Throw your memory back to 2006 we were in the heart of gaming’s often spoken about “Brown Period”. Overpowered by the gritty realism of turn the saturation levels down real low it was a definite culture shock when the recently released PlayStation Portable flung the often odd, always colourful, LocoRoco at us and 2 years later we were graced by a sequel. 11 years on gaming has embraced all the colours of the wind but LocoRoco 2 is back to remind us why this bizarre title was such a hit in the first place.
Built for the PSP the controls for LocoRoco were simplistic, as was the premise. Using the shoulder buttons to tilt the world left and right respectively you use these world wobbling mechanics to roll the amorphous blob characters around collecting pink flowers to grow in size. Clicking both at the same time will launch you a little and as you grow in size you’ll be able to split into multiple smaller version of yourself to fit in tight spaces, but a quick chorus of shouts from the LocoRoco sees you reform back together.
That is your bread and butter, throw in rhythm challenges in each map and a collection of mini games — including the likes of wack-a-mole to home decoration. The movement mechanics don’t lend themselves to precise platforming however levels are designed to allow for this with a natural flow to each world and really only the more difficult collectibles requiring some finesse in pinballing the smiling orb to hard to reach spots.
In comparison to the original LocoRoco the sequel features much shorter main campaign that can be powered through in just a few hours. The mini games, collectible, newly added trophy support and completionist nature is what will be bringing people back — maybe you just really want to unlock everything in the Mui Mui doll house.
The plot is fairly light, having defeated the Moja Troop in the original game they are back to harass the LocoRoco and Mui Mui with their own colour draining sing song. Rather than play just one LocoRoco though you once again take on the roll of this bizarre world and must lead a variety of LocoRoco characters towards victory over the loud and obnoxious invaders to return colour and peace. Beginning with the fairly recognisable yellow LocoRoco you will begin to unlock different colours of LocoRoco as the story progresses. Each of these new little blobs bring with them their own personalities and changes the soundtrack to fit their specific tune that makes for a fun mix up for each new LocoRoco.
For the most part LocoRoco 2 still looks great, running at 60fps it looks crisp on the much stronger PS4 hardware. However, fair warning, the menus and cutscenes don’t appear to have been upscaled at all. This can be a little jarring but for the most part wont effect your actual experience. Outside of this upscale the only other addition to LocoRoco’s facelift is Trophy support for the completionists looking to bulk up their trophy score, so you may feel like treading old ground.
The Bottom Line
Fans of the original LocoRoco 2 will certainly be jumping at the chance to play this remaster after the first LocoRoco was remastered earlier this year. The game has amazing charisma with an upbeat soundtrack and a host of bizarre creatures alongside the colourful and fun 2D backdrops. While some levels have a great classic Sonic feel others get a little slower and more inventive. Whether your returning to the game or it’s your first time it can’t be denied that there is just bucket loads of joy at the heart of this title.