(WiiWare)

Muscle March (WiiWare)

Game Review

Muscle March Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Weird doesn't even begin to describe it

Someone has stolen your stash of muscle-pumping creatine! Quick, assemble the burliest speedo-clad men, women and polar bears in town, chase the thief through walls and bury them under a pile of men! Dash, pose, flex!

Muscle March is the kind of game that doesn't really need a review because everything you could possibly need to know to make a purchasing decision can be gleaned from one of its many trailers online. It's not so much a game as it is a very funny and exceptionally bizarre joke – gameplay is secondary to the zaniness contained within.

Absolutely every square inch of Muscle March is designed to amuse and confuse. From the IR cursor (a burly man who grows to a screen-filling size the closer your Remote gets to the sensor bar) to the banana-hammocked polar bear, every part of the package is a gag. The menu screen is a collage straight out of a quirky Japanese game show and everything from the characters’ faces down to the pitter-patter sound they make when running is designed to elicit maximum confusion as you dance and shake your booty through the cities. Each of the five tunes is a ridiculous pop song about muscles (which fit perfectly). Curiously, the game doesn’t support true widescreen, instead opting to fill the side borders with super colorful rainbow bars and beefcake silhouettes.

So yeah, about that stolen creatine. Your chase will blast you and a line of other burly folk through walls in three city stages in pursuit of whatever ridiculous character has your coveted powder. To get through a wall, you need to strike the same pose as the thief by throwing your arms into position. Your fellow pursuers will fall out of line one-by-one thanks to a few strategically placed banana peels (of course) until you’re the only one left chasing. After increasingly speedy flexing, you get the chance to tackle the thief by furiously waggling the Remote and Nunchuk.

Even though the controls come down to simple hand positioning, a few things will keep you slamming into walls. Control sensitivity becomes an issue: while generally accurate there’s a lag between positioning your arms and having your character do the same. When things get fast, this inevitably leads to missing cues and massive wall pain. This also ties into not being able to see the next position until late, so when you need to keep repositioning your arms you won’t have a lot of reaction time, which, again, becomes a problem at higher speeds. Slamming into too many walls will eventually send you back to the beginning of the stage too, doubly frustrating you. And despite how crazy you flail during the waggle-tackle sequence at the end of the levels, sometimes it'll just decide that you're not doing it enough and send you on another loop through the level.

Stages last around three minutes each, if that, which is really the perfect length. Had they gone on for much longer then the simple gameplay would wear thin and repetitive, but it’s just enough to hop in for a quick burst of leotard goodness. That being said, there is a score-based endless mode where you run along a rainbow track until you slam into a few too many walls. It’s a nice addition for score junkies and the only place to rope in friends for 4-player action, and having more people in on this is the best way to play. Unfortunately it's a pass-the-controller game, but still fun. Plus there's no annoying waggle-tackle sequence, just straight-up wall blasting until you miss too many poses.

Like all jokes, once you know the punchline is coming it’s just not as funny, and repeated play of Muscle March alone will probably not be high on your priority list. That being said, it’s still a really good gag and one of the most WTF-inspiring games you’re likely to play this gen. If that’s what you’re into then go for it.

Conclusion

As long as you’re not expecting a deep and rewarding gameplay experience, it’s tough to really go wrong with Muscle March. It's bizarre by design and kind of shallow, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if the idea of ludicrously muscular chases through walls tickles your funny bone then Muscle March is a great way to spend 500 Points. However, it is a very shallow experience with some annoying control issues. To experience the joke we wholeheartedly recommend it, but as an actual game Muscle March is really nothing special.

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User Comments (39)

Sean_Aaron

#3

Sean_Aaron said:

Having beaten all the stages I have to agree with the control issue. The best way to play it is to keep your controllers raised or lowered between walls so you only need to raise one hand, otherwise the delay is just too great for the later stages.

This is just another example of how great this console generation is!

FuzzyYellowBalls

#4

FuzzyYellowBalls said:

In real life the Americans would be chasing the people who stole their Twinkies... of course the game wouldn't last as long then due to fatigue.

grenworthshero

#5

grenworthshero said:

I love this game, for what it's worth, I give it a 8/10. It was never meant to be anything deep and engaging, and it's only 500 points, so how can you go wrong. I beat the game in about 3 hours, after I finally got the hang of it. It's true, once you do, there's not much motivation to go back and play it again, but the endless rainbow stairway to heaven is always fun.

