While most of the games that get tons of exposure are those with serious premises, there are some that are either lighthearted or tongue-in-cheek. They are games that you can laugh at without dampening the experience and actually helps it be better. Of course, they still have to be good to be worth any merit, no matter how funny or quirky it is. That’s what comes into question with LocoCycle, a game that looks like its developers had way too much fun on.
LocoCycle is a motorcycle racing game made by Twisted Pixel Games and published by Microsoft Studios. To think that Microsoft themselves put this out is quite something. This game is simply about a super-intelligent bike racing through roads in a fit of cybernetic rage, like HAL 9000 on training wheels and coiled springs. I.R.I.S., voiced by Lisa Foiles, is the sentient superbike in question, and it’s dragging along a mechanic of Hispanic descent named Pablo. The script itself is aware of its own silliness, so there’s a bit of breaking the fourth wall along the way.
This game is mostly tongue-in-cheek, which is quite alright as it was made to not take itself too seriously. Seeing Pablo being dragged along by an intelligent superbike with high tech weaponry is far from the usual motorcycle action portrayed in action movies and such. If you’re into sci-fi B-movies, then this may actually be fun for you with the whole attack robot motorcycle thing going on. The man panicking while being dragged across the road at high speed does make it quite funny as well, and the arcade style gameplay makes it quite casual.
However, the gameplay elements don’t take themselves seriously as well, which is not a good thing since that will always be a sticking point in assessing the quality of a game. The combat system is easy enough to work out, although it also doesn’t involve much skill to master as well. I.R.I.S. can get close to enemies and hit combos on them like in Devil May Cry, as well as some projectile weapons when they’re at a distance. The integration between melee and ranged combat is disjointed though and most of combat is just a button mash fest. There is a way to counter incoming attacks, but it’s no Batman Arkham game.
It does have that rushed feel to it because of how the gameplay feels half-baked and mediocre for the most part, which is bad even for a game that’s not intended to be taken too seriously as gameplay is always a serious thing in video games. South Park: The Stick of Truth is a great example of a game that’s also irreverent and far from being serious, but its gameplay is nice and solid. Just because something is on clown shoes, it doesn’t mean that the gameplay should be treated the same way.
Perhaps LocoCycle falls in the “so bad, it’s good” department, and it kind of does. Despite its downsides, it’s still a good bit of fun that you can laugh at with friends until its novelty wears off. It may not be very flattering of people of Hispanic descent though, so be warned if you get offended by that kind of stuff. Also, being an Xbox One launch title, it’s not exactly the best way to introduce the next-gen console, especially with its graphics that are beyond lackluster. It does do better as a PC and Xbox Live Arcade title, serving to give a few hours of laughs on the side.
It’s not really anything to write home about, and it also likes to poke too much fun at a specific group of people. But if you just want something to have a few laughs with, then this could fill some lazy afternoons when there’s nothing else going on, but only if you can get it at a big discount.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 4.5/10