LocoRoco 2 and Age of Booty headline this week's PlayStation Store update, which also includes an eight-quid Far Cry 2 add-on and the usual spray of downloadable content for Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band, both of which get stuff from The Killers.
Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with a demo of LocoRoco 2, the BioShock Challenge Rooms and a host of premium downloadables for Need For Speed Undercover along with usual candidates Rock Band and Guitar Hero World Tour.
Not unlike Mario Kart Wii and its boost mechanics, LocoRoco 2 appears to be after a record for the most collectibles in a platform game ever. There are berries and pickories scattered around like Mario's coins and Sonic's rings. There are musical notes hidden in plants and awarded for clearing out dark clouds, and when you've gathered a hundred these level-up the stage you're on so that you can gather berries and pickories with greater ease.
There are stamps, which can be arranged into pretty patterns or matched against silhouettes. There are the cheerful little Mui Mui silhouette men, who, once collected, disappear to the Mui Mui House, which you can play with in a mini-game. There are Mui Mui House parts, so you can make some furniture, and sometimes there are Mui Mui weapon parts, so you can defend the house from the evil Bui Bui bombers. And of course there are the red flowers, each of which adds another smiling LocoRoco blob to your seamless, ball-shaped mass of heroes.
None of which will make any sense if you haven't bounced merrily through the 2006 original, but you needn't have if you want to enjoy LocoRoco 2. If the events portrayed by the new, infrequent cut-scenes are related to those in the first game, it's lost on us. You can't even really have plot spoilers: halfway through the game, one of the four blobs is puffed up by a trumpet-mouthed bipedal ladybird thing and then the rest locate him amongst a crowd of the same and they're tossed about laughing. What?
It's a strange experience, being applauded for the simplest gaming feats. We're here at the Sony booth at Tokyo Game Show - "booth" being an entirely inappropriate word for this magnificent modernist palace of acute angles and pastel lighting, and an entirely appropriate one for the small glassed-off enclosure where we're playing LocoRoco 2. We share the space with a willowy girl in a white uniform and hat that makes her look like a 1950s comic artist's idea of a spaceplane hostess. She natters away in Japanese and hops up and down and claps softly when we do anything right. Anything at all. Managing one jump merits an excited squeal and a standing ovation.