Custom Robo Retro Review: Gundam Vibes

Real Talk By: Haggy

I am finally back after a massive hiatus of me getting my life in order.  As such, a good way I felt to get back into the Play Legit Way is to pick up an older game I played a ton of back in my day, and see how it stacks up.  After sorting through my things, I eventually found an old game called Custom Robo, and whereas I was expecting my nostalgia to have over hyped this small disc… I was wrong.

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First, some background:  Custom Robo as a series debuted in 1999 developed by NOISE and published by Nintendo.  After a couple of successful games in Japan, they finally released Custom Robo: Battle Revolutions, or just Custom Robo, internationally for the Nintendo GameCube in 2004.  The game features, as the title suggests, customizable robots that the players can then use to fight each other in a fast paced arena fighter.  The series has had some rough patches, but what about their first international release?  Does it stand up, or does it actually stand up on its merits aside from nostalgia?

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Starting with Graphics, this game is almost textbook functionality.  Robos and the world do look decently stylized, and there is definitely some colorful characters to experience!  Aside from the background characters, and the occasional cliché, every character is decently memorable on looks alone, and the Robos are tremendously well made without being too complicated.  However, the most impressive thing about the design of this game is how quickly it can go and how well it retains its frame rate and input.  The same can be said for the music and sounds of this game, all of them serving their purpose well, and some sounds even being catchy but nothing particularly jarring.

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So with sound and visuals pretty solid, the next thing a player would notice is the campaign, and if there’s ever a place this game falters it is the story mode.  It isn’t necessarily awful, but without giving away spoilers it is absurdly cliche filled.  The term ‘painfully anime’ would be an appropriate description if wasn’t an understatement.  However, that can certainly be enjoyable if you’re into that.  What isn’t enjoyable however, is some encounters in the story are completely pointless.

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For example, there was once a situation where you were trying to prevent the bad guys from getting a MacGuffin, and after literally beating the snot out of them in a fight, they simply brush it off, take the MacGuffin regardless.  Pair that with a couple of insanely massive dialogues (one that I kid you not had two or three save points during it) then it’s quite clear that the campaign was only added to help you unlock parts and to do some battles.

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Which is awesome.  The battles in this are utterly satisfying and playing with friends is almost unparalleled.  The set up is that each player selects parts for their Body, Gun, Bombs, Pods, and Legs.  It gives plenty of options yet doesn’t make things overly complicated.  With the controls also similarly straight forward and on the easier side to get into, it quickly leads to fantastic game play.  Running, Shooting, Launching Missiles, Torpedoes, Dashing, Aerial Combat, and straight up flying around maps leads to excellent combats.  For those who are also seeking meta, you’re in luck!  Despite some options being tailored to counter others, it’s always possible to be competitive no matter what parts you use!

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However, there are some downsides to this as well.  One on One is near perfect, but more than three players at a time, and the action becomes somewhat hard to follow on smaller maps.  But, there are plenty of map choices, and words can not describe just how excellent the basic game play is.  This would still be a strong recommendation even if there was only the fighting available, and only basic parts.

 

Custom Robo Gets

 

4.5 out of 5

 

What’s Legit?

+Sounds are excellent

+The Game Play is excellent

+No seriously, The Game Play is Amazing

What’s Perpetrating?

-The Story mode is really only an excuse to play more.

-More than three players can get confusing

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Published by

derekhaggy

After changing majors from Education to Game Development, I started to really get into the mechanics and design choices of games. Soon, I developed a massive respect for gaming of all types, whether it's digital, table-top, or even extremely rudimentary. Gaming has been a past-time for ages and every facet of it has things to learn from. Hopefully one day I'll be able to take what I've learned and even teach the next aspiring Game Developer a thing or two.

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