Earlier this year, Sony ported the PSP classic LocoRoco to the PlayStation 4, with the simple aim of rendering it in 4K resolutions and popping it onto home console. When it comes to its sequel, there was little doubt we’d see this one get similar treatment, though the game it’s based on has some potential deal breakers for some.
Set right after the first game, those pesky Moja’s are back wreaking havoc under the guidance of Bon Mucho who has devised a song to suck the life out of the planet. Naturally it’s up to the LocoRoco to stop their invasion once again. As an excuse for more LocoRoco, it serves its purpose and is still endearing enough for the younger generation to enjoy.
Thanks to a very minimalist and vibrant design, LocoRoco 2 Remastered looks wonderful and runs very smoothly. Music is whimsical and the LocoRoco are endlessly endearing with their nonsensical language. That said though, the sole blemish in presentation is that the cut scenes are rendered at a noticeably lower resolution and framerate, as if they were directly ported rather than recreated for the new hardware. While by no means game breaking, it does spoil the stunning visuals of the rest of the game a little.
Gameplay will be very familiar to those who have played the first LocoRoco. That’s largely due to the fact there’s no fundamental change in the controls or even the mechanics in play. Even the backgrounds are essentially lifted from the first game, giving the game a somewhat overly familiar feel, the exceptions being a fort and the MuiMui home found in the beginning of the game.
That isn’t to say that everything is reused. During the course of the game new threats will make themselves known, such as the BuiBui – the same MuiMui found hidden within the levels, only turned evil and red by being kissed by Majoliné, the main antagonist’s mother. Really it’s the design of the levels that are remarkable in that there’s a lot to uncover for those willing to look out for secrets.
As I alluded to earlier, there are only around 20 levels in total in LocoRoco 2, meaning that it has half the number found in the original. That said, each one feels packed with hidden collectables and even branching pathways, each one feeling a tad longer in length compared to the previous game. By the time six or so hours pass, provided you’re not looking very hard for extras, the game has pretty much shown off most of its content.
While LocoRoco did indeed have mini-games as well, LocoRoco 2 has at least tripled that number. They’re all very imaginative and generally well designed, but the core game does seem a bit sidelined in comparison. They do offer a little more variety than what is on offer with the base game, so criticising it too much is a Catch-22.
LocoRoco 2 Remastered certainly gets the job done and while it is shorter than the original, there’s a ton of side content present. Its charming, minimalist detail looks great on the whole and runs as smoothly as one could hope for. The omission to that is with the low resolution cutscenes, which is somewhat ironic considering the emphasis on 4K in the marketing, but LocoRoco 2 Remastered is more of the same, which can only be a good thing.
Version Tested: PlayStation 4