Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sonic and Mario Moustache Competition

So, it's crunch time where I work, and as much as I love making video games, getting up, working, going home, sleeping only to get up in order to go back to work is a little dull. On my way home from work one day, I was trying to think of what sort of thing I could do to add some excitement to my life that met my constraints of having absolutely no free time. As soon as I pondered this, the answer came to me like a flash of lightning! Grow a moustache! It met the prerequisites. It would spice up my life and require no time. In fact, I think it'd save me time! That's less facial area to shave, and over the course of a month, I may save a total of 5 minutes. That extra 5 minutes of sleep does sound pretty appealing during crunch time. Anyway, I was explaining my philosophy of recreational moustache growing to some coworkers when one mentioned they had competitive moustache competitions at his previous employer.

I have a confession. I have two goals in life besides making great video games. One is to become a competitive eater. The second is to proudly represent my country at the World Beard and Moustache Competition. I'm doing pretty poorly on the first goal, but by organizing a company wide moustache competition, I figured I could start getting some practice in order to eventually compete at the national level. I quickly organized a company wide moustache competition, and now fun and excitement has returned to my life!

This got me thinking, with an international event as exciting as the World Beard and Moustache competition, it's amazing that no one has grabbed the video game license. I mean it's practically the Olympics of facial hair! Wait a minute... Sega and Nintendo have figured out a way to improve on events that epitomize the amazing will of athletes and their unrivaled mastery in controlling their bodies. They replaced real athletes with licensed characters! So, here's my brilliant revelation! I should get the license and create Mario & Sonic at the World Beard and Moustache Competition (with of course permission from Nintendo and Sega).

Now, I know what you are thinking. Eggman or Wario has already won! Well, in this game, any of your favorite male characters from the Sonic and Mario series can grow amazing facial hair. Maybe your favorite character isn't female. Perhaps you are partial to the Princess Peach or Toadette (I love both mushrooms and women, so Toadette is my favorite). I imagine there's one person who actually can stand Amy, Sonic's special lady friend. I do have trouble imagining that anyone actually likes Blaze, Cream or Rouge – the other female characters rounding out the current Sonic cast. Daisy is totally just Peach with brown hair created only because blond didn't render well on the original grayscale Game Boy. I don't want to create a sexist game, so I think that perhaps we could include an armpit hair growing minigame for the female character.

Now you may be thinking, “Nintendo is the awesome! They would never license out Mario for a stupid game like that!” Let's examine that statement, shall we? In thinking what random officially licensed Nintendo things I own, here are a few things that come to mind: Mario boxer shorts (they have somewhat lude text on them “Kiss me, I'm Italian” and “Show me the Princess”), Mario socks, Mario t-shirts, a plush Mario, a Mario action figure, Nintendo adult pajama bottoms (not the footy kind unfortunately), a Famicom tissue box holder, a plush Famicom, and a Nintendo business card holder. I'm sure I have plenty more, but that's all I could come up with off the top of my head. There are plenty more that I don't have such as Nintendo PC speakers (shaped like the ? block) and a friend of mine has the Mario branded Shasta Soda. If you think that's a lot, it's only a small fraction of what Nintendo has branded. I'm pretty sure I saw an official Super Mario Colostomy Bag when I was at last at the drug store. In short, Mario gets around. Sega's not much better. I suppose I haven't collected Sega stuff as avidly, but I do have Sonic action figures, plushes, socks, t-shirts as well as a Dreamcast tissue box holder, but I don't think that's officially licensed.

I'm sure you're already checking your favorite retailer's website to preorder this game, but you might be desperate for more information in order to steer your lucid dreams to be about playing this game. It's obviously going to be for the Nintendo Wii since I don't think there's any chance of getting Mario of appearing on any other system (except the CD-i for Hotel Mario and PC for Mario Teaches Typing). The gameplay would work as follows. You choose your character. All the characters begin without facial hair, so Dr. Eggman or Wario don't have a clear advantage. The first part of the game is the act of growing the facial hair. This is accomplished by waggling the Wii-mote. After several hours of waggling, your character will have some stubble. After two days straight of waggling, you will have about a centimeter of growth. Now that you are past peach fuzz, you'll be able to compete.

The bulk of the game is about working your way up to the international beard and moustache competition, but like any athletic event, you can't just start at the top. You have to work your way there by winning smaller competitions. These will bring you trophies that you can put in your trophy room that you can arrange yourself similar to Playstation's Home. Hopefully the CPU on the Wii can handle awesome physics, so you can try and stack all your trophies and sit on top them just like Home. At least I think that's what you are supposed to do in Home. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what Home is about.

Winning championships also gives you more money to purchase moustache wax and other shaving accessories. In fact, all your character starts out with to shave initially is a shard of broken glass. After winning some tournaments, you can purchase a straight razor, a safety razor, a three bladed razor, a six bladed razor, a fourteen bladed razor, an electric razor, an electric razor with goo, a beard trimmer and a nose hair trimmer. You can also purchase moustache wax, Rogain for Beards and Moustaches and testosterone injections to increase the rate at which your character's hair grows. As you win the lower tournaments and grow more hair as well as shaving products, you will finally work your way up to the world championship.

The game will use WiiConnect24, so you can visit your friends if you remember their stupid friend code. Although I have a ton of friends with Wii, I haven't bothered to enter their string of random digits which would enable me to play all my online games with them like.. umm.... yeah, I got nothing. Well, luckily, this trophy room feature would give you a reason to swap codes! Well, probably not, but networked trophy room makes an AWESOME bullet point! It's like Game 3.0 user created content combined with the remix generation level of customization!

For those who are really dedicated to their virtual craft and are willing to spend months and years waggling, there will be actual international championships that will take place on a new channel similar to Everybody Votes. It will be a double elimination tournament. Players will have to log over 100 game hours to qualify to prevent people from entering without crazy facial hair.

This is exactly the kind of innovative gameplay that the Wii needs so desperately. This game will not only sell millions of copies of its game but drive Wii hardware sales to even greater heights than it is currently at. It will also prove that Nintendo isn't the only publisher that can have a successful title on the Wii. If you work at a publisher and would like to publish this brilliant title or get a more thorough design document, post a message in the comments, and I'll be happy to get back to you.

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