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LttC: Chibi Robo! Zip Lash (aka the worst Nintendo platformer on 3DS)

Shiggy

Member
Late to the Crap: Chibi Robo! Zip Lash
Chibi Robo! Zip Lash was released on 3DS platforms in 2015 and published by Nintendo. The game was developed by Vanpool (known for the Dillon games on eShop) and Skip Ltd. (known for the Art Style and previous Chibi-Robo titles).




Why did I play this?
So why did I even bother playing this game suddenly? The game has a Metacritic score of 59, which indicates that it's probably garbage (or as platformer fans know it, Sonic quality). Meanwhile, the 3DS has a number of great platformers (Mutant Mudds series, Poochy & Yoshi's Island). The simple answer: I didn't think the demo was too bad and the game was cheap; I paid EUR10 for the game bundle which also includes the Chibi-Robo Amiibo. Unfortunately, after playing the game, I know why it is so cheap.


What makes this game so bad?
The sad truth first: the entirety of the game is bad. I haven't found any redeeming features in the game that show promise for a good title.

- Controls: For a good 2D platformer it's absolutely necessary to have good and somewhat precise controls. This game's controls are sadly neither. You never have good control of the lash, especially as the quick shot only fires diagonally or horizontally, but not in-between or vertically. If the collision detection wasn't also so bad, this might have been less of an issue. But with both being terribly designed, I dropped to death many times as the lash would not stick to the orange material that it is meant to stick to. The other parts of the controls are just as bad: for the fluttering move you never really know how far to the left or right you can flutter or for how long you can flutter; to cancel the long lash you need to press the R button when it would have been far more intuitive if it would cancel automatically if you press the short lash button when attacking an enemy. And you want to know how to open doors? Well, you need to tilt the 3DS to the side as if you were unlocking a lock; sounds as stupid as it is.

- Level design: What is there to say about the level design? Not much. It's boring and uninspired. Everything is pretty generic, from the platforming elements to the graphics. Retry points are put at points after which you first need to walk without any obstacles and then watch some door cutscenes until your back in action (and that takes time...).

- Bonus levels/final boss: It seems as if the developers also found the game to be pretty boring. So they decided to spice it up with some special levels in which Chibi-Robo rides on a skateboard, wakeboard or on a balloon. These levels are as much fun as the normal levels (in other words: none). The final boss follows this design philosophy and changes the gameplay completely: all of a sudden it's more like a poorly thought-out beat'em'up than a platformer. As it's such a strange change, the developers even display control instructions on the bottom screen during the entire battle.

- Collectibles: Each level has 1-2 candies, 3 coins, and 3 mini-Chibi-Robos to collect. In addition, if you decide to replay a level, you can catch a small alien and bring it safely to its UFO. Then you get one out of five letters to get that level's special outfit; to get the remaining 4 characters you need to look out on Miiverse where other users might have found them. Well, you can also just go on Gamefaqs.com where the codes are already listed. Unfortunately, to get the bonus outfits you still need to replay each level and rescue the alien. Replaying these levels, thanks no - I don't want those outfits then.


How is the Amiibo integration?
I haven't been a big fan of Amiibos as I didn't want all the plastic garbage lying around. Pretty much none of my 3DS games use them anyway. So this title was my first experience with full Amiibo integration, so I hope it's not always this bad. The Amiibo allows users to play as Super Chibi-Robo in levels, allows users to level up their Amiibo after each level, and gives access to a capsule machine. Super Chibi-Robo just makes the character faster, have a longer lash, and more energy. Leveling up your Amiibo enables the user to get rarer items in the capsule machine. And the capsule machine just spits out 200 in-game figurines (beware, you can get each of them more than once and they are given out at random). After beating the final boss, you unfortunately also get 6 extra levels (an entire extra world) through the machine. This all doesn't sound too bad, but using the Amiibo is extremely cumbersome. For levelling up my Amiibo, why do I need to scan it twice? And why do I need to scan it after each level? Why do I need to scan the Amiibo every time again when I want to use the capsule machine?


