LocoRoco 2 Remastered released last week on PS4 systems, enhanced for the PS4 and PS4 Pro. Since then, I’ve been playing the game on and off for this review, but in the last couple of days I felt as if playing the game again was a chore.
That’s not to say LocoRoco 2 Remastered is bad. In fact, it did provide me with some great joy throughout my short gaming sessions. It is, for me, a game that should be played for like, 20 minutes at a time, because even though it does offer some fun, rhythm-based platforming, it is not something I would like to play for hours on end.
Save the world, one bounce at a time
The vibrant, aesthetically pleasing world of the classic platformer, LocoRoco 2, has been brought to life like never before on the PS4 and PS4 Pro, with beautifully enhanced, yet simplistic graphics. You are tasked with saving this world from a dark threat with cheerful musical blobs bouncing and rolling around kaleidoscopic environments.
It is a strange world with multiple environments, including ice levels, lush forests and more, spanning across 25 unique levels, multiple little musical blobs to play, collectables, unlockables and even six unique little minigames (for example, a whack-a-mole affair that was admittedly fun for a while). The Story does explain itself quite well at times, while at other times it left me utterly confused.
You basically need to save the world as these little musical blobs that grow in size as you collect more, all against dark creatures and their leader from the Moja Corps. But LocoRoco 2 Remastered isn’t so much about the story as it is about its rhythm-based gameplay.
Across all these environments, I had to solve multiple, simplistic puzzles. Instead of directly controlling your LocoRoco’s, you move the world and they roll around doing their thing, which is quite an interesting and unique way to do platforming. I had to split up my little musical blobs or bring them together at the correct times (you grow bigger the more LocoRoco’s you collect in each level), smash through things, avoid enemies and even swing from vines.
Completing levels, except when it comes to some annoying physics-based puzzles, isn’t difficult at all and you can complete them with very little effort. However, there are some things about the gameplay that really spoiled a lot of the experience for me.
As mentioned earlier, you move the environment and not the little LocoRocos themselves. What this means is that even when I got the world as flat as I possibly could, I found that the blob I was playing with at the time (the yellow energetic one) kept bouncing about in a certain direction. The controls are easy to understand, but you can see the game was built with handheld devices in mind.
You basically need to press L1 to rotate the world left, while R1 rotates the world to the right side. Then, to make your LocoRoco jump, you need to press both L1 and R1 together. The result of this controller scheme is varied and since you need to hold the two buttons in longer to jump higher, I often found that when I finished a jump, the world would tilt in a way I didn’t want it to.
After a few hours of practice, things didn’t improve much and that feeling that I wasn’t really in control of my character half of the game was frustrating. Even so, the game was still relaxing as with these control issues, it was easy to complete levels and I had little issue progressing through the game. That just goes to show how easy the game is and if you can live with giving up control of your character during gameplay sometimes, the game could be very relaxing for you. One of the reasons the game felt so relaxing at times was the awesome soundtrack that I just want to put on repeat and listen to while I work from now on. It is cheerful, relaxing and of the utmost quality.
Speaking of quality, the game runs in 1080p on the standard PS4 and 4K on the PS4 Pro. When I think 4K, I think about something like Uncharted 4, but of course, LocoRoco 2 Remastered is a 2D platformer, so don’t expect graphics from Naughty Dogs. Instead, I was treated to extremely crisp and colourful environments to explore. Graphically, the game looks great and I experienced no slowdowns of any kind on my PS4 Pro.
However, there is one issue I have with the graphics of the game. The cinematics doesn’t look nearly as good as the gameplay…Yes, that is strange to say, but it looks like the game didn’t get the remastered treatment (or not enough of it) for the cinematics, as you can see big, jagged edges and it simply looks very low res.
In the end, LocoRoco 2 Remastered did bring a surprising amount of joy to my PS4 gaming sessions. I didn’t think I would like the game, but I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxing this platformer is. Even so, I won’t go back to the game anytime soon and try to get that Platinum Trophy, as for me, it simply isn’t worth the grind. Unfortunately, the experience does get pulled down by controls that feel unresponsive at times, the cinematics is less detailed than the actual gameplay, and the story is somewhat confusing at times.
It is a strange, sometimes wonderful world that never really pulled me in deep enough and I got quite frustrated by the controls. LocoRoco 2 Remastered is a difficult game to recommend. If you are in the mood for a rhythm-based platformer in a strange world, then the game might be right up your alley. However, if you want a challenging platformer with great controls and movement, then give LocoRoco 2 Remastered a skip.
Available On: PS4 | Reviewed On: PS4 Pro | Release Date: 9 December 2017 | RRP: R239
This review is based off a review code provided to us by Sony Interactive Entertainment