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If you owned a Playstation Portable, you will remember that there were almost too many games released worthy of our time. Yet between the Final Fantasy franchise remasters and the Kingdom Hearts releases, there was one game striving to be different … and that is LocoRoco, a game that offered a happily colorful and musical experience for all ages.
LocoRoco was conceived out of creativity and a desire to be a unique experience available on the Playstation Portable. It is thoroughly a platforming experience however, it utilizes primarily the shoulder pads to tilt the environment to one side or the other to move the character and to jump. Our character is also a odd one as well. It is a colorful jelly-like blob that grows by eating special orange flowers and can be separated to get through narrow spaces. Our character changes as their journey through the worlds will bring them to meet new friends which we can use as our playable character. They may be different in color but we can almost see the different personality especially when they sing a different tune as they charm the world around them to rescue Miu Mius.
LocoRoco is a special experience because it has five stages with eight levels each. These levels, although swapped around, feature different environments. Rushing waterfalls, jungle vines, a creature’s squishy inside, slippery ice and beautiful floral environments are only a few of these. While they show up in their own variation, they each have their own challenges and obstacles. Subconsciously, these environments may cycle through the five stages however, it never feels repetitive. This is the case because controlling our LocoRoco is already hard enough that each new area opens up the possibility of maneuvering to find all the secrets that hold many items such as the twenty flowers to grow to our maximum as well as all the special star orbs, rescue three Miu Mius and at the same time try to do this swiftly. Plus, we also have to collect all the pink orbs to have a perfect run. LocoRoco is a hunt of epic proportions. Just like any world out there, there are threats everywhere. Spike tossing owls are only the start because black smoke-like creatures called Mojas fly around and they want to eat every last piece of you.
The environments are also very dynamic. Each environment will have its specialty but no matter where it focuses on building our abilities to control the physics of our character. There are vines to swing on and cliffs to mount, slippery crevices to escape and flowers to scale and much more. The secret areas are sometimes out of the way and there are also surfaces that have to be broken to access and they are not apparent and need some trial and error to find. To have a perfect run the first time around is a rarity and possibly a happy achievement, however this also means LocoRoco has incredible replayable value. Especially when the star orbs collected throughout the levels are parts for the LocoRoco house to build as we would like.
The best games excel out using a simple mechanic creatively. LocoRoco only has screen tilts, jumps, rolls, breaking and assembling the LocoRoco. Its simplicity makes its immersive. Yet, it has also crafted a fun, colorful and musical experience. If you didn’t think that a mushy blob could win your heart to protect it before, LocoRoco will probably change your mind.
LocoRoco Remastered was recently released on May 9th on Playstation 4.
Game description: LocoRoco is a 2006 puzzle-platformer about a peaceful planet that is invaded and needs to be defended. It has recently been remastered for the Playstation 4.