By the way, it's slow.
Everything is slow. Really slow. An NPC is telling you something? You can't skip that (you really want to because it's cringeworthy as hell) or make the text move faster. If you want to progress to the next level, you first need to watch the "level complete" screen where all your collectibles are shown. Then you can level up your Amiibo, which also takes relatively long, then a cutscene is shown where your spaceship is moving. Then you have a fortune wheel which decides which level of the current world you play next. Then another cutscene. And then you can finally play the next level. Yes, it takes very long to finally play the next level. If you use the capsule machine, every time you draw a capsule, a small animation is shown after which a presentation of your newly received figurine is shown. Because it's so boring, I was simultaneously browsing the internet on my phone while continuously pressing A on my 3DS to repeat the drawing process.


Final word
What's left to say? Avoid this crap title and show more faith in game review scores, they weren't far off here. The developers of this title were completely inept at making a good 2D platformer (or they simply hoped to earn a contract with Sega for a new Sonic game - the quality is right there). Even a price of EUR10 is still a rip-off as there are far better titles out there at that price.
 

Blues1990

Member
It's due to this game that we won't be seeing a more traditional Chibi Robo in the foreseeable future.

That alone bites. :(
 
The game has a Metacritic score of 59, which indicates that it's probably garbage (or as platformer fans know it, Sonic quality).

The developers of this title were completely inept at making a good 2D platformer (or they simply hoped to earn a contract with Sega for a new Sonic game - the quality is right there).

That's a nice axe you're grinding.
 

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
I had this on a list of potential gifts for my mother to buy me since it was pretty cheap and I didn't really want her spending lots on me.

In the end she got my Pokémon Moon because she was familiar with it.

Guess I lucked out.
 

Shiggy

Member
That's a nice axe you're grinding.

I simply love good platforming titles ;)


I had this on a list of potential gifts for my mother to buy me since it was pretty cheap and I didn't really want her spending lots on me.

In the end she got my Pokémon Moon because she was familiar with it.

Guess I lucked out.

You got very lucky there :)
But even then, you can still get good titles at low prices. I'm always baffled when people say Nintendo games are expensive.
 

Shiggy

Member
And Mutant Mudds. :p

(Actually I like Mudds - both of 'em - but I think it's very flawed and personally I'd definitely rate it below Zip Lash)

Chibi-Robo Zip Lash didn't require any skill. Only patience. The Mutant Mudds games were challenging, too challenging for you :p
 

Choppymushroom

Neo Member
I absolutely loved this game. I really don't understand some of the complaints that people have about it, but one person's trash is another's treasure I suppose.
 

Mr-Joker

Banned
For levelling up my Amiibo, why do I need to scan it twice? And why do I need to scan it after each level? Why do I need to scan the Amiibo every time again when I want to use the capsule machine?

Because it's how you save data on the Amiibo.
 

zeexlash

Member
It was bland but not terrible, if I'm remembering right the whip mechanism worked well and was fun enough to use.

The roulette wheel stage select was pretty stupid..
 

VLiberty

Member
Man some people are really obsessed with Sonic. I wonder why you're wasting time playing this c-tier crap instead of actually playing some of the greatest platformers ever
 

me0wish

Member
I thought it was pretty good at first, but then I realized it's just more of the same but reskinned, which is pretty sad, I found the game to be pretty charming and the ost to be pretty solid, it just has "meh" level design, and the "blockiness" design of the level was really boring.

I love Chibi-Robo, I wouldn't mind another platformer if done correctly. Chibi-Robo is my most wanted character to be in Smash, but the last two mediocre games probably killed the series.
 
Man some people are really obsessed with Sonic. I wonder why you're wasting time playing this c-tier crap instead of actually playing some of the greatest platformers ever

Shiggy really seems to have it in for Sonic, lol. Dude always shits on the series at every given opportunity.

