— Admit it – you have spent an embarrassing amount of time enjoying David Hasselhoff.
You’ve chanted “hooga chucka, hooga chucka” along with his video for “Hooked on a Feeling.” You watched that mortifying hamburger-on-the-floor video — more than once. And you secretly want the Mio GPS that talks in the voice of K.I.T.T. from “Knight Rider.”
You, my friend, are the reason Atari put David Hasselhoff in their new Hollywood parody boxing game, “Ready 2 Rumble Revolution.”
"When Atari asked if I'd like to be involved, I asked them if I was the first idiot who said yes," said Hasselhoff. "They said, ‘No, you were our first choice.' And I said, ‘You guys are a bunch of liars. But I'll take it. Give me the money.' I got a few games out of this and a little
bit of change."
In the game, players can physically hassle the Hoff, using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers to mercilessly pummel the star’s character. And just like his career, which has been a study in resilience, the Hoff rises up to fight again with a simple click of the “restart” button.
Hasselhoff thought the game was a hoot — much to the chagrin of his agents and managers. He particularly loved the parody aspect. But he still sent it to his daughter, a big gamer, to get her approval first. The Hoff doesn’t really play games himself – unless you count the “Baywatch” pinball machine he keeps in his house.
Even so, the “America’s Got Talent” judge did pick up the Nunchucks to play against fans and invited guests during a recent publicity event at a Los Angeles shopping mall. Goaded by the voice of the in-game host Michael Buffer, famous for his trademark “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” call, the Hoff took out his aggressions on caricatures that look like American Idol’s Simon Cowell, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, John Travolta, Justin Timberlake and the Notorious B.I.G.
"The thing I like about the Wii is that it's different from other games … I've worked on," said Hasselhoff. "Wii games are interactive and you can get physical with them and you can get a workout.”
But Hasselhoff says the funniest thing about the Wii is watching people play it. “They look so ridiculous punching the air. It's like, ‘What's wrong with these people?' "
Hasselhoff himself looked ridiculous shooting a segment for “Extra” in a Hollywood mall recently. He took on unsuspecting customers, playing as his in-game character, Dewie Streudel. And virtually beat up every opponent.
Hasselhoff is a high-energy bundle of almost random ideas. He’s always planning new projects, devising new concepts, following through with existing successes and continuing to manage the internationally known brand that he now is. It’s a good thing he has a resilient sense of
humor about himself, however. The collection of games he’s amassed on his Web site generally consist of Hoff-baiting parodies of classic titles like “Pac-Man” and “Frogger.”
"Video games seem to be following me around," said Hasselhoff. "If you go to my Web site — Hasselhoff.com, we have all of these games that the Internet kids have made like ‘Pac-Hoff,’ ‘Frogg Hoffer,’ and like ‘Where's the Hoff?’ ‘Pac-Hoff’ is just funny because you just go around trying to eat David Hasselhoff. It's ridiculous, but stupidly fun."
Game companies — other than Atari — are starting to notice the durable star too.
If beating up the Hoff in “Ready 2 Rumble Revolution” isn’t enough to exorcise the guilty pleasures of “Knight Rider,” players can torture the TV star (who is also huge in Europe, by the way) in Sony's PlayStation 3 downloadable game, “PAIN,” shooting him across rooftops and trying to inflict as much damage as possible. Hasselhoff chooses not to notice that gamers want to treat him the way monster trucks would treat a Prius.
In fact, Hasselhoff says wants to give gamers the ultimate gift — being David Hasselhoff. Just imagine that concept for a minute — you could be The Hoff, at least virtually. “Baywatch” babes and drunken hamburgers not included.
"I've talked to Atari and they seem to like the Hoff and I like them," said Hasselhoff. "I would love to come out with my own game. It'd just be my world and welcome to it. It's just a wild ride when you're recognized by everybody who's 4 years old on. I have a lot of ideas for
this game. It could be like ‘Where’s the Hoff?’ because I’m always traveling someplace."