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    jp's LocoRoco (PSP)

    [December 6, 2007 10:39:05 AM]
    Yes, the last level of world 5 is in fact the end of the game. :-)

    Of course there is tons of replayability since you can go back and try to complete each level with 100% and then also play time trials. I'm not really in the mood for that even though I have had fun with the LocoRoco house builder. What I enjoyed about that is that even though it is essentially a "playground" setting where you can design a house and see your locorocos move around, the designers saw fit to add a "goal" to the house building. Basically, there is a random "new" house object available if you are able to get the locorocos to wherever it shows up. Great incentive to try out new pieces of furniture and arrange them so as to get the locorocos around!

    Another last note, the music is fantastic (did I say this already) and the feeling you have when playing the game is quite unique. There is a certain organic sensation that is very...hmm... haptic(?). In many ways I feel like I'm playing with jello, or clay, or water. It's hard to describe, but very enjoyable.
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    [December 4, 2007 08:37:02 PM]
    I'm pretty close to what might be the end (world 5!) and I'm starting to get a little bit tired of this game, but not enough so as to not finish it. However, the more I play, the more I marvel at the unique control system this game has. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that LocoRoco and pinball share much in common.

    I think that LocoRoco is a great weak example of indirect manipulation. In the game you can effectively do 3 things. Tilt the world left/right, make the Locoroco jump, and "split" the Locoroco into little bits (and bring it back together again). From this perspective it seems like you have direct control over the tilt of the world as well as the general movement of the locoroco. Sure, you can make it move directly, but you can get it to jump and affect where it goes by tilting. However, and this is where it gets really weird, quite often the locoroco will go ahead and do whatever it wants. If you don't touch any buttons for a while it might jump (left or right) in some seemingly random direction. This actually has gameplay repercussions because, on more than one ocasion I've been waiting for the locoroco to get to a certain position, thus not pressing any keys, only to be foiled at the last minute by it's independent decision to jump somewhere. Thus, control over your locoroco's is indirect, but in an unexpected way. You can usually get him to do what you want, but sometimes it just takes on a mind of its own.

    With regards to the pinball qualities, I feel that in the later levels there is a lot of trial/error and practice involved in getting the locoroco to go where you want. So, bouncing up a disjointed "stairwa" of little islands is pretty tough because you can't control where the locoroco will go with too much precision (like in pinball) you just sort of have to get it in a position you hope is good enough and hope that everything turns out ok. This is fine, but it is an interesting change of pace from your typical platformer where you have to (and can!) execute pixel perfect jumps with a high degree of perfection. LocoRoco just feels messier, more organic, and more "real".
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    [November 29, 2007 01:04:10 PM]
    I've reached the last level of world 4 and it's been really fun. I have all sorts of colored LocoRocos now. I wonder how much of the game there is still to go? Will world 4 be the last one? It doesn't look like it...

    Also, as far as I can tell, and after only some not very rigorous testing, it seems that different colored LocoRocos are "functionally" equivalent. There are cosmetic differences, including different "voice" tracks and sound effects, but apart from that...they seem the same. Should I confirm or deny this by looking for online info? Hmmm...

    I also need to write up a weak example for Boss Challenge found in this game. It's actually quite interesting. Each world has a level which takes place inside a large creature. In fact, these levels begin with a cutscene that shows the locoroco you start with being swallowed by this "monster creature" (not really a monster, just large when compared to the locoroco). You could argue that the giant creature levels are like a boss because they are characterized so wonderfully. However, the creature levels aren't the last level of the world and they aren't particularly hard either. Also, the creature isn't really an antagonist either. They're sort of like regular levels except they're the only ones that take place inside a living organism. I always feel a little guilty when I crack open a secret room. It's like I'm causing damage to the creature. :-(

    Oh well, I haven't really thought this through yet, but I thought I would get it written before I forget it all.
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    [November 20, 2007 11:57:49 PM]
    Wow. I feel really guilty about not posting since I've been playing this for almost a week and a half now. It's a great game, it really is. I guess that refreshing would be a good way to describe it. It is very much a gamer's game though, which I find curious. For example, there are tons of secret areas you need to find if you want to complete a level with "everything". Some of them are really obvious, but others require a certain...hmm..gamer mentality. I just KNOW there is a secret entrance there...but I can't really explain why. :-)

    On the other hand, I'm still unclear as to whether or not different loco rocos (so far I've "discovered" 4 varieties...yellow, pink, blue and red) have different abilities or powers. I've consciously avoided looking online because I feel that it's something that I should be able to figure out for myself. So far, I'm leaning towards all loco rocos being the same...I haven't noticed any gameplay differences or advantages of one color over the other. The music (and the sound of the voices) are different, but other than that...nothing.
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    jp's LocoRoco (PSP)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 12 November, 2007

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 6 December, 2007

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Charming, fresh, and bubbly. I am reminded in many ways of Katamari Damacy, but it actually feels very different to play. Great music, great animation and a joy to play.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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