Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Games that get released as promotion for something else are always a bit suspicious. Often the desire to cash in as much as possible wins over the quest for quality. Combined with time pressure this then results in truly awful games. Luckily developers sometimes do succeed in making something that’s still somewhat decent.
Believe it or not but the game actually has something of a story. Bowser and Dr. Eggman have made that by keeping the snow crystals captive it can’t snow any more which results in the Winter Olympics not being able to start. It’s up to the heroes to rescue the snow crystal and therewith the Olympics. One of the crystals, Frosty, managed to keep out of reach for Bowser and Eggman and gets to help Mario and Sonic in their quest. It’s not much, but as a filler the story does what it’s supposed to do.
The core of the game are the winter sports you can check out with one of the characters from the world of Mario or Sonic. These sports come in the form of minigames where you can play one race or set up a match containing 3 to 5 different sports. Before each game you can check out a tutorial movie or practise a bit and next to the Olympic disciplines you can also get going with so-called “dream events”. Examples of the latter are extreme snowboarding and ultimate figure skating. The usual winter sports but a bit crazier so to speak.
The controls usually come down to simply bashing the buttons as fast as possible. Although it’s quite effective, it’s not the most comfortable way. Your fingers will quickly start to hurt and it really can’t be healthy for your buttons. Some minigames are controlled by the stylus but there the same thing goes: the faster you can move it, the better.
As it should, a true after-ski is present in the form of party games like an alternative version of bingo. Everything can be played alone but with some friends along the fun can really start. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is ready for this and you can also exchange “ghosts” to already practise a bit before a big game against each other.
Graphically the game looks a bit weird like the devs tried to put in some cool graphics but the DS can’t handle them so decides to show its own version. The music on the other hand is quite alright and those that listen carefully can hear some (well-known) classic tunes.
In the end we can see Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games as a collection of minigames. The clumsy controls are the biggest problem although this isn’t too much of an issue as they do work. If you like this genre of games then this title can be interesting at a budget price. With a couple of friends the fun can only become bigger. The rest of the world won’t miss a thing if they keep away from this.