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

By Mike Mason 21.09.2011 3

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

Metal Sonic, arms outstretched, spiky fingers curled imploringly, victoriously runs forward with confident, proud strides, lapping up every decibel of applause directed towards him. His fleshier team mates trail behind celebrating the goal, the goal that has ensured their success and dominance over their opponents. It’s an image that’s every bit as disturbing as it is hysterical; an absurdity that we’ve come to expect from Mario and Sonic’s sporty collaborations. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is the latest version, developed to tie in with the UK’s own upcoming Olympics, and combines ‘realistic’ events - as real as you can get with a batch of cartoon characters with special moves, anyhow - with Dream Events.

The demo allowed us to get to grips with four of the proper sports. Canoeing has players gripping the Wii Remote in both hands, sweeping backwards on alternate sides of their body as if rowing, culminating with a vigorous shake-off as you reach the finishing line. The strokes require you to put some effort in it; it won’t let you just get away with lazily wiggling the Remote. As with the other games in the package, this can be played co-operatively with up to four players, which should lead to some fun as people try to stick with the rhythm.

Beach Volleyball is the least substantial event, a three-on-three contest that became very predictable and repetitive quickly. The ball is served, then bumped around a bit before being sent back, and there is little change of pace other than the super shot powers that build up as the rallies get longer. These abilities can be unleashed to try and score a cheap point, but it proves less easy than you would expect - the flashy attacks can still be returned.

Spinning the controller around is the norm in acrobatic event Uneven Bars, where your chosen character hangs on with their arms and attempts to spectacularly leap between the two sets of said bars. Pace is built up by moving in time to the visual marker, and the Z / B buttons are hit to release your grip, tapped once more to grab on again when coming into contact with the adjacent bars. While repetitive, this worked well.

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

Football boasts the deepest gameplay so far, and it appears to share inspiration with Next Level Games’ Mario Smash Football series. After selecting three characters from a choice of 16, some focused on speed, others strength, others all-rounders, you are thrown on to the pitch before a crowd of various minor Mario and Sonic characters to play a fairly standard game of football. As in Beach Volleyball and Mario Smash Football, however, with successful passes and persistent possession your power meter builds. When it is filled you can launch a ludicrous power shot on the opponent’s goal to gain the advantage.

The Dream Events are more surreal, taking place in familiar settings from the Mario and Sonic franchises. Dream Long Jump is back-dropped by the patchwork sky of Yoshi’s Story. The 2D game has four characters leaping as far as they can, flutter jumping to stay afloat, bouncing off the clouds. Opponents can be impeded by jumping on them, and the winner is whoever gets the furthest before falling. Dream Equestrian is a real highlight where four characters sit in a cart pulled along by horse, dodging obstacles as they race through Mario Kart’s Moo Moo Farm. Each character must turn in tandem to avoid collisions, with each miss resulting in damage, and jump from ledges along the course. Occasionally the camera will flip around in front of the horses in a style similar to Sonic Adventure’s Emerald Coast whale chase, allowing larger dangers to loom from behind.

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

Final Thoughts

The demo showed off only a small portion of the events that will be available in the final title, where there will apparently be 28 events (and some kind of party mode). Should this sort of spread follow in the full product, Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic Games 2012 will feature enough variety to satisfy Wii owners in search of a fun new mini-game-fest.

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

omg Yoshi's Story graphics style! Fucking love it. With football in as well, it's looking like the perfect party game to get mates round for.

(noticed you said Yoshi's Island though, which was hand drawn sketches. But that is deff Yoshi's Story style, fyi ;])

That's what I meant. Smilie Altered.

It's a massive coincidence that I'd only just reviewed Yoshi's Story for the site, then talked about it as my fave art style in games in the podcast, saying how it's not really been seen in games since. Now this! Really hope it's a subtle sign that the style will be used again for a next possible Yoshi game.

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