Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Release Date: 2/10/2009
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Charming visuals, fun mini-games, relaxed play style
The Bad: Finicky jumping mechanics, secrets are really tough to find, collecting items feels pointless, almost identical to the last game, grows tiresome quickly
LocoRoco was one of the PSP’s killer apps and brought cute platforming fun to the handheld. LocoRoco 2 is a disappointment because of how little it changes from the first game. The gameplay and graphics are unchanged with just new levels and bosses. There are a lot of things to collect, but the mechanics a second time around just seem a bit frustrating.
You control the blobs by tilting the world with L and R and pressing both to jump. This is fine except I wanted more control. Some levels require precise jumping and tilting the world doesn’t provide that precision. There are underwater levels that feel the same way, but I really enjoyed the mini-games however, they were short lived and only last seconds. The goal is to get to the end of the level while collecting pickories, fruits to make yourself bigger, and knocking out and Moja along the way. You can help out creatures by having enough fruits and using a pretty simple rhythm mini-game to earn rewards. These rewards come in pieces to help build the Mui Mui’s giant treehouse. This is great for kids, but as an adult, this is just kind of boring and feels useless.
The game uses physics for everything and it works well enough, but just feels a bit floaty. The boss fights are extremely difficult and I couldn’t get past the second main boss. The jumping mechanics just aren’t precise enough for this, but it doesn’t make it a bad game. You have to use momentum to be able to jump up high so tilting left and right until you get enough speed then jumping becomes tedious. You get used to it, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling. After about 10 levels you start getting bored with the game, especially if you already played the first. I kept expecting new stuff to happen, but it was all the same. The level’s difficulty just varied way too much and I felt there wasn’t a good pace set. This was mainly due to that fact that Mojas can eat a piece of you and there’s no way to shake them off. If you bump them in time you can get the piece back, but when several surround you it gets frustrating.
All the collecting and stuff is fine, but it is difficult to tell where these hidden spaces are. You have to accidentally come across them because there is no hint that they are there. No wall discoloring, no breaks, nothing. I honestly felt nothing in this game was worthwhile or worth finding. Once you finish a level you never want to go back because you will eventually just tire of the game. The most enjoyable moments in LR2 are when you aren’t even controlling the game. When you go on “gumball” style rides where you break down into tiny blobs and go for a ride, those were enjoyable to just watch. It reminded me of gumball machines as a kid, especially the crazy ones.
LocoRoco 2 is full of charm, but older players may grow tired of it quickly. It’s a one trick pony and is nearly identical to the first game in almost every way. Collecting items feel pointless, and they are very difficult to find in levels. The boss fights are annoying and hard due to the finicky jumping mechanics, but it is an overall enjoyable game.