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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
[Thanks, Joe! Via Team ICO Gamers]
The full interview will arrive on Joystiq later this week.
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."
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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.)
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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?