Custom Robo

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Content at a glance:


Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Noise / Nintendo
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Children (Older)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Reviewed By: Josh

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: Action
Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 3 of 5 (average)
Violence: 4 of 5 (barely present)
Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)


Custom Robo. Illustration copyrighted.

Don’t let the name fool you; “Custom Robo” is not a game where you fight in giant mechas and witness groundbreaking explosions. Rather, these custom robos are all less than twelve inches tall, and they fight in holographic arenas. Now that that’s cleared up, allow me to say that this game still holds its appeal with those looking to customize their very own robo and send it into action.

There was a lot of inspiration for this game. The idea of controlling a fully customized robo appeals to a vast audience of gamers. After it’s all said and done, “Custom Robo” is a charming game that you can fall back to every now and then.


The game begins with the hero waking up one morning in his apartment. He has been living off his family savings for years, and now it is time for him to get a job. To honor his father’s dying wish, the hero applies for a job with Steel Hearts, a squad of bounty hunters that use custom robos to fight criminals deemed to small to be dealt with by the police.

The customization of CR takes place right before each robo battle, and you can choose which gun, bomb, pod, and leg parts to use. There are over one-hundred parts to choose from, and each one affects the looks and combat performance of your robo. It is also quite fun to see how many cool robo combinations you can make.

Unfortunately the customization is dragged down by CR’s cut-and-dry story mode, which you must complete to unlock parts. Given that the game is all about customization, I found this to be a flaw.


The robo fights happen inside holosseums, and each arena has its own configuration of walls and barriers. The designers implemented strategy into the game by having interesting stages, but it is still easier to charge your opponent head on than it is to launch a bomb from behind a wall.

This is not a robot shooter. The game automatically fixes your aim on the target robo, making it more of an arcade experience. The battle controls are well placed and allow for quick responses to any situation. My only complaint with the controls is that I wish target switching was easier.

Robo battles are fun in themselves, but they get old unless you have a friend to play with. CR features a four-player versus mode, which happens to be the game’s strongest point.

CR’s graphics and audio are a mixed bag. The battles feature detailed robos and beautiful light effects, and the arenas have a neon color palette that brings out the game’s techno/robotic feel. The rest of the game is colorful but lacks the style the battles have. The game runs at a smooth sixty frames-per-second.

Customrobo-5 Customrobo-7

As for the audio, the music is cheesy most of the time, but the weapon sound effects are varied and interesting. CR does not feature any voice acting. Instead, letters crawl into the text box at the bottom of the screen, and characters’ voices are represented by beeps of varying pitches.

People have robo battles for just about anything: for fun, for contests, and for fighting. (CR very much resembles “Pokemon” in this respect.) Some characters use illegal parts, which are potentially lethal when used against the opponent.

Suggestive Content:
There is mild innuendo in the game, and one of your teammates flirts while he’s supposed to be doing his job. Some main female characters wear revealing clothes, but luckily it’s not too bad.


Spiritual Content *spoilers*:
There was an ancient demon named Rahu that sought to destroy all life on Earth. Rahu was eventually contained by the humans, and its dormant state was triggered. In the game, Rahu wakes up and attempts to destroy what little life remains.

Another character has to deal with her mentally and emotionally painful past. She tries to reconcile herself through good works rather than turning to God. *end spoilers*

Other Content:
There are some illegal acts that are committed in CR, such as betting on fights, attempted burglary, and the development of illegal robos by a dangerous syndicate. Some mild language is used (“crap” and “what the heck”) while stronger language is censored out.


The creators of “Custom Robo” had plenty of great ideas, and those ideas came together to form a decent game. While the single-player mode is something I wouldn’t recommend playing through more than once, the multi-player mode offers a variety of options that can keep you and your friends amused for a while.

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Year of Release — 2004

[tags] 3.5 stars, Action, Game Cube (Nintendo), T (Teen), Noise, Nintendo [/tags]


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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