Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Custom Robo Arena Post-Mortem

As juvenile as it seems, consistently replacing the words "custom robo" with "penis" really does make Custom Robo Arena a better game.

In the world of Custom Robo Arena, "custom robos" are a big thing. They're odd-looking and they fit in your pocket, although they get larger when called into action. Anyone who's anyone has one, and those without are really nothing more than second class citizens suitable only for cooking and the raising of children.

Luckily, the sullen red-headed stepchild that you'll be playing is part of the custom robo crowd. Havingly only just hit puberty, you haven't been operating your custom robo for long, but it turns out that you're preternaturally good at swinging your custom robo up and down virtually any holosseum you care to name. It's no surprise that on your first day at a new school you quickly makes friends with the first people you'll meet - a boy named Daniel and a girl named Liv.

Daniel suffers from something of an insecurity complex and is disproportionately impressed by your custom-robo-related prowess. He has a custom robo of his own, of course, but he's not particularly good with it, and in any case yours is larger and capable of tricky maneuvers. Liv, being a girl, does not have a custom robo, but it turns out she's full of useful suggestions for how you can use yours.

Before long you'll be deploying your custom robo in a range of unlikely situations, ranging from winning local tournaments to fighting evil crime syndicates. You'll be constantly plied with custom robo advice from authority figures such as your dad, your friends, and discarded adult reading material. Even the local teacher lends a hand, despite being regularly reprimanded by his wife for playing with his custom robo in front of the schoolchildren.

Using your custom robo is a pretty repetitive process; one custom robo engagement is much like another. Luckily the basic gameplay is fairly enjoyable and any given scenario normally ends with a satisfying finish. It probably won't take you long, though, to get tired of the game's one-track mind. Most any problem in the game can ultimately be solved with a prolonged session of custom robo waggling.

Between matches it's important to keep your custom robo clean and shiny. The game will provide you with a polishing cloth for just this purpose, which you can apply using the DS touch screen. If you don't regularly give your custom robo a good rub-down, you'll find that its battle readiness will quickly decrease, leading to sub-optimal performance and premature weapon misfires.

You can buy a large variety of customisations and accessories for your custom robo, but there's not much incentive to get any of them, because your custom robo works just fine straight out of the packaging. When it comes down to a custom-robo face off, it really isn't what you have equipped, but how you use it.

Between the unchanging gameplay and the lack of incentive to upgrade, you'll probably get quickly tired of the casual custom robo scene. That's when it's time to start moving in new social circles, and luckily if there's one thing the internet was made for, it's servicing your custom robo. A quick trip into cyberspace through the magic of Nintendo Wi-Fi will quickly connect you to a worldwide network of custom-robo enthusiasts, all of whom are eager to see what you're made of. Real life partners are significantly more exciting than computer generated ones, and it's here that you'll really get to demonstrate just what you can do with your custom robo.

Ultimately, Custom Robo Arena is quite obviously trying to be Pokemon-with-guns, but despite translating Pokemon's turn-based action into a real-time format, it never really succeeds in capturing any of the charm or addictiveness of its inspiration. There are many, many better DS games available, so if you're going to buy this, you'd better really, really love your custom robo.


Arkem said...


Chris said...

I seem to have a strange oily discharge coming from my Custom Robo - I should get that seen to. :D

So deliciously juvenile, I just had to join in. ;)

GregT said...

The fun never ends when you have a custom robo and the stamina to use it non-stop.