Published Feb 21, 2009Like a spiritual cousin to Cute Overload, Sony's LocoRoco series boasts gaming's most adorable art direction ever. As with the 2006 original, this portable puzzle-based platformer stars the titular, yellow, globby creature who sings, squeals, slips, slides, sails and squeezes around a two-dimensional, d-lysergic world of swoops, spirals, flowers and dreadlocked space balls with their black clouds of despair. Oh, and with a cheerful cheer the LocoRoco can burst apart into numerous small, yellow, globby creatures that do the same.
Modern gaming has lately spun off in two directions: complex mega-games for the hardcore set and simple streamlined titles for casual noobs, but LocoRoco 2 falls somewhere in between. It's easy enough for a small primate to play. The squishy blobs are controlled with the shoulder buttons, or rather the world is - you just tip this way, that way or press both for a bounce and gravity does the rest. But it's also a deep challenge to zip through the ingeniously designed level-length puzzles as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Though the gameplay remains the same - albeit with 25 new levels, ranging from underwater caverns to icy mountain tops - new additions include wireless four-person "Loco Rider" multiplayer, a half-dozen mini-games (including a rhythm-based one) and a house to decorate with collectibles. Plus, there's more impeccably catchy music sung by Japanese schoolchildren.
You know when people sarcastically talk about how life's not all rainbows and unicorns? Well, this game is all that and more. It's like an injection of surrealist whimsy straight to the heart. (Sony)