PAX Prime: First Impressions – Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash (3DS)

There were several Nintendo employees wandering around in the Nintendo section near the Handheld Lounge, 3DS’s strapped to their sides and Chibi-Robo amiibos in their hands. They were eager to show off the new game, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash and were careful to ask each person who came through whether they’d ever played a Chibi-Robo game before—and for the few who responded in the positive, the next line from the demo’ers was always “well, it’s nothing like those ones, this is something new!” which was met with what seemed like equal amounts of skepticism and enthusiasm.

Here’s the thing—if you’ve played one of the original Chibi-Robo games, you probably enjoyed the whimsical nature of a little robot running around and picking up trash, generally making the places he went a little cleaner and a little brighter.

In Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, there’s…well, very little of the original game concept inside. Instead of just using his cord to plug in and charge, Chibi-Robo uses it to lash objects and defeat baddies, essentially turning this unique concept into another sidescrolling platformer—or at least that’s what we got from the demo.

It’s cute and the mechanics worked smoothly—there’s no complaint there—but it left us wondering if this was a game that needed to be made. After the bizarre and slightly awful Chibi-Robo Photo Finder left fans of the little robot scratching their heads, why choose this play style rather than the version of the character that brought him into our hearts in the first place?

Admittedly, we are hopeful that there’s more to the game than just what we see here. Maybe it gets super exciting and unique, and maybe the amiibo addition will mean an incredibly fun play experience. Unfortunately, we left the demo thinking “well…okay?” and sadly that’s not really what you want your first impression of a new game featuring a beloved character to be.

We’re still hopeful, but approaching the future of this game with a dose of skepticism.

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Micah
Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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