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TGS 08: LocoRoco 2 and the curiously embargoed trailer

Strangely, only one thing we reported on at Tokyo Game Show this year was under embargo. And that was this LocoRoco 2 trailer. Why? We don't know. If you read our hands-on impressions, you'll know that we're absolutely in love with this rather substantial sequel. Take a watch and see if you can find all the new gameplay features and enemies.

TGS 08: LocoRoco 2 grabs us with cuteness and depth

"Sorry it took so long," LocoRoco designer Tsutomu Kouno told me. In spite of the original's high-profile and well-received launch on the PSP, it's been over two years since we saw these lovable blubbers hit Sony's handheld. The silence around the long-rumored sequel is a bit baffling, as getting our hands on with the upcoming PSP title revealed a disarming amount of new content for the sequel.

It's undeniable that the original LocoRoco charmed hardcore gamers, thanks to its lovable style and rather unique design. However, it couldn't keep the attention of these gamers, as it was perhaps a bit too simplistic. While children and casual gamers were enchanted, hardcore gamers needed substance beyond tilting left and right.

So perhaps LocoRoco 2 is Kouno's attempt at bridging the gap between hardcore and casual audiences. The upcoming PSP-exclusive sequel maintains all the saccharin sweetness of the original, but adds new gameplay features that add a tremendous amount of depth to the experience. The sheer amount of content found in this UMD/downloadable game is staggering.

Gallery: LocoRoco 2

Continue reading TGS 08: LocoRoco 2 grabs us with cuteness and depth

LocoRoco 2 trailer is predictably adorable

Download to PSP

This new LocoRoco 2 "special movie" found on the official Japanese website shows us just how cute things on the PSP can be. The art direction looks about the same in this highly-anticipated sequel, along with some kawaii music that can get a little annoying if you listen to it more than once. The cute little blobs demonstrates some of their new skills here, such as swimming and biting. Stay for the end, which makes us wish there was a LocoRoco TV show.

[Via NeoGAF]

LocoRoco 2 official site opens, includes screens

The official Japanese LocoRoco 2 site has opened, and it includes the very first screenshots of the recently announced sequel. Unsurprisingly, the new LocoRoco looks exactly like the original. For those that were captivated by the charming style of the first game, that's far from a bad thing. Those that play close attention will see some of the LocoRoco's abilities (like swimming, pictured above). Stay tuned, because a game as big as this one will obviously garner a lot of attention.

LocoRoco sequel already 75% done

While LocoRoco 2 was only officially announced yesterday, it's been in development for quite some time. According to Famitsu (via 1UP), the title is already 75% complete. The sequel will feature the return of the original's Moja Troop, but this time they have some tricks up their sleeves. They'll be after the adorable LocoRocos with the power of music. Uh-oh! "The Moja Troop are back with some new bosses, but this time they've also learned some songs," director Tsutomu Kouno says. "They've been practicing as hard as they can, and they've learned how to use music to sap the energy out of everyone. Now nobody feels like doing anything, so the LocoRoco have to go around the world and pep everyone back up again."

According to Kouno, the game will retain the same simplistic charm of the original. "We've tried our best not to change the core gameplay too much," he says. "We're being careful to keep it from getting too complex, and in addition to that, we're putting in lots of new features for people who played the first game to enjoy." But, expect new moves, such as the ability to go underwater and the ability to bite things.

Will we get to play it at E3? We hope so. Sony plans on showing new PSP games at E3, undoubtedly. This would be an ideal candidate.

LocoRoco 2, Patapon 2 both revealed in this week's Famitsu

According to PSPHyper, this week's issue of Famitsu is going to be all about PSP. Sounds sweet. Even sweeter, is hearing that in this issue, LocoRoco 2 and Patapon 2 are both confirmed. Well, for Japan anyways. Patapon 2 is set for Japanese release this Winter 2008 while LocoRoco 2 does not have a date.

Now now, don't worry folks; we're sure both titles will make State-side appearances soon. We're positively sure we're going to be seeing these titles at E3 this weekend. Stay tuned to PSP Fanboy, we'll have something up soon that'll help prepare you for all the exciting, upcoming E3 goodness.

New LocoRoco demo is not-so-new

As expected, the Japanese PS Store was updated today with a "new" Christmas demo of LocoRoco. The problem? It's not new at all. It's the same demo as the one we featured last year, unfortunately. Most likely, a lot of new PSP owners haven't experienced the glory that is LocoRoco and this revival of the Christmas demo will serve as a gateway drug for more of these blubbery critters. Good move, Sony -- but we want some new LocoRoco fun ... soon.

New Christmas LocoRoco demo incoming?

