Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Review
Wii | DS
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Sega 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Sega 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 6, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: EVERYONE 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Most of this game takes place on the Olympic field, with a few events involving slightly more exotic backdrops. Although many of the locations seem somewhat drab, with all of the different sporting events and methods of control available throughout the game, the gameplay remains mostly fresh and enjoyable. In one event, you will be swinging your Wii-mote like a table tennis racquet as you return incoming shots, and in the next, you will be steadying the Wii-mote and Nunchuk together to line up an archery shot.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot

While there are many interesting uses of the Wii's motion sensing controls throughout, far too many of the included events require the same method of control. In any event that is based on running or swimming speed, which trust me is a lot of them, you will need to pump your arms alternately up and down to accelerate. This is not only overused in this game, but in Wii games in general. When will developers realize that flailing your arms up and down repeatedly instead of endlessly mashing a button isn't really an improvement? This particular use of the Wii-mote isn't fun in the least and just serves to hurt your arms more.

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Speaking of arm pains, the way the game scales in difficulty helps cause more than its fair share. When competing in the game's circuit mode, you can choose from tournaments in beginner's, advanced, or master's class. In the beginner's class, you will breeze to victory in most of the events, many by sizeable leads. There is very little challenge present in this class, but it serves as a good place to learn how to play the game. When you eventually move up to the advanced class, you will begin to feel like you actually have to try to win each event. With practice and good execution, these events will feel challenging and fun at the same time. Once you have finished with this class however, you are basically done with the game's circuits. Not because there are none left, but because it is just not worth it. The master class is so ridiculously difficult to place in, it will eventually crush your spirit and force you to play through the game's mission mode. This is a fairly obvious addition to this game but a welcome one. Every character in the game has a set of specific missions to complete. These missions are roughly tailored to each character's abilities, making them an enjoyable experience overall.

As the first Mario and Sonic crossover game, I can't help but feel a little disappointed by this title. With the endless choices of game possibilities, I still can't believe that this game is what was made. Factoring that out of the equation however, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is a fairly decent Wii title. With competent graphics, a real feeling of character, and mostly good uses of the Wii's motion sensing controls, this game is an enjoyable experience overall. Just don't let the allure of the crossover cloud your judgement when deciding whether or not to play this title. If you aren't interested in playing a cartoony version of the Olympics, Mario and Sonic's crews most likely won't change your mind.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Compete in stylized Olympic venues with authentic events to choose from including track and field, archery, skeet shooting, table tennis, gymnastics, and more.
  • Select your favorite playing style from the all-star cast of Mario and Sonic characters with four player types to choose from: all-around, technical, speed, and power. Examples: Mario (All-around), Peach (Technical), Yoshi (Speed), Bowser (Power), Sonic (Speed), Knuckles (Power), Tails (Technical), and Amy (All-around).
  • Game Modes: Try out each event individually with Single Match mode, compete for the highest overall score in a series of events in Circuit Mode, or take on challenges created specifically for each character in Mission Mode. Up to four players can play together on the Wii.
  • Unlockable stages where familiar items from the worlds of Mario and Sonic enhance the challenge of each unique event.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    3.6
    Graphics
    While there is nothing truly amazing about this game's graphics, Mario and Sonic characters all look good even when side by side.
    3.1
    Control
    With inventive and interesting motion control uses throughout, it is a shame that many of the games require the same annoying use of repeated arm pumping.
    3.7
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Good music and sound effects are included, as are classic Mario and Sonic songs that can be unlocked and listened to, just not during events.
    3.0

    Play Value
    Even with the large number of events, characters, and modes, this game is over fairly quickly, leaving besting your previous records as your only objective.

    3.2
    Overall Rating - Fair
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games screenshot - click to enlarge

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