Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Once they were competitors, now they’re only opponents. Mario and his crew take on Sonic’s gang for the Olympics. They need to run, jump, fly, duck, fall, stand up and go on in the sports event of the year. Welcome to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
At first sight the game has everything to be a top game; Mario and Sonic, a wide variety of sports, a couple of minigames, support for up to four players at the same time and it makes use of the networking capabilities of the Wii. However, unfortunately I have to be honest: once you’ve past the quite attractive introduction movie you’ve had the best part of the game. Ever since I was a kid I’ve stayed away from such sports games and my fear has come true with this title.
Actually there’s nothing sportive about this, it’s all about a collection of minigames that all fit in the same context: running, swimming, gymnastics, jumping high and far, and more stuff like that. The sports branches are divided into different categories like Single Math (where you can play one unlocked sport), Circuit Mode (three games in the form of a tournament) and Mission Mode which gives you specific objectives.
Maybe the biggest flaw in the game are the controls. These change all too often and sometimes even within the same sport. While swimming for instance each character has its own controls which comes down to another way of shaking the remote. Also these controls are all but explained accurately through the interface when it comes to timing and what exactly you’re expected to do. Table tennis for instance is – contrary to tennis in Wii Sports – a true disaster. To make all of this even more fun, you’re obliged to disconnect the nunchuck for certain games to reattach it two minutes later.
Next to the different sports activities the game also has a series of trivia questions that look quite amateur-like. With the Wi-Fi logo on the cover you would think that internet multiplayer would be possible but unfortunately this isn’t the case. You can upload your score to the world rankings and compare your own records with others and that’s that.
A game that’s supposed to appeal to kids, with bright colors and two child-friendly characters on the cover, will arrive as a bittersweet gift with which young and old will fight with the controls. That there’s little potential in a game with this setting, independent whether it’s with or without Mario and Sonic, in my opinion has been proven once again.