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Review: LocoRoco Remastered

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Keep on rollin' baby, you know what time it is

Remember the PSP? You know, that system that many of us bought just because it was the easiest way to play classic consoles on the go thanks to being hacked near launch to easily allow homebrew? Did you know it actually had a few good exclusive games on it? Not many, but a few.

One of which was LocoRoco and its sequel. Thankfully, Sony remembers and have breathed fresh life into the series in this no frills remaster of the original game.

LocoRoco Remastered (PS4)
Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Released: May 9, 2017
MSRP: $14.99

LocoRoco is about colorful singing blobs defending their world from evil black immigrants -- no really. Obviously, that sounds way worse than it is meant to, as LocoRoco is very kid friendly. To play you simply press L1 or R1 to tilt the entire world, causing the LocoRoco to roll, and pressing both buttons at once makes them jump. Optionally, you can press the touch pad to enable tilt controls on the DualShock 4, which feels like the best way to play the game, a feature the original release lacked.

Your goal is simple: reach the end of the level. Optional goals include collecting large fruit which causes you to spawn one more blob and smaller fruit which can be used in one of three simple minigames. These optional goals are strictly for completionists, with the only rewards being parts for your LocoRoco house, which is about as exciting as an aquarium with a sound test menu.

The thing is, if you aren't a completionist, you won't find much challenge or longevity here, as most of the levels can be completed in under 5 minutes each. There are only 40 levels (and 4 bonus levels that were exclusive to the game's demo) so you'll be lucky if you get 4 hours play time here if you're just looking to get to the credits. Collecting all the hidden bits will extend your playtime and challenge quite a bit, however, the payoff just doesn't feel worth it. 

The characters and levels are super colorful and crisp, with the PS4 Pro being able to play the game in 4K, the frame rate is solid, and the soundtrack is as catchy as ever. If you haven't ever heard the soundtrack, you're in for a treat. Each color of LocoRoco has its own voice and made up language. They sing throughout each level and it is heart melting, at least until songs start to repeat in later levels causing a smidgen of annoyance. That said, LocoRoco is best played in spurts, thus you won't get tired of hearing the same handful of songs over and over.

I'm glad LocoRoco is back, even if it isn't as perfect as I remember it being when it first released 11 years ago. This remaster adds tilt controls, 4K/HD graphics, rumble, and surround sound, all for a reasonable price. If you've never played LocoRoco and you love cute games, now is the time. Those looking for a challenging game that will last them till the next big AAA release will want to look elsewhere.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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LocoRoco Remastered reviewed by Jed Whitaker

8

GREAT

Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
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