Major League Eating: The Game Review
Sports—they're more than an American past-time, they're a passion, a way of life. But what if you hate sports? What do you do when there's nothing to fill the void where baseball, basketball and football should be? Well you're in luck. The International Federation of Competitive Eating has heard your cries and created Major League Eating, a sport that takes the small town eating contest to a whole 'nother level. In fact, the IFCE has gone so far to legitimize gluttony, they've created a national circuit of eating competitions, which in turn has made rock stars of food-obsessed people with freakish metabolisms. Damn, I love America.
There's a video game version of every sport out there, so naturally, us competitive eating fans have been sitting here for some time thinking, “Where the heck is my Madden MLE?” Some of you might think this is the goofiest idea for a game possible but publisher Mastiff knew someone out there was fantasizing about bolting twenty pounds of shrimp in four minutes and so they created Major League Eating: The Game.
The game emulates real life MLE eating matches, allowing you to play and challenge actual MLE eating champions from Sonya Thomas to Takeru Kobayashi. Each match begins with a simple tutorial demonstrating how to use the Wii-mote to cram, chew and swallow food as well as how to prevent yourself from blowing chunks. This is very important information because winning isn't just about eating more food than the other guy—it's about keeping it down.
Although the basic gameplay is simple, it takes coordination and strategy to win. While horking down food, you also have to be ready to grab the periodic power-up. These come in the form of antacids that lower your barf-o-meter, shields that protect you from your opponent's attacks and various gas-inducing food items that let you gag your opponent with clouds of blinding gas. Stacked attacks allow you to slow your opponent down so you can stuff that many more hot dogs in your mouth; and if you're really good, you can gas-attack your opponent's barf-o-meter right over the top. If you're losing, random inter-match challenges give you the chance to regain your edge by avoiding an exploding hot potato or out-belching your opponent.
The game is rated for kids 10 and up and being chock-full of burps, farts and projectile vomiting, it can't help but be a hit with the 'tween set. Adults may want to dismiss the game entirely due to the subject matter but they should try it; they might find themselves (against their better judgment) enjoying it. You can play against the game, challenge your buddies or go online to seek out new gurgitory rivals. It won't take long for you to become an MLE champ since the game is as easy to pick up and play as any Wii Sports game—think Wii tennis with more flatulence.
For the most part, the game is fun times but a couple of things could have made it better. No one plays the Wii for high end graphics but MLE's graphics are as basic as basic gets. It would be nice to see something other than flat textures on every surface and the game could use more attractive characters. It would also be nice if more different kinds of Wii-mote movement were required to eat the different foods. The only time that happens is when the contestants are eating corn on the cob or short ribs. If there's a sequel, let's hope Mastiff adds in more of these.
The Good: Inexpensive, fun to play with friends, kids will love the gross-out factor
The Bad: Very low end graphics, could use more variety
If you can't get out to Myrtle Beach for an MLE tournament, check out Major League Eating: The Game. It's a great party game, a bargain at $10 and it's the only way to hold an eating contest at your house without someone heaving on your rug.