Definitions

LocoRoco

LocoRoco

is Sony's flagship Japanese video game released in 2006 for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld game console, and developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. LocoRoco has become Sony's "mascot" of the PSP and was featured in many advertisements for the PSP in Japan. Sony considered LocoRoco critical to the PSP success in Japan, and thus spent much resources in development and marketing of its star game, even including it with new PSP purchases in a special bundle. In the game, the player must tilt the environment by using the left or right shoulder buttons in order to maneuver a variety of coloured jelly-like characters through each level via gravity by literally tilting the whole planet. This game was created by producer Kazuhito Miyaki and game designer Tsutomu Kouno. In 2008, LocoRoco was made available for paid download on the PlayStation Store.

Plot

Living peacefully on a faraway planet, the LocoRoco and their friends, the Mui Mui, help grow vegetation and look after nature, making the planet a pleasant place to be, playing and singing the days away. When the Moja Troop comes to the planet to take it over, the LocoRoco do not know how to fight against these invaders from outer space. As such, the player assumes the role of "the planet" that is capable of tilting back and forth, and bouncing the LocoRoco in the air, to defeat the Moja Troop and rescue the LocoRoco. The player will also meet many different characters along the way, some of which are unknown to the player. The player must find out how to interact with these characters, and find out what they know, while determining if they are beneficial or should be avoided as foes. Mui Mui can be found in secret areas within the game.

Gameplay

The player controls the planet the LocoRoco inhabit to move the LocoRoco around. The player can also split larger LocoRoco into individual LocoRoco, and then recombine them. Splitting is required into order to fit through tight spaces and also solve many puzzles. (For example, smaller LocoRoco start singing when left idle for a while, which is required at the end of the levels.) There are 5 worlds to clear, each consisting of 8 levels.

The object of each level is to find and eat as many "berries" as possible to increase the size of the LocoRoco, to a maximum of 20. There are also "Pickories" and "Mui Mui" to find. The "Pickories" are used as currency for playing the minigames Mui Mui Crane and Chuppa Chuppa, while the "Mui Mui" unlock more minigames and music for the Loco House. The player must also be careful to avoid enemies, mainly "Burrs" (spiky obstacles) and "Moja", which can cause them to lose LocoRoco or even die if the last LocoRoco is lost.

The player can also collect "Loco House Pieces", which are saved and available from the Loco House minigame. They come in different rarities, rated from one star pieces (common) to three star pieces (rare). The player gets one for each "Mui Mui" they find in a level, but they can also be found lying around the level or obtained from other NPCs if a certain number of LocoRoco have been collected by that point. There are 144 pieces to collect; however 40 of them are special (each depicting a character from the game) and can only be obtained by finding all 20 LocoRoco in each of the 40 levels.

As well as the main game, there are several minigames included.Loco House

Loco House Parts collected from the game and other mini games can be used to construct a non-interactive playground that the players' LocoRoco can play within. Parts, once collected, can be selected from a menu and placed into the House level. The different parts can be rotated (with some exceptions), but not scaled or flipped before being placed. Once the level is filled with parts as the user desires, players can press Start to allow collected LocoRoco to explore it, pressing Start again to make more changes.
There are also Parts tokens floating around in the House level. Players can arrange their parts in such a way that the LocoRoco will pick up the tokens, which add a random part to the Player's collection.Mui Mui Crane
A skill game where more Parts and LocoRoco for the Loco House can be obtained. The game is very similar to many real-life arcade crane games. There is a bin full of prizes, which include LocoRocos of various shapes and sizes, and part tokens. Rarer Part tokens are harder to pick up than the more common tokens, due to their awkward shape.Chuppa Chuppa
A game where the player controls a creature called a "Chuppa" to launch LocoRoco certain distances. Making it slide to the next Chuppa, who, in turn, launches it to the next and so on. Once players' LocoRoco gets to the end they get a prize in the shape of a Loco House part, and any Pickories you collect. There are a few parts that you can only get in this minigame. Also, it seems that your time determines the prize you get, but sometimes the fastest time can actually get you a worse prize than possible.Loco Editor
The Loco Editor is similar to the Loco House except that this is a normal start and goal area, and after players place parts they can press the Start button and actually play the level. There are 12 more special Loco Editor Parts not available in the Loco House. It may be worth mentioning that the Editor is an unlockable item and that it is not available from the start.

