One of my bigger regrets is how late I was to the Sony party. The first Sony console I owned was the PS Vita which was followed by the PS4, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. This means I’ve missed out on quite a few of the more colourful games Sony has released along the way which I’m trying to slowly correct. This means I had no experience with going the series going into LocoRoco 2 Remastered and I must say, it opened my eyes to something. I’d been missing out on something rather whimsical and I wish I’d gotten on it sooner.
I really want to say LocoRoco 2 is a weird game but considering what the terms gets thrown around for I don’t think it’s all that fair to apply it here. The game is arty and it rides that wave incredibly well. It applies a ton of weird concepts and throws around a number of strange names to give it a plot but at the end of the day, they are largely not all that important. Gameplay and visuals are kings here. That’s not to say that the story it presents isn’t enjoyable, in fact, it’s quite quirky and fun, it’s just that it’s rather inconsequential.
Roll with this
Once you start getting into the game though there’s a lot of fun to be had. The gameplay is rather simple, with the controls allowing you to tilt the world to roll around, jump and break up/combine your LocoRoco. All these are used pretty extensively to complete the platforming and puzzles of the game and are done in a fun way. Since you don’t get to directly control your movements, rather contort the world to move in a direction, one would expect there to be a lot of frustration involved but quite frankly the game handles this incredibly well. One always expects physics puzzles to get a little annoying but LocoRoco manages to handle this all incredibly well. On top of all this, there are even some fun minigames thrown into the mix. From building up some real estate to rhythm games, LocoRoco 2 manages to make a lot of fun out of a relatively simple game.
All of this would be completely lost however if it weren’t for the game’s gorgeous visuals. LocoRoco 2 has an incredibly simple aesthetic but it just makes the game feel so vibrant and alive. You can go from the digestive tract of a penguin to a jungle and it all is just so well presented. It allows for engaging environments that keep the game’s world filled with life. I honestly thought I’d be over the general appearance of LocoRoco 2 shortly after it started but fortunately, that wasn’t the case. The charming soundtrack also plays a strong role in keeping the game entertaining. I found myself playing the game almost to keep the catchy tracks going, with them sticking with me as I hummed away from my console. In general, the overall presentation of LocoRoco 2 keeps the game going strong. It’s fun and simple and fits the gameplay perfectly and that’s something to appreciate.
Since you don’t get to directly control your movements, rather contort the world to move in a direction, one would expect there to be a lot of frustration involved but quite frankly the game handles this incredibly well.
Now with all this in mind, this is also a remaster of LocoRoco 2 and there are a couple of things that make it fall short of being fantastic. First of all, this was originally a PSP game and the presentation of the game is incredibly simple, the PS4 feels incredibly restrictive for the title. At many points I wanted to step away and take the game on the go but other than Vita Remote Play, I was confined to experience this on the couch. This is a minor annoyance, but it does still feel a little annoying. On top of this, while everything looks gorgeous, the cutscenes are at a far lower resolution than the rest of the game and are incredibly jarring when they show up. I’m not sure why they did it, but it feels like they’re just showing the PSP cutscenes on the PS4 and I feel if they maybe gave them a little more attention it would help the game feel a lot better. The only other thing that holds the game back is that while it’s incredibly enjoyable, the game may feel a little too simple for most folk. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the simplicity might put a few people off.
LocoRoco 2 Remastered is overall well done remaster of a fun game that everyone should at least spend a little time with. It’s weird and wacky but allows for a lot of fun without requiring much from the player. With delightful presentation and enjoyable gameplay, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours and while it may not seem like it appeals to everyone, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a little bit of attention. I know that this series flew under my radar, and probably did so for many others, but after my time with LocoRoco 2 Remaster I really want to get the same enjoyment from other games in the series.