I found this one in BookOff for 500 yen, then discovered that it was on extra discount, so I only paid 200 yen (about 2 bucks). I figured, why not?
The opening credits give a basic history of the Medals, from their discovery in 1938 (whooo, mysterious!) to the present day of 2038, where they are pretty much ubiquitous. Except in Azuma's house, because his dad really doesn't like Medabots for some reason.
As the game opens, it really looks like Pokemon. Azuma's house is nigh-identical in floorplan to the hero's home in most Pokemon games, but that's mostly because the generic Japanese family house often looks like that, I guess. After fielding a phone call for his dad from an anonymous dude ("M Project is go" -click-), Azuma is off to the park to meet with his friends, and his cute little pet chihuahua, Marron, tags along for walkies.
All is not good at the park, though, because some bullies from a rival school show up and try to force claim on the playground for themselves. Azuma's friends not only get their butts kicked in Ro-Battle! but they also lose parts, because the bullies are very insistent on playing by traditional rules (as long as it's in their favor).
Azuma doesn't have a Medabot, and everyone knows it. He does have a chihuahua though, and the little rat-dog's possibly smarter than the rest of the cast so far. Marron runs home, forcing Azuma to follow, and once there the pup gets him to open the door to Dad's study. There is a Medal right there on the ground, despite Dad's open dislike of Medabots. Azuma's not going to let the opportunity pass him by, though, so he grabs the Medal, then his piggy bank, and runs off to the convenience store to see what he can afford. Due to Ikki the store clerk's somewhat suspicious generosity, he is barely able to purchase a Metabee body parts set.
If you've seen the anime, you can probably guess how the first battle goes. Metabee stubbornly refuses to listen to Azuma, though he does react when the boy yells at the bullies about how Medabots should be friends with their masters. What really gets Metabee going is the bullies' taunts about him being a rusty old relic. Yeah, they get curbstomped.
Right now I'm trolling the elementary school for fights, both for experience and for parts. Medabots can gain levels in multiple areas, all of which gets added together to determine their total level. Metabee gains levels in shooting, aiming, and support, for example.
After facing down three guardian characters -- Saburou, Shirou, and Ichirou -- to make it up the stairs to the roof, Azuma gets a face full of photo flashes. Ace Camera Lady Arika, sometime reporter for the local paper, has mistaken him for a kid named Kohaku who apparently took on the Robo-Robo Gang sometime in the past (prev. game reference?). In the next bit of conversation, Azuma admits that he's just borrowing Metabee from his dad (who doesn't know it yet), and Arika takes pity on him by giving him her old Sailor Multi model.