|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Neko Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Neko Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The impish little Cocoto seems to be cropping up with greater frequency of late. This cheerful, red demon critter has been kicking around with his pals on gaming consoles in European territories since around 2004, but more recently, he's been spotted in a number of low-profile, mostly mediocre, kid-friendly adventures on American soil. Following the lukewarm reception Cocoto Fishing Master on WiiWare received, French developer Neko Entertainment seems unshaken in its determination to make its devilish hero stick on Nintendo's downloadable gaming service.
Cocoto Platform Jumper is an updated WiiWare port of a PS2 and GameCube title that never saw the light of day in the U.S. If scaling great heights and smacking around weird creatures is your thing, then the fast-paced, vertical platform jumping action Cocoto dishes out in his second WiiWare jaunt should prove to be a moderate diversion for players with 700 Wii Points to spare. However, what comes up must come down, and a neat platformer concept wrapped in a kid-friendly presentation doesn't offer much of a safety net when you dig into the game's weaker moments.
Living in the fiery depths of the volcanic abyss, Cocoto and his mostly-demonic buddies (which for some reason also includes a girly fairy how random) must guard the magic secret of their magma powers. Things are fine and dandy until the wicked lightning god Zaron suddenly sends his minions down to swipe the secret for his own nefarious aims and winds up nabbing Cocoto's pals in the process. In order to reach the kingdom in the sky to reclaim the magic and his buds, Cocoto must ascend through five dangerous realms and defeat their rulers to get a crack at Zaron. It's not the most elaborately executed plot as far as stories go, but why else would you be hoofing it up to the heavens?
For a WiiWare game, Cocoto Platform Jumper's graphics are well put together and visually stimulating. The five different themed worlds feature some pretty background environments, like undulating pits of lava, lush caverns, and flowing waterfalls. The scenery is decently animated, though your main focus will be on navigating the circular platforming level design. Cocoto, his friends, and even the enemies have a friendly, cute visual style that will appeal to younger players. The sound effects aren't particularly memorable, but a handful of whimsical music tracks contribute nicely to the game's atmosphere.
Each level has the friendly demon scaling a round, vertical shaft reaching up to the skies. Moving left and right slowly spins the level around, and you'll jump, dodge, punch, and climb your way higher and higher as a timer ticks down. Precariously placed perches, jump pads, and moving platforms provide some means to assist in your ascent, while a veritable swarm of crawling, hopping, and flying monsters seek out every opportunity to impede your progress. Though you're given a time limit - which can be extended by reaching certain benchmarks/save points within a level - the main goal is to make it to the top as quickly and safely as possible while collecting gems and dispatching foes. The only consequence of running out of time is a weaker score when everything is tallied up in the end. How do you know when you've reached the top? When you reach the big donut platform with a fairy sitting on it, of course.
Clever use of Cocoto's abilities is the only way you'll succeed in your mission. He can double jump, fire a pitchfork projectile, spin-punch, and summon a few burning arches of magma that double as a weapon and a way to climb to otherwise unreachable spots. The Nunchuk is used to move Cocoto around and deliver some of his attacks by hitting buttons or shaking your hand, while the Wii Remote is primarily for jumping and punches. Attacks and abilities work well for dispatching baddies for the most part, but Cocoto's jumping ability leaves a lot to be desired. The double jump gives you some good height to reach higher ground, yet horizontal leaps are more laboriously pulled off. He simply just doesn't jump that far to the left or right, even with running momentum. This can be problematic at crucial moments.