Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Nintendo 3DS - Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

If someone mentions Nintendo and platform game, the first thing that comes to mind is no doubt the all time classic Super Mario Bros range. But that doesn't mean that the other Nintendo platform games aren't as good! In fact, after playing the new Nintendo 3DS game Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, it's safe to say that it's now me and Abby's (and Clay! Although he can't play it very well yet) favourite new Nintendo 3DS platform game!

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash (RRP £24.99; amiibo bundle available; pegi 7) is a new Nintendo 3DS platform-adventure game that can be played either in 2D or 3D (on the new Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL).

In the game, Chibi-Robo (mini robot) went back to Earth to help repel invaders, after finding out that aliens have visited and stole precious resources. He has to travel through worlds (continents?) during his adventure, and use his most trusted Chibi-plug (his electric cord) to get through places, find hidden treasures and useful things (including trash!), and defeat the aliens and their bosses.

There are currently 7 worlds to clear, each with 6 stages, which once cleared, unlocks the boss stage.

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Break wall for goodies and reach hidden locations. Use skill to solve puzzles
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Left: Whip Lash (instant, shorter, goes straight)
Right: Zip Lash (requires charging, can be very long, aim aid available and can bounce off the walls in angles)
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Unlocking door by tilting the new Nintendo 3DS to the right
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Bottom info screen
Main Tool:
Chibi-Robo uses his Chibi-plug for everything, from charging his power up (which depletes over time), breaking down blockage, unlocking doors, collecting items, defeating enemies, and getting him from one point to another that are otherwise unreachable.

Chibi-plug can be extended by collecting coloured balls, which will either extend his whip lash (an instant shot that goes straight but normally for a shorter distance) or zip lash (a more powerful and much longer throw that can bounce off the walls and go zigzag, but requires charging up before use). You can check the length of each skill at the bottom info screen. Chibi-plug's length will reset at each stage, however.

Chibi-Robo can also use Chibi-plug to fly for a short distance, or perform other combo movements.

Items to Collect:
During the adventure, Chibi-Robo will come across things he can pick up, including trash for generating power, coins (or Moolah, in the game) for buying useful things, big Moolahs for a yummy bonus, Chibi-Tots (although we aren't sure yet what they give if you collect them all in each stage?), and real world well known branded candies!

Apart from solving puzzles (with skill!) and clearing stages, the main fun in Chibi-Robo, we think, is the collectible achievements. There are a lot of hidden treasures in this game (see details below), which is much more fun than any that we've come across!

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Left: Charging dock at one of the levels, with a piece of trash next to it
Right: Chibi-Robo charging himself up
Chibi-Robo featuring an alien costume!
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Right: Bottom screen shows how much power each trash generated. The boss trash gives the most power of course!
Chibi-Robo's battery depletes over time, so every so often he will need to recharge himself, especially after a fall or being hit by enemies. There are random charging docks scattered around the worlds at each stage, or you can buy spare battery packs from the shop (see below).

The available power isn't unlimited, however. Players have to collect trash found during their adventure and recycle it at Chibi-Robo's Chibi-House (see image below) to generate power. This will be the total power available for Chibi-Robo to use to recharge himself at any charging dock.

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Top screen: Number on the wall shows total amount of power available to use to charge Chibi-Robo up
Bottom info screen shows that we were in World 1.
Blue stages are cleared, and Chibi-Robo is at an already cleared stage 4.
Smiley face indicates that there is a Toy you can talk to for special collectibles (more about this later).
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
The Boss Destination Wheel. Normal Destination Wheel will look similar but with stage numbers.
This wheel is available once all 6 normal stages are cleared
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Boss from world 1 (couldn't get a clear picture sorry!). Don't forget to collect the boss trash!
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Main Hub:
Chibi-Robo will start out in his Chibi-House every time the game is loaded, so players can get prepared before they venture out. You can check information for each stage cleared, access snacks and trash collected so far, buy spare battery or emergency jet (for when Chibi-Robo falls), access the Chibi-Outfit Network (more about this later), charge up, access amiibo information, and generate power using the trash collected throughout the worlds.

Unlike other games, players do not travel to the next stage directly. After the storyline and tutorial, players will clear world 1 stage 1 (ie. stage 1-1) by hitting one of the 3 UFOs (small gold, medium silver or large bronze) using their chibi-plug (this is required at the end of every stage, except the boss stage). Which UFO you hit affects the number of spins you are allowed at the Destination Wheel, which a player spins to find out which stage in the same world they will visit next (it could be stage 1-4 or 1-6, after 1-1 is cleared).

There is a chance that players will have to revisit a cleared stage and clear it again before they can spin the Wheel again, just to get to the stage they want to go to. With a higher number of spins allowed, players can have another try if the first spin brings them to an already cleared stage. Players can also buy Panels from the Panel Shop before they spin, which allow players to use coins to buy number panels for the stage(s) they wish to go to.

