landed on the PlayStation Portable in 2006 it was a breath of fresh air both in terms of its simple yet addictive game play and its distinctive and cute art style. To say nothing of the music and the songs of the LocoRoco themselves. In short it was an instant classic and almost straight away fans started to demand more.
2007 saw the release of LocoRoco Cocoreccho!
a PlayStation Network game exclusively for the PlayStation 3, which expanded the core game mechanic by introducing the butterfly Cocoreccho to guide the LocoRoco around the level. This was a departure from the original game and one that I thought didn't work as well as I'd hoped.
Now we have the true sequel to the original game, back on the PSP where it all started. The good news for me is that the butterfly is gone, and we are back to controlling the LocoRoco by tilting the ground and throwing them into the air.
If you've never played the original game, then I'd better explain a few things before going any further. LocoRoco are small blob-like creatures that get larger when they eat certain fruit. After having grown, they can split into many smaller creatures depending on how many fruit they have eaten and they can recombine into one large Loco.
These simple creatures live on a nice, musical planet with many other different forms of wildlife, happily passing the day by singing and bouncing about. That is until the arrival of the Mojas, whose black hearts and awful songs cause strife throughout the Locos' world. It is up to the Locos to rid their planet of the insidious Mojas and their equally unpleasant cohorts.
This is where you come in. You play the part of the world, a big task I know, but stick with it. You can tilt yourself to encourage the Locos to roll in either direction and you can bounce them into the air with a quick bump. You can split them with some lightning and you can encourage them to reform. These are your main controls: left, right, jump, split and merge. With them you move the Locos through the various levels, righting wrongs and forcing out the Mojas.
What additions have been made to the game are all for the better. However, some of them can only be used after a MuiMui creature has shown you how to use a certain ability. These tasks include swimming underwater and jumping from branch to branch. The addition of these abilities means levels can be designed to open up further as you gain them, giving you a reason to go back to previous levels.
Another addition that works well is in the singing sections. In the first game you could reach an area where a creature was asleep and waking them up required a certain number of Locos to sing for it. In this game the same thing happens, but you also play a very quick rhythm game, tapping on musical notes as another travels over them, in time with the Locos' song. Getting this sequence right earns you notes.
If you collect 100 notes in a single level you will find it easier to find insects to eat, which will in turn give you a higher score at the end of the level. Notes can be earned by batting away clouds left by Moja songs, waking up native creatures and the aforementioned rhythm games.