Friends

The opening sequence of the game shows the first LocoRoco you will have to take to high ground, the Yellow LocoRoco. But, as the plot develops, you will encounter up to 5 new types of LocoRoco, each with its own personality, voice and theme songs.Yellow LocoRoco The first LocoRoco of the game, the Yellow LocoRoco, is the image of the game around the globe and even inside the software, being the initial loading icon and wallpaper of the saved files. It vaguely resembles a Smiley and has a happy attitude for most of the game. It has a sole appendage on the forehead, turning into a double one from the moment you absorb a second LocoRoco. Its voice is deliberately child-like. The Yellow LocoRoco is voiced along the game by Alex Yamato Flaherty and in the songs by the young Japanese artist Melody Chubak. Its version of the LocoRoco Song is the main theme of the game, as well as on most of the TV commercials and websites. Also, the Yellow LocoRoco has two versions of its own theme music, Bu Bu Poroche, an instrumental one with choruses used for background music for most levels when you play with this LocoRoco, and a A Capella one for special events. Also sings Oreo - The Jungle's Awakening with the Green LocoRoco and Yoi Yore - Tossed By The Waves with the Black LocoRoco.Pink LocoRoco You find this LocoRoco in the second world of the game. The Pink LocoRoco is, at least in appearance, the only female LocoRoco in the game, not only for the association with the colour pink, but also for its characteristic lips. It is voiced by Leah, with a distinctive French accent in both vocals and songs. It has its own LocoRoco Song version, and its theme song is called Consepontowa. Its attitude and looks are happy and fragile. It has, although a little different from the yellow one, a sole appendage on the forehead, also turning into a double one after absorbing a second LocoRoco. It sings along the Red LocoRoco Dahi Dado Da - Lots Of Flowers and Doda Doda - The Snow Has FallenBlue LocoRoco Very much the baritone of the game, the Blue LocoRoco is the third LocoRoco you find in the game. It has skin colour lips, smaller eyes and a double appendix on top, turning into a triple one this time after absorbing a second LocoRoco. Its voice is given by Greg Irwin both in vocals and songs. It has its own version of the LocoRoco Song and his theme song is called Tajna Natata. Also sings Kuttetekaruna - Mojyas everywhere with the Black LocoRoco.Red LocoRoco The Red LocoRoco has distinctive weird looking eyes and a squiggly line for its mouth, with a set of three brown hairs on top, changing to five when merged. Has a very neutral accent, given by Hiroaki Takeuchi, with lots of highs and lows and a very strong r when singing. It has a version, like all the other LocoRocos, of the main theme, the LocoRoco Song, and its own theme music Panguraratta. Also sings Dahi Dado Da - Lots Of Flowers and Doda Doda - The Snow Has Fallen with the Pink LocoRoco.Black LocoRoco The Black LocoRoco is the fifth LocoRoco from the game. It has two distinctive fangs and a round and brown nose and a set of three thick hairs on the forehead, turning them into five when a second LocoRoco is absorbed. It has a bass voice provided by Jeff Gedert in both songs and vocals, with additional falsetto by Tomonobu Kikuchi in the choruses. Maintains a very serious rictus throughout the game, even in presence of the Moja. It has its own version of the LocoRoco Song and its own theme music called Zappudo Geron. Also sings Kuttetekaruna - Mojyas Everywhere with the Blue LocoRoco and Yoi Yore - Tossed By The Waves with the Yellow LocoRoco.Green LocoRoco The last LocoRoco you encounter of the game plot is the Green LocoRoco. With a sleepy and yawning look along the game, the Green LocoRoco has a set of four hairs on top, turning into seven after having absorbed a second LocoRoco. The voice provided by Cameron Earl Strother for the songs and Jack Merluzzi has a very strong Italian accent. This is also reflected in the theme music Bucho Mio, sounding very, at least, Mediterranean, accompanied with a Spanish guitar on the start and then, on a crescendo, with rock instruments. Also has a version of the theme song of the LocoRoco Song, with a lot of Italian flavor.

