I don’t speak a bit of Japanese, but I still know what this website is for. The page for the New Play Control! version of Chibi Robo hit the Internet recently, as it is slated for a June 11 release in Japan. Thankfully, John Tanaka of IGN can read what is going on in the site, as he details here:
You can now point at items with the Wiimote. Once pointed to, items release unique sounds… some areas of the game use waggle controls. You use the Wiimote to control Chibi’s various tools…You also toss the Wiimote like a ball in order to make Chibi throw stuff into a trashcan…Finally, the game uses pointer controls for camera movement.
I think the addition of sounds for items you point to should be a fun feature, as far as adding to the quirkiness of the game goes; there were some entertaining sound effects in the title already, so more of that is good by me. Waggle controls, as long as they are intuitive and not overused, should at worst act as a fair substitute for your standard controller. The camera control may be my favorite aspect though, as anything that moves away from analog sticks and more towards a keyboard/mouse feel is good by me.
It hurts a little to say that this is not yet scheduled for a North American release-and that’s speaking as someone who has the GameCube version of this on his shelf. Chibi Robo was a charming game for the GameCube that (unfairly) did not sell many units; this is the kind of game I expected to see on the New Play Control! line, given how little exposure it received despite its high quality gameplay. Hopefully, with the larger install base, budget price, and enhanced features (don’t forget the 16:9 widescreen!) more people will notice it this time around, and developer Skip (who also has worked on the recent Art Style games for WiiWare and DSiWare, as well as the Japan-only Captain Rainbow) will get the kudos they deserve from home console owners. For now though, let’s just hope it comes stateside so we get a chance to see whether it’s improved or not over the original.
[Ed. Note] The screens below are from the GameCube version of the game, not the upcoming re-release.