Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
Genre: Vehicular Combat / Racing
Release Dates: 14 Feb, 2014 (EU & NA)
Price: 8,99€ (Steam) -
LocoCycle is among the most weird games you will ever see, as the whole sentient motorcycle dragging behind a mechanic who doesn't even speak English is only the beginning to the rest of the story that makes even less sense than that. The journey starts when I.R.I.S, an intelligent motorcycle sees an ad for a biker gathering called the Freedom Rally in Scottsburg, Indiana, so without wasting a moment she decides to head in that direction, dragging Pablo along with her for the journey and putting her creators, the Big Arms Corporation on her tail as they continuously try to stop her. This gets even sillier when another sentient motorcycle by the name of S.P.I.K.E pops into the story, dragging yet another human being behind him to aid him in stopping I.R.I.S.
This would've been a somehow entertaining experience if the silliness was diversified at some point, but instead the game keeps throwing the same jokes over and over again for the next 3-4 hours. LocoCycle's longest running-joke, the fact that Pablo is being dragged down the road and begging I.R.I.S to set him free while she completely ignores his words since she doesn't seem to understand Spanish anymore, reaches its high point somewhere in the first 1-2 minutes of the game when you actually see it happen and maybe chuckle for a few seconds at the silliness, but that does not stop there, as the whole story until the last 10-15 minutes when the finale will change the phase a bit, will be Pablo yelling random lines of dialogue that are neither funny or read-worthy. There are some interesting movie one-liners that may improve LocoCycle's dialogue reputation, but by the time you get to one of those, you would've already given up on reading on listening to the dialogue as more than 90 percent of it is total nonsense that just gets annoying the more you listen to it.
LocoCycle's silly and pointless story idea would've been half sold if the game was fun to play, but unfortunately it is not. The combat relies either on keeping the right trigger handy for ranged combat and just shooting everything in front of you, or melee combat that requires you to press the same two buttons for a couple of minutes without any actual strategy until the section ends and you go back to the ranged combat. There are a few boss battles along the way, but those are just as dull, as even interesting battle concepts get boring as they're being overused for way too long, with bosses that require you to perform the same move multiple times in order to defeat them.
There are sections when LocoCycle tries to switch up the gameplay a bit, but things such as the 2D background shooting sections are just as repetitive as the main concept, not to mention the fighting sequence that will show up later in the game without any logical explanation for its purpose or interesting mechanics to make it fun to play; instead this section, like many other rely on the same 2-3 button layout gameplay that gets boring once you realize you are doing the same thing, in a different scenery. For the first 30 minutes or so, LocoCycle can be entertaining, especially if you're looking for something easy to play that requires only 3 buttons in total, but anything beyond that is just a rehashed version of the same part, with a different background and different lines of dialogue that sound the same either way. On the bright side of things, LocoCycle runs smoothly, with a constant frame rate and no game-breaking bugs, so if you're up for a continuous loop of the same events, you might want to give this game a try.
The overall graphics are outdated, there's no doubt about that, as LocoCycle looks like a 2005 game at its best, but the problems with its visuals don't stop there. The overall design is repetitive, the environments are tedious and the character design is just decent at best, there's nothing really memorable about Pablo or I.R.I.S at all, they both feel like pretty generic characters anyone could design if you'd give them the subject. There's also the countless number of visual glitches that are impossible to ignore, as some objects will show up inside of other objects.
Lisa Foiles is the voice behind I.R.I.S while Robert Patrick took over the role of S.P.I.K.E, and while those are both amazing voice actors, the poorly-written dialogue doesn't give them any credit. The entire dialogue is made up of the same jokes put in a different order with a few references in the middle, and that is something that no actor can make sound good. The soundtrack is good enough for a game of such character, but with all the other flaws, it's probably the last thing you'll pay attention to.
The entire game can be completed within 3 hours, but you can return back to each level in order to improve your score and earn more credits to buy unlockables with, something that achievement hunters might want to do, since most achievements require time and patience alone, but even so it shouldn't take more than 10 hours to unlock everything.
For a 9€ title, LocoCycle can be entertaining for about 30 minutes, until you finally realize it will just keep going in the same direction until the very end, but if that isn't a major issue for you, you're looking at about 3 hours of chaotic and pointless shooting, but that's pretty much all of it.