(DSiWare)

Go! Go! Kokopolo (DSiWare)

Game Review

Go! Go! Kokopolo Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Koko-crazy

DSiWare is, quite rightly, well known for providing a diverse range of quirky titles to give DSi owners small downloadable gaming fixes. We’ve seen a few ‘off the wall’ concepts on the service, and Go! Go! Kokopolo deserves its place in this category. The title says it all; this is a game that doesn’t want to be taken seriously.

The storyline is, as you may have guessed from the title, wacky and irrelevant. A bongo playing Sky Guardian called Jinbe is flying on a cloud when he accidentally drops one of these drums on Kokopolo’s head, as he chills out on his hammock. Being a wildcat, he reacts furiously and sets off on a quest of revenge, dragging his book-reading pal Tatsumo along for the ride. It’s silly fun, with the opening cutscene setting the standard for the quirky humour behind this game and its concept.

Once you get into the game, the main focus of attention is Story Mode, which follows Kokopolo’s quest for vengeance. Pleasingly, there are three save profiles available, and you choose your difficulty level, as well as whether you play as Kokopolo or his side-kick Tatsumo; they control the same way. This story mode boasts 80 levels, split up into 10 different worlds, so will keep most gamers busy for a good while, and not just because of the number of levels.

This game has longevity for one particular reason: the difficulty. Due to this we recommend that, before starting the story mode, all players take advantage of the Tutorial on offer. This is valuable for getting used to the controls and the concept, which is basically a glorified game of tag and chase. With an angled top-down viewpoint, each level is a maze with set paths to follow and various traps and obstacles to avoid. Movement is with the D-Pad, while the other key controls are B to jump, A to slash enemies and R to dash. The basic goal is to find enemies, slash them into a fit of rage, and run as fast as you can to the ‘Snap Snap Plant’ which will devour them and, if you don’t hurdle it correctly, you. You then tap the touch screen at the right moment for a treat to be spat out by the snap plant, which you can gather from the area where you found the enemy.

The concept is simple, but the challenge comes from the various pitfalls in the maps, as well as the speed at which Kokopolo and his enemies dash around. In Easy difficulty the dash is manageable, but the story mode is restricted to just 32 of the 80 levels. If you want to see the whole game you’ll need to top up your sugar and caffeine intake, harness the ninja gamer within, and play the Story Mode in Normal difficulty. The speed of the dashing is significantly higher in this mode, so it’s particularly challenging to navigate the map while being pursued, hopping over obstacles and switches as you go. Quick reflexes are an absolute must, and you’ll either relish the challenge or become frustrated and agitated beyond belief. It isn’t for the light-hearted, but the developers have graciously given unlimited lives, so the game is only over when you decide.

One accusation that can be levelled at the gameplay, in either difficulty setting, is that there is a lack of diversity and variety to the experience. Progress does bring up new enemy types, switches to stand on and some different puzzles, but the general actions are the same in every level. Learn the map, always visible on the touch screen, scratch enemies and run like crazy for the snap plant. This sense of repetition is countered by additional secrets and unlockables; capturing snap plant gifts before they hit the ground can unlock a door to a bonus level, while finding and copying the path of butterflies unlocks scratchcards. The scratchcards are a nice touch, with 40 to collect and each showing art-work and animations for different characters. Throw in a Time Attack mode for unlocked levels, with some exceptionally difficult target times, and there is a good amount of content for the premium price tag of 800 Points.

On the presentation front, Go! Go! Kokopolo is an impressive demonstration of what can be achieved within the limitations of DSiWare. The art direction is excellent, with a variety of environments full of vibrant colours, while the animations of the various characters are a pleasure to watch, exuding charm in every sprite. Music is cheery and inoffensive, though not particularly memorable.

Conclusion

Go! Go! Kokopolo is a demonstration of what can be good about DSiWare. It’s colourful and full of character, with challenging gameplay and stacks of content. The level of challenge is significant, however, so much so that a lot of gamers won’t see the whole game. It’s a shame that less-skilled players can’t enjoy all 80 levels in Easy mode, a harsh penalty considering the difficulty of Normal mode and the premium price tag. However, if you like the concept, have sharp reflexes and want a new challenge to occupy you for a good while to come, then this title comes highly recommended.

