STAFF REVIEW of LocoCycle (Xbox One)

Thursday, December 19, 2013.
by Brent Roberts

LocoCycle Box art Throughout your gaming timeline there are games that you have played that are brilliant, fantastic pieces of software put together in a way that staggers the mind, excites the soul, and ignites a passion that has you glued to the game for weeks and months on end. LocoCycle is not one of those games. Twisted Pixel Games has gone to tremendous lengths to create a title that offers much in the realm of bad humor, simplistic yet twitchy controls, repetitive gameplay, and a pointless overall feel that makes you wish you were playing something else. This whole review could end right now and you would have more content and experienced more than you would if you played LocoCycle, but alas, if you need more proof of why you should avoid this game, read on dear reader, read on.

Remember back in the Sega CD days when there were games that offered live action video, and parts of which were interactive? This is the same style, yet on a grander, yet more vomit inducing scale. Starting off you will be watching a comedic parody live action video where poor acting and poor humor intertwine as we are introduced to S.P.I.K.E. and I.R.I.S. and from the beginning you can see that S.P.I.K.E. looks like something from Mad Max, while I.R.I.S. looks like a bike rip off of the famous Knight Rider car KITT.

Towards the end of this presentation you will also see how they blatantly ripped off lines and scene development from the movie Short Circuit as I.R.I.S. is left alone for a few moments during a lightning storm where, inevitably, a bolt comes down from the clouds and strikes I.R.I.S. causing it/her to become like Johnny 5, alive. I.R.I.S. is pushed back to a garage where Pablo is tasked to repair it but during the repair I.R.I.S. comes to life and scans a magazine that Pablo was reading and decides that attending a motorcycle ride in Indiana. Upon discovering that I.R.I.S. is different, Pablo ends up getting his jeans stuck in the bike itself and as the bike takes off, so does Pablo. This is the stage for LocoCycle and even though Twisted Pixel Games may have done this deliberately, the execution leaves little to smile about, let alone laugh at.

This is thanks to the stage setup and control scheme which is so simplistic you could technically play this game with your foot and focus your attention to other things. The A button acts as your boost gauge and counter attack while the X and Y buttons act as your weak and strong melee attacks. Steering is done via the left thumbstick but it would almost be more productive to drive using The Force because it would probably be more responsive.

Slight twitches left or right will have your bike veering wildly off course which doesn't really matter since you will hit an invisible wall and bounce right back into position thus almost making the left stick obsolete. Combat is the name of the game in LocoCycle, not racing, and involves you going through short chapters where you will fight various enemies that result in you smashing the X and Y buttons over and over again with the occasional press of the A button. This is the only actions you will do outside of a few mediocre mini games that involve you fixing the bike on the fly, but ultimately in the end, you will be repeating the same actions over and over again. At the end of each stage you will be given a grade based on your previous performance and awarded points which can be used to upgrade your bike. You can upgrade various trees such as melee combat, health, and weapon systems. Some of these unlocks require you to trudge through the levels ahead before you can upgrade them though so it's safe to say that LocoCycle enjoys thrusting you through levels of torture to upgrade all elements of your bike. That's a really sick joke from Twisted Pixel.

Either intentionally or unintentionally, LocoCycle tries to deem itself worthy in the graphics department, but sadly falls short there as well. By providing last gen graphics of non AAA titles, LocoCycle makes smooth moving garbage throughout each stage flow very smoothly. Now there were some last gen games that provided breathtaking beauty and stunning imagery but LocoCycle can't seem to even compete with that. Known for not having their games taken very seriously, Twisted Pixel Games seems to follow this trend very well with LocoCycle's graphics and even their sound. Trying to compete with C-3PO, I.R.I.S. claims to translate thousands of different languages, yet thanks to the lightning strike, can't understand anything except English which bodes well for Pablo as he speaks absolutely no English period. The result of this lingual blockade is poor humor that is constant and mundane and provides you with minutes of semi entertainment until it goes into the boring and painful. I.R.I.S. does try to convey the occasional classic movie line which adds the momentary nod to better quality work than this game, but the impact is lost thanks to the poor writing and audio work.

To finalize this insult, LocoCycle is priced at $20 and is only available as an online download. Yes all this below average software can be yours for $20, but wait if you act now you can come to your senses and avoid this short, yet painful title. This was probably a very smart move because it saved on the production costs needed to bring a physical copy to reality. And they realized that they would lose their shirt if they spent that kind of money because hardly anyone would buy this game. No SmartGlass or Kinect involvement means that your torture is subjected to controller only, and that’s perfectly fine with me. I understand that humor varies by taste, however there are comedic movies from 30+ years ago that are more iconic and could be used for inspiration and provide better writing materials to at least make LocoCycle more enjoyable. Given the boring gameplay, over simplistic controls, average graphics, extremely poor writing and mediocre audio, the question isn't why wouldn't you buy it, but why, in the name of everything that is holy on this planet, would you buy it?

Overall: 4.0 / 10
Gameplay: 3.8 / 10
Visuals: 4.3 / 10
Sound: 4.5 / 10


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