Tsuchinoko

#8

Tsuchinoko said:

I would have given this game at least a 7. I bought it pretty much as soon as the update game in, and off and on went back for another go and im still giggling.

citizenerased

#9

citizenerased said:

"There should be a cheat so they're not 95% naked."

I agree.. They should be 99% naked instead. Boo-yah.

bro2dragons

#12

bro2dragons said:

i'm thinkin i'll probably give it a go. heck, MLE isn't a great game, but it's wacky and fun in groups, so it's still one of my favorite WiiWare games.

Crunc

#14

Crunc said:

I may still get this but I'm disappointed that the multiplayer is not simultaneous. Why not? That seems like it would be a lot more fun.

Objection

#15

Objection said:

Its a shame the multiplayer is handoff, but I'll still likely get this this coming weekend.

Caliko

#16

Caliko said:

The biggest disappointment in the game is that the only gameplay mechanic is poses. I thought we'd be jumping over cars, ducking, and balancing on tight rope. Otherwise its funny and fun as heck!!!
7/10 for me.

Sean_Aaron

#17

Sean_Aaron said:

It's probably important to keep in mind this game was originally prototyped as an arcade game in Japan, but never released generally. It doesn't seem to have been changed beyond that, hence the focus on short, challenging play sessions with limited replay value.

ejamer

#19

ejamer said:

The absolute best part of this game is gifting it to unsuspecting friends and family members. Worth the 500 points for novelty alone.

WolfRamHeart

#20

WolfRamHeart said:

I was really disappointed with this game. The gameplay is very shallow and the broken controls certainly don't help. The game is almost unplayable. These issues definitely ruined my enjoyment of a game that I was really looking forward to playing. At least it was only 500 points so I don't feel totally robbed.

pikku

#23

pikku said:

i think this is what sexy poker should have been, not a poker game, but a bikini clad women game! :)

Luigi-La-Bouncy

#24

Luigi-La-Bouncy said:

If I bought every game when I'm told "for 500 points you can't go wrong" I would be significantly less well-off.

DarkEdi

#27

DarkEdi said:

i wish nintendo sometime let the 300 pts games, there are many vc and wiiware that deserves that.

BulbasaurusRex

#29

BulbasaurusRex said:

Bad gameplay, just as I thought. If I want to watch a funny video, I'll go to Youtube.com for free.

In fact, you can just watch the trailers of this game to get most of the enjoyment out of it. You get to watch the funny visuals without having to suffer through the gameplay or pay $5.

fxtek76

#30

fxtek76 said:

An American twinkie 35 feet long and weighing 600 lbs... Thats a big twinkie .

Sean_Aaron

#31

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm going to have to make a video of myself playing this. The controls have some issues, but I don't regard them as "broken" otherwise I couldn't have beaten every stage!

Unless maybe the North American version suffered a bit in the translation?

Caliko

#32

Caliko said:

Another problem the developers looked pass was the lack of a pause screen or even just a pause.

To return to the title screen or restart a level you LITERALLY have to press the home button and reset the game.

suburban_sensei

#33

suburban_sensei said:

@BulbasaurusRex I was kind of thinking about DLing this game for a laugh...but to be honest, I agree, just watching a "Let's Play" vid on Youtube, let me feel like I experienced it. The guy doing the vid, had some funny commentary as well (ZetaPlays is his account), so that alone was better to watch than paying $5. Thanks for the warning. :)

NoSeriously

#36

NoSeriously said:

@FuzzyYellowBalls
If I lost my mind and decided to eat a Twinkie and someone stole it, they'd deserve what they'd gotten--a Twinkie. The outside is not bad. The inside of those things frightens me.
I'd be chasing anyone who stole my guitar.

AVahne

#38

AVahne said:

Seems like a lot of people don't realize that the pause button is on 1.
It's weird that it's not on +, but hey, it's a weird game so the controls are weird.

Ron_DelVillanoAdmin

#39

Ron_DelVillano said:

Muscle March is a great game that has provided me with HOURS of both hilarity and entertainment.

But maybe it's just me who's thoroughly entertained by this sort of thing.

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