Critical Reception: Tecmo's Tokobot

This week's Critical Reception takes a look at Tecmo-developed and published Tokobot for the PSP, a puzzle/platform game featuring a boy and his entourage of prehi...
This week's Critical Reception takes a look at Tecmo-developed and published Tokobot for the PSP, a puzzle/platform game featuring a boy and his entourage of prehistoric robots exploring ancient ruins. Reviews were decidedly mixed for the game, with scores ranging from a low 50% from GameSpy's Greg Orlando to a more positive 82% from GameSpot's Carrie Gouskos, and averaging out to a reasonable, if somewhat depleted 72%, according to game review tabulation site GameTab. While GameSpy's Orlando scored the game the lowest, it is 1UP's Jeremy Parish, giving the game a score of 60%, who had a long list of negative points about the game, including major issues with the camera: "Tokobot instantly remaps the controller when the camera switches. When it happens the instant you land on a tiny platform and the change in perspective causes you to run off the edge, it somehow loses its charm." Parish also cited significant combat problems: "Combat itself is sluggish, tedious and annoying. Bolt is utterly helpless on his own and can only go on the offensive by linking his hands with his tokobot companions in one of three different formations", as well as issues with the lead characters themselves: "The tokobots have zero personality, especially compared to the [Mega Man-starring] Servbots they were clearly modeled after. Hell, even the Pikmin had more charm, and they were vegetables." It is the third point that forms the main source of GameSpy's Orlando's distaste of the game, as he states: "Where the game really loses points, however, is in terms of its personality: it has none ... there's nothing particularly endearing about either Bolt or his robotic allies, despite their abundant cuteness." Other points of discontent included: "clipping and pixel loss" and the fact that "the camera isn't on-the-ball." On the other side of the fence, GameSpot's Gouskos lauds that Tokobot "...really revitalizes platforming in many ways; you can use the tokobots in creative ways to combat and to navigate; boss fights are interesting and unique." Her qualms with the game are limited to it being a bit too "linear" and "short." Finally, Yahoo! Games' Chris Hudak allows that there are "some camera problems" and that the controls were "not always responsive," but he cited the following positives in giving the game a rating of 80%: "Extremely clever Tokobot formations; Solid action/puzzle gaming; Stylish." With reviewers clearly somewhat polarized, but all noting problems to some degree with the game, it suggests that Tokobot might be a "hit or miss" game for the PSP this holiday season, depending on its audience, but its presence as one of the few 3D action-platform games thus far available for the handheld may help Tecmo somewhat.

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