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Interviews: Cocoto Platform Jumper - Neko Entertainment

Posted by Brody Olimar

Neko Entertainment spills the beans on their latest Wiiware game.

Coinciding with the release of Cocoto Platform Jumper for Wiiware in North America, comes our chat with the folks who brought it to us. So sit back, relax, and open the floodgates of knowledge which shall pour forth from the minds of Neko Entertainment!

Nlife: First off, what can you tell us about the game? What makes Cocoto Platform Jumper the experience that it is?

Neko: Cocoto Platform Jumper has been the first game in the Cocoto series. It was developed for PlayStation 2, back in 2004. Our goal was to provide a simple and easy game for everyone. The game concept is inspired by Nebulus, a classic platformer of the 8-bit era, now translated in a 3D world. However, we kept a 2D gameplay, making the game accessible to everyone.

Cocoto, a little devil, lives in the Abyss with his demon friends. But the powerful Zaron, the god of Lightning, kidnapped them and now Cocoto has to rescue them. He has to complete 40 vertical levels made of cylindrical platforms, in a given time. But whacky creatures try to stop him! Cocoto has several weapons at his disposal to fight them, like lava arches and forks. Like in any good platformer, there are malicious traps, powerful bumpers, moving platforms and generous bonuses along the way.

We paid special attention to the Level Design, the key element in this kind of game. We spent several weeks to adjust the difficulty of the 40 levels, in order to have a simple game for beginners, but also a challenging one for regular players in the more advanced levels. The good Level Design of this game makes it very pleasant to play. The difficulty is well tuned so that the player is never frustrated.

Graphically, the characters are cute, and the five worlds to explore are colorful. We also have a nice music that fits the game very well.

Nlife: This game was originally released on the Playstation 2 and Gamecube consoles, how was it received at the time by gamers and the media?

Neko: The game has previously been released on several platforms, but only in Europe. We got only a few reviews, and most of them were rather positive. For example, in a major french video game magazine, we got a 12/20 rating. Our relatives, gamers and non-gamers alike, played the game and found it quite entertaining and addictive.

Nlife: Has anything changed for the Wiiware version?

Neko: Initially, we wanted to add new modes and improve existing ones. But then we realized that the game is quite good as it is. Only the controls have been adapted for the Wii.

Nlife: What are the controls like in Cocoto Platform Jumper? Is there anything special for Wii owners who enjoy motion sensitivity?

Neko: Cocoto is controlled with the Control Stick of the Nunchuk. Buttons are used for jumping and throwing forks. The motion sensors are used as follows: shaking the Wii Remote triggers a punch, while shaking the Nunchuk creates an arch of lava. However, it is also possible to use the B Button for that action, if the user becomes tired of shaking the Nunchuk. Buttons are more reactive than motion sensors, and reactivity is necessary in this kind of game.

Nlife: Is Platform Jumper solely a single player outing? Or will there be multiplayer modes as well?

Neko: There are 2 multiplayer modes: a Battle mode (2 players) and a Race mode (up to 4 players). They are simple yet addictive.

Nlife: There aren’t an excessive number of platformers currently available for Wiiware. Do you think this will give the game an edge in the sales department?

Neko: It's hard to say. Cocoto Fishing Master sold well, and one possible reason is that it was the only fishing game on WiiWare. So we can expect good sales with Cocoto Platform Jumper too, because there are few platformers. But now there are so many WiiWare titles available, and it's hard to say what makes the difference.

Nlife: Were you pleased with the reception of Cocoto Fishing Master following its release on WiiWare last year?

Neko: The reviews were mixed, probably because a fishing game is not a very common type of video game. The gameplay was not perfect, too. Hooking a fish with the Wii Remote was probably too difficult, and several players were stuck and asked for help.

Fortunately, once you get the point, it is then easy to hook a fish every time. This was a good lesson for us. We learned that using the motion sensor correctly is really difficult: this is why in Cocoto Platform Jumper the use of the motion sensors is very limited.

Despite this problem and the average reviews, Cocoto Fishing Master sold very well, beyond our expectations. And, on the forums, many players said they enjoyed the game, which is of course our highest reward.

Nlife: Do you have plans for any other WiiWare games to follow this?

Neko: We plan to release Heracles Chariot Racing soon, also a port from PlayStation 2. It's a fast ‘n furious racing game, with up to 4 players. The characters are greek mythological figures, like Heracles or the Minotaur.

Nlife: Finally, what would you like the readers to know about Cocoto Platform Jumper that they may not already have heard?

Neko: Cocoto is secretly in love with Fairy, a little, helpful… fairy. This character was inspired by Tinker Bell, the fairy in “Peter Pan”, and also by Jessica Rabbit, spouse of Roger Rabbit... An odd mix!

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User Comments (22)

accc

#3

accc said:

This looks like a crappy Rainbow Islands ripoff. I think I'll save my money for Rainbow Islands Tower, assuming we're not all dead by the time it comes out here due to the snail's pace at which Nintendo releases WW games.

warioswoods

#5

warioswoods said:

So, WiiWare will now essentially include a PS2 VC :p

I know that we all scoff at PS2 ports at retail, but there are plenty of games for that system that, while not worth even $30 at retail, would still be worthwhile in cheap downloadable form, with the cutscenes stripped so that they come in at a low size. Now, that certainly wouldn't work for a lot of titles, but clearly a simple platformer like this doesn't take up much space for the basic gameplay. Also:

Cocoto is secretly in love with Fairy, a little, helpful… fairy. This character was inspired by Tinker Bell, the fairy in “Peter Pan”, and also by Jessica Rabbit, spouse of Roger Rabbit... An odd mix!

Perhaps "inspired by" is true, but judging from the screenshots, she's got nothing on Jessica Rabbit.

Twilight_Crow

#6

Twilight_Crow said:

It doesn't look bad, or maybe I'm just being optimistic sighs I just want a nice, classic platform game on wiiware.

James

#7

James said:

They had me at Nebulous - I'd forgotten how much I loved that game! I just wish the design of Cocoto himself weren't so uninspiring.

Wiiloveit

#8

Wiiloveit said:

Ugh...I think I'll still pass! Strong Bad here I come!
Sorry, but how are those two games related at all?!

WarioFan63

#9

WarioFan63 said:

You know theres probably hope for this one. I think the whole launching with a fishing game might've just left a bad taste in some peoples mouth but I could see this faring better.

Ferret75

#12

Ferret75 said:

"We got only a few reviews, and most of them were rather positive.
For example, in a major french video game magazine, we got a 12/20 rating."

Let's see, last I checked, a 12/20 is basically a D+ in grading terms.

Objection

#13

Objection said:

12/20...owch. That's the best score they could quote? At 700, I'll definately pass. I might've taken a look if it was 500. I also might consider getting a Strongbad episode instead.

Chipmunk777

#14

Chipmunk777 said:

@ Ferret75

Haha I know, I read that part and had to read over it again to make sure I read it correctly. I thought what was said after that quote was rather hilarious also:

"Our relatives, gamers and non-gamers alike, played the game and found it quite entertaining and addictive ... Initially, we wanted to add new modes and improve existing ones. But then we realized that the game is quite good as it is."

12/20 is positive in the way that a 60% on an exam is positive. All in all, an entertaining interview! :P I feel like these guys really want to believe in their games, I do! But it just doesn't seem like any of them are.... good. :[

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#15

Philip_J_Reed said:

Honestly, I'm aching for some good, fun platformer action. I'll either get this or Adventure Island, depending upon the review. Cave Story would already have my money, but where the heckfire is it?

I do feel bad is a 12/20 is the best review they were able to quote, but, hey, there weren't many reviews of the game to draw from, and if it's true that the actual gaming public enjoyed the game, THAT's what matters. A whole stack of great reviews means nothing if you sit down with the game and you don't like it. Conversely, a stack of lousy reviews doesn't mean you won't personally like the game.

Darig0n

#16

Darig0n said:

for 700 points it looks like a great deal. Maybe reviewers thought it was overpriced? I'll pick this up when I get my points from tetris partys 3rd tournament.

Toddr

#17

Toddr said:

This may just be me, but I'm quite interested in this game. Maybe I just have bad taste in games. :P

Stuffgamer1

#18

Stuffgamer1 said:

This sounds better to me after reading the interview than before. Still, I, like many others, question the idea of quoting a 12/20 score, and will wait for the Nintendo Life review before downloading.

odd69

#19

odd69 said:

its only seven dollars i'm buying it. i was going to wait for the review but it really looks enjoyable enough for my bucks.this should keep me busy until cave story.

Sean_Aaron

#20

Sean_Aaron said:

This looks more interesting to me than Nebulus; really it depends on the price. I'm not a big platforming fan, but given the rarity of the genre on WiiWare I could entertain this during a slow period.

Looks much more interesting than what I was expecting based upon the fishing game. Hopefully they'll build up enough rep to bring something new to WiiWare someday!

IAmNotWill

#22

IAmNotWill said:

Neko is very lazy. They could of made the game way better if they added some changes to what went wrong in the last game. 12/20 is only a 6/10. I dont buy game unless they are 7/10 and up. Pass.

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