LocoRoco Cocoreccho! Hands-On Impressions (Beta)

locoroco_cocoreccho.jpgWhat is LocoRoco Cocoreccho? To be perfectly clear, the PlayStation Network release is not a screen saver. It's a fully featured sequel to the PSP blob guiding adventure game. But how does LocoRoco Cocoreccho differ from its predecessor? For one thing, you're no longer controlling the tilt of the world and the adorable gelatinous creatures that inhabit it. Instead, you're controlling a butterfly, one that emits a guiding pulse that attracts the blobs, helping you manoeuvre them through dangerous platforms. The only complaint I have about the game is this—it's unbearably unenjoyable. One caveat before I continue. LocoRoco Cocoreccho was just one of many PLAYSTATION 3 games that I had an opportunity to play at the Sony media reception tonight. My time with the game was brief and I hope to spend more time with the Sony Computer Entertainment developed game before we go. But during my flirtation with the game—due to be released for your suffering/enjoyment this Thursday—I distinctly remember using the word "torturous". There were a few moments where I thought (and said out loud) that I must playing it wrong.

I actually hope that I am indeed "wrong", that I've missed some crucial aspect of the game and that LocoRoco Cocoreccho is a fantastic, creative platformer. That's why I plan to reevaluate the game during our one on one time with the developers.

When hints that a PS3 sequel to LocoRoco leaked, it seemed like a perfect fit. SIXAXIS motion control plus LocoRoco world tilting fun seemed like a formula for success. And while SIXAXIS motion control is part of the game experience, essential to moving your blobs around each level, you'll mostly find yourself moving the cursor... sorry, the butterfly around each level, thumb depressed on the circle button to sing your LocoRoco song.

Goals for the game should be familiar. Guide enough multi-colored globules to a safe marker will let you progress through the game. Plenty of obstacles and nasty enemies will get in your way, so careful planning replaces frantic platforming.

Personally, I found the gameplay frustrating. The blobs simply weren't moving where I wanted them to move, just missing the edges of platforms, not jumping high enough to reach something else, or going missing, seemingly disappearing altogether. This resulted in plenty of backtracking, second, third, fourth attempts.

Graphically, however, the game is solid. It retains the original game's flat aesthetic, not pushing the PS3 hardware to its limits, but providing a fresh, clean, colorful appearance. In that regard, it makes a fantastic screen saver.

Musically, it's unclear how the game sounds as the music was playing at a very low volume, similar to every other title at the event.

Ultimately, however, I was left wanting more for LocoRoco Cocoreccho. We have more time scheduled with the game, hopefully time that will allow the switch to flip from "Huh?" to "Wow". For now, I'm definitely going to wait for more hands-on time with the game before I consider a purchase.


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