Already released in Japan, Overturn is a mech-based arena fighter that is set to be released on Wiiware in North America and Europe in the near future. The premise is simple; pick one of the eight majestic mechs and fight against computer opponents in tournaments to unlock cool new weapons. Once you feel like you've got a good grasp on the controls and have customized your ultimate battle machine, you can take the game online and test your skills against three other players. One of the game's best features is that it supports the Wii Balance Board, so you can pilot your mech with your entire body. We had the opportunity to play a couple of rounds against developers in Japan to get a feel for how the mechanics work.
Who's Making This Game: Studio Zan is the developer for Overturn, which was released late last year in Japan. The developer is self-publishing the game in North America.
What the Game Looks Like: Overturn has a good variety of mechs to choose from, ranging from tanklike machines to samurais and even Norse gods. The mechs themselves are impressive, and it's incredibly fun to control your customized creation and fire giant beams of light at your opponents. We were able to check out a couple of arenas (out of the six total); one looked like a giant soccer field and the other was like a warehouse set in space, specifically tailored for a multiplayer match of battle royale.
What There Is to Do: In the single-player Story mode, you can play through six rounds of tournaments with each mech to unlock and upgrade your arsenal of weapons. After customizing your mech warrior, you can challenge a friend offline or go online to play against two to four players in five-minute matches. Part of the fun is experimenting with the different parts to see which ones work best for your play style.
How the Game Is Played: If you don't have a balance board, you can still use the analog stick to control your mech and the remote to aim. However, using the board is effortless because it's very responsive to your movements. You'll find that because you're standing up to play, your body naturally sways in the direction you want to go, so it's surprisingly easy to get into it. The Z and B buttons are used to fire your left- and right-arm weapons, respectively, and the A button is a charged special attack. Some weapons fire much slower than others, so it can take awhile to lock and load. Once you run out of ammo, it automatically reloads, and because it's a slow charge, you might consider backing off and dodging enemy fire by jumping with a shake of the Nunchuk. If stunned, you'll enter a short minigame in which you try to piece together the shattered view of your mech. Chunks of glass are strewn across the screen, so you'll use the A and B buttons like pincers to pick up a shard--which automatically rotates to the correct position--and find the hole that fits.
What We Say: At this time, the game is still waiting for the green light from Nintendo, so we don't have a price point or a release date yet. Overturn looks to be a fun multiplayer experience that uses the balance board effectively. This Wiiware title might seem like it's aimed at mech enthusiasts, but because the controls feel tight and there isn't anything complicated to the game, anyone with some coordination should be able to pick up and play. We'll provide updates with more information as soon as it becomes available.
[Update:] Overturn will be released on August 3 and will cost 800 Wii Points.