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"Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)"

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Sun 13/01/08 at 23:37
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Perhaps the video game that no one saw coming was Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games. Once rivals on battling consoles the two are now competing in the same game in an officially licensed product. Odd to say the least but while many may frown at the cash-in looking title before them others will jump for joy at the prospect of seeing the blue hedgehog and red plumber together. Those people who jump for joy are in for a treat as this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Those expecting an epic platforming adventure featuring areas from Mushroom Kingdom and Mobius mixed with elements from the two franchises (HINT HINT Sega or Nintendo for your next crossover) donít look here. This is a track and field style game with 24 events and nothing else. Similar to the old button bashers of the past this relies heavily on repeated fast motion hand gestures with the odd timing needed from time to time for jumps, vaults and so on.

Of the twenty four events available there are technically only twenty real ones as the final four are simply crazy Mario Kart style activities that involve special moves and red shells. You will find 100 metre, 400 metre, hurdles and relay races, hammer and javelin throw, high, long and triple jump, pole vault, vault and trampoline and swimming as well as many more. The variety available is enough to keep things from becoming too much of a frantic waving fest but rather have a mix of skill and endurance. While you will have tiring sprinting events these are broken up with relaxed aiming trials giving you a moment to catch your breath.

The racing events revolve around alternatively shaking both the nunchuck and remote in an up and downward motion. There is the odd button pressing for jumping hurdles but thatís it for these events. They are short, fast and very hectic with races often finishing extremely close. Then there are the jumping events that as well as involving rapid moving of the arms also require the odd timing of a flick or button press to actually perform said jump or vault. You will also come across trampoline which is all about flicking the remote and button combinations. Skeet involves your basic point and click affair and skulls button combos and pulling actions with the remote. They may sound basic and they are to be honest, but they are really fun. A few events however earn a special mention.

First off is the archery. This could have been a simple point and shoot challenge like skeet, but instead while holding the A and B button and pulling back on the remote, you must align two crosshairs by then aiming with the remote and tilting the nunchuck. To release an arrow you simply let go of the buttons. It feels extremely unique and has offered something I havenít seen in a Wii game to date. Next up are the swimming events which may seem very similar to the running events throw a little something different at you. Instead of simply waving up and down to move, there are differing styles of movement that need to be made depending on your swimmer. For example Knuckles performs the butterfly stroke which involves you waving both controls up and down at the same time. Dr. Eggman however does the breaststroke which needs you to move both remotes in and out as if doing the stroke yourself. Itís a little feature but makes so much more difference especially when seeing your three friends doing random stokes at the same time frantically.

Then there are the four ďcrazyĒ events. Two are basically copies of their realistic counterpart (fencing and table tennis) but offer special moves that can throw your opponent off guard while the other two are similar to race and trampoline but offer weapons, obstacles and the freedom to move you character instead of sticking to one straight lane. They are great fun and it would have been even better if they took advantage of the fact itís a Mario and Sonic game and used weird and wonderful weapons and twists from the two series. Four of these games isnít enough!

The game offers sixteen characters from the Mario and Sonic universe so youíre bound to find one or two favourites. Each of them have their own stats too, so while Bowser may exceed at a power event such as the hammer throw, he will likely struggle a little in a race event like the 100 metre dash. So there is a little element of strategy to make sure you pick the best character for said events. Slightly disappointing however is the absence of some characters like Donkey Kong or maybe Super Sonic plus the fact you canít unlock anyone else on top of the original sixteen leaves little excitement when you complete tough challenges knowing it only rewards you an emblem.

The mode selection is actually quite robust offering just enough whether youíre playing alone or with three friends. Like any sporting title you have exhibition mode where itís simply a matter of selecting any of your unlocked events to play. Then you have circuit mode which is where the greatest chunk of single player longevity lies. With around fifteen trophies to win from playing Mario Kart style point-based leagues you can assure youíll be here a while. But it doesnít end there as Sega decided to throw in a challenge mode for good measure. Here youíll find six objectives for every character ranging from finishing a race in a certain position to making a perfect jump on high jump. While they can be tough yet still be fun and a nice change of pace from always aiming to win, (It does seem weird aiming to come fifth in a swimming race or only throw a javelin fifty metres) they often repeat much too often between characters. After a few missions youíll begin to recognise the same objectives and already know the best way of tackling them. Also there is little to reward you for completing each charactersí missions which is a shame. Gallery rounds off the options here with a screen that displays Olympic trivia and facts as well as mini games that include card type, memory and counting goombas and other enemies. They are really dull and not worth your time of day to be honest.

While it is a great disappointment that there isnít any online competitive play, Sega included online leader boards to soften the blow. It is cool to be able to view your overall ranking in the world, but really this game should have had online play to begin with. No excuse.

