LocoRoco Cocoreccho! Review - 10/10/2007

"What? This isn’t LocoRoco!" Its certainly not what I expected, but is it still good enough?

LocoRoco wowed the world with its cute graphics, amazing soundtracks, and most importantly, its innovative gameplay. The pretty yellow blobs have been crowned best on PSP by many a magazine and website, and the PS3 version was expected to follow suit and accept its crown as the best game the Playstation Store had to offer. It has been labelled as a lot of things: a full fledged 40 game, a Playstation Store mini game, and most recently, an interactive screensaver. So basically, it was dubbed to run behind the Xross Media bar, hence the screensaver bit, and many thought that you’d just be able to tilt the SIXAXIS controller and control the world around the LocoRoco. But it’s like any other game, it appears in the list of games and demos you have, and when you hover over it, it expands into a whole screen quilt, with some nice audio to accompany it. Then, you press X to go inside and start the game.

So no matter how many times you’ve read it, it is not an interactive screensaver.

This time round there’s a completely new storyline that goes like this: one day, a LocoRoco wakes up to find himself in a different world! He sees other LocoRocos sleeping, and decides to wake them all up and escape from the world! But, as much as the blurb suggests, you don’t actually control the globular beings. You control a butterfly, that has no background story whatsoever, with the left analogue stick. Then, by holding circle you can get your one LocoRoco to follow you, through the treachery that awaits.

To wake up the sleeping LocoRocos you have to touch them with one of your minions, then they start to follow your butterfly like the others. Another way you can wake them up, if they’re hanging from a vine, is to shake the controller up and down until they fall off. Waking them up. I didn’t actually know this, as it doesn’t tell you in the tutorial, and found out because I got really frustrated that I couldn’t get the unbelievably slow blobs to jump up high enough; and shook the controller about. Success. After that it was much easier to get the LocoRocos in the nooks and cranny’s of the world. Tip: tapping circle makes the LocoRocos jump!

The SIXAXIS support, where used, is great. It’s used in a number of ways: Shaking up and down can make them fall off trees as I mentioned above, but it can also make the little blue geezers (called Mui Mui, you can decide how to pronounce that one) jump on buttons to make contraptions, such as gates, work. Tilting left and right can also tilt a platform that the Mui Mui’s are hanging onto, which is fairly useless at most points. So there’s no point where you actually get to control the LocoRoco with SIXAXIS. Boo!

The level design is phenomenal. There’s no if or buts about it. They’re sheer class. No matter which wrong turn you make, wherever you go, you always end up getting to the finish…bit. More on the ‘finish bit’ later. The levels, or level, (shock, horror!) are extremely diverse and creative. There’s water, and currents that take you to different places. There’s gusts of wind that fling the little menaces everywhere. There’s little birds, reminiscent of those little birds that you hang over a cup and they drink in a rhythm, that fling your guys upwards. There’s more than you could imagine. Plus the fact that it is literally beautiful.

Which leads me to the graphics, that are kind of hard to explain. There’s no jaggy lines, everything’s smooth and detailed enough. But it’s not the detail or the ‘smoothness’ that is the high point. LocoRoco Cocoreccho is the most colourful game on PS3. In fact, it might be the most colourful game on a next-gen console. The LocoRocos, which I keep having to say, range from blue, green, red, yellow...etc To put it plain, sing the rainbow rhyme, and you’ve basically just described all the colours in the game. Another thing that makes the colours stand out so much, is that you haven’t got any magenta, or turquoise; every colour is primary. And solid.

The ‘final bit’ as I mentioned above, is strange, new, and brilliant. All at the same time. They fall from a contraption similar to a weighing scale, into an area with a conveniently placed cannon right in the centre. The LocoRocos shoot out as soon as they’re sucked in, and you have to aim the cannon, using the SIXAXIS motion control, to hit the black, Jamaican dreadlock style, creatures that are trying to eat your beloved LocoRocos. At first you’re like, ‘what the hell?’ as you don’t get any prompt of how to control it, or that it’s even going to happen. But then you’re ready, all guns blazing, beating off these little foes, before daddy comes. An enormous dude, again dressed in black, (must be a rock concert on?) eats all your little friends. But then, in true ‘happily ever after’ spirit, he explodes due to eating too much. Game over.

You get given your final score, and then get a final blow to the heart. There’s only one level. At this point you’re probably gob smacked, so you can go back and read that sentence again if you like. I’ll be here, waiting…

Finally, you’re back. So LocoRoco Cocoreccho is only one level long, what more can you expect from a 1.99 game?

Verdict: A wise woman once sung “Oh why d’ya have to go and make things so complicated!?” and that woman was obviously singing about this game. After falling in love with the first, this is a disappointment. The colours may be varied, and the level may be diverse, but none of that makes up for an extremely short story mode, and not just porting the PSP version but adding SIXAXIS rather than the shoulder buttons.

- Tyler Roberts



SCE Japan