Months after Michael Phelps' success at the 2008 Olympics in China, 505 Games announced plans to release a swimming video game based around Michael Phelps. The game was released on Tuesday and I've noticed 2 things so far:
1.) Many people commented on my Facebook and Twitter feeds when I posted the topic that they didn't even know that there was a Michael Phelps video game. So maybe they didn't advertise enough in Canada? How is it selling in the states?
2.) Not ONE media outlet has even been remotely skeptical of this idea. Everyone thinks its fantastic. Really!!??
In the interest of full disclosure; I do not own an Xbox 360 (the game platform) or the Connect system (the controller required) or the game itself so this review is based solely on the concept. But I HAVE to ask, was this an attempt by a 505 Games executive to capitalize on an athlete that is now not quite as unbeatable as he was 3 years ago? Does that guy still work there? Is he still thinking this is a great idea..? Yes, its a cool idea and looks like it may be fun to play for about 15min, and good for Michael, who likely made several millions of dollars to use his likeness in the game. But were gamers really sitting in front of their gaming systems this year and saying: "Dude, this game is missing the elements of pretend swimming and erroneous physical activity"..? I think not. I think this is a very niche, gimmicky video game and suspect that you will be able to pick up a previously owned copy on store shelves by Monday so save your money.
Yes, I love Michael Phelps and swimming and video games, but I also like children, loud music and beer. Some things are better when they're not combined. My humble opinion of the CONCEPT: Michael Phelps, Swimming and Gaming don't look like the peanut butter and chocolate combination they were hoping it would be. If anyone at Microsoft or 505 Games wants to send me a system and the game to change my mind, I'll listen. Contact me through the blog. In the mean time, the trailer and Michael's guest spot on Jimmy Fallon can be found below.