Chibi-Robo! is one of those Nintendo series I’ve always been interested in trying. It seemed like an interesting twist on the standard 3D Adventure game fare but for whatever reason I just never got to it. When I saw a new Chibi-Robo! game was coming to 3DS I knew this wouldn’t be anything like the Gamecube release as it was now a 2D Platformer but the level design looked a lot like Kirby Triple Deluxe’s and that is one of my favourite platformers so I decided I’d give it a shot anyway.
As mentioned this is a 2D platformer which means you get to run and jump your way through levels. With that Chibi-Robo has two attacks, with the X button you can use his Whip Lash which is usually about 6 inches with ways to expand it sometimes found. It can only be aimed directly in front of you or diagonally up. By holding the Y button you can use the titular Zip Lash which starts at 6 inches as well but gets expanded really easily with blue orbs found all over the level. You have to charge it but it is much more powerful, can bounce of walls for puzzles and can be aimed 360 degrees. I usually used the Whip Lash for attacking and Zip Lash for everything else.
The level design is pretty good. Each level has a gimmick which might be used differently later one but is generally exclusive to that level. They have coins littered all over the place and literal litter as well. The litter is used to convert into energy for Chibi-Robo. I never came close to running out so I have no idea what happens if you do. There are also snacks, usually candy, hidden in each level. These are from all over the world but, and it might have just been my luck, the ratio seemed about 70% Japanese, 20% American, 5% German, 5% Everywhere else. I know the game is Japanese but most of their stuff you see in most foreign foods sections at super markets and I liked actually learning about the snack. I wish there were some say, obscure Greek or Cuban snacks thrown in.
Well now negatives. To select your level instead of just moving on a world map you have to spin a wheel and you move the amount of spaces it lands on. If you get a level you’ve already beat have fun replaying! You can influence the wheel two ways. One is at the end of each level there are three UFOs. If you hit the Gold you get three chances to spin, Silver two, Bronze one. Obviously bronze is easiest to hit. The other is buying panels which isn’t a huge deal as for most the game that’s all you really have to spend money on but it’s annoying to remember each level to hit X on the wheel then buy two 1s just to make sure you can actually get to the next level. When you beat the boss of a world you can select the level you play. Another issue is bosses. While most were fun their difficulty is all over the place. Personally from easiest to hardest I’d rank them 5, 1, 3, 4, 2, 6. I’ll be honest here. I haven’t beat the final boss. Not because he’s too hard or I don’t have time but because Nintendo decided to force you to buy 5 pieces of equipment to fight it and these cost a lot. I am not motivated to replay levels to grind money so I’m sticking to scanning 20 amiibo a day in for 50 coins each. I haven’t been spending money aside from their stupid wheel system which is really annoying. One final issue is the controls. The jump feels quite stiff and his run has no way of being sped up like holding Y in Mario. The ice levels are some of the worst I’ve ever playing requiring you to Zip Lash while moving is hard enough but ice is near impossible, especially by the time you see you need to it’s often too late to start charging before your death.
The opening cut scene looks great. Other than that it looks like a late DS/launch 3DS title. Everything is colourful and I only noticed frame drops during loading screens so on those departments we’re good but the rest is just meh.
I’d say the strong point. If Nintendo ever releases the soundtrack on iTunes I’d suggest buying that as all the songs are great. I can’t list any standouts as 1. I don’t remember which level what happened very well and 2. they are all great! The gibberish speak is something I never like and still didn’t here. Some of the characters sounded funny for the first few lines but the speech is just the same few lines repeating over and over.