Whether we really needed a remaster of an 11-year-old Japanese PSP game is debatable, but we’re elated Sony decided to update one of the platform’s greatest hits nonetheless. LocoRoco Remastered brings the joyful 2D side-scroller (or side-roller, if you will) to a whole new audience, and the best news is that its still as fun and infectiously cheerful over a decade later.
For those out of the loop, LocoRoco is a platformer in which you tilt the world to the left or right in order to roll the titular blobs around a variety of colourful stages. Your main goal is to increase your numbers by eating the pink fruits found throughout each level. You’ll also be hoovering up pickories (your standard collectible) and trying to locate the three MuiMui (little blue men) hiding off the beaten path.
The game controls exactly as it did back on the PSP: you use L1 and R1 to tilt the landscape left or right, and pressing both together will cause your LocoRoco to jump. Once you have more than one LocoRoco, you can split the collective blob into individuals with a press of the circle button, and holding it down will bring them back together again. Such a simple, easy-to-grasp control scheme was no doubt built with the PSP in mind, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling great to play. Precise jumps can be difficult to pull off, but the game rarely asks you to do this, instead opting for flowing, breezy levels and a gentle difficulty curve. There is some challenge to be found in searching for all of the hidden rooms, many of which are well out of the way and require trickier athletics to get to.
But you won’t mind spending time in LocoRoco’s themed stages, poking around for secrets and hopping over spikes. That the game feels so good to play is at least partly down to the presentation. The visual feedback goes hand in hand with the easy controls to convey a world that looks and feels soft, malleable, and happy. The art style is composed of flat, primary colours that some may find a little basic, but it makes for a game that’s incredibly easy to understand, as well as one that will have you grinning from ear to ear. The music and sound design, too, perfectly complement the action with a series of up-tempo J-pop tracks that, in a lovely touch, your blob-like buddies will constantly sing along to.
The collectibles from the main series of levels feed back into the game’s other content: finding the MuiMui creatures unlocks new mini games, while you spend your accumulated pickories to play them. MuiMui Crane gives you a way to collect more parts for the customisable Loco House, which is a sort of playground area that LocoRoco can aimlessly jump around in. You’ll pick up these parts during normal play too, but the mini game gives you a better chance of gathering the rarer items. There’s also Chuppa Chuppa, an obstacle course that feels a little like miniature golf, which is a fun distraction. Finally, Loco Editor is a level creation tool that lets you use your Loco House parts to build rudimentary stages.
It all sounds mad, but the wacky nature is part of the game’s charm. It’s so refreshingly cheery, but more than that, it’s addictively fun and introduces new ideas at a good pace. Those who have played it before will know this, but others who may not have even heard of LocoRoco should know it’s a great platformer – even today. Any game that requires your character to sing to obstacles to let you pass is a winner in our book.
But what of the remaster itself? Well, visually it’s beautiful, of course. There are one or two assets we found that were less sharp, but this was in the menus and wouldn’t impact the main game at all. Performance on a standard PS4 is solid 60 frames-per-second 99 per cent of the time, but bizarrely, it struggles when the level clear screen appears. It won’t affect your ability to play, but it’s jarring all the same. In terms of sound, it’s perfectly fine the majority of the time, but there were a few occasions where sound effects would cut out for several minutes. The music carried on, but the singing and the shouts and the springy noises of the world totally vanished. This is a slight issue, as the LocoRoco warn you about upcoming hazards and give other audible cues that you’ll miss if you encounter this bug. Hopefully it’ll be patched out.
What we’re left with is a decent port of PlayStation’s happiest game. If you can forgive the occasional audio bug and a teensy bit of slowdown, you’ll have a wonderful time with LocoRoco Remastered. Fans will no doubt pick this up regardless, but newcomers should expect a kaleidoscopic, sing-songy platformer with simple, tactile controls, a catchy soundtrack, and a decent variety of stages to roll through. It’s well worth the price of entry, and a pleasant reminder that not all games need to make you feel empowered or make you think. Sometimes, it’s enough simply to make you smile.
Fantastic game. It's another one of those ones that I feel would get a lot more respect if it had 'Nintendo' printed on the box.
Nevertheless, great review Stephen. So glad to see this series back.
So is a better remaster than Parrapa the Rapper then?
This was great on psp. Will probably pick up at some point. Great review Stephen.
@SoulsBourne128 The remaster quality is on par with PaRappa but the gameplay has held up better IMO.
Had a lot of fun playing this through again for review Any questions, let me know!
I've played both games in Psp, I've played them again in Vita and now it's time for ps4!
Easily, the most fan and enjoyable game of Psp.
@Quintumply How much? Your "Buy on Amazon" link is a dead end.
This looks like a fun little game to play. But w/ PS+ or Gold Live or even as a free reward on Nintnedo's My Nintendo program, not sure I'd pay more than $1.99 for it.
Now I'm sure it's more than $1.99, but it's probably somewhere between $4.99 and $59.99, which leaves a lot room.
@rjejr Not sure on US prices but on the UK Store it's £11.99 standard or £9.59 for Plus members
@get2sammyb I thought that too. Sony have produced a lot of quirky "Nintendo-ish" titles over the years, many of them on the PSP, but none really got the attention they deserved.
Loco Roco is a delightful game so it's great that it's been given another chance to shine.
It is $15. I was taken aback because Sammy had said that it was "available for peanuts". I felt a little like you.
How long it is?
@get2sammyb Would it?
LocoRoco Remastered: 80 Metacritic / 7.5 User Score
Snipperclips: 81 Metacritic / 8.2 User Score
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: 73 Metacritic / 8.0 User Score
Because it looks to me like similarly gimmicky and simple games from Nintendo also don't score very highly.
@sinalefa Hm, it's not that long really, but it depends how much time you put into searching the stages for secrets etc.
Then there's also the side stuff like the mini games and the Loco House, and the mileage will definitely vary with those.
For just the main game... 5 or 6 hours? Somewhere along those lines, I'd say. Again, depends on how set you are on finding everything in each level.
@get2sammyb I've only made it too World 3 on the psp. Does the rest of the game get more challenging?
@Ralizah Not speaking specifically about the critical reception really. I think there are a number of PlayStation games — Puppeteer, Tearaway, LocoRoco, LittleBigPlanet, Patapon, maybe even Sly and Ratchet — that would be more appreciated by consumers if they had 'Nintendo' on the box.
Heck, even that platforming demo for The Playroom VR — if that was the exact same tech demo but the character model was replaced with Mario people would be going ape crazy over it.
Not really a criticism of anything or anyone really, purely an observation.
@rjejr What makes you think it's only worth $1.99? Absolutely ridiculous comment — it's a full-length game and an excellent one at that. It's priced correctly IMO.
I want to buy it but there's no discount for psn usa, oh well maybe sometimes after I finish my other games. I have it on psvita but I want to play it on my tv.
I agree with @Ralizah, there are Nintendo games like Rhythm Heaven and even Pikmin that are ignored, even by Nintendocentric gamers. I have the hunch Arms may be another one of those.
Of course if you plaster Mario it is gonna sell like crazy, and probably Sony does not have a character as popular and versatile as him. Still, I appreciate Sony giving these another chance in a truly popular console.
And you should be aware of @rjejr's legendary "cheapskateness" by now.
@rjejr If you think Locoroco is worth £1.99 then I would to see your valuation for other top quality games.
you didn't mention that the cutscenes aren't remastered (just as in parappa) and there's a weird audio stuttering when you save/load and during some menu transitions (and again, parappa has the same issue)
Not remastering the cutscenes seems unforgivable to me for the price point. But hey ho, might pick it up.
@Fuzzy833 Remastering the cutscenes would mean basically redoing the whole scene with new assets etc. Which would cost way more money and time to the point where it wouldn't be worth doing anymore.
I hated that in Parappa as the change looks so jarring, and since those involve the ingame models they should have been easy to recreate.
Still would pick this one up though.
You scored it less than 10/10? I'm outta here
@get2sammyb "What makes you think it's only worth $1.99?
First sentence in the article:
"Whether we really needed a remaster of an 11-year-old Japanese PSP game..."
