Saturday, August 07, 2010

Video game number two hundred and twenty six: Loco Roco

Video game review number two hundred and twenty six in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Loco Roco".

I flew down to Medford Oregon to go rafting down the Rogue River with my family today. Ordinarily, this was the type of trip I might have typed an entry about in this blog, but I've decided to use it almost exclusively for my 365 project this year. As that is the case, the only thing I plan to write an entry about are the games I played on the airplane to and from Oregon. The first? Loco Roco.

I remember reading good things about Loco Roco for the PSP back when it was released in 2007. I have never been terribly fond of my PSP (good games are few and far between, and the thing is uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time). I never "upgraded" to the lame version of the system that only supports downloadable titles, as I favor the ability to buy disks at the store and rent them used. Somehow...I missed Loco Roco, but thanks to Gamefly, I finally have a chance to play it.

The verdict? I love this game.

Loco Roco is exactly the kind of game I like to play on the road. It's not what I'd call a "platformer" and it's not exactly a puzzle game. It's sort of a hybrid between the two, and you're able to pick up and play one or two missions at a time, then come back to it later.

You're a yellow blob, that slowly gross bigger as it eats flowers. It's hard to describe, but incredibly simple to play once you see it. You control your little blob by rotating the screen left or right and letting gravity do the rest. You can jump, but that's about your only ability. As you grow, you sometimes will come to a spot where your blob is too big to you summon a bolt of lightning, which turns you into a ton of little blobs. Again, tough to control, very easy (and fun) to play.

I had rented three separate games specifically for this trip (and figured I'd have some spare time in my hotel room and on the planes to play them) least for the first plane ride, Loco Roco had me completely captivated. All I wanted to do was play this game, and I was sad when the announcement came over the speakers that we were landing and I had to turn it off. It's addictive, fun and challenging at times.

There are a few things that bugged me. Surprisingly enough, one thing was the lack of a gyroscope. This game actually felt like one that might be more fun if you tilted the screen to make your blob roll, instead of using the L and R buttons (which feel clunky on the PSP). Also...jumping (a two button simultaneous press) was more annoying than it was fun....and that's a shame, because it's necessary to jump very often in this game.

Your little blobs will sometimes sing to open doors or trigger actions, and their songs (along with the soundtrack to the game) remind me a lot of Katamari Damacy. Perhaps that's one reason I enjoy it so much.

On Monday morning, I flew back to Seattle...and while I tried some other games on the flight, I must admit, all I wanted to do was play Loco Roco on my PSP. I don't think there's been a game I'd call a "killer app" for that system since Lumines, but this is definitely it for me. When I got back home, I tried to see if I could buy it from Gamefly...but they're not selling it, so I had to send it back. I'm definitely going to be buying it before my next trip (whenever and wherever that may be). This one is a must own in my opinion.

Overall Score? 9/10. This game is great. I had a few small complaints, but nothing that would make me rate the game anything less than a 9. This might even be my favorite game for the PSP so far, definitely the best I've played this year.

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