BADGP Reviews: Lococycle
Lococycle (Microsoft, Twisted Pixel)
Released: November 22, 2013
November 23, 2013
Twisted Pixel’s Lococycle is a very strange gaming experience. I can appreciate Twisted Pixel’s unorthodox take at humor in games; in fact, I would say that Comic Jumper is among the most funny video games ever made. Lococycle is less funny, and more merely ridiculous. It has its moments for sure; having been a long time fan of Lisa Foiles surely did not hurt my experience with the game either. Her voice performance as I.R.I.S., the rogue motorcycle with an AI aboard was fun and entertaining to listen to. To find the ridiculous over-the-top-ness within Lococycle one need look no further than the premise of this Xbox One exclusive downloadable title. I.R.I.S., the AI motorcycle is struck by lightening and begins to act funny, so she is taken to a mechanic. The mechanic, Pablo, gets stuck on her tailpipe and is whisked away trailing behind her for the entirety of the 4-hour game. I.R.I.S. is dead set on making it to the “Freedom Festival” in Scottsburg, Indiana, and I would be lying if said I could not relate to that part of the premise.
How Does it Play?
Lococycle is kind of boring. It is filled with many different gameplay mechanics making it hard to place in a genre, but fails to remain interesting. It fails by simply making the player repeat the same thing over and over again. This was likely done to buff out play time. I would rather not describe a game by saying that it is “repetitive,” because all video games are by their very nature repetitive, the trick is to make the repetitive action fun and engaging. In the case of Lococycle, it is repetitive and boring. The player will primarily be shooting at cars filled with enemies in front of I.R.I.S., but as I said, there are a lot of ways Twisted Pixel tries to keep things fresh. There are horizontal shooting sections, a top-down shooting section, a slew of quick-time events, a 2-button action game, a 2D fighter, and some silly and numbingly repetitive boss fights. Though I was not entirely engaged for the short experience it was still something that I am glad I played. I just wish they would have switched types of gameplay more frequently and not been the same every single time.
Lococycle has some good tracks and excellent voice acting, and perhaps the best part of the game is the loads of live-action cutscenes (the final one being a most memorable moment candidate). There are some good one-liners including one instance after defeating an enemy in a mechanized suit where I.R.I.S. states that “You’re so last gen!” I could not help but laugh out loud.
The game looks… like a 360 game. No way around it, this is not a new console showpiece, but that is okay. I enjoyed my time with Lococycle and find it perfectly acceptable as an Xbox One game.
There are some long load times, the narrative hints at a potentially meaningful political message, but falls far short, and the rumble triggers are cool. Lococycle as a $20 launch game for the Xbox One is probably not worth it. It is something different, so at least there is that. It may be different, but it is not that special. The live action stuff was my favorite, so not the act of playing the game, but watching it was my favorite part, that should say something. Lococycle is a little boring, but can be funny. It is filled with different types of play, but then mercilessly buries them into the ground. This all adds up to it be a difficult game to recommend.
4.9 out of 10