The ultimate USA road trip

Having free time means that I can even revisit certain games that, some might say, don’t deserve to be revisited. Now of course tastes are personal and all that, but it’s certainly true that some titles don’t seem to offer anything that others didn’t already do much better. Under those circumstances, why waste anymore time with them? You play them once, you are done. After all, some would say that for an entertainment piece there’s no worse crime than mediocrity.

Lococycle looks a lot like a 360 game, although running on 1080p and perhaps some multisampling. The sense of speed is well represented though.
Lococycle looks a lot like a 360 game, although running on 1080p and perhaps some multisampling. The sense of speed is well represented though.

So I have to admit that, despite the very lukewarm reception, Lococycle avoids this problem by virtue of its utterly bonkers story. You may have seen a few weird games around: Rez was certainly strange, although it was more a matter of presentation. And anyone will tell you the faux western style of God Hand was as peculiar as they come. But you have never seen anything like Lococycle before. You have a talking bike dragging around a guy by his pants, getting attacked by midgets wearing dynamite suits, skiing James Bond henchmen clones, countering a ramming helicopter Arkham Asylum-style, and so forth.

I’m not a big fan of QTEs, especially because in many games, failing one can result in having to repeat the scene. And if the purpose of the QTE is to present players with a cool scene/angel/direction that would not be possible in normal gameplay, making them repeat the scene more than once utterly defeats the purpose of it. Lococycle avoids this by making its quicktime events a simple occasion to score more points, with no other penalty for an eventual failure to comply.

It does get pretty crazy, yes, why are you asking?
It does get pretty crazy, yes, why are you asking?

And it’s all complemented by live-action cutscenes. In the 21st century! The contrast between the filmed scenes and the in-game graphics simply adds to the ridiculousness. It also helps that the acting, as well as the voice acting, is very good and actually makes it feel a movie… or some kind of B-movie anyway. And perhaps weirdest of all, the story does have a heart. Amidst the furiousness and zaniness, you can feel there is something deeper. Perhaps it’s better not to look too deep though, lest we think too much about it. After all, maybe I’m giving it too much credit. But the ending is quite satisfying, which is rare enough in this world.

In light of all this, the various issues with the gameplay (repetitiveness, levels drag on too long, combat is overly simplistic and QTEs are plenty) seem almost minor, whereas in any other title they’d mean a mediocre game. If you start with the idea that you’ll play it only once for the story, it is a good experience, like few others. And you won’t even mind its faults. , you have to wonder what they’ll cook up next. But Lococycle seems almost like the culmination of their entire line of work, and if it were me, I’d think about trying something different instead.

Whatever they choose to do, however, now that Twisted Pixel is independent again, will probably be what they themselves want to do. And if Lococycle tells us that it’s important to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, the developers must believe it too. With that kind of mindset, I feel like there’s nothing to worry about.

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