NS Preview – Post E3 hands on with Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash (3DS)
In case you hadn’t heard already the Nintendo Scene troop were busy up in Shoreditch (London, UK) last week playing demo builds of juicy upcoming 3DS and Wii U titles. Our fingerprints have smeared all over the likes of Super Mario Maker, Yo-Kai Watch, Star Fox Zero, Metroid Prime: Blast Ball, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. But we’re not done quite yet folks. Chibi… Ro… BO!
I decided to lash out with…
Chibi-Robo! has always been another welcome member to the corner of Nintendo developed/published quirk, and am I glad to see the stout fellow making a fifth appearance. But how does our 10cm friend play in 3DS game number two?
There’s still the ever looming battery life depletion to contend with, good to see as I’ve always loved this constraint. Yes I do, no sarcy sharky here! Plus not forgetting the prime directive of cleaning up the world’s filth. Otherwise what we’ve got is another platformer to add to our ever extending portable library. Now before y’all go sighing, it does have some worthwhile tricks up its metallic sleeve. First off it has warranted the existence of probably one of the best crafted amiibo to date. The in-game functionality of which dukes up our hero with a “let’s make things much easier” golden sheen, it reminds me of Super Mario 3D World’s Super Tanooki Suit. Okay so not a game seller, but where the real golden sheen shines itself true is Chibi-Robo’s cord and plug.
As the demo progressed the creativity with how Chibi’s ‘tail’ could be used to solve various on-screen scenarios ignited the charm cylinders. I begun to zone in as I attacked, zig-zagged upward and swung to secrets. Who wouldn’t have known that this dinky robot’s hindrance had now become its trusted ally? This game making mechanic along with the classic quirky tropes of all things Chibi-Robo! I will allow once again to borrow my time fondly. Oh and I do believe I the have space for that amiibo atop my home system’s amp…
Reuben plugs-in with…
I must admit, when I first saw the announcement for this in the pre-Event Direct, I was not convinced on it (apart from that adorable Amiibo). I wasn’t sold on the switch of Chibi-Robo to being a 2D platformer as opposed to its original, more open world setting. Boy, was I wrong. What Nintendo have done here is breathe a tremendous amount of life into a franchise that I think almost all of us had written off as being irrelevant in today’s games industry.
Zip Lash, once I got past the demo guys lengthy explanation on how to play it (which I could have done without), was both intuitive and remarkably engaging. The platforming is tight and the Zip Lash mechanic is wonderfully diverse and clever. The fact that every level has collectables (like most 2D platformers) is usually a slightly dampening factor for me, as I am a bit of a perfectionist with these things so a little level can take me an age, but Chibi-Robo’s hidden extras aren’t frustrating, but merely reward you for paying attention and exploring a little. Also, the Amiibo features in the game are cute, but would (I think) make the game far too easy as it power ups our titular hero. Chibi-Robo was possibly my favourite game of the event.
Wes zips up our initial impressions with…
From the brief time I had with Chibi-Robo I have to say I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised. I don’t pretend to know this charming little character, nor have I played any of his previous games, but this will certainly be the first time that I make the effort to do so.
A typical platform game at heart, ‘Zip Lash’ introduces so much more. And it’s in this ‘lash’ – the little fellas power supply – that the innovations lie – using it to whip to to high platforms, target enemies and open doors; the clever little puzzles in just the one level I played through were a lot of fun to solve using this range of methods.
With loads to collect, lots of secrets to find and places to explore the game certainly looks like it’s going to be essential for any platform fan. I’ll be putting my pre-order in as soon as I am able to – the amiibo bundle will be my choice; this figure can be levelled up and in turn used to power up your in game Chibi-Robo.
All the above opinions are based on the demo build of Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash on show at 30/06/15 – 01/07/15 gameplay and content is subject to change.