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Game Trailer

User Comments (27)

sam322

#1

sam322 said:

brilliant review Thomas! i may buy it with my next points card.
One question, what's the level of its replay value?

sykotek

#2

sykotek said:

I'll be buying this day one. Gameplay looks great. I don't like that the cat looks mean spirited mostly though when he's running about, but I suppose that's just my personal preference.

This trailer is awesome:

MetroidMasher17

#3

MetroidMasher17 said:

I read this review while watching a turtle try to climb up onto higher ground. I should go help it... Well, that was irrelevant.

Great review, Thomas! I plan on saving my cash for Metroid II, so I probably won't buy this. But it does sound fun.

ThomasBW84Admin

#4

ThomasBW84 said:

@sam322 - thanks for the comment. The level of challenge will keep most busy for a good while. Once you beat the game you can take on Time Trials for all of the levels, or play through the game trying to find all of the scratchcards. For those that like the gameplay, this should provide plenty of hours of playtime.

FonistofCruxis

#5

FonistofCruxis said:

I was worried that this might not be worth 800 points but it sounds like it is from the review so I will purchase it at some point in the future.

Oregano

#6

Oregano said:

I think this is a great review and the game is a lot of fun but it does get quite difficult!

Popyman

#9

Popyman said:

Man, this came out of nowhere! I'm buying this for sure! The character designs and style are excellent, and the gameplay sounds super interesting. I can't wait!

Henmii

#10

Henmii said:

Someone on this site said the game looked awesome. I was very sceptical but watched the trailer anyway. And I was surprised: It really looked cool!

Nice review! I'll download it when I have a 3DS!

grumblegrumble

#11

grumblegrumble said:

It's coming out tomorrow in the U.S., along with Crazy Hamster (which I can't wait for, too.) Great review ;) It looks fun!

Dizzard

#12

Dizzard said:

I had heard of this game a while before. So it's nice to see it finally out.

I might get it somewhere down the line....but I only just recently bought some dsiware games so I'll have to pass for now, but it looks like a great game.

JimmyWhale

#14

JimmyWhale said:

I dig the art style! It's like Digimon and Super Mario had a baby. Might have to grab this one.

Retro_on_theGo

#16

Retro_on_theGo said:

The gameplay sounds like Megaman Zero. I'm interested! :) I probably won't get it for 800 points, but maybe one day.

GreenAbobo

#17

GreenAbobo said:

I'll be snapping this up on Thursday. Sounds like the content is worth the 800 pts, and on top of that art looks great.

homopod

#18

homopod said:

Wow, thanks for the review. I downloaded it day 1 in Europe (because of that awesome trailer)
It's an amazing game - IMO, one of the best DSiWare releases ever: lots of content, unlockables, crazy characters, high difficulty, colourful and neat visuals, many hours of gameplay and high replayability value.
Must buy.

WolfRamHeart

#19

WolfRamHeart said:

Very nice review Thomas. This looks and sounds like the kind of game that I would really enjoy. If this really is coming out tomorrow then I will be sure to pick it up. DSiWare definitely needs more quality games like this one.:)

Samholy

#20

Samholy said:

just love the art. its bright and stylish.
ill put it in my wish list for my future eshop purchase

ToxieDogg

#21

ToxieDogg said:

Downloaded it last week and it's a lot of fun and has a decent challenge too...the game also requires 2 playthroughs to obtain all the scratchcards and unlock all the levels as it has branching paths in between worlds. Whilst it's tricky, I (so far) haven't been frustrated by it at all yet, the only real criticism I'd level at it is that the gameplay never really seems to change throughout...you get new level features like springboards, 1 way gates, new enemies, etc. but as the main review above says it's still just 'scratch the baddies and run like hell to the snap plant'. Still well worth 800 pts though :)

Alpha2797

#23

Alpha2797 said:

I wasn't sure of getting this game or not. I downloaded it and I enjoy it immensely. Worthy of the 800 price tag and if I was a critic, I'd give it an 8, possibly a 9. Speaking of which, did you know that you can slaughter the butterflies on the title screen by tapping them? Slaughter 300 and you unlock a very stylish clothing outfit for that devious wildcat, Kokopolo. The clothes are only viewable in the title screen as far as I know.

grumblegrumble

#25

grumblegrumble said:

Ok. I just downloaded it... Can't wait to play it! Here goes! :) I'll come back with my lil review but I have a feeling it's gonna be great.

Bucho

#26

Bucho said:

Bought it yesterday and so far so good, but it's getting harder and harder! (that's what she said)

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