Car Battler Joe
is an obscure Game Boy Advance Action RPG
developed by Ancient (also responsible for Beyond Oasis
) and published in the U.S. by Natsume
The plot is fairly standard—you, Joe, must find your missing father by traveling the wastelands and dropping off cargo between towns, entering tournaments along the way.
What makes the game unique is the action-oriented battle system and the sheer amount of customization available—there are over 3 million
part combinations. All cars have weapons attached, used with the GBA's shoulder buttons, and you can employ both those and traps to wreck your opponents' cars.
This game provides examples of:
- Action RPG
- Adjective Noun Fred
- Ancestral Weapon: Joe's G-COM that weaponizes his car was a gift from his father.
- Collision Damage: Only in the first battle, though, as you're using a regular car.
- Cool Car
- Chainsaw Good: A couple weapons are saws of various types.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: All those Save Points? They all have different expositional information.
- Disappeared Dad
- Easing Into the Adventure
- Fiery Redhead: Joe.
- Guide Dang It: Playing without the instruction manual can be difficult as many items have short labels, and unless you're familiar with cars, some terms may be confusing.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: This goes for Joe and Pal.
- Heroic Mime: Pal speaks for Joe.
- The Hero's Birthday: The game begins on Joe's sixteenth birthday.
- In the Blood: "You're pretty good at this, kid! Must be your father's genes..."
- Just a Kid
- Justified Tutorial: Joe's never driven a weaponized car before. Thankfully, they're also skippable.
- Like Father, Like Son
- Mecha Game
- Nominal Importance: Joe's father gets a name, Jim Todoroki, while his mother doesn't.
- Actually, she does, her name is Wanna. Making this trope Averted.
- Robot Buddy: The aptly-named Pal.
- Save Point: Various Link Points, which also double as an in-game library.
- Serious Business: Justified since cars are used to get around.
- Spiritual Trans-Pacific Equivalent: To the Apple II game "Autoduel" (the video game version of the RPG "Car Wars").
- Vehicular Combat
- Weaponized Car: Every car in the game.