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Friday, March 13, 2009

Loco Roco 2

I've been playing Loco Roco 2 since it came out.... I sorta transitioned into it from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed... but the last few weeks LocoRoco 2 has been living in my PSP's UMD slot....

For those who played the first one, and are hoping for a really different experience... LocoRoco 2 doesn't reinvent the game-- though it does offer some nice additions... but if you didn't like the first one, you probably won't like this one either. Then again, does anyone ever think game sequels will REALLY be different from the previous ones? It's amazing how many people seem to expect that, and are shocked to find that they don't.... like seriously.....

LocoRoco 2 is just infectious fun. That's about the best way I can sum it up. It's just so fun & "feel-good", it's like this bizarre cheery game that puts a smile on my face.

LocoRoco 2 is a platform game, where you tilt the world to roll, bounce & jump blobs called LocoRoco around to collect stuff. the LocoRocos can split up into their seperate smaller versions, or merge to form one big one.

I haven't finished everything, but I've gotten to the point where I'm wishing I had more meaty stuff to do; I know that the majority of the game is basically over... and I'm wanting more-- in a good way. It's great games that you don't want to end. Great games are also designed so that you can finish them but the game isn't "over", you can go back & replay levels.. which looks to be the case with LocoRoco 2.

Dude, that can't be right.

One of my main complaints might be that the gameplay while fun, is repetitive. You're doing the same thing over & over again. This is a game best played in short bursts, which it is designed for-- making a nice contrast to the PSP port of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which is paced totally for a home console: you have to play for 45 minutes to make any progress. LocoRoco 2's levels are about 15-30 minutes each. It is breezy but once you unlock abilities you go back to the levels over again to collect things you couldn't get the first time. vbecause of the replayability I'd say you can get about 10 hours of gameplay outta LocoRoco 2 compared to about 5 hours for the first LocoRoco game.

Another problem can be the controls. As innovative and simple as they are, they are inherently imprecise. There were times I spent close to 20 minutes just trying to properly bounce my LocoRocos into wherever they needed to be.... that got pretty tiresome.

A minor quibble might be the music: it's the same or similar to the music from the first game, but they decided to start the level with only a few instruments playing a song, as you collect more Locos, the music becomes fuller and when you've got most of them, the song is more complete.... it's an interesting idea to help tie the music into the gameplay, but I miss not hearing the full tunes for most of the levels.

I have to admit, I'm not fond of the music minigame either. It's just that the whole "tap this button when the cursor/music note/whatever is over a certain point" kind of gameplay is just being way overused. I suppose just as the Grand Theft Auto franchise exposed video games to open world maps with "radar" in the corner which got so overused, so now in the Guitar Hero/Rock Band era of music games, we're seeing everything trying to ape that trend too. It's annoying.

But overall LocoRoco 2 has to be one of my favourite games. Really enjoyed it.


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