Review by Llamaman2
"Small Robot. Big World."
My first look at this game came from a Nintendo Power magazine. I got a chance to look at the gameplay and see what the game really is. Before even playing the game, I felt like I had seen a great game. Now before you think I'm completely biased, I have played through all of the game and have seen its flaws and succeses.
The story of Chibi-Robo is very creative. You are a 4-inch robot that was just released as a new product to make homes happy. You get assigned to the Sanderson family who happen to be going through a very tough time. When Mr. Sanderson buys Chibi for Jenny's birthday, and Mrs. Sanderson gets very upset. It appears that at the time Mr. Sanderson is unemployed and the family is lacking money (or moolah, as the game calls it). Mrs. Sanderson gets so mad, that she makes Mr. Sanderson sleep on the couch. This is where Chibi's role comes in. Chibi has to make the family happy by cleaning the house, interacting with Mr. Sanderson's toys (did I mention he's a toy freak), and fixing the family problems. Throughout the game the story unfolds, but I'll leave those secrets for you to find out. Then again, I might mention robotic spiders, but that's a whole nother story.
I thought the sound, in all but one part, is a freaking great job by the developers. I have got to hand it to them; almost everything you do creates a different sound. By walking around, you create a nice little melody, then pick up your plug, the music speeds up, WAIT, you stepped onto the carpet and the sound changed again. The developers really wanted to make the sound a great experience. Though Chibi is a robot, his actions are all but mechanical. Most of the tunes you hear are nice symphonic melodies that, as I said, change by almost any and all action. Now, here is the one reason I didn't like the sound. The characters speak entirely gibberish. They got a little creative and thought about changing the gibberish to match the character personality. All I can remember about the characters voice is a strange phrase, Double-Winbee. No that doesn't mean anything, it is the gibberish most often heard in the voicing. If you want English (speaking that is) then you get a short 10-second song during one of the games sidequests. Otherwise, I applaud the sound committee very loudly.
Time to enter the graphics department. At first look, it seems like the graphics are horrible. I mean, look at the family, or the dog, they look very uh blotty. There seems to be shapes that were used to put together the characters. BUT WAIT! There is a better side to the graphics. The character you have to look at almost the entire game, Chibi-Robo, is extremely well done. The developers must have known that a bad looking main character doesn't suit a game very well. Chibi shines with brightness and his corners are rounded to make it easier on the eyes. The graphics suit this game well, they are vibrant and cheerful, which is want Chibi-Robo wants.
Finally, an original game. Something different from, bang; your dead, or punch; your dead, or even stop the blocks from piling up because if you don't; your dead. Yes I know, that was a very pointless and stupid sentence, but let me make my point. Chibi-Robo has a new unique gameplay that, while tiresome and repetitive, is still very fun. The whole point of the game is to rise to the top of the Chibi rankings, and to become Super Chibi-Robo. To do this you have to make the Sanderson's as happy as possible and get lots of happy points.
You may think of it as a chore simulator, but it is much, much more. Picking up trash and wiping up stains is only a small part of what Chibi does to earn happy points. The minute Chibi enters; a crisis is going on in the family. Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson aren't getting along very well, and Jenny is dressed like a frog. Then you find out that the toys come alive and that they have problems they want solved. Chibi starts his quest of complete happiness with only a tiny bit of gear, and a small amount of battery power. If Chibi's battery reaches zero, it isn't good for the robot. All tasks drain Chibi's battery power, from flying the Chibi-Copter, to walking, to picking up trash, anything drains the pour fella. Make the Sanderson's happy and your battery power will rise, along with your ability to explore farther. You will meet crazy toys such as a funky flower, a bear with a nectar addiction, and egg-men. Complete various sidequests to help each toy reach his/her goal, then get a cool sticker. There is no end to what you can do.
If you are wondering whether to buy this game, I would say a wholehearted buy, unless you are a gamer who doesn't like to stray of the path of normalism. Otherwise, this game offers a unique gameplay, awesome sound, and a funny story. This game should go down as one of the most unique of all time. So please, help Chibi out and buy this awesome game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/20/06, Updated 11/30/07
Game Release: Chibi-Robo! (US, 02/06/06)
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