Anyways, sad this is basically how Chibi-Robo! ended.
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
Disregarding your unqualified jabs at Sonic I agree, Chibi Robo Zip Lash is extremely weak and I cannot understand why Nintendo wanted this game made, considering they have quite a few good platformers on the 3DS. Including Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice.
 

Camjo-Z

Member
I thought it was decent, but compared to the other options on 3DS, it is technically the worst Nintendo platformer. I really wish they'd just make another game like the original, but based on various interviews the devs had about this game, it seems that the poor reception of Zip Lash spells the end of Chibi-Robo.
 

djlr181

Member
Found this game charming and enjoyable, good value too.

I really enjoyed my time with Chibi Robo Zip Lash. The roulette wheel was the game's biggest flaw. It really slowed down the action and a terrible spin could force you to replay a level you didn't wish to revisit.

The graphics, music, and ridiculous story give the game a really unique atmosphere. I also thought the level design was pretty good. It was an enjoyable 2D adventure that deserves a look.
 

djlr181

Member
I thought it was decent, but compared to the other options on 3DS, it is technically the worst Nintendo platformer. I really wish they'd just make another game like the original, but based on various interviews the devs had about this game, it seems that the poor reception of Zip Lash spells the end of Chibi-Robo.

What about Yoshi's New Island? I can't fairly judge since I haven't played Yoshi on 3DS.
 

gweemz

Member
Oh man this game. Bought it day one because of the amiibo that came with it. Loved playing the first two worlds, but once the difficulty picked up slightly I found myself vecoming increasingly frustrated with the game. Things like randomly missing jumps made getting through this game very unappealing. Pushed through and beat it, and while the end boss was fun, it was not worth playing.
 

Camjo-Z

Member
Also, for all of the things Zip Lash does right - or at least competently - let us not forget about the product placement. I've never felt so blatantly advertised to (and strangely hungry) as I was with this game. If anyone gave a crap about this game to start with Nintendo would have been absolutely raked over the coals for that nonsense.

What about Yoshi's New Island? I can't fairly judge since I haven't played Yoshi on 3DS.

People love to hate on YNI but it's a good game. At worst it's a retread of the original with a few extra gimmicks thrown in like metal eggs and motion-control transformations. The soundtrack is the most common complaint but there are seriously about 2 songs that are actually awful thanks to a bizarre off-key kazoo, and you barely hear them at all in the game. The rest of the soundtrack sounds pretty nice and mainly consists of Super Mario World-esque arrangements of one central theme.
 
Then you just have bad taste. :D

I think appreciating mid-tier platformers is more signifying of relaxed standards than "bad taste".

As for Yoshi's New Island, it's a pleasant and playable Yoshi title. Third behind the original and Woolly World, imo. As has been said, people really latched onto the (contextually amusing) kiddy songs, which barely appear, and applied their judgment of them to the entire game. Bizarre to witness.
 
I can agree its the worst. It wasn't bad, but it was pretty slow and the level design isn't interesting enough. And the last world being locked behind amiibo was bullshit. I don't remember having trouble with the roulette though. If I remember right, you could buy panels to up your chances on landing where you wanted.

The DS Chibi Robo is like the GameCube one, and it got a fan translation. It's easily one of the best DS games. Nintendo should be ashamed of leaving it Japan-only.


What about Yoshi's New Island? I can't fairly judge since I haven't played Yoshi on 3DS.

After playing through Yoshi Wooly World on 3DS, I thought New Island was better. WW is too focused on exploration, and without it, the levels are really easy and uninteresting (except the bonus ones). YNI gets the balance right, like its predecessors. That's not to say I didn't enjoy WW, though.
 
But even then, you can still get good titles at low prices. I'm always baffled when people say Nintendo games are expensive.

It's not really hard to understand why the fact 95% of all games Nintendo publish never go on sale is annoying for some... especially in-light of the extremely generous sales found on other platforms.
I'm about to pay £60 for a digital copy of Zelda this week so I clearly don't mind, but Nintendo are definitely the most expensive publisher.
 
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