You are about to experience an odd phenomenon. Are you actually ready for this? Here’s what’s about to happen. I am going to provide a one-sentence description for Muscle March on WiiWare and you are immediately going to stop reading this review and go purchase the game. Don’t believe me huh? Well check this shit out.
In Muscle March you play as a muscular polar bear who, along with a group of other body builders, chase aliens, monsters and quarterbacks throw a series of walls in order to get back your stolen protein powder.
I assume if you’re still reading this it’s because you don’t have a Wii and can’t download the game. Or more likely you have to wait until morning when stores open and you can then buy a Wii to download this game. Since you’re still here though, I might as well tell you a little bit more.
I doubt you’ll be shocked to hear it but Muscle March is pretty much the definition of a Japanese game. It’s a strange one for sure. It’s not quite at the same level of insanity as Bayonetta however. Muscle March is more about the strange premise while Bayonetta is much more about having crazy thrown at you constantly.
I lied a little in my opener. While you can play as a muscular polar bear, he is only one of several playable character options, all of which can be seen in the banner for this article. The rest is completely true though. You really do chase after various things to get back your stolen jar of protein powder.
Where it becomes a game is with the running through walls element. You see as you chase them they will strike a pose as they smash into the wall, which as Looney Tunes has taught us, leaves a hole in the wall in that exact shape. Your goal is to match that pose so you can safely run through the hole. Don’t match the pose and you crash through the wall. Crash five times and you lose. Very simple.
The controls are quite simple in theory. You use the Wii remote and nunchuk to strike the various poses. There are only four poses total: both arms up, both arms down, and either a left or right arm flex. Naturally you raise or lower either the remote or nunchuk to pull the poses off. The more poses you get correct, the faster everything moves. Again, very simple.
The problem is in the execution. With a premise like this, it’s crucial that the controls work perfectly and they most certainly do not. Sometimes your player will strike a pose even though you haven’t moved your arms at all. Even worse is the transition from pose to pose isn’t nearly as smooth as it needs to be. As the action speeds up it’s necessary to have split second responses and the game simply can’t keep up.
It’s especially important to have quick response since this game gets really hard, really fast. There are three different worlds to choose from, and it is my understanding that each of them has three levels. You see I can’t say for sure because I have yet to successfully beat any of the third levels. The difficulty ramp is insane! The first two levels are a breeze but the third does not fuck around. You have maybe a second to register the move that you have to do, and then actually do it. I’ve read that people have done it so I know it’s not impossible, unless of course they’re lying, which I assume they are.
That being said, I do think Muscle March is worth downloading. It’s only five bucks and the sheer weirdness of it all is worth experiencing. Plus there is some fun to be had here, even if the third level seems damn near unbeatable. I think it’s the kind of game that when you have friends over you say “hey wanna see something fucked up?” and then assuming they don’t immediately leave due to your creepy question, you break this game out. It’s a novelty, so on that level I recommend it.