With the Fourth of July approaching, the second biggest event aside from fireworks is the traditionally hot dog eating contest. Nathan’s famous odds are out and Joey Chestnut is once again the whooping favorite to take home his 15th career Mustard Belt.
The popularity of the hot dog eating contest has spurred a bevy of amateur events at state fairs or even backyard cookouts. Amateurs really have no chance of catching Joey Chestnut odds though, as he has the world record with 76 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes.
Even 5-6 hot dogs in 10 minutes can be a bit much, especially when the buns are dipped into water like the professionals do. The hot dog eating contest odds have favored many professionals. This is what led to the 2008 release of Major League Eating: The Game for the Wii console. As expected it had some ups – but also plenty of downs.
About Major League Eating: The Game
Since this game was sanctioned by MLE, it did feature names, images, and likenesses of professional eaters that included Takeru Kobayashi, Chestnut, Tim Janus, Crazy Legs Conti, and Sonia Thomas.
Major League Eating: The Game pulled off (or tried to) the always tough correlation between eating and fighting. There is a single-player mode as well as two-player, with the single-player game featuring the combatant having to navigate through a number of different eaters (fighters) in increasingly different challenges.
Wii Remote Gameplay
The different foods available determine how the Wii remote is used. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and burritos require an upwards motion, peppers and meatballs use a quick flick, while corn on the cob and ribs demand the patented ‘typewriter’ motion.
Major League Eating: The Game isn’t just about stuffing the face though, as players need to actually chew with the ‘B’ button. It’s also not about just chomping either, as if you chew in a part of your food meter that doesn’t contain solids you’ll bite your tongue. Quite the elaborate setup.
Another thing about this game is that spicy foods will affect your ‘esophagus’ meter and chewing too fast will fill up the stomach. In order to prevent a ‘reversal of fortune’ (aka vomit) the Wii remote needs to be used to jiggle the character’s body. There’s a lot more action required here, especially compared to actually eating 8000 calories worth of hot dogs in real life.
Kobayashi, Chestnut, and other players need to be unlocked through multiple rounds of gameplay and there is also online gameplay available. Flatulence, burps, antacid, and counter-attacks are all used in various parts of your journey.
A Kodiak bear is also a special character as an homage to when Kobayashi took on an actual bear in a hot dog eating contest in 2003. This special event on Fox’s “Man vs Beast” did not go well for the Japanese competitive eater, when the bear ate 50 bunless hot dogs in just a bit over two minutes.
Professional eating in itself is not exactly like watching Citizen Kane, so the game should be taken with a grain of salt as well. WiiWare World was kind with their 6/10 star review admiring the “unique blend of concepts wrapped around a somewhat distasteful premise and vulgar humor.”
A writer at IGN was not as receptive of the MLE game concept, calling it “awful” and giving it a 3.7 out of 10 ratings. It’s not easy to base a game on eating though (if your name’s not Burger Time) so it has to be at least commended that the Wii tried with this one.
Plus as stated this game does feature a lot of activity from the hand actions to the chew buttons, and the esophagus jiggle, so it burns at least a few calories in a nation struggling with obesity concerns in young people.
The game is hard to come by these days, so it’s also a collector’s item at this point.