Players will have to have cleared all 6 stages before they can unlock the boss level, and they can only freely visit any level they want to from a cleared world once the boss level is cleared.

It can be tedious at times, but each stage are worth visiting again (twice more!) even if the Destination Wheel didn't put you there, for some bonus fun! And if you haven't managed to collect all the snacks, big Moolahs or Chibi-Tots for each stage, you can use this chance to look for them as they are really worth collecting.

Chibi-Robo is amiibo compatible. The Chibi-Robo amiibo (RRP £10.99 on its own; game + amiibo bundle available), once used in the game, can turn Chibi-Robo into a much more powerful Super Chibi-Robo, which can be leveled up too. Players can also use other selective amiibo characters with the game to give additional bonuses, although the game requires Chibi-Robo amiibo to unlock the amiibo features first (Christmas present!)

The Extra Fun:
This is what makes us love the game more than other platform games!

Hidden Bonus Level:
These will be indicated by a blue tunnel block. It is timed though, and you only have 1 chance to grab everything within the time limit!

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Collectibles and Hidden Treasures:
The collectibles missions are fun to do, so we don't mind to re-play a cleared level 2 more times just to get one of the collectibles quest done - Chibi-Robo's outfits!

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
The alien baby rescue mission appears at each stage (except boss stage) after it has been cleared once.
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
Chibi-Robo featuring Mario costume!
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Rescue Alien Baby and Chibi-Outfit:
Who would have thought that Chibi-Robo can be dressed up? I only came across it by chance as I had to clear level 1-4, which Abby already did, to clear the boss level. I found an alien baby that needed help, and as soon as I brought it to the altar and swung it into the UFO, it revealed 1 number from a 5 digit code as a thank you. After doing a bit of research, I found out that I have to collect the rest of the numbers through other players help on Miiverse (Nintendo's network for players). Once you've collected all 5 digits and unlocked the outfit ID, you have to rescue the alien baby again, and this time it will give you a costume instead!

Tip: You don't have to clear the whole stage for the alien baby rescue mission, and you can leave the stage once you are done. But again, it's worth hanging around to check for other collectibles you haven't found yet.

We've already worked out 2 sets of costumes, and are now taking a break while continuing our adventure in World 2, but we'll be back soon rescuing more babies!

Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game
An American candy! We still have to unlock the information from a Toy.
Nintendo 3DS, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, platform game

Toys and Snacks:
We are still a bit unsure about this one, because we are having trouble finding all the snacks (we only found 3 from the whole World 1...)!

The snacks are worth collecting on their own because they are apparently the most popular snacks around the real world. The packaging look exactly the same, and you can find out more about each snack, by giving it to a Toy who asked for it. A Toy is Chibi-Robo's friend and I'm assuming that there is one at each World? The toy will ask for many snacks, and each time you give one to it, it will tell you a bit about the snack.

When you've given all the snacks it asked for, you are suppose to get a reward too!

What we think:
I've played platform adventure games for years, and never really bothered with the achievements, or trying to find hidden treasures. Maybe it was because I didn't know what they were. If it wasn't because I came across the alien baby by chance, which was super cute (the whole game is just adorable!), I would probably have completely missed the fun!

Seeing a toy and knowing that the snacks collected have a fun purpose also encourage us to keep an eye for the treasures. I think this is the only game that really make us want to collect everything.

Apart from the extra fun, I think that the game is fairly challenging itself. There are the easy parts, which gives you enough time to relax and enjoy the game, and then there are the parts where it's really difficult, and require good hand-eye coordination, plus lots of attempts to get pass it. But because there are other things you can do, when you get stuck, you can get on with the game doing other things to take your mind off the puzzle, and then try it again later when you have calmed down (haha, it's not that bad really).

I also think that Abby could have easily cleared the first boss level by herself, although because it's a boss, she automatically felt threatened, so I ended up clearing it for her. I do think that she would be stuck at where I am now though! How do you fly for a longer distance?!

Graphics wise, 2D is cute and colourful, but 3D is just amazing! I've tried Animal Crossing: New Leaf in 3D, but it didn't give me a really deep in feeling. You can "see" about 3 to 4 layers of depth (background, characters and text), but in Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, there are so many layers (from what my eyes saw)! I can see the far background, 2 to 3 layers of rocks and hills, the character and then the text, which also feels much closer to my eyes. And I only had the 3D setting at about 40%. I actually felt like Chibi-Robo can go deeper into the game, but it's a platform side scrolling game so he really can't. It's a shame I couldn't take a picture of the effects (I already have problem taking pictures of the game itself!) and show you. For Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, I'd definitely recommend to play it with at least a bit of 3D effect.

Overall, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash has exceeded our expectation and it's a really fun game to play!