Setup & Timing
Custom Robo Arena's setup is easy to navigate and understand. The multiplayer menu is right on the main menu (once you've unlocked the main
menu - see below). The opening credit sequence is not obnoxiously long. A single split-download (part way through, the downloader's screens change,
but the download continues) takes around 1 minute 20 seconds, which is actually pretty good considering how much data is being sent.
Menus & Navigation
The menus make sense (for the most part) with a separate multiplayer menu split right off from the main menu. The fields are easy to tap and
well separated and make sense. The downside to the menu system is present the first time the game is played. Unfortunately, you can't just pick up
and play. You actually have to sit through a long introduction that sets up the single-player RPG game. I marked the score down in this category
because all of that information isn't necessary for the Single-Card Multiplayer mode - it doesn't provide any play information. If you had to spend
several minutes getting into the menu every time, the score would be even lower.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
The actual battling in Custom Robo Arena is button-based, not touch-screen based. Custom button configurations (even if it means selecting
them from a list prior to the download) would have been nice, but the controls that are there work, and do so in an efficient manner. The robots
react in exactly the way you expect them to act when the buttons are pressed - there are no delays to throw off your timing.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
Custom Robo arena only uses the upper screen for the action in the Single-Card Download battles, saving the lower screen to use as a diagram
to show the controls. This is good because it not only makes the downloaded copy small enough to download, but it also keeps the animations smooth.
Putting the controls diagram on the lower screen also helps new players get integrated into the game (if they owned a copy, they'd usually be playing
the multi-card battle instead, but people can forget their game game chips on occasion). The sound effects are nice and music is appropriate. There
are 960 different robot combinations you can put together in the Single-Card Download game (4x5x4x4x3). Rumble is available, but only for the host,
and it's not all that thrilling. There is only one battle field.
Custom Robo Arena is a game made for multiplayer. It's all about building and customizing fighting robots and then sicking them on each other
to see whose robot and strategy works best. The depth of the game is excellent for Single-Card Download. The gameplay is excellent and fun. There
aren't a lot of deathmatch games available via the Nintendo DS's Single-Card Download feature yet, and this is unquestionably one of the best.
Obviously, you'll never get an entire game as a download, but in Custom Robo Arena's download, you don't feel like you're really missing anything.
Granted, there is more in the single-player experience (the entire RPG, dozens of additional parts and pieces in each category, much more customizable
option lists, and added features), but I don't review any of that here. All I can say - all I need to say - is that Custom Robo Arena is fun, it
makes for a great multiplayer game using the Single-Card Download feature, and I know I'll be playing it again.
Don't require the story introduction before the Single-Card Download multiplayer.
Offer custom button configurations.
Include a selection of battle fields.
Upgrade to three or four player battles.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 84 / 100 (a.k.a. 42/50)
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