Whats is up members of PN and XBLRadio, Mr B4 here giving you the latest news as to what is going on in the gaming community. Instead of a news story for you today, I have a review of game that I played recently for the Nintendo Wii through their Wiiware service. The game is called Major League Eating, it was developed by Mastiff, and costs 1,000 Wii points ($10).
Here is a quick rundown of the modes that you will find in this game:
1. Single Player: This mode basically plays out like a game of Mortal Kombat, but instead of moving in ranks from fighters that you defeat, you will move up in ranks after you defeat each of the eating competitors. You have 10 characters that you can play as, four that you start with, and six you have to unlock by completing this mode.
2. Versus mode: One-on-one versus play with a friend, same method of playing as single player mode, no different variations of modes.
3. Online Multiplayer: Plays out the same way as both the versus and single player modes, with the exception of leaderboards that allow you to track your win-loss record.
As you can already tell, this game does not have much to offer as far as modes go. Let us see if the gameplay can save it at all. Let us get right into the review.
Sound (B+): There are not many variations as far as types of sounds go, but most of them are accurate and somewhat humorous to how they are perceived by us in real life. Burps, farts, stomach-aches, and barfing all sound about as realistic as they are going to sound for a video game. The crowds chants, cheers, and boos are a nice addition, and really make you feel like you should do well, or else the crowd is not going to like you very much. The music in the game is decent, but has no variety to it. You will basically hear the same rap song playing in the background during every match that you play. A larger variety of musical tracks would have helped out alot, and might have added some uniqueness to the game, but they are not present.
Graphics (C-): The graphics are on par, with games that were made for the N64. The characters that you play as are blocky, and tend to lack a certain amount of emotion to them, based on their limited amount of movement that they are allowed have. All you will tend to see are smiles, frowns, and raised and lowered eyebrows to showcase anger, that is about it. The food looks like images that a kid cut out from a coloring book, then colored in with crayons, and then the game designer just placed them into the game without really adding any significant detail to it. Most food looks like paper thin images filled in with some color to make them look more realistic, but they end up not looking that way at all.
The environments you compete in are colorful, but tend to feel empty, due to the lack of an audience being visible in the background. The levels also tend to repeat themselves way too much. Ten to one you will see a circus level with tents that have the MLE logo on them, or a blue background plastered with a bunch of tiny MLE logos on it, that is about it. I am sure that there are more levels in the game, but I have not made it far enough in the single player mode to able to tell if there is more variety to the level design. Each level has the same red table, with the same flat grey circular plate on it. Everything about the environments in this game can be summed up in one word, repetitive.
Gameplay/Controls (A-): Gameplay is always more important than graphics, and MLE shines in this department in just about every aspect. The controls in this game are simple to use and understand, and do not require any complicated thinking to perform. You move your Wii remote either in a up or down, or side to side motion, depending on the type of food you eat, to put the food in your mouth. You then press the B trigger on the Wii remote to chew your food when the lines going back and forth are inside of your mouth.
You get one point for every time you finish eating a full hot dog, slice of pizza, etc. Whoever has the most points at the end of each 2 min round of gameplay wins the round. You have a Barf-o-Meter, which works out like a health meter, that you have to make sure does not fill up, or else, well, you get the idea. Players can use a variety of powerups to either lower their chances of barfing, increase their score, or to increase their opponents chances of barfing.These power ups can be obtained by eating a piece of food that has the icon above, and then trigger the move by pressing up, down, left, or right on the d-pad of the remote. Some of the power up include a gas attack, a flaming burping attack, reverse plate attack, catch up point attack, antacid relief, spoiled food, etc.
In order to decrease your chances of barfing, you can either wait for an antacid powerup, or hold down your A button, and shake you Wii remote to settle your stomach. You might look stupid doing it, but it does help you out quite a bit during more hectic matches. You can also obtain a special star powerup that triggers a mini game during matches, and if you win them, it will increase the other players Barf-o-meter by a small amount. I have played two of these games, one is a Burp -off, which is like a tug of war match with burping, and hot potato, which involves throwing an explosive potato around until one persons gets it, and it explodes. They are amusing at first, and do offer some strategy to the gameplay, but for the most part are just a temporary break from the fun, but repetitive gameplay.
There is quite a bit to do during gameplay, but different modes would have been nice to see.
Replay Value ( C+): Other than unlocking all of the 10 characters through the single player mode, once you have played through every other mode in this game once, you will see it all that it has to offer, and have no real reason to play it again. The only other feature that keeps this game from being a complete failure in the replay value department is the leaderboard feature in the Online versus mode, that is it. More things to unlock, such as new outfits, levels, or different modes of play would have been nice to see, but sadly they are non-existent.
Overall (B+) : While there is a lot to do during your matches, you are stuck playing the same mode of gameplay over and over again, without really any variety at all. Sound is decent, but lacks variety, characters and environments are bland and subpar for a next gen game, but are not entirely horrible to look at. Controls are easy to understand, and are very responsive to the motions you make with the Wii remote. Gameplay has some variety with the use of powerups to add more competitiveness to each of your matches. Replay value is lacking, with the exception of unlockable characters and online leaderboards.
All in all, the game is fun to play once or twice through, but tends to get old very quickly. If it was about 700 points, I would say get it, otherwise, just do not waste your time on it.
That is all from this time gamers, take care, and I will see you next time.
P.S.- Here is a video of the game in case you are a little more curious.