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Review

LocoRoco Remastered Review

Still rollin'.

Few games are as effortlessly cute or stylish as LocoRoco. Originally released for the PlayStation Portable more than a decade ago, it was hardly a best-seller for the system though won over critics and a doting fanbase. Those adorably vibrant visuals stood in stark contrast to the encroaching sludge of brown and grey being flung around by just about every AAA game at the time. While not as iconic as Crash Bandicoot or Ratchet and Clank, the podgy platformer has endured and now, in 2017, we’re being treated to a revival.

Part of LocoRoco’s lasting appeal stems from its unconventional approach to the genre. Where platformers usually allow complete freedom of movement along a two dimensional plane, LocoRoco has you tilting the entire stage. Doing so will help the eponymous blob(s) get around along with a jump action to clear the occasional gap or hurdle.

Along the way LocoRoco will gobble up pieces of fruit in a Katamari-like fashion, getting tubbier with each one you find. The added size and weight impacts how he moves, some obstacles requiring you to dissolve into multiple, smaller sized blobs to pass.

It can feel bizarre and somewhat unwieldy starting out, yet there’s a mastery to controlling LocoRoco. Certain physics-based elements, such as speed and trajectory, can be used to access hard-to-reach spots. In order to beat a stage all you need to do is the reach the end goal, though there’s plenty of reason to take your time and explore.

LocoRoco can feel lax in those earlier stages. Gradually, as you tilt your way through its 40 levels, it squeezes in some extras platforming gubbins into the mix. Floating Moja baddies will start to crop up, biting a chunk out of LocoRoco as they swoop from above. Meanwhile, some of the surfaces become spongy, sticky, or bouncy, subtly creating new ways of getting around. The rate these elements are gently eased in thankfully helps to avoid sudden spikes in difficulty.

Needless to say, LocoRoco is definitely a game that can be enjoyed by all age groups. While not tough to beat, there are plenty of optional challenges there for the completionists and core gamers among you. As touched on before, each stage is loaded with secrets to unlock, some of them stashed away in hard to find spots. If treasure hunting isn’t your jam then speedruns are another way of testing your LocoRoco platforming prowess.

With 40 levels in total, split across five worlds, it’s hard to feel shortchanged. Each stage can last anywhere between two and twenty minutes depending on how you approach them with a decent amount of replayability. They’re also put together in such a loving way, sporting a simplistic yet gorgeous spread of shapes and colours. Replaying the game on PS4, it’s great to see just how sharp the visuals are. Bar slightly fuzzy pre-rendered cutscenes, you’d never guess this was a remaster.

And then there’s the music. It’s just so chirpy and upbeat, you’d have to be a real scrooge not to sit there with a massive grin on your face. While it doesn’t directly affect gameplay, there are small touches throughout each stage that involve the game’s music in some way, similar to those found in the recent Rayman games.

What’s Good:

  • Simple yet creative platforming
  • Upbeat audio and aesthetic
  • Beautifully remastered graphics
  • Plenty of reasons to go back and replay levels

What’s Bad:

  • Controls can be unwieldy at times

With heavy hitters like Horizon, Nioh, Yakuza 0, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, there’s no shortage of fantastic exclusives on PlayStation 4 this year. That said, Sony continues to galvanise this lineup with a stalwart range of remasters. As with PaRappa, LocoRoco hasn’t been idly slapped together – there’s a thoughtfulness and diligence there, preserving the original look and feel of the game in a way modern audiences can now appreciate.

Score: 8/10

9 Comments
  1. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    It has to be said- pretty inexcusable that Sony didn’t send this one too the Vita as well as PS4.

    That aside, to anyone who hasn’t played Locoroco on PSP, make sure you get this on PS4. Great game.

    Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:09.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Yeah, it’s a shame about the Vita, really. Fantastic platform but one that seems to be getting less and less support.

      Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:16.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      PS4 remote play has destroyed the Vita further – now the excuse for not making games independently playable on the Vita is “you can play on Vita via PS4 remote play”. *sigh*

      Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:22.
      • Jim Hargreaves
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        True. For me (and other rural gamers) it’s not a great option given poor wifi connections which is sad.

        The only companies propping up the Vita now are smaller indies and publishers like Koei Tecmo, PQube, NIS etc.

        Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:28.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Indeed. I have great Wi-Fi yet there is still a tiny bit of input lag which makes any kind of action/racing/fast-paced game unplayable in my opinion. Anything that requires timed-jumping is a big no-no.

        As colmshan says, absolute crime this was available on Vita though! :(

        Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:38.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      The LocoRoco games are playable on Vita through back compatibility to digital PSP games. No, it’s not native resolution, but the game is there and perfectly playable, so it would be added work for effectively no reason for Sony.

      Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 10:19.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        The voice of reason has never sounded so terrible :p

        Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 10:23.
      • TSBonyman
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        I picked up (PSP)LocoRoco as soon as it was available for Vita and it’s just as wonderful.

        Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 11:09.
  2. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Brilliant game. The soundtrack is fantastic – stage 2 had my sons giggling uncontrollably.

    Comment posted on 17/05/2017 at 09:23.

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LocoRoco Remastered
  • Developer:SCE Japan Studio
  • Publisher:Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Platforms:PS4
  • Release Date:9/5/17

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