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It may boast one of the most generic titles ever to grace a video game, but Cocoto Platform Jumper proves to be quite the competent effort, despite its age and low-budget origin. It may not be Mario, but if you're looking for a solid platformer, you can do no wrong with Cocoto. We dare you to beat it in hard mode! You could do much worse with 700 Nintendo points.
I could be petty and complain about the title taking up 300 memory slots, but it’s a downloadable PS2 game mapped out to fit Wiiware, and as such features a host of multiplayer options, such as a four-way race to the top of a screen or a one-on-one battle mode. The real shocker is that, considering the developer’s pedigree and the vanilla-sounding title, Cocoto Platform Jumper does enough to prove itself both relevant and retro, offering gamers something they’ve not been given since the heyday of Taito wrapped up in a shinier sheen. It’s never going to set the world on fire, but it’s perhaps fitting that Cocoto’s forgotten adventures are given a second chance to resonate with gamers who didn’t even know the busy little devil existed. I can’t tell you how he fares in a racing kart or armed with a fishing rod, but I can tell you he’s pretty handy jumping up platforms. Even if he has to constantly worry about possible lawsuits from Ubisoft and SEGA.
Not a game anyone will have been pining for since its release announcement, yet not something you'll lament stumbling onto. Platform Jumper doesn't bring anything remotely new to the table, nor use the Wii's controller to the fullest, but it does provide a fun platformer for the younger crowd to get started with, and the rest of us to enjoy for a few hours.
Though the sadistic level design and jerky controls may eventually tip you over the brink of total irritation, Cocoto's gameplay hearkens back to the unforgiving hardcore challenges found in early platformers. As such, the game itself is unexpectedly quite enjoyable at times. Boss battles are quirky and challenging, forcing you to use your abilities in different ways to best your heftier opponents, and there are just enough levels to offer a solid challenge and reasonable amount of play time. Multiplayer diversions, including a racing mode and a competitive platforming battle, extend the longevity somewhat. By the time the main game is over, you'll likely be glad to be through with it. However, it's quite possible you may find you've had a decent bit of fun along the way.
Neko Entertainment's first Cocoto game for WiiWare was a disappointment, as flawed motion controls marred what could have been an enjoyable fishing design for Nintendo's download service. The character's other outings on the Big N's current console have fared better, though, and while none of them have been either extraordinary or particularly novel they've at least found a place with the budget-minded Wii audience. Cocoto Platform Jumper clocks in a similar experience, as a design that can't be considered all that great thanks to its limited scope and somewhat stiff controls, but is still fairly fun for what it is. At an asking price of 700 Wii Points, I could see where fans of the character, and fans of character-based platformers in general, could find a decent amount of enjoyment here.
Cocoto Platform Jumper simply reeks of average, and for the equivalent of £4.90 GBP (or $7 USD/€7) you could pick up a decent GameCube title. It’s not an abominable game, and is moderately entertaining in short bursts. It’s just that there are so many better alternatives out there that you’d be hard pressed to find a reason to pick this out of the bunch.
Unfortunately, Cocoto never gets anywhere near interesting. Though the levels look different and feature different enemies, they all feel pretty much the same. The bosses at the end of each level require a bit of figuring out, but once you discover their individual weaknesses, victory is just a matter of repetition and exploitation. The multiplayer modes are a misery-loves-company affair that let you introduce a few friends to the awkward, stilted controls that are the bane of Cocoto's existence. With smoothly functioning mechanics and some thoughtful design, Platform Jumper could have captured some of the fun of its old-school platforming precursors. But it doesn't have those things, which leaves it a sad also-ran that'll make you look for better ways to spend your money.