Wii lacks fighters, reckons Toribash dev

But he's hoping to change all that.

Nabi Studios reckons turn-based ragdoll fighting game Toribash can fill a gaping genre-hole on WiiWare this year.

Speaking exclusivley to Eurogamer, creator Hampus Soderstrom said he considered other platforms such as Xbox Live Arcade but believes the biggest opportunity is on Nintendo's family console.

"I always just liked the platform better and thought it would suit Toribash much better. And also Wii didn't have any [fighting games]. OK it has Smash Bros. [Brawl], but fighting titles are really lacking on Wii," he said.

"Check in the WiiWare Store and there's only one game listed in the fighting genre category, and that's a snowboarding game that has a sort of fighting element."

Only, Toribash is very violent. The game pits two ragdoll fighters against each other and declares the winner as the person who inflicts the most damage on the other. The user points with the Wiimote and orders each body-part a different command every mini-turn, a bit like stop animation. The result is lots of blood as arms and legs and heads go flying.

"The only limitation is your creativity," said Soderstrom, who thinks it's "pretty cool" when players "take off their own arms and use them as the weapon".

Nintendo were "pretty okay" with the idea, surprisingly, which resulted in Toribash being rated Teen for including Fantasy Violence, which Soderstrom - who invented the game because he likes Judo - snorted at.

He hit a couple of restrictions, such as making sure characters don't look like Miis and discarding user mods, but otherwise the content is unaffected. Soderstrom has even managed to add hair to the Tors, implement a "more intense" online multiplayer matchmaking tournament system, make the blood more realistic and integrate the all important video sharing facility.

"In Toribash [PC] if you want to share a video you have to go to the forum and you need to upload it and [the other players will] rate it there. On Wii we have that built in; the game has a system for sending and receiving replays, which is very nice," he told us.

Tor's joints can be boosted to be stronger and faster by shaking the Wiimote, and we'll be automatically ranked globally or among friends depending on how good we are. And we're not very good.

As for the PC version, that's been played 20 million times, according to Soderstrom. But then that SKU has been around since 2006 and is free, where the WiiWare version will be offered at a premium. Just how much he doesn't know yet, because "it's not up to us really to decide that".

But why should we pay? "We've added a big new experience and it's always going to be fun to play," he explained, adding that he's not sure how well it will sell, but that he's simply focused on making the game "as good as possible".

As for a release, Toribash will be done "when it's done", although Soderstrom said it will definitely be this year - there's about two months of development left plus a month of certification to get through.

And, once that's out of the way, Soderstrom and team can get back to Toribash on PC.

"We keep doing updates, not every month but every other month, adding some features," he said. "At the moment we're going to do a 4.0 version, that's going to be out when we finish the Wii game."

Pop over to Eurogamer TV to see Toribash Wii in action. Alternatively take in some still pictures in our Toribash gallery.

Or, better still, pop over to the Toribash website and try the game for yourself. It's fiendishly addictive.

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