The Chibi-Robo! franchise is one I’ll always have a soft spot for. Since its original and wildly oddball effort on the Nintendo GameCube way back when, I’ve been a fan. It hasn’t always been a great ride, what with the really odd Nintendo DS exclusive and the 3DS augmented reality game that came out a year or so ago.
That original GameCube game, though. That one sort of solidified Chibi as a character I wanted to enjoy playing again down the line.
And so, here we are at E3 with a confirmed western release of Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, and I’ve had the chance to go hands-on with several levels in the game while at the show.
The core gameplay in Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is entirely unique to this game. This is a platformer of sorts, and it runs in the 2D perspective. It has 3D elements, mind you, but the layout of the levels is very much left to right on a single plane.
The whole hook is that Chibi can use his electrical cord to attach to specific objects and beat back enemies. You fling your cord at a socket, for example, and you’ll plug in allowing yourself to be pulled and then vaulted over. This is how exploration happens in most typical levels of the game, and that platforming element leads to tougher situations and discoverable secrets and collectibles.
Now, the game does go off the beaten path as well. The person assisting me with my demo pointed towards one of this strange levels as a way to demonstrate the title’s inherent variety. Here, the only use I had for the electrical cord was to hook into a jet ski. From there, this platformer turned into a vehicle dodger and ramp launcher.
It was entirely different from everything I’d tried in the demo beforehand.
Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is a completely new effort in the franchise. It might not satisfy the needs I have that the original introduced, but it does provide something fresh to explore with the license. I’m in for that as a temporary fix.
Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash will launch for the Nintendo 3DS on October 9, 2015. We’ll have more on the game and its adorable robot amiibo as it comes.