Author Topic: Jissha de Chibi Robo Impressions  (Read 813 times)

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Offline the_dan_x

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Jissha de Chibi Robo Impressions
« on: July 06, 2013, 09:15:02 AM »

Chibi Robo hopes you have some nostalgic junk sitting around your house.

Despite his cute demeanor, Chibi Robo is one of those niche titles that seemingly only hardcore Nintendo fans know or even care about. After being dormant for a number of years in Japan, Nintendo has decided to bestow a new entry in the series to gamers. Titled Jissha de Chibi Robo (or, Chibi Robo Photograph), a quick look at the title might leave one thinking that the developers have primarily determined to make use of the Nintendo 3DS camera and AR functionality. Luckily, there is quite a bit more to the game in the form of exploration, platforming and other general silliness that Chibi Robo brings to the table.

From the start of Jissha de Chibi Robo, you are introduced to an eccentric museum curator who has a dream of putting together an exhibit made out of what he calls “nostal-junk (nostalgic junk).” He calls on the services of Tonpy (a helpful smart phone) and the ever so accommodating Chibi Robo to help him in his endeavor. In order to obtain exhibits for the museum, players need to use special silhouette film that can be overlaid on your personal belongings in the real world. Based on in-game parameters, you are then graded on how well your picture fits the silhouette. As long as your grade is over 60%, your picture, which turns into an item in the game, can be used in the museum.

Early on, Chibi Robo is given two pieces of silhouette film, one in the shape of a circle and the other in a rectangular shape. I initially chose the circular one and then searched around my apartment for something to take a picture of. With the poor quality of the 3DS camera, I had a somewhat difficult time snapping an acceptable picture. After a few tries, I did manage to get a decent one that could be used for the museum. While the AR segment of the game is not going to take up a lot of your time, it is definitely a little frustrating when your pictures are unsatisfactory simply because of the substandard cameras the 3DS sports. It’s a really interesting idea and it is great to see your real world items implemented into the game, but unless you are in an area with great natural lighting or super bright artificial lighting, you may have some issues.

Outside of the AR segment of the game, which are minimal, there are various environments to explore and characters to interact with. The main hub of Chibi Robo has our little robot in what appears to be the curator's office. Tonpy has set up shop there along with the Chibi PC, which is your gateway to additional Silhouette film pieces, emails, and a map that you can use to get to other areas in the game. Email requests come from various characters in the game world who are looking for help from Chibi Robo. Helping out these characters allows you to collect Happy points which can be used to purchase additional Silhouette films. In my time with the game, I received a request from a pair of condiment jars who are more or less ketchup and mustard. They work for a chef helping him prepare dishes. They task Chibi Robo with finding some pork in the refrigerator. After searching the fridge and finding the meat, you return to the duo, who reward you with Happy points. It’s charming and at this point in the game, relatively easy.

The basic controls in Chibi Robo are simple enough. Outside of the AR camera segments, you can control movement with the circle pad and jump and interact with items by pressing A. While platforming is definitely a part of this game, it doesn’t require knee jerk, quick reactions like you might find in a 3D Mario title. Jumping makes Chibi Robo pause momentarily while he bends down and springs up to reach as high as he can to make short jumps. In the context of the game, it works pretty well.

Visually, Chibi Robo looks fantastic. The environments and items are believable and really give a sense of being thrown into the world of a 10 centimeter robot. The 3D effect provides depth and gives a bit of a diorama vibe, which is perfectly fitting for this experience. Although despite the great presentation, the locales are a bit small and confined. While the game is not voice acted, it does have garbled speech for all of the characters, similar to what you could find in the Nintendo 64 Banjo-Kazooie titles. There are a lot of gamers out there who would welcome full voice acting int Nintendo titles like this, however, the general wackiness of the game is enhanced with the silly sounding, distorted speech. Sound effects are meticulously implemented into the game, with even things like walking on top of a printer sounding like how you would expect them to in the real world. Nintendo has crafted a really polished game.

Jissha de Chibbi Robo is not just an AR experiment. It’s a full fledged 3D experience with a decent amount of collecting and exploration. Although the AR segment implementation is the low point of the game (which is more to blame on the hardware’s cameras), the idea of mixing in real world items is a well thought out concept. With the game being a digital title, at least gamers in the West don’t have to worry about the title being exclusive to one retail chain if it makes it out of Japan. Keep your fingers crossed for a western release and check out the preview video below for some in-game footage. 

Danny Bivens
Japan Correspondent
Nintendo World Report

Offline LittleIrves

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Re: Jissha de Chibi Robo Impressions
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 04:35:04 PM »
I so want this game. Just played a bit o' Park Patrol to rekindle the Chibi flames. They still burn...
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