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Thread: Sleeper of the Week: Car Battler Joe (GBA)

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    Alex (Level 15) maxlords's Avatar
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    Default Sleeper of the Week: Car Battler Joe (GBA)

    Ok, hereís one a lot of people missed because it started out in the bargain bin. Car Battler Joe for the GBA was a Natsume release and irritatingly enough, exclusive to the US as far as I know. I donít know if there was a Japanese release or not, but I do know that when I went to buy it in Canada, not only could I not find one, but no one even had it in their computers! Anyway, I finally had to track a copy down thanks to a kind fellow DPer.

    When I got the game, I wasnít sure what to expect. Iíd heard it was good and I knew how hard it was to find, but other than that it was a ďracing/RPGĒ I didnít know anything about the game itself. Naturally I had to play it, and surprisingly I was instantly hooked! Car Battler Joe is, of course, about a young car battler named Joe. Big shock there huh? Well, the story is about Joe wanting to become a famous car battler like his father, who has mysteriously disappeared. Apparently Joe and his family live in some sort of post-apocalyptic Mad Max-ish sort of world where if you want to actually leave your village you have to have a heavily armed vehicle to fight off all the ruffians. Hell, sometimes the bastards donít even wait for you to leave the village!

    In Car Battler Joe, you are trying to solve the mystery of what happened to your father, as well as raise money to keep your family business going. You take on contracts such as courier, assassin, and many more. Some pay well, some pay diddly squat. You can use the money to upgrade your business, make modifications to your car, and buy items. The game is fairly simple, but where it really shines is the battling. Battling in Car Battler Joe consists of driving around the roads between towns. Invariably, the routes are littered with enemies chasing you left and right, gunning for you at every turn. Small cars, large cars, even bosses lie in wait for you on your perilous journeys to help pathetically helpless townsfolk establish new villages and build your business and reputation. The battles are in a sort of 3D which reminded me quite a bit of the old SNES Mode 7 scaling methods. The cars are fast and the action can be brutal!

    The music and graphics are pretty standard for the GBA, and I found some of the music to get tiresome later in the game, but youíll be too busy having fun to even notice. A racing/destruction game combined with an RPG-style town interface that allows for micro-management of your vehicle turns out to really be a bit of the best of everything. Chances are youíll find yourself hooked as well! If you canít find Car Battler Joe in the local bargain bin, youíll probably have to resort to eBay to grab a copy. Right now, sealed copies are selling for around $20-30 each, and very few are on eBay. Demand is low as no one really heard about the game or knows how good it is. This is one title I expect to skyrocket in price eventually! Fair warning though: The ending to the game is rather lame. Itís the gameplay itself that makes this one good, not the big finish!



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    Default Re: Sleeper of the Week: Car Battler Joe (GBA)

    Yet another great pick, Nate. I reviewed this one for GameSpy a couple years back: http://archive.gamespy.com/reviews/f...battlerjoegba/

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    Looks like a good one. I went ahead ordered myself a copy for under twenty bucks at an online store. Hopefully they won't say that it's actually out of stock despite what the site says.

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    I've heard that used copies are supposed to be pretty cheap at EB if you can manage to find one there. In fact, I'd probably pick it up if I ever did.

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    wow you picked a game i've played and really loved!

    the game play is what really makes this this game shine.
    however it did have a really weak story( also driving around for 2 hours trying to trigger a story event was kind of frustrating)


    as for finding it used in canada, i know walmart carried it for a while and i've seen it used at EB Games. note: I did pick mine up in Michigan
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    I originally got into this game playing it through an emulator on my pc.

    I really enjoyed it and wasn't able to track it down amoung any of the local stores in my area. I ended up getting a still sealed copy of Ebay for $13.00 which I considered money well spent.

    Played it all the way through and enjoyed it. It's one of the few GBA games that I've played and beaten. Like Slayer I hated having to drive through areas however after you completed certain stages you were given the option to skip which helped speed up cross country treks.

    Also after you beat the game it would still let you continue playing which was a nice touch for a GBA game.

    Also anyone that played and enjoyed the old Car Wars pen and paper game would probably enjoy this game, as it's the closest video game representation available on the GBA.
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    Hmm...I had this game, but I sold it awhile back because I wasn't overly thrilled with it, and the dialogue was as confusing as hell. Maybe I'll give it another shot if I can pick it up on the cheap.
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    Cool review there, Maxlords. Car battler Joe is definitely a game deserving of the "sleeper of the week" title in my eyes.

    I still remember finding a new copy of CBJ for 12.99 at Gamestop one day last year. Man was I glad I returned Megaman and Bass and picked this up instead.

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    Note that Yuzo Koshiro supplies the soundtrack, which I loved (along with most of the game).

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    Thanks Maxlords, I'll keep my eyes open for it as I don't collect GBA games but I am always looking for a few more decent ones to play. It'll be good on my Gameboy Player.
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    Alex (Level 15) maxlords's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush Crawfish
    Hmm...I had this game, but I sold it awhile back because I wasn't overly thrilled with it, and the dialogue was as confusing as hell. Maybe I'll give it another shot if I can pick it up on the cheap.
    Well, I'd say that it's not for EVERYONE, but it's a damned good game. And yes, the dialogue is mucho confuso sometimes.
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