E3 06: Custom Robo Arena Hands-On

Build a robot and use it to blow up other robots on your Nintendo DS.

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The Custom Robo series came to the GameCube back in 2004, but its roots go back to the N64. Now, the game's in the works for the Nintendo DS, with more robot-on-robot violence and robot part-swapping for fans of the series.

The demo on display is rather small. It only allows for two-player multiplayer combat, and only a fraction of the customizable parts are available. But you'll recognize stuff like the metal ape robo from previous installments in the series. The combat in this game is very similar to the previous installment in the series. You'll launch out of a launcher in cube form, then transform into your full robot shape and start boosting around the arena, launching shots, bombs, and pods at your opponent. There are multiple arenas available, including one with movie walls to hide behind, one with destructible walls, an empty flat surface, and more. The goal is to eliminate your opponent by draining his or her hit points while dodging enough enemy fire to stay alive.

The touch screen doesn't really come into play. You can use it to select custom parts, but during battle it only lets you activate your soul boost special. The rest of the controls are pretty simple, but you have a lot of different attacks to keep track of, so it'll take a little time before you're maneuvering and firing like a pro.

Custom Robo Arena is scheduled to be released near the end of this year.

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