GAMES - Review
11:00 - 20th February 2016, by Michael Dodson

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Chibi-Robo has always been one of Nintendo’s lesser-known characters. Despite being just as cute as the likes of Kirby or Yoshi, the dinky droid has even eluded the all-encompassing Smash Bros series, and after his latest outing on 3DS, could well be heading back to the realms of obscurity. Zip Lash isn’t a terrible game, per se, but compared to the host of other 2D platformers that Nintendo has published recently, it’s just so bland and forgettable.

The main hook of the game – being able to use Chibi-Robo’s power cord as an extendable whip to attack enemies – is pretty neat, and the secondary ability to ricochet it off walls and pull yourself up to otherwise unreachable spots is genuinely satisfying. However, when you’re running stiffly through a series of drab, blocky levels, facing off against uninspired enemies, there’s little impetus to progress further.

Every few levels you’ll be given a vehicle to pilot, such as a nippy skateboard or sluggish submarine. These offer a welcome break from the usual platforming, but unresponsive controls make a few of these sections somewhat of a chore.

What’s more, the bizarre design decision to progress through courses by spinning a wheel rather than just moving on in a linear fashion means that you’ll likely be playing some levels more than once, though there are at least some challenges that can only be completed during a second play through.

As fans of Chibi-Robo – his amiibo now sits proudly on our shelf! – we so wanted to love this game. Unfortunately though, it just doesn’t stand up to the platforming masterpieces we’re used to from Nintendo.

A clever whip mechanic and adorable protagonist are sadly not enough to make this so-so platformer essential.
SCORE: 3/5
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