LocoRoco Cocoreccho Review

Developer: Japan Studio
Platform: Playstation 3
Release Date: Sep 2007

Click Here for LocoRoco Cocoreccho trailer 

LocoRoco was a really great franchise for the PSP. It was one of the few original ideas that was restricted to just that system, and both games were simply delightful to play. It featured a number of colourful little blobs that were tasked with saving all of their other little blob friends. This was done by moving the landscape (also quite blobby) around them, which the player could do by pressing the shoulder buttons. Despite the simplicity, it was actually an easy game to lose yourself into.

Shortly after the release of the PS3, Japan Studio released a spin-off game on the PSN, LocoRoco Cocoreccho. While this game retains the same tone as the originals, it isn’t quite the same experience.

The Set-Up:
Very little has changed. You begin with one little speck of animated cholesterol. You move about the one level, searching for bouncy buddies which you can eventually use to open the last gate and finish the game.

Despite the fact that LocoRoco is a series I really enjoy playing, I had a number of issues with this game. At the time of writing, it only costs €2.99, and the length of the game reflects the price tag. This will probably take less than an hour to complete and with the barest minimum of stress. It doesn’t even have a save function because they know it will be completed in one sitting. It has all the complexity of an interactive screensaver and it would have made sense to use it as such instead of an actual game! I’ve read other reviews that say it is a screensaver, but I’ve done everything from reading the manual to yelling at it to make it work, and no avail.

As mentioned, the game has only one level, and it is only slightly larger than your average level in one of the previous games. For only €2.99, this really shouldn’t be an issue. However, I am painfully aware that I only spent about €8 on both of the first two games, and they offer enough levels to keep a player going for days on end. Cocoreccho , while occasionally fun, really doesn’t feel lengthy enough to merit any kind of financial contribution. It has leaderboards so that you can try to rank up some high points, but it is hardly so engrossing to have anyone come back for a second turn.

The other issue is with the way the game adjusts to the PS3 hardware over PSP. Whereas the PSP saw you using the shoulder buttons to rotate the landscape, on the PS3, you take control of some kind of enticing farting butterfly. With a tap of the circle button, the butterfly emits strange ‘squeaking’ noise, that somehow attracts any LocoRocos nearby. In theory this is fine, but it means an awful lot of waiting around. Rotating the landscape meant that LocoRocos built momentum in seconds, with hardly any waiting around.

With the butterfly, you are forced to sit there, waiting for LocoRocos to hop their gluttonous bodies to wherever it is you want them to go. With only one level, this is forgivable enough, but it is plain to see that one mistake is clearly covering up for the other.One of the positive additions to the game is the use of the Six-Axis controller. Normally the bane of any PS3 game, it is actually incorporated quite well here.

A quick shake will rattle branches with sleeping LocoRoco in it, waking them and causing them to fall to the ground. There are other implementations, such as sweeping flowers off-screen and causing water to fix and bubble. It’s makes the player wonder though, why didn’t they just use the Six-Axis for ALL of the controls? Keep the landscape rotating controls only using motion control instead of shoulder buttons? It’s such a natural advancement that it boggles the mind that the developer didn’t take this route.

Once you have finished the level, you are rewarded with a mini game in which you must banish the black Mojas using your collected LocoRocos and a cannon. It is very similar to Bust-a-Move and is a fairly average little add-on that neither hurts or adds to the experience.

If the game has a saving grace, it is most likely in its presentation. As mentioned, this is a franchise much-loved by myself due to its simple yet colourful art design and infectiously cheerful soundtrack. It isn’t for everyone and indeed,  some people might loathe these very aspects. If you didn’t care much for the trailer, you would be better off simply staying away from this game altogether.

Overall:
Not really worth the effort of seeking out, this is a game that I would only recommend if you happened to have €2.99 left over on a PSN card and can’t think of anything else to get. It isn’t a bad game, nor is it painful to play really. However, it is unfulfilling overall, and it really does feel like an interactive screensaver with loading times, which defeats the purpose. Nice music and visuals, but definitely not the experience it could have been.

Rating: 4/10

-fart-” – Butterfly/Cocoreccho

Shamelessly Awful Facts:

  • Among the first games I ever bought on the PSN back in 2007, I only completed it quite recently because I’d often get bored in the middle. With such a short playtime, this should be an indication of the overall quality of the game…

This game is kind of like:

  • The wild imagination of a fairly average individual

or

  • watching one of those bouncing logo screensavers until it hits the corner of the screen (which is strangely fun in a wasting time kind of way).
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