Collecting parts and coming up with different robots is quite engaging. Battle, on the other hand, is boring and tedious. The big problem is that it copies the real-world game a little too well. Each battle location is a lifeless rectangle, and the robots themselves don't animate whatsoever. While that's also true if you play against someone using the toys in real life, at least then you can admire what you've put together and see the look on your opponent's face while you play. Every so often, a part might even fall off. In this GBA game, the first-person viewpoint only affords a full view of the table and a pixilated 2D sprite image of your opponent's robot. The robots move side to side, but their parts don't move, and nothing ever falls off, even after a rough hit.
In battle, you try to hurl B-DaBalls at your opponent.
The hands-on aspects of combat are equally lame. The two primary game types are direct-hit battle and invasion, which is akin to air hockey. In direct-hit battle, you try to launch balls at your opponent while avoiding your opponent's shots. In invasion, you try to direct the puck into your opponent's goal by repeatedly hitting it with balls. Just like in the real-world game, movement is limited, such that you can only move your robot side to side with the directional pad or aim your shots at an angle using the shoulder buttons. B-DaBalls are fired by pressing the A button. That's all a B-Daman battle is--two players moving side to side hurling B-DaBalls. Certain parts allow special attacks, which can greatly decrease how long a battle takes to play out. Sadly, there are a couple of special attacks in the game that are nearly impossible to defend against, meaning that the winner is usually the player employing those attacks.
A few B-Daman fans will find it worthwhile to play through the game just to watch the story unfold. Everyone else, however, would be better served by buying some of the actual toys and playing with those.