If you've been an avid PSP Fanboy reader, or an avid LocoRoco player, you might remember our downloadable demo last Christmas. Seems we're getting another treat this year as well, as it appears a demo with Santa Blob Person is on its way. The SCEJ website indicates a December 13th date, and availability on the PSP and the PC's version of the PlayStation Store. Or, you know, you could just get it from us. We'll get back to you on this subject in a little under a week.

LocoRoco team looking for new recruits

The team behind the award-winning LocoRoco is working on a brand new PSP game ... and they're looking for help. Imagine! You could be working on the next game from this imaginative group ... provided you live in Japan. We're glad to see the team moving onto something new, something Kouno has been hinting at for quite some time now.

[Thanks, Joe! Via Team ICO Gamers]

LocoRoco sequel for PSP definitely coming

In an interview with Joystiq at Develop conference, LocoRoco director Tsutomu Kouno confirmed that a LocoRoco sequel was certainly going to arrive on PSP, in addition to the recently unveiled PS3 "extra chapter." Kouno revealed to Joystiq that "I'm thinking about a sequel for the PSP right now. I got a lot of feedback from players that they bought a PSP just to play Loco Roco so I feel like I have to make a sequel for them."

The full interview will arrive on Joystiq later this week.

Failure didn't stop LocoRoco dev from trying

How many times did LocoRoco get rejected from Sony, before it became a heavily promoted, greenlit project? Two times. At Develop conference, Tsutomu Kouno revealed that rejected the idea of a tilting 2D platformer twice. Why did Sony finally give in on the third time? He provided them with a playable demo. "It is very important to make a demo and show something that moves," he said.

It looks like Kouno-san's persistence paid off ultimately, considering the dedicated following the PSP platformer has. Considering his success, Kouno will continue making games in the vein of LocoRoco. According to Next Generation, his future games will also be "peaceful," going against the increasingly popular trend towards violent games. He also added, "In the future, I want to invent new gameplay using physical calculations and crowd AI."

Tilt the world and move a blob -- a LocoRoco clone

Imagine a playful game where you must tilt a world, guiding a happy orange blob to its destination. Imagine, eating fruit along the way, and having the ability to split the blob into smaller pieces. No, it's not LocoRoco. It's a very uninspired clone.

Blobular takes stealing ideas to a whole new level: not only does it feature copycat game design, it doesn't even do it very well. They say mimicry is the best kind of flattery ... but what if it's this bad?

[Via PSP-Vault]

Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno wants a world united (in games)

You may have missed this one. At the time of writing, less than 20 people have seen this seen this excellent video interview with Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno. It's a fairly lengthy feature, clocking in at over 9 minutes. However, it provides some excellent insight into game design. One of the key points Kouno focused on was the international gaming community, and the reluctance of Japanese gamers to try Western games, and vice versa. (Of course, the recent success of Grand Theft Auto in Japan suggests a changing attitude.)

Be warned, though -- the interview can be a little too telling. I mean, did we really need to know his blood type? (Spoiler alert: it's A.)

Download Video for PSP
Access from your PSP internet browser to download.

Designer gives inspiration for LocoRoco, hints at sequel ideas

Offering a peek into his inspiration for LocoRoco, designer Tsutomu Kouno once again touched base on its concept, design and production during a presentation at the Nordic Game Conference in Sweden. Fearing a "scolding," he didn't give too much away, though he did cite nature documentaries and the animal behavior of his pet fish as inspiration for some of the characters. I wonder what kind of game we'd be playing if he had a sloth as a pet?

LocoRoco was the first game he worked on alone and wasn't initially approved on its first or second presentation. Only when a demo was shown on the third attempt did LocoRoco's approval come through. We can only imagine how frustrating those attempts at describing game play would have been on a mere PowerPoint presentation. As far as the sequel is concerned, Tsotomu Kouno said the sequel would contain, "new game play based on physical calculation and crowd AI" amidst other surprises. Ideally, the "use of color and music" is the central focus for the series, attempting "to create the fun and dramatic atmosphere of a live musical." Sounds great, as long as we don't end up playing Chicago: The Game Based on The Movie Based on The Play. Personally, we welcome new ideas, but prefer more the same game play that made LocoRoco so unique. It it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Adorable LocoRoco trading toys

I went to Anime Boston a few weekends ago, and found a PSP related toy, but delayed on writing about it. That toy is the LocoRoco plush charm things you see above. I'm not sure the purpose of them, as they are too big to be a cell phone charm, and too delicate to put on your keychain. They came in randomized boxes, like most Japanese trading figures do, and had nearly the entire cast available. I delayed in writing about this though, because I hoped to find a place to send our readers, so they could pick it up for themselves. Unfortunately, either I fail at the internet, or they're relatively difficult to find online. I attached the black LocoRoco to my bag, and it brings me joy daily. If anyone knows how to buy these online, please post a link in the comment section. I know I'd like to pick up more for myself.

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