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Citrusoft, the pioneers in consumer Robotics have just announced their plans to bring happiness to the world. Chibi-robo, the pocket-sized robot that has sold 1 million units and improved the lives of millions of people, are being mass-produced and distributed to parks all around the world, for free. Citrusoft believes that saving local parks is the next step in their plans for a happier world. Enter Chibi-Robo, a new model from the previous title, with the important mission of cleaning up the park, planting more flowers and bringing happiness to his local community.
The game has a strong focus on green peace and creating happiness, but the messages about pollution, protecting the environment and the like aren't as "in-your-face" as other titles like Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. The premise is about saving the environment, but there are actually plenty of other character-based stories and themes present. Examples are about friendship, respect, progression, prejudice, dignity, freedom, inspiration and more.
These themes and stories are actually more interesting than the main premise, but they aren't as developed as the side-stories of the GC game. There's very little build-up and a quick climax & resolution. The game would've benefited more if these side-stories were drawn out some more.
The main stories progresses very slowly, due to the fact that story segments are "unlocked" based on how many flowers the player has planted. If the player is good at managing their flowers, then the story will blitz by, otherwise it'll feel like an eternity between story events.
Overall, the story has promise, but it's underdeveloped and weak in general, but especially compared to the bar set by the GC version.
For being a DS game, this is quite appealing. Most things are 3D in nature, with a few minor areas rendered in 2D.
The game has a very cartoony design. The characters outside of Chibi-robo are quite goofy, with eccentric designs, behaviors and animations.
The environments and characters are quite colorful and the animations are mostly fluid.
Obviously, these pictures don't do the in-game graphics just. This game isn't Dragon Quest IX or Final Fantasy IV good, but it's close to SM64DS and FFIII, which are both attractive games.
There are only 2 issues I have with the visuals:
1. The Humans are not only just walking legs and/or a moving right arm/hand, but their animations are way too eccentric and abnormal in execution. The way they walk is too loose and not very believable. Also, the lack of full bodies and/or faces really detracts from their presence in the world.
2. The 2 enemy types are too bland and simplistic. Actually, the 2nd enemy is just a larger version of the first... Not only that, but they don't properly represent what they're supposed to be, which is smog/slug. More originality in their design would've gone a long way.
Overall, the visuals are good for a DS game, but certain design choices detract from the experience.
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