Yamato Delgado dreams of playing B-Daman, the ancient sport of the B-DaWorld—and his dream comes true when he's chosen to wield Cobalt Blade, the most powerful B-Daman ever. Yamato must use Cobalt Blade to compete in B-Daman tournaments and defeat the evil B-Daplayers of the Shadow Alliance, who will stop at nothing to take over the B-DaWorld. Yamato will also meet characters both familiar and unknown on his journeys, including the warm-hearted Alan and the sinister-looking Goblin. Only a few have what it takes to become a B-Daplayer; will Yamato become the B-Dachampion?
--From the GBA Battle B-Daman instruction manual.
"Battle B-Daman" is a unique videogame, part RPG, part frenetic table top game, and part Manga comic book. "Battle B-Daman" is built around a table top game in which the players shoot balls across the board, targeting either the opposing player's robot, or marble pile. The table top mechanics are similar to a table top game popularized in the 80s called "Crossfire". Many a Christmas the "Crossfire" game made an ultimately futile appearance on my Christmas list, but alas, it wasn't meant to be, something about high velocity ball bearings being launched at eye level kept it out of my stocking.
"Battle B-Daman" is an RPG in an untraditional sense. During the Adventure (story) mode, the player travels to villages, talks to NPCs, and buys items from shops in a static, comic book looking series of screens navigated using a menu system. The player collects parts to modify their robot and enter into combat in the town battle centers, attempting to become the best B-Daplayer in the world and defeat the Shadow Alliance. There is no character animations, or roaming around the world in an over-head, top down view like a typical RPG title. There is a huge amount of dialogue, and an anime-like story line that is high energy and beautifully drawn. The characters in "Battle B-Daman" are dramatic and humorous, expected for a game based on a Manga comic. While untraditional in its style, "Battle B-Daman's" gameplay provides an unfettered path towards its combat system. Players need only travel to one of the battle centers in any village to challenge another character to combat.
While the "Battle B-Daman" has many original aspects and a decent story, it is unfortunate for the game that all roads lead to the battle centers. The battle centers is where the player will have the chance to try out their newly modified robots and abilities against an opponent. Unfortunately, from the moment the player arrives on the combat floor, the game is uninspiring, if not flat out boring. The combat takes place on a board, very similar to an air hockey table, with both players fixed to either end. The combat is experienced in a first person 2-D view. There are only two modes of combat, one in which the player attempt to hit the other player's robot with marble-like projectiles, and the other where the player launches marble-like projectiles at the opponent's marble pile. Either way, the player is only able to move laterally to the left or right. The combat literary, and figuratively, lacks depth, requiring the player to move side to side while jamming on the A button to fire projectiles. The first few games were mildly exciting, but the thrill was gone almost as quickly as it had arrived. "Battle B-Daman" will delight fans of the Manga, or Anime series, but its lackluster combat becomes mundane too quickly to warrant a long play through.
In "Battle B-Daman", players modify B-DaRobots in order to compete against other players in battle centers in towns. Players can gather robot parts by winning "Battle B-Daman" matches, or buying items from shops. Every successfully fought "Battle B-Daman" battle will yield a robot part, the parts awarded are random, providing motivation for players to repeatedly fight the same opponent.
There are three different modes of play in "Battle B-Daman", Adventure mode, Custom mode, and Battle mode. Adventure mode lets the player explore the story as Yamato Delgado, an aspiring B-Daman champion. In the Custom mode, the player chooses the battlefield and the opponent they wish to challenge. In Battle mode, the player will fight one of 18 different opponents.
The Adventure mode navigation is accomplished by interacting with a menu system akin to a digital storyboard. Through these menus the player can travel to different towns, item shops, and battle centers. Each town has a variety of NPCs that reveal more of the story line.
Player robot can only hold 2 marbles at the start of the game (the marble capacity and be extended with the addition of certain robot parts). Marble ammunition can be replenished by hovering over either of the marble piles in the left, or right corner of the screen. If the player is able to hit their opponents marbles piled on the opposite end of the screen, then the opponent's marbles automatically loaded into the player's robot.
Some parts can give the player's robots special abilities to use in combat.
Holding A and waiting for the player's robot to turn red before releasing the button will result in a power shot.
Press R and L at the same time to return your robot to its original position.
|B Button||Back (in menu)|
|R Button||Tilt right|
|L Button||Tilt left|
|Start Button||Pause / Menu|