Review by Saflok
"A Quirky Adventure"
Chibi Robo released in February 2006 was one of my most anticipated games mainly due to its off the wall concept. You play as Chibi Robo, a little robot who comes to a family in disarray due to income problems and what I have to imagine sexual frustration from the parents. You are their little robot maid parse, who cleans the house and other completes other odd jobs to help the family in their daily life. Yes it sounds like a cleaning simulator I know, but it's simply so much more than that. Its an exploration game, where the house (and backyard) are your unexplored terrain.
GRAPHICS - Your average Game cube title
This is a gamecube game, and for that you have a bit of an expectation for the graphics as of result. I am not letdown in the graphics, though they are a bit outdated. Its a bit rough around the edges, but it doesn't take away from the gameplay in any way. They can be a bit on the "cute" side of things from time to time, but that's one of the things you come to love about the game.
SOUND - Great to Awful
The little musical notes as you walk across the room are truly inspired. The music used in different parts of the game, whether it is for completing special events, to frighten you or alarm you of the situation, truly adds to the overall atmosphere and always seemed perfectly timed. The only problem I have with the sound in the game is the "voice acting: if that's honestly what you want to call it. Its gibberish, constant nonsense and gets to be very annoying. Honestly when playing this game, I have a roommate and he pleaded me to turn off the sound or at least put headphones on. Its truly the worse part of this game, but easily solvable by simply turning the volume off.
STORY - It does the job.
Honestly this is no RPG, and the story tells you that. It is nothing epic and its nothing meant to be epic, but it certainly gets the job done. It starts of simple enough, you are a present for the whole family really (mainly the little girl as a birthday present) and your goal is to spread happiness to all around you. Well as the story develops, and the you get to know the characters you take peace in its simplicity. There are many little side stories that go on through the house, but once you progress far enough in the game it becomes more of a "save the family and become a hero" plotline that has many twists and turns.
CONTROLS - Nothing wrong here
The controls are very smooth in this game, whether it be just walking around or using your blaster to shoot things, everything is simplistic in its manner and again, another thing to love about the game. This is for all intensive purposes a children's title, but that in no way makes it shallow or bad. The controls are nothing anyone should complain about, especially after sitting down and playing the game for an half an hour or so.
GAMEPLAY and REPLAYABILITY - This is where it shines
The gameplay simply put is fantastic. Its a sharp mix of platformer/RPG/3rd person shooter/Adventure title all mixed into one. The best surprises in the game lie on top of high shelves and boxes you cant reach using your own 2 feet, and that's where all your gadgets come into play. Chibi has an array of weapons and tools he uses to beat up the bad guys (in this case robotic spiders) and clean the house (A toothbrush for instance), also as you progress through the game you will use ladders and your nifty little helicopter skill that comes from the top of your head to perfectly land places to get goodies.
There is also a grade system if you will, the more you clean and the more you accomplish in the game, the higher your chibi ranking becomes. You start at the very bottom of the barrel but move up to the top 10 rather quickly, your goal of course is to become #1 and then you'll get a pleasant surprise. To help you do this you use an array of methods, find the coins around the house, open the portals that lead to massive amounts of "Happiness" and of course, clean.
Throwing garbage away and scrubbing dirt off the floor really helps in the long run. Not too mention the more you scrub, the more special gifts you get as incentive.
The game is very deep and has a vast array of different experiences, you will cook, clean, hunt down bad guys, help the family with missing items, explore your surroundings and try to reach heights and places you literally thought was at one time impossible all within what sometimes happens in stretches of 2-3 hours of playing.
The game took me around 18 hours to complete first play through, and that's with doing about half the sidequests and extras that you will run across throughout the game, if you want to complete it 100% it will take you anywhere from 20-25 hours, depending on the player. A second playthrough adds nothing to the game, but by itself is long enough to keep you entertained for weeks on end.
CONCLUSION - Are you game?
Chibi Robo is one of the most pleasant and surprising experiences I have been able to enjoy in quite some time. To its quirky gameplay, funny dialogue and great environments there is very little to complain about when it comes ot Chibi Robo I urge you to give it a shot.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/23/06
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