PSP Review: LocoRoco 2

The LocoRoco return in this charming sequel

The LocoRoco are in danger again, the evil Moja have returned and this time they’ve brought with them a terrible song that sucks the life out of living things! The LocoRoco must once again save their planet – this time by making lots of sweet music. LocoRoco 2 is easy to play, instantly addictive and guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy while you hum along to the soundtrack!

LocoRoco is one of those unique and quirky games that although fun, won’t appeal to everyone. The sequel has some great ideas and some charming levels, but the cute and irritating music may get on your nerves or you will fall in love with it, depending on your taste.
LocoRoco 2 feels like a cross between Lemmings and Super Monkey Ball, which sounds like an odd combination. Essentially you tilt the level sideways to move your LocoRoco through it, you can also make them jump by holding down both triggers and then releasing them. At first you will get just one LocoRoco but it will grow quite big and actually not be able to fit down some areas, so you have to squeeze him into a bunch of smaller ones to pass and then you’ve got to get them all across.
It can be tricky to get across the LocoRoco who are on the far left of the screen as the game tends to zoom out quite far, making everything look very small. Also using the same buttons for jumping as to rotate the level can be problematic. Levels aren’t confined to the basics of land though; there are even underwater sections which are interesting although hardly innovative. The sequel also offers new actions such as climbing inside shells to destroy thorns, jumping from grass blade to grass blade and so on.

There are a total of 25 new stages in this follow-up, also including hidden challenges and plenty of new characters. The setting itself is incredibly cute, but won’t be to everyone’s liking. For those hardcore gamers who prefer to see gore in Gears or Left 4 Dead won’t find the same excitement from LocoRoco 2. The game also has local multiplayer via six new mini-games, but alas there is no online play…which is more or less inexcusable at this point.
I never played the original LocoRoco, but from what I can tell the sequel doesn’t differ too much from it. Which is a shame really, it would have been nice if the game had stepped it up a notch, instead of merely being a standard sequel. Sure, it doesn’t do anything wrong…but nothing that’s original, once again being another sequel that has played it safe. Why don’t games take bigger risks anymore?

Visually, the game looks stunning apart from when the game zooms out too far. It just has a great look to it that’s unique and definitely fits the overall feel of the game. I’ve already said that the soundtrack will either drive you mad or make you hum it to death, which also applies to the noises that the LocoRoco make.

The Verdict

LocoRoco 2 is a great sequel, yet it fails to take enough chances to surpass the original. It does everything right that a sequel should do, but only the basics. Fans of the original will love it, but hardcore gamers will probably look the other way, which is a shame since it’s a great title underneath it all.