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THE LOGO
Earlier installments:
· Car Battler Joe
Last seen in: 2002
Publisher: Natsume Inc.










Car Battler Joe

Car Battler Joe

Jonathon Self says... Car Battler Joe is a Game Boy Advance game that was published by Natsume in 2002. Its protagonist exists in a universe in which cars of various types drive across the countryside. The catch? All the cars have guns on them. You know the old shtick, fast forward a couple hundred years, the world goes to hell, people embrace anarchy, and people mount guns on cars. If the Mad Max movies have taught me anything, it's that people like retrofitting cars during the post-apocalyptic future with weapons. With a basic premise such as cars with guns on them, how could this game ever fall into obscurity? How come we have no reviews of it on the website? One part cars added to one part guns should have worked — Nay, excelled!

Quite simply, this is one of the first, and probably only, examples of the car-battling RPG in existence. The story isn't quite as important as the mechanic, but you play as a young boy who wishes to become a car battler and now lives in the shadow of his famous, missing, car-battling father. You take petty jobs, fight rival car battlers, and generally enjoy a good time shooting at things while driving around. If youíve ever played Twisted Metal before, itís like that, minus the creepy narratives and with some added Pokémon feel.

Now, I will openly admit that I never finished this game. Things came up, I strayed, and it fell into my backlogged bin of shame. This is probably one of the primary reasons that we do not currently have a review for Car Battler Joe. It also isnít helped by the fact that the game is relatively obscure. Any Natsume-published game that isn't Harvest Moon is almost destined to fall into obscurity, and Car Battler Joe is no exception.

Some games you play later down the years and you ask yourself, "Why was this formula never repeated?" Car Battler Joe is definitely one of those games, so why haven't we seen another one? The car-battling RPG formula that it attempted was not perfect, but it was a fine effort considering that no game before or since, to my knowledge, has repeated such an endeavor. Car Battler Joe deserves a sequel. No, it needs one. Without the promise of a Car Battler Joe 2, my heart grows a little bit darker.

Can a new game happen?

Series Highlights

I suppose it's entirely possible, but at this point I'd wager pretty much the only sequels Natsume is worried about publishing have 'Moon' in the title.

Cars. Shooting. Explosions. If this isn't the coolest game ever for a 13-year-old boy, I don't know what is.

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