Muscle March • WiiWare • Namco • www
It was one of 2009's top game memes when video first emerged of its Japanese release, and now it's finally arrived: in a momentous occasion few thought we'd ever see (and even fewer genuinely hoped we would) — Namco has just released Muscle March for download on U.S. Wiis.
So how'd it turn out? Not surprisingly, pretty much exactly as you'd imagine from that video above. Strip away all the well-oiled bodywork and its a remarkably slim game of think-fast reaction time, a holdover from its arcade roots.
The plot, so to speak, is simply to chase down the thief that's stolen your protein powder, be he a rogue football linebacker, alien Grey, or clownish/fey Nobunaga, striking whichever pose they choose to fit cleanly through the slapstick man-sized hole they leave in each subsequent wall.
It's an easier task at the caboose end of the muscled train, giving you plenty of time to anticipate each movement, but as each teammate drops out and leaves you alone to your task, the pace quickens to split second decisions, made even more difficult by last-minute feints.
Again indicative of its arcade origins, each game rarely lasts longer than a hot minute or two, and Namco has made no effort to provide depth beyond that: it simply strives to be the best scantily-clad-bodybuilder-breaking-through-walls game ever made, a glorious goal it's impossible to say it hasn't achieved.