switching feature which while fun in theory is a little poorly executed. Changing characters in the game means you are presented with new background music during the mini games but there is no benefit or weaknesses in changing as they all have the exact same abilities. It ends up merely a graphical change in the game with no impact on the progression or storyline.

With the game play and limited character options out of the way, graphically the game is still as beautiful as it was before. The animations are improved significantly as the LocoRoco’s can now slide and move into cracks and move into objects to hide. The overall scheme is still a subdued pastel affair which is both appealing to the eye and charming in game. There are now a lot more themes and areas which have their own unique styles, such as forested woods and underwater caves.

The audio side of the game is brilliant, with catchy, memorable tunes which infiltrate your brain and grab a hold of your senses. The music is so engrained into the title that without it the whole experience would be much less fulfilling. Significantly the music alters its tone and pace to suit the environment you are exploring so if a bad guy appears the sinister and adrenalin pumped score will change to match. Every LocoRoco has their own theme song as well when you into mini games so you will probably rotate between them to hear them all.

LocoRoco 2 is a brilliant game to play and it is just as charming as its predecessor both in terms of graphical quality and addictive game play. The music is memorable and the developers clearly have a unique perspective on a virtual world which makes this title one of the best on the PSP platform. The only downside is the length of the game, which is basically half the size in level design with only a plethora of unlockable content and mini games to redeem it. If the game were in fact around 30% longer it would be almost perfect but as it stands it loses some points for the shortness of the mission based levels. Nonetheless, if you have a PSP then make sure you pick this title up as soon as possible.



New abilities and elements are placed onto the already wonderful first title. The only negatives are that it ends all too quickly.
As good as you will get on the PSP. Charming, lovingly created and memorable.
The catchy and addictive songs get into your head once again and don’t let go, even days after playing.
A lot of mini games and bonus items which pad out the content, but unfortunately only half the levels when compared to the first

A PSP classic. One not to be missed !

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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