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Review: Chibi Robo

Posted May-17 2007 by ron
For Gamecube, runs on Wii, optional 60Hz mode

Eventually you'll just have to ignore the reappearing dirt stains, dog foot-prints and litter along the way, and focus on efficient progress, especially when the exploration trails you have planned start taking the better part of a play phase all on their own. You'll come back to both kinds of activity, but it turns out to be more efficient if you do exploration and happy-point grinding in separate play phases.

A suspicious teddy bear

Oh what a cute, innocent teddy bear. What could he possibly be hiding?

And so the adventuring comes into full swing. You acquire new tools that allow you to open up more of the environment. As you go through the story events, characters will have different things to say, different things they want (from you, most of the time), and move to different places around the house. All the while there is always a number of optional distractions dangling in your face that you can dive into.

Someone likes the sound of our spoon

Some of the encounters in Chibi Robo are just totally weird.

Another important element in Chibi Robo are the costumes. Chibi sometimes gets awarded with these for solving certain tasks, and wearing them allows him to perform a move characteristic to whatever it is he is dressed up as. This is essential for solving some of the mysteries in the house, and gives the player more things to experiment with, and thus incentive to revisit rooms.

Wearing a frog costume

This frog costume helps Chibi discover his (its?) animal side. Ribbit.

As dialog plays a large role in Chibi Robo we need to mention that the game foregoes spoken dialog. To put some life into the conversations the game uses randomized strings of speech-like noises, along with some animations. The noises are unique for each character and sampled, so it's somewhat acceptable, but do expect to cringe here and there, especially when talking to a certain egg.

A grumpy pirate doll

Pirates tend to get a little edgy when separated from their ships.

We really can't say where all of this leads without spoiling much of the wonder. Let it suffice to say that there is a lot of wonder and surprise in Chibi Robo, and it'll make you grin before long. But then it also serves lows to the highs, and some story events are genuinely sad.

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