Custom Robo: Battle Revolution (GameCube) Review

By Matthew Evans 16.09.2004

We've anticipating playing this game for a long time (probably due to the fact that it got lost in the post). For some reason this type of game has always appealed to us. You've got the whole customisation side; we love games, which allow me to make something unique and personal. It's got Mecha (Manga/Anime styled robots) and it has an RPG aspect to it. We can't think of a way to make this game disappointing. Sadly someone did...

We don't know where to start with this game, nothing about this game is actually bad it's just there's nothing really good about it either.

The graphics are extremely generic with nothing to set it apart from other games. The characters, the buildings, the robots, everything seems to be made from the standard template of design that populates many cheap anime series. The RPG elements look reminiscent of a barebones version of the Pokémon Colosseum's RPG mode, there’s no detail to the graphics, shading is basic and there’s no character what so ever. The map mode is also quite boring with no standout features. The battle sequences are inherently wrong though. It’s taken from an isotropic 3rd person angle - which is mock 3D, it’s a birds eye view angled to give the impression of depth but is not 3D, the maps can’t be rotated, there's no 1st or 3rd person perspective and the camera has limited scope in its movement. Due to the viewing angle any graphical detail in battle mode is completely lost, the Robo's are too far away to notice differences between parts and sometimes even between opposing Robos. The maps are bland with no imagination given to them.

Screenshot for Custom Robo: Battle Revolution on GameCube

Sound quality isn't that high. The background music is in no way emotive or memorable and to replace speech they use small beeps and blips to start the sentence in a similar way to Wind Waker but these ones don't even sound human, and quite frankly are extremely annoying.

Gameplay is where this title should stand out but it just flops. The story is run-of-the-mill, with plot twists being visible from miles away and completely un-engaging. The game tries to instil some humour, its constant joking about how each NPC (non-player-character) is a generic model, all non-named scientists have black hair, a white overcoat and black glasses, yet is still an individual gets tiresome after the second iteration let alone the twentieth. With many references to clichés that these types of games contain, and due to the abundant number of them in this game, such as the one mentioned, it feels more like the stove calling the kettle black then it does of some witty and clever script writing.

Screenshot for Custom Robo: Battle Revolution on GameCube

To try and give the impression of an RPG mode there is a "world map", well more of a city map actually, you are free to go where you like but there's nothing to do except at the places where the story wishes you to go, there's no random encounters and no side quests, so it just makes the map feel fake.

The fight sequences are just as unappealing. They are basic, repetitive with very little in the way of variation. Button bashing applies more than tactics and at times winning is more down to luck and perseverance than any notion of skill. The rewards for completing these fights are items for your Robo, but it doesn't feel like you are being rewarded. You can go up against a boss character and be given nothing yet you could fight your eight-year-old next-door neighbour and be rewarded with the extremely useful Gatling gun; there is no relation between difficulty and reward. So when you get the good parts from a weak adversary it feels undeserved and when you beat that guy after the fifth attempt and gain nothing you feel cheated. But this system also flies in the face of the plotline. You are a bounty hunter living off your deceased father's wealth yet money never becomes part of the game. Your upgrades can only be given to you as "rewards" which only occur at preset points of the game.

Screenshot for Custom Robo: Battle Revolution on GameCube

Considering this title is called CustomRobo the customisation is in no uncertain terms rubbish. Your parts are split into various sub-groups, you have the torsos, legs, gun, bombs and pods, and within each sub-group there are various parts to customise with. The manual promises well over a hundred parts for customisations, what it doesn't say is that the majority of these are aesthetic changes, they'll add an extra letter to the name, such as Right Flank G, draw and colour it differently and class it as a new part, the fact that it does the same thing and has the same description as the Right Flank D isn't even brought into the conversation.

The layout for the customisation screen is also an issue. As with pretty much every other customising game, each part has a spec on it denoting power, range, etc. The problem is that the specifications for each part are only shown in description so when you view another item you lose your current specs. There is no reference or comparison chart either so you have to remember the five specifications of your item and compare them with parts individually, which can become difficult when you are comparing against a few different upgrades.

This game has a lot of potential but potential doesn't make a good game. This game is bland, uninspiring and boring. A better option would be Capcom's Gotcha Force, while very similar and lacks customisation (you gain new robots as opposed to parts) it is a lot more fun to play.

Screenshot for Custom Robo: Battle Revolution on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


With nothing special or above average about it in addition to some annoying faults, this a game you should steer well clear of.

Also known as

Custom Robo: Battle Revolution









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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