Custom Robo

"Custom Robo" is a GameCube gem.

The first title of the popular Japanese series to be released stateside, “Custom Robo,” made a heck of an entrance that felt new, yet familiar enough for anyone to play. A top-down shooter/brawler that had some RPG mechanics, the game was able to blend action and strategy that was surprisingly really accessible. Choosing from a variety of robot models, such as heavy bots or speedy ones, players have the option to customize each weapon their bot holds. Each weapon had unique properties, ranges and even firing modes that were made all unique and useful for certain situations. Of course, it was also fun to mess around with weapons that were considered illegal and overpowered if one really wanted to get the job done.

A story with nuts and bolts

In a world where toy robots are used to settle any conflicts, a Hero (literally called hero until the player renames them), must stop an evil entity from destroying the world he knows. The story mode for the most part gets pretty deep, but really does not take itself too seriously. The writers really wanted to make sure to sell the concept, while also adding charm and depth to their characters, which today may appear to be cliché anime archetypes. On top of that, the story helped the player progress and get better with the combat, as well as awarding them with new weapons and parts for later use in multiplayer. For about four to five hours, the game’s campaign was solid, and really could take less time since they actually give you an option to breeze through most of the dialogue boxes. One thing that amazed me though is how even after completing, there was basically a new game plus mode where players literally take control after the events of the entire story. Many of these mechanics were not even implemented in Triple A titles until the latter half of the decade, but it felt great knowing that this game really was ahead of its time.

Custom is King

The four-player local multiplayer of “Custom Robo” is what the game really delivers on. Fast paced and frantic, there are several options on how to play the game, with diverse arenas, full customization found in the story mode and overall a great time. From 3v1 to 2v2, the game really has a lot going for it, and it never really felt old or tiresome with the customization clearly the name of the game that personalizes every player’s playstyle. Make no mistake, “Custom Robo” is a small game with gameplay that can be fun for anyone, and everyone.

Video by Chobits4

Written by Jarek Martinez

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Custom Robo - Gamecube