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Cocoto Magic Circus

Score: 61%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Conspiracy Entertainment
Developer: Neko Entertainment
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Shooter/ Light Gun Shooter/ Family

Graphics & Sound:

Cocoto Magic Circus is a light-hearted shooting game for the Wii. With the Wii Zapper add-on now available, we're sure to see more and more shooters coming soon. And sadly, you won't find very much here to hold you over until better games arrive.

Cel-shaded graphics make up the world in Cocoto. It's fairly cute stuff, and it works well enough. Colors do seem a bit muted and dull, however, and altogether the look of the game isn't as sharp as you'd think it could be.

Simple sound effects accompany the action. You're actually shooting dart guns, so that suction cup noise will become very familiar to you. The mini-games are short, so the music doesn't wear you out too quickly. Other than that, there's the various grunts and yells from monsters as you cover them in darts, and an evil clown ringleader who only says "hello." Again, it's cute stuff. The game definitely has a fun feel to the surface, there's just not much more going on underneath.


Cocoto Magic Circus does try to inject a bit of story into the game. It's the tried and true rescue mission, except this time you play as a band of imps who are trying to rescue their beloved fairy friend. The villain is an evil clown who lures the fairy to his circus and kidnaps her. That's a pretty original set of characters and story, I would say, but it seems the brainstorming department shut down right there. There are no story elements or character development points other than the beginning of the game where the fairy is captured, and the end of the game, where (ok big spoiler, sorry) you rescue her.

If it seems like I'm going on a bit too much about story in a shooter, it's because there's not too much variety in the gameplay either. The back of the box says "40 mini-games, each more original than the last!" Your hand will probably meet your forehead over the sheer silliness of this line, and it's pretty indicative of the game itself: recycle the same thing over and over. There are probably about 6 or 7 different mini-games, with enemies and themes swapped around several times. Don't get me wrong, for a shooter this can work fine. They are by nature, repetitive. But here, you can almost feel the creativity that was stifled during development.

Some of these mini-games are pretty fun. You've got a game of keep-away, where you shoot monsters before they attack your fairy friend. Shooting a matching target out of a group of spinning, moving targets is another good one. Of course there is the standard "shoot the bad guys, avoid shooting the good guys" game in there as well. There are also balloons that float in your way that have either good or bad effects. Some of the bad effects range from turning the lights out to flipping the screen upside-down. At the lower levels, the detrimental balloons are fairly easy to avoid altogether, so it doesn't affect your game too much.

Arcade mode and Training mode are the two single player options. Strangely, you can't enter Training until you've actually beaten the corresponding level in the Arcade mode. Also, for a collection of mini-games, a random level mode or other type of quick play mode might have helped at least make this a decent party game. Unfortunately, the multiplayer modes don't add much to the fun or excitement either. It's basically the single player game with an extra crosshair for your second player, or a round-robin style game where you pass one controller around and take turns. It doesn't seem like much thought was put into it to make it a different experience.


Cocoto Magic Circus is a breeze on Easy and can be beaten in a little under 2 hours. Three difficulty levels are selectable, and they are ranked pretty accurately. It's never difficult to figure out what you have to do in each game. There's never more than one goal to each mini-game, and they're so short that they're easy to repeat if you have to.

This may not have much to do with the game itself, but it also seems a whole lot easier when you have the Wii Zapper available. Being able to change the trigger button from the B button to the A button might have helped a bit, especially considering the fact that you probably won't go out and buy a second Wii Zapper for your friends to play cooperative modes with you. But either way, this is a simple shooter, and after a bit of practice, pretty much anyone can get through it.

Game Mechanics:

Cocoto Magic Circus doesn't do anything out of the ordinary with the controls. The game only uses one button, the trigger button, and the pointing ability of the Wii-mote. It doesn't even have a calibration mode to get your pointer aligned like a real sight. So here it goes, I'll compare it to Link's Crossbow Training, and you know what will win. You'd expect a standalone game to have more complexity than the game that is packed in with the Wii Zapper add-on. Simplicity, however, may be the main thing that Cocoto has going for it. You can hand this game to anyone and they'll immediately know what to do.

Cocoto isn't a terrible game, it just doesn't have what it takes to hold even the most avid shooter fan's attention for long. If you're looking for a simple, kid-friendly shooter for the Wii Zapper, this isn't a bad option. Either way, this is something you want to try before you buy.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Sony PlayStation 3 Army of Two Sony PlayStation 2 Iridium Runners

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated