When Sony came out with the Playstation Portable at the beginning of 2005, there was an immediate sense of trepidation around the industry. The worry was that PSP games would just be a watered down version of PS2 titles. The lack of diversity in the PSP’s game library is also a cause for concern then, and it certainly the same now. Well one game that I was actually intrigued by was a Tecmo game that just looked "different". The game is Tokobot and it is now available for the PSP. Is this a game that PSP owners have been waiting for? Read our full review to find out!
When I first picked up and began playing Tokobot, my first reaction was that this was a game that had the ability to become a sleeper hit like the extremely popular Katamari Damacy. I say this because the story of the game is very light hearted, and at the same time it is just extremely weird and quirky. The character at your disposal in this game has the name of Bolt, who basically becomes very attached to these Tokobots. What happens is they become so attached that they follow you around and therefore they become your weapons. The goal of the game is to explore this world that you find Bolt in, and by doing so stay away from the bad guys in the game. Like I said the game is very light hearted and doesn’t make a huge impact on the overall feel of the game.
So obviously the Tokobots have a significant impact on the game, and thus they are your primary weapons. This is a different idea that hasn’t been used very often but it is a neat one at that. You can actually put your Tokobots into different formations, which is the one piece of strategy you have to use throughout the game. As you go through your adventure, you can gain and lose your Tokobots, which is basically one of the constants throughout. The combat in the game is very simplistic and doesn’t try to make things harder then they need to be. You will be able to unlock some new maneuvers throughout your travels as well.
Tokobot is a game that sticks with a very simple action platforming idea, and never really goes away from it. One of the biggest drawbacks the game has is that it never really draws together any new ideas, but instead just kind of sticks with the same pace throughout the whole experience. The one thing you have to give the developers credit for is giving some really neat abilities that use the Tokobots to your advantage. These help to vary things up, but there still was plenty room for more.
When you look at Tokobot you see a game that just has a very easy-going flow to it that I found worked for the game. Sure this game is good but unfortunately it doesn’t go beyond that to become great. The feel of playing with these Tokobots is fun and the puzzles in the game aren’t overly complicated but are enjoyable nonetheless. If you’re going into this game expecting something revolutionary, you’re not going to find it here. The game feels content to just mix up the light-hearted feel with its simple but strategic combat, and uses those ideas well.
When I was talking about the gameplay I used the word "light hearted" to describe them. Well, in the visual department the same term applies. The developers just kept things nice and simple in the visual department on the PSP, just using some very simple lighter colors and keeping everything just smooth from start to finish. I did however see some definite room for improvement in the environments, which could have used a bit more detail. In the end however Tokobot used the capabilities of the PSP well enough to make for a good looking game.
When a game is "light hearted" in the way that Tokobot is, then you will find quite easily that there is a lot to enjoy. When I found myself playing this game I found that I was just taken back by the easy flow of the game that just let you play at a smooth pace, not really worrying if you were winning or losing. This was all possible by the great control scheme that makes things very easy. This game doesn’t have the longest gaming experience, but it is also a game that I didn’t mind going back and playing again.
Tokobot isn’t a game that will win any awards; it isn’t a game that will be talked about in a few years from now. But Tokobot is a game that takes advantage of much maligned PSP platform and just makes a very simple and fun game that a lot of PSP owners will be sure to enjoy. If you just wanted a simple action platformer for your PSP, I would highly recommend checking out Tokobot. It is a different type of experience that is fun to play.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.