Summer's just around the corner and you know what we're all thinking about? How awesome it would be to spend the long, hot days cleaning up a park just to make people happy. Well, not really, but that's what you'll be doing in Chibi Robo: Park Patrol, the sequel to this year's chore-laden, GameCube adventure.
You're a tiny little robot guy (hence the term "chibi") that's been tasked with keeping the outdoors spotlessly tidy. As a soulless abomination of aluminum, you can only keep up the work as long as your charge lasts, so you've got to constantly watch your power meter. Once you're done watering flowers and scrubbing away messes, it's back to the robo-den for a shot of the good juice.
Oh, but you're not performing tasks that make sense, not at all. Within the first few minutes we had watered a flower from bud to towering floral menace - then pulled out a turntable and "kicked it old school" so the flower would be happy and grow even more. We have a feeling that's the most normal Park Patrol will ever be.
After some searching, we found a bike and remote-controlled car, both of which we could plug into and race around. Problem is, there wasn't a clear sense of what, exactly, we were supposed to be doing. Just enjoy the scenery, perhaps? Well, we did - Park Patrol's visuals are damn good, with Chibi himself possibly rivaling his GameCube presentation.
The console game fared pretty well, but we're still not sure about the DS version. Maybe when there's more to play (and more time to spend), the appeal of constant cleaning will become more apparent.
May 11, 2006