"Mail call! This hot little number showed up in our box this morning:
Yes, that's Gold's Gym: Cardio Workout for the Wii, a game that I didn't even know was a game until I cracked open the mail this morning. It's an interesting example of what's become totally commonplace on the Wii: companies are putting out all kinds of weird games, and they usually don't tell anyone about it before they do.
Take this fantastically-named minigame collection, for example: Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree.
I caught this one on the shelves at our local Best Buy a couple of weeks ago and couldn't believe it. Where does this stuff come from? Does it sell at all?
It's awesome because it's a never-ending source of humor to see all this weird stuff on shelves. But at the same time, it reminds me of the strange, desperate days that come at the end of a console's lifespan. D3 started pumping out all kinds of PS1 games with names like "Bowling" or "Billiards." The PS2 gets a similar treatment now, with a handful of weird budget games (usually licensed by the National Hot Rod Association) cluttering up the shelves. What does it say about the Wii that the system is still in its prime and it's already receiving this treatment?
Well, I'm glad I asked. It mainly says that the Wii's userbase is huge and totally mainstream, much like those older Sony systems became after seeing their hardware price cut down so far that owning one became an almost-trivial expense. It also implies that Nintendo is OK with this, since the company does still approve what appears on its platform. But I have to wonder if this is another thing that hurts Nintendo's status with the so-called "core" players. Next time you're in a wide-stock retailer like Best Buy or Walmart, take a long look at the Wii section. Does it speak to you? Or does it look like some kind of creepy, hellish bargain bin full of games that you'd never play? How does it make you feel about the Wii?
For my part, I'm just kind of happy to know that this weird stuff is getting out there, since it gives me plenty of "man, what the hell is this!!?!?" moments when I'm shopping. Plus, this Gold's Gym thing actually looks OK."