They all sing the final theme, Etoule Pucoratte, together.

Demos

Following the release of Firmware 2.7 on April 25, 2006, a demo of the game was released on the game's website — the first Sony-sanctioned user-downloadable game for the PSP. It includes one level that will take the player around 5-15 minutes to complete, depending on the number of secret areas the player encounters. The demo is currently available in Japanese, English and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified).

A special halloween-themed demo has also been released on October 26, 2006. In addition, some retail stores received physical demos that carried a different level. There was also a beach themed demo released, and a Christmas demo was released on December 11, 2006.

Music and soundtrack

Music plays a large part in LocoRoco, with each LocoRoco singing the song for the even numbered stages, and at the title screen. Three Mui Mui's sing during the odd numbered stages instead of the LocoRoco, and sometime pop up on the bottom left corner of the screen in the form of a choir in these stages. The LocoRoco have different voices depending on their color, varying in pitch and tone. Individual LocoRoco may also sing when they are split or merged together into one, producing choir-like singing or solo singing, respectively. The lyrics of the songs and "LocoRoco Language", a fictional language, were invented by Tsutomu Kouno to ensure that the music would be the same worldwide. The music was composed and performed (except for the vocals) by Nobuyuki Shimizu and Kemmei Adachi. The vocals are performed by Japanese children, as seen in one of LocoRoco's Japanese television commercials.

The LocoRoco Original Soundtrack has been released with 42 tracks from the video game on it.

Differences in version

The Japanese, Korean, Asian, Oceaniac and European versions appear to be identical in features except for the languages supported. The U.S. version has two levels not found in the other versions. They are accessible from the "Options" menu under "Demo Levels." There are 4 demo levels. The first 2 are included in all versions. The second 2 levels are new and start as locked. As such, the 3rd level is only accessible after completing the 2nd level, as is the 4th level to the 3rd. These levels are extremely challenging. Players can play and trade these levels anytime.

Critical reception

When professional reviewers first reviewed the pre-release demo, most stated that LocoRoco was "uniquely simplistic", "cute", and "pure fun". But, when the full game was released, reviewers were shocked by how quickly LocoRoco's difficulty increases, one reviewer stating that it was "'nightmarishly' hard". Still, universal scores were above 8/10, showing that LocoRoco has massive appeal to all types of gamers. It was praised on X-Play for its simplicity and for avoiding the clichés of modern games, receiving a 4 out of 5 rating. The game has also won two awards at the BAFTA Games Awards on December 5, 2006. On IGN, the game holds an 'outstanding' 9.0 rating.

Reviews:

Sequels and spin-offs

LocoRoco Mobile was released for i-mode, and came pre-loaded on the Sony Ericsson SO703i (released in February 2007) and SO704i (released July 13, 2007). A LocoRoco game for PlayStation 3 was released in Japan via PlayStation Network on September 17, 2007, entitled LocoRoco Cocoreccho!. Tsutomu Kouno also stated at Develop Conference 2007 (July 24, 2007July 27, 2007) that he was currently thinking about a LocoRoco sequel for the PSP. During an interview at DICE 2007, when asked "what did you play on your PSP on the way here?", Phil Harrison accidentally said he was "playing LocoRoco's next version". According to Sony UK, LocoRoco 2 will come out for PSP sometime in 2008. In July 2008, LocoRoco's director, Tsutomu Kouno, confirmed in Weekly Famitsu magazine that LocoRoco 2 was on the way and was at the time approximately 75% complete, as well as speaking of several of the new features intended for the game. No release date was mentioned in the interview.

References

External links

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