Well it's an 11 year old game for starters. And a 2D platformer. Those can be found free online. And it sounds like it consists of pressing L and R to to seesaw the screen which isn't much to do. And the graphics aren't really stand out like "Ori and the Blind Forest" which I recently finished or "Gianna Sisters Twisted Dreams" which I'm currently playing. That comes across as $1.99 to me. I bought all 3 Mass Effect games for $5 on PSN. That's $1.67 each. Is this game worth more than 33 cents over any of those games? If it was a new game, LR 2, then maybe, but slapping "Remastered" on the title doesn't make it a new game to me.
And in reply to this part - "Absolutely ridiculous comment — it's a full-length game and an excellent one at that. It's priced correctly IMO."
What the heck does "priced correctly" mean? Regarding the price the article says - "It’s well worth the price of entry". What kind of reviewer writes that w/o anywhere in the review or on the entire page list what the price is? "It's well worth the price of entry", but we aren't going to tell you what the price is. Freaking brilliant that is.
You know if you would just list the price someplace, maybe instead of that "Where to buy:" box that says Buy on Amazon but doesn't actually link to anything on Amazon, then we wouldn't have to keep on having these conversations.
@Quintumply Thanks for the reply.
@sinalefa Sorry for draggin you into this. Does make it feel more like an NL thread now.
@adf86 It's not so much about the quality as the age of the game. And the graphics. And the simplistic seasaw gameplay. If this came out 11 years ago for $40 on PSP that's fine, that's what new games on that console cost. But now it's old. I know all about inflation, but personally I feel like older games are something that's played for less. See VC prices on Nintendo. $5, $8, $10. And also, games with these types of graphics have sold for $1.99 on PS3 under the Mini banner.
One of my favorites, well worth the $1.99.
If you want to pay more that's fine, there are games that I want to pay more for as well, this isn't really my type of game to pay for. I paid $15 for Child of Light, well worth every penny. This doesn't look comparable to me.
I am not going to get into a slanging match because I come here to avoid the negativity you see on other gaming sites, but just to say it is possible to read someone else's opinion and disagree, but that doesn't mean you then have to try and impose your own opinions on others in the comments section.
See someone else's opinion, accept it, move on. If you want to argue and be negative in tone, go to N4G because I really don't want to see arguments here, I want to experience a fun community.
Others are of the opinion this is a fun game, that it offers good value. Why is that such an issue that you have to create a wall of text suggesting your opinion is more valid?
I am excited to pick this up but I am juggling Persona 5 and Dishonoured 2 at the moment.
I loved this back on the PSP, it is simple in it mechanics but it is so much fun and even though I haven't played it in something like 5 years I still find myself humming the soundtrack to myself when I am bored or cycling to the office etc.
For the same price as a cinema ticket you are getting an utterly classic game so for me, I have no qualms in picking this up as soon as Dishonoured 2 is done. This game must be the ultimate palate cleansing game I reckon
I loved it on the PSP and will definitely buy...a few months from now on sale.
@Lovespuds "but that doesn't mean you then have to try and impose your own opinions on others in the comments section"
um, you seem to be very confused, or just late to the party. Go back and read my original post, way up near the top at #7. Was I trying to impose my views on others? No, I was not, I was asking a simple question of the person who wrote the review, how much is the game? I said how much it was worth to me, I never said how much anybody else should or should not pay for it.
Now go to post #24, which is probably where you started. See all of those people I replied too? Now go and look at all their comments. All the comments, which unsolicited from me, called me out on my opinion, some of them trying to tell me I was wrong.
So if you dont' want to see this place turn into 4Chan or whatever, why dont' you go and write replies to all of those other people trying to impose their opinion on me, like you did, b/c I never tried to impose my opinion on any of those people, they all came at me uninvited. All I was doing is replying to them.
If your idea of fairness is that I should only be able to write my own option, but not reply when people come after me, well then I'm not sure I can agree w/ that. I'm entitled to my opinon, that's what these forums are for. You want to keep this place safe and secure, go after the people attacking me, not the victim. You are doing it backwards. Where's your reply to Sammy, he's the one who wrote - and I quote - "Absolutely ridiculous comment". Is that OK, is that a nice thing to write? How am I supposed to reply to that? How would you?
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