Zip it. Zip it good.
Chibi-Robo! is a franchise that is quite under-served, not just by gamers and consumers, but also a bit by Nintendo. His first game appeared on the GameCube, and it was a cult classic, although sales were less than stellar. Despite this, Nintendo continued with the series, though putting the chrome dome hero onto the Nintendo DS, which in North America was exclusive to Walmart stores of all places. Following that was a Photo Finder game on the Nintendo 3DS, which didn't feel up to snuff by any stretch of the imagination. Now, with what seems to be Chibi-Robo's final chance in the spotlight, he arrives in retail form on the 3DS with Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash. Even if Nintendo unplugs the franchise and titular character, at least it's with a game that is actually quite good.
|Swing it around, then bring this foe down!|
|Grab and pull yourself to these orange tiles with Chibi-Robo's whip.|
|Aim your Zip Lash to bank it off this wall to reach this orange tile.|
Then you can pull yourself across these two chasms.
|Careful, Chibi-Robo-- water and electronics don't mix!|
That said, since it's so easy to cheese the Wheel into giving you the correct level you want (I personally made it my goal to play the levels in order, so I always spun a "1"), what is even the point of the Destination Wheel in the first place, other than just to annoy some players? Getting stuck playing a level you've already completed because of a bad spin is not innovative. It's just stupid.
Levels in Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash feature a wide variety of different mechanics in them. Each level generally uses one concept which is slowly but surely expanded, starting out simple and ending with something more complex and/or challenging. From using the power of a fire outlet to set Chibi-Robo on fire to rush through levels, melting metal blocks, to racing on conveyor belts and slippery icy floors, Zip Lash has plenty of variety to keep players coming back for more.
|Nothing like a fling in the forest to recharge one's batteries!|
Oh, metaphorically speaking, of course.
Each level comes with a selection of collectibles to go after for more proficient players. These include three star coins, three Chibi-Tot robots that wish for Chibi-Robo to catch them (if he can), and several snacks, usually found in bonus rooms and inside treasure chests. Finding these is very rewarding, as it shows off the creativity and cleverness of the level design-- much more than if you just run through a level to just reach the end.
|Chibi-Robo's globetrotting adventure takes him|
to places, well, (since he's so tiny) big and bigger!
|Why does this game have to make me so hungry?|
|Hmm, Chibi-Robo... you certainly remind me of someone.|
|And a "howdy-do" to you, too, Robo-Roo!|
I'm at a loss for words as to why Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash is receiving such a... well... backlash from some. It's a highly original and competent 2D platformer with wonderful level design, plenty of content to keep players coming back for more, and charming characters, both good and "evil". Things like the fact that 2D platformers are no stranger to Nintendo platforms, some of the vehicle sections, and that darned Destination Wheel do detract from the delightful quality of the game, but overall, Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash does indeed lash, zip, and whip it good.
[SPC Says: B]