Override: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega Edition
Developed By: The Balance Inc
Published By: Modus Games
Category: Action, Fighting
Release Date: 10.15.19
You know how disappointed you are that Capcom never followed up Tech Romancer with a sequel? If you’ve never played Tech Romancer, the answer is “very disappointed.” Well, I think maybe the developers of Override: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega Edition (whew) for the Nintendo Switch know, too. There are plenty of differences in the way each game plays – Tech Romancer has more traditional 3D fighting game mechanics than Override – but the overall spirit is unmistakably similar. A 3D giant robot fighting game where you destroy your surroundings as you fight is always going to feel like Tech Romancer to me, but we’re not here to focus on the past. Let’s talk about Override: Mech City Brawl.
Kick, Punch, It’s All in the Triggers
Override is built around a pretty darn cool control mechanic that I at least have never encountered before; each of your mech’s limbs is controlled by one of the four triggers on the controller. You can build your own attack combos by switching up which arm or foot you use to attack. You can even hold one of the triggers down to charge that particular limb’s attack, which lets you deal additional damage and break your opponent’s guard. Each mech has their own special moves, as well, that can be activated by hitting the special button and one of the regular attack buttons. Each limb has its own special, which is really cool; exploring which special attack is best in what situation is part of the fun of learning a character.
If you’re really low on health and your special meter is completely full, you can press the two kick triggers at the same time to activate your ultimate attack. Each giant robot has its own unique ultimate attack, which usually has a short animation highlighting the character’s design theme. Each ultimate is cool as heck, so that’s not an issue, but honestly, some of them seem a little overpowered. The magical girl mech has a spinning hammer attack that, if you’re in range when it’s activated, is basically the end of the fight even if you’re blocking. Or maybe I just suck. I have to remember that this is always a possibility. Anyway, these are hard to activate since you need to have all of your special bars full (you have four) to do so. I used my special attacks pretty regularly, so I almost never was in a position to use my ultimate.
Float Like a Robo-Butterfly, Sting Like a Robo-Bee
In addition to the attack mechanics, combat has some other aspects to account for as well. You can guard, obviously, but your guard is only good against attacks from the front. You can also use your guard to transition into a counterattack if your timing is good enough; if you hit your attack button while guarding just before you get hit, the counter activates and knocks back your opponent. You can also avoid attacks by dashing, jumping, or jump-dashing. You can also activate a controlled descent by double-jumping, which allows you to charge an attack in the air. Rocket-powered jump kicks bring a tear to my eye. But you should be careful about planning your strategy; every attack, jump, or dash you use fills up your heat bar. Once that bar is full, you have to wait for it to cool down before you can do anything except walk around, including block! It’s actually a pretty important part of balancing the game competitively, since – combined with the attack input structure – it puts a pretty definitive damper on just spamming one button.
Armed and Dangerous
During every round, weapon pods drop into the arena which offer yet another layer to the game’s strategy. Some weapons, like swords and shields, don’t really change your strategy that much; swords work just like your regular unarmed attack, just with more power. There are also guns and grenades that drop, and those will change the game up quite a bit more. Grenades are really tough to use effectively, or at least they were for me. They don’t explode on contact with an enemy, instead bouncing around a bit before activating. Even the relatively simple AI opponents knew well enough to get away from a grenade, so it was rare for me to see one hit. Guns are a nice way to put some distance between you and an enemy and still do some damage, especially late in the game. Most ultimate attacks are more effective at closer range, so having a gun in your hand to finish off the last part of an opponent’s health bar while staying far enough away to avoid the ultimate is a nice strategy – when you’re the one implementing it. Kind of annoying otherwise. Guns do have limited ammo, however, so make sure you’re on target.
The Name of the Game Mode
Multiplayer is a big component of Override: Mech City Brawl. You can play online or local in two different modes. There’s a straight-up 1v1 mode, which is pretty intense, and an even more intense brawl mode which supports up to four players at once. If you play online, you can also play in ranked matches to get yourself on the leaderboards, if you’re the ultra-competitive type. I played a few weeks after launch and I never had any matchmaking problems with the online mode, so the community looks to be there for anyone worried about that. There are some single player modes as well; three to be exact. One is the game’s tutorial, so that maybe shouldn’t be counted as an individual game mode, but I am doing so anyway. Another is the training room, where you can practice and experiment with different mechs and their special moves.
Finally, there is an arcade mode complete with a storyline that will perhaps feel a little familiar to Pacific Rim fans. Strange monsters are appearing all around the world and elite giant robot battlers are dispatched to stop them. Like all great works of literature, it ends with a fight against a giant Akira monster robot on the moon. Spoiler alert, I guess? Anyway it’s a fun mode, and the only way to see anything about the pilots. It also has some role-playing stuff thrown in, like the ability to upgrade your mech’s stats and gain some special passive buffs (these do not carry over to the multiplayer modes, naturally). Arcade is far and away the most fun single player mode and I liked it the most overall in the beginning, but as you spend more time with the game the lack of challenge provided by the AI will begin to diminish the experience somewhat. Long-term, multiplayer is where the most satisfaction is to be found.
Cool Robots, Bro
The game’s 3D graphics are presentable enough; the visuals aren’t really on par with major studio triple-A titles, but they look pretty darn good anyway. The robots are the most detailed, and frankly the battlegrounds are a little less impressive than the mechs. Honestly, considering that almost everything in every level can be destroyed, it’s not that big a deal since you won’t have to look at any background object for that long anyway. Where the game’s visual design truly shines is in the original, creative, and just damn cool concepts of each of the different mechs. Ranging from traditional heroic anime super robot types to a frog-looking thing with a fishbowl on its head to a Mechagodzilla rip-off, I absolutely adore the mechanical designs. Setesh in particular is my jam. Even better, each mech has dozens of different unlockable skins ranging from simple recolors to complete theme changes with unique accessories. If you can’t get a good giant robot fix here, you’re just too damn picky.
Mech City Brawl A Darn Good Call
Override: Mech City Brawl starts things off right with original, challenging, and fairly balanced combat mechanics that even discourage the scourge of the fighting game community – the button mashers. It offers plenty of different game types to hold players’ interest and allow them to grow their skills at their own pace. Most importantly, it has some of the coolest, most unique giant robot designs I’ve seen in a while mixed in with some standard mech archetypes that don’t look too shabby themselves. It looks good and plays well, and I don’t know what else you really need to know at this point. Just go buy it.
Buy Override: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega Edition
Follow The Balance Inc
Follow Modus Games
*A game code was provided for review purposes