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OVERTURN - WiiWare Review

Game Info

WiiWare | Studio Zan / Gamebridge | 1 Player | 2-4 Players (online versus) | Out Now | 800 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk; Balance Board
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12th May 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

The idea of engaging in tense battles with robots is a concept that's been explored through various mediums, but rarely has this been done on the Wii successfully. 
 is one of the few mech games for the system which first saw release in Japan. Gamebridge felt that the game would bode well with other regions and so they decided to bring this promising game overseas. We're actually really glad that they did because for only 800 Points, you're getting your money's worth with this one. 

    Three main gameplay modes exist in this game: a single-player Story Mode, a VS Mode for 2-player local split-screen battles, and Wi-Fi Mode for online battles with up to 4 people. In Story Mode, players are essentially going through a series of Tournaments, battling a slew of robots, clearing different class levels with varying difficulties. As you clear rounds against computer opponents, you're ranked based on your performance with a letter grading system where S is the best possible rank. Along the way, you'll have a female character named Veronica cheer you on from the main Garage. Interestingly, her supposed "other friends" from the Japanese release make no appearance whatsoever even despite what's stated in the Online Manual which seems a little odd. Each of the eight OTM (
 Machine) body types are treated as separate "chapters" in the Story and it's great that the developers did this. Not only does it extend replay value but it also allows players to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each type of robot. There's much reason to go through the single-player quest with all of the robots since you're well-rewarded for progressing in Story. In particular, players can unlock weapon upgrades for their OTM that may give them an advantage during multiplayer battles.

 strives on the ability to customize one's very own mech which is great. Without a good level of customization and variety amongst the bots, the game probably might not have take off as well as it did. Players are able to change almost every aspect about each robot to make it more personalized. You can change the colours of different parts of the armour, and choose from a good selection of weapons for your OTM. Each robot has different stats based on such things as speed, HP, movement, range, in addition to a special attack that can be used at certain times during play. Overall, the Story Mode itself is pretty good at getting you acquainted with each robot type and helping you develop some tactics for facing off against the more aggressive opponents. Still, the mode feels a bit lacking. Beyond the different robots you're facing and the stages you play on, it feels very linear to go through battle after battle with little in the form of surprise. Because of how shallow it feels, some may lack motivation to continue on with the mode with the other robots but this won't be the case with everyone that plays the game.

    When participating in tense battles in an arena, gameplay may be a tad intimidating but once you understand how everything controls and functions, then you'll get accustomed to the entire system in no time. Battle Royale is a four-player romp where players aim to try to get the most kills within the alotted time frame. VS mode is a one-on-one death match where you try to be the last one standing. Both modes feature their own sets of battle arenas that are randomly-selected when playing online or can be chosen during local multiplayer fights. There's a total of 8 maps and each of them are fairly unique in their own way. Some take place on a completely open field whereas others have a couple places where you can hide and effectively evade opponents. Most should be pleased with the nice variety of stages they've included here even if a few more unique environments could've been added.

Regardless of which mode you end up playing, all of the controls in the game are assigned to the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, taking advantage of both button presses and even the IR pointer. Movement is mapped to the Nunchuk's analog and jumping (or floating) is done with the jerk of the Nunchuk. The amount of time you're able to stay in the air depends entirely on the robot you've chosen. The C Button allows you to charge up your BP meter located near the top-hand corner of the screen. The Z Button and B Button are used to fire your left and right weapon, respectively, and holding and releasing the A Button lets you charge up and launch your special attack. When an attack is performed, you aim your shot with the use of the Remote's pointer. Attacking opponents on the move can be hard at first, but with practice, you'll even learn tricks of your own.

    The main HUD visible during play looks a bit complicated for first-time users so its recommended that you go into a Practice session to fully understand what each guage means. For example, the BP guage is representative of your jumping and recovery meters and obviously, the HP guage shows your bot's life meter. The B and Z guages are used to monitor how much recovery/reload time you have remaining once you run out of ammo, dictating when you're allowed to use a weapon again. The special attack guage takes longer to recover than a standard weapon guage and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds depending on the OTM you've chosen. When you get hit with nothing left in your BP meter, your OTM will experience a system malfunction and will float in the air for a short period of time. This will then trigger a little even where pieces of glass will pop out from your screen and you must scramble to grab them and put them back into their proper place using A and B. Whilst trying to fix the malfunction, your robot is left in an extremely vulernable state so you have to act fast! Once you clear this little puzzle of sorts, though, your robot will be fully functional again and you can return to the arena. 

For the more adventurous players, 
 also features full Balance Board support where you play using your feet in conjunction with the button presses of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. There is some incentive to use it in one of the Story Mode chapters to try it out and get used to it after say 15 minutes or so. But beyond this element of curiousity, most won't feel too inclined to use it permanently in lieu of the standard control scheme which offers more control and precision.

    Playing online feels pretty fresh and it's great to be able to take your robot online and face off against opponents. Having a good internet connection is, really, almost required in a game like this. From time to time, the game may experience some subtle evidences of lag but it never takes away from the tensity that the online match-ups provide. When in the waiting room, players can communicate with one another using a series of predetermined text-based messages. Also, if you happen to take the Balance Board online, a little icon will be displayed beside your name in the lobby. The online system is organized fairly well: players can play Battle Royale or VS mode online, add friends, view their current online status and even check the leaderboards. Online battles are a natural fit for this game and it's definitely a welcome addition that adds a lot of substance and replay value to the game. It's just a shame that more people don't participate.

    There's much reason to rejoice when a game like OVERTURN from the Japanese catalogue comes to other regions. The single-player Story Mode could've been a bit more exciting, but when you consider it as a means to get used to each of the OTM types, there's still reason to return to it. Otherwise, the game delivers a great mech-fighting experience that translates into fun, gripping local and online multiplayer battles. If you overlooked this when it first came out, be sure to pick this one up.

25/30 - Very Good 

Gameplay 9/10 - 
Slightly-complicated system at first but it works very well, intense multiplayer battles, challenging AI
Presentation 8/10 - 
Good visuals, HUD looks just right (not messy), animations are well done, smooth framerate, minor instances of lag online
Enjoyment 4/5 - 
The single-player experience can drag on after a while, online (and offline) battles make the game worth purchasing
Extra Content 5/5 - 
Multiple robot types to experiment with, variety of customization options, well-integrated online, Balance Board support

Equivalent to a score of 83% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

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Review by KnucklesSonic8

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