Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 21.07.2011 1

Review for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics (Hands-On) on Wii

When it was finally revealed that SEGA's mascot, Sonic, and Nintendo's main man, Mario, were joining forces, fans were overjoyed. Seeing the two developers bring their key characters together after so many years of SEGA being in the hardware market and, thus, being one of Nintendo's biggest competitors, was a dream come true. Until the bubble burst, of course, as reality kicked in and the sports-themed mini-game fest appeared and proved to be rather average, to say the least. After the Winter Olympics follow-up, has SEGA carved out a far improved third edition with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics? Cubed3 recently went hands-on to find out.

Personal bad experiences can leave a permanent sour taste in the mouths of anyone, and unfortunately the original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games simply showed that the coming together of two popular characters does not necessarily mean the end product will be a roaring success. Following strong sales of the lacklustre Winter Olympics sequel it became obvious that Nintendo and SEGA saw an opportunity and were planning on milking this franchise as much as possible, so the advent of a London 2012 Olympics tie-in seemed inevitable. With only a few Wii games on show at Nintendo's recent Press event, though, it was hard to avoid trying it out, despite strong reservations. Thankfully Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics turned out to be nowhere near as bad as expected. Whilst it was nothing overly special, the two mini-games that were tested were pleasantly surprising.

The first event was a variation on the Long Jump, with players bouncing on clouds and shaking the Wii Remote (held on its side) rapidly up and down to help your character of choice hover as far as possible before landing once more on the fluffy white formations and then launching back up into the sky, surviving as long as possible without losing control and dropping into nothingness, or getting hit by various incoming objects, such as Bullet Bills from the Mario Universe. It proved to be quite fun with two players for a brief time, but quickly grew boring as there was no strong competitive feel to proceedings, yet perhaps in four-player, with friends of equal gaming skill levels, the ante may well be upped.

Screenshot for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics (Hands-On) on Wii

The more absorbing of the two was certainly the horse riding event, where you select any of the plethora of Nintendo and SEGA characters on offer to take the reins and get the championship-winning horse to successfully navigate a specially laid out course. This played rather like the early G1 Jockey release that Koei brought to Wii before the merger with Tecmo, in that both Wii Remote and Nunchuk were used and gentle tilting movements resulted in the horse leaning in the appropriate direction, whilst wafting the two controllers up and down made it trot faster. Timing was imperative as prompts appeared when approaching areas that need to be jumped over, and exactly when the ‘A’ button was hit resulted in a different score being awarded. Simple, but pleasantly fun.

Out of the two played, the horse riding event was definitely the more enjoyable, with players taking it in turns to try and reach the goal in the fastest time possible without incurring any penalties from falling off the horse or hitting the obstacles. However, two mini-games, one of which was rather average from the first try, and another that was far better does not a superbly addictive game make, so at the moment Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics still has a lot to prove.

Screenshot for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Currently it looks like anyone with a penchant for party games is going to be treated to all sorts of goodness in the next six-to-twelve months, with Wii Play: Motion out now, Mario Party 9 due in 2012 and Fortune Street on the way as well. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics will no doubt sell more than all of them, but whether or not it proves to be of higher quality is still questionable at the moment.

Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Anyone bought the first two and looking forward to this, or were so stung in the past that this will get overlooked?

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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