|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SONY Japan (SCEJ)||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are a lot of items to go back and collect, and the occasionally grueling nature of some levels all but ensures you'll be playing many of them more than once. The new mini-games and the fun BuiBui store are also good reasons why it's worth going back to master each stage and nab all the collectible goodies. As reward for clocking in longer play sessions, short bonus stages occasionally appear for you to dive into immediately or tackle at your leisure. These loot-filled courses give you a time limit to bound around and gorge on as much fruit and pickories as you can get your mouth on.
Pickories you've earned can be used to buy extra accessories and adorable hats to plunk on your LocoRocos' noggins, or they can be poured into mini-games for a chance to earn cool stuff. BuiBui Crane plays very much like those toy crane vending machines you might run into at the mall or arcade. In this case, you'll be tasked with picking up a specific-colored LocoRoco out of a pit by maneuvering a tricky crane arm. All the while, the LocoRoco move around, making it challenging to nab the correct one. LocoBall has you firing LocoRoco into a large Pachinko-like peg board in an attempt to land them in various highlighted slots. Both games are entertaining diversions that yield some fun prizes if you play them long enough.
Midnight Carnival's new ad-hoc multiplayer mode lets up to four players hop into any of the levels in competitive races. During multiplayer matches, you'll see the ghosts of other players making their way through the level as you progress. Fortunately, their tilting screen doesn't register or have any impact on your own version of the world.
Despite being a relatively short, holiday-themed downloadable title that costs only a few bucks less than a full-blown LocoRoco release, Midnight Carnival is still a lot of fun and offers enough minor tweaks to make the game just different enough. The difficulty is steep enough to challenge even the best players, and the more platforming-oriented layout of these 16 new levels changes things up a bit. You'll clock quite a few hours trying to master these tricky courses, possibly cursing out the BuiBui's ingeniously sneaky, constructive creativity in the process.
CCC Staff Contributor