Even the most hardened PSP nut would be hard pressed to claim that Sony’s slinky handheld has been the success they hoped it would be. The majority of titles are simply ports from other consoles – not ideal when you’ve laid out a few hundred quid.
OK, we’ll accept there’s been the odd killer title. There’s always the likes of Lumines – soon to be headed to Xbox Live by the way, so see you there – for hours of fun, gorgeous looks and sublimely incorporated music.
Except then LocoRoco appears – a cutesy, simplistic puzzler that makes all that’s come before so unworthy. Just look at this trailer, it’s gorgeous!
The best gaming experiences of all time have usually been remarkably simple. Frogger, Space Invaders, Doom, they’ve all been easy to pick up and play. And LocoRoco slips straight into that group as easily as Christiano Ronaldo greasily convincing a referee to send off Wayne Rooney.
You start with a tiny little blob to traverse the terrain and solve puzzles with. The controls are simple – just tilt the environment left or right with the two shoulder buttons and press the pair together to make your little blob jump. And apart from the odd press of the circle button which we’ll explain shortly, that’s that. So no wading through pages of special moves in the instruction manual. Nice.
As you bounce your way through a level, you can increase the size of your LocoRoco by collecting little flowery buds. A swift tap of the circle button will split your LocoRoco into small bits, leaving you more than able to traverse some of the tighter pieces of terrain. To get the band back together, just press the circle button again.
There are five worlds in all to traverse, each containing a vast number of levels. At the end of each you’ll be told just how many specific items you’ve collected, how many you potentially could have picked up and an overall score to finish things up. Topping your previous best will keep you going for hours.
The gaming is so simple, yet so addictive, that you’ll be spending night after night staying up till the wee small hours attempting to collect all 20 LocoRoco on each level.
So it might not last more than a week or two’s worth of train trips to work for your initial play through, but who cares? You’ll be going Loco for weeks, guaranteed and we haven't even mentioned the soundtack.