As far as looks go this is a solid effort. The character models are nice and animate well, however the backgrounds tend to suffer. Water effects and stadiums could look better but overall it isnít too shabby. The music in the game I can see as being hated by most players. The range of random upbeat music to the boasting powerful uplifting tunes played from menu to event may not be to their taste. Honestly however I thought it suited the games Olympic feel. The voices however are a letdown. Too often are the phrases repeated and in typical Sonic Adventure fashion their mouths donít move at the right time when they speak.

Multiplayer is where the game truly comes into its own with hours upon hours of fun to be had with three mates. You can simply tackle any single event alone or play a personally created circuit of five events and thatís it. But thatís all you need. Yes it would be great to have the ability to play larger circuits but other than that you canít really fault the multiplayer. It is four player, offers a range of activities to perform and itís extremely fun to play as well as watch.

The game is fun but itís not without its flaws. As mentioned before there is no live online play. The game can also feel a little restricted at times in both options and ability. Basically you cannot pick to do a full 10 or 20 off event circuit with your friends. Itís five at a time or nothing. Next on events such as pole vault, high jump and trampoline it can be pretty easy to get the maximum height and points after some practice. The great thing about Konamiís track and field games is that there was always room for improvement and those world records the game set seemed so far away. Often more times than not you could break the world record on each event on your first attempt. It needs to be slightly more difficult. While 24 events is a nice number, more would have made the game great. Wrestling, rings or diving. There are so many more events that could be added and itís a shame they arenít there.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games is a really fun game and one of the best multiplayers on the Wii yet. It may not be the groundbreaking cross over game we were hoping for, but accept it for the simple enjoyable experience it is and youíll love it. Just make sure to pick up some extra controllers!

80%
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sun 13/01/08 at 23:37
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Perhaps the video game that no one saw coming was Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games. Once rivals on battling consoles the two are now competing in the same game in an officially licensed product. Odd to say the least but while many may frown at the cash-in looking title before them others will jump for joy at the prospect of seeing the blue hedgehog and red plumber together. Those people who jump for joy are in for a treat as this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Those expecting an epic platforming adventure featuring areas from Mushroom Kingdom and Mobius mixed with elements from the two franchises (HINT HINT Sega or Nintendo for your next crossover) donít look here. This is a track and field style game with 24 events and nothing else. Similar to the old button bashers of the past this relies heavily on repeated fast motion hand gestures with the odd timing needed from time to time for jumps, vaults and so on.

Of the twenty four events available there are technically only twenty real ones as the final four are simply crazy Mario Kart style activities that involve special moves and red shells. You will find 100 metre, 400 metre, hurdles and relay races, hammer and javelin throw, high, long and triple jump, pole vault, vault and trampoline and swimming as well as many more. The variety available is enough to keep things from becoming too much of a frantic waving fest but rather have a mix of skill and endurance. While you will have tiring sprinting events these are broken up with relaxed aiming trials giving you a moment to catch your breath.

The racing events revolve around alternatively shaking both the nunchuck and remote in an up and downward motion. There is the odd button pressing for jumping hurdles but thatís it for these events. They are short, fast and very hectic with races often finishing extremely close. Then there are the jumping events that as well as involving rapid moving of the arms also require the odd timing of a flick or button press to actually perform said jump or vault. You will also come across trampoline which is all about flicking the remote and button combinations. Skeet involves your basic point and click affair and skulls button combos and pulling actions with the remote. They may sound basic and they are to be honest, but they are really fun. A few events however earn a special mention.

First off is the archery. This could have been a simple point and shoot challenge like skeet, but instead while holding the A and B button and pulling back on the remote, you must align two crosshairs by then aiming with the remote and tilting the nunchuck. To release an arrow you simply let go of the buttons. It feels extremely unique and has offered something I havenít seen in a Wii game to date. Next up are the swimming events which may seem very similar to the running events throw a little something different at you. Instead of simply waving up and down to move, there are differing styles of movement that need to be made depending on your swimmer. For example Knuckles performs the butterfly stroke which involves you waving both controls up and down at the same time. Dr. Eggman however does the breaststroke which needs you to move both remotes in and out as if doing the stroke yourself. Itís a little feature but makes so much more difference especially when seeing your three friends doing random stokes at the same time frantically.

Then there are the four ďcrazyĒ events. Two are basically copies of their realistic counterpart (fencing and table tennis) but offer special moves that can throw your opponent off guard while the other two are similar to race and trampoline but offer weapons, obstacles and the freedom to move you character instead of sticking to one straight lane. They are great fun and it would have been even better if they took advantage of the fact itís a Mario and Sonic game and used weird and wonderful weapons and twists from the two series. Four of these games isnít enough!

The game offers sixteen characters from the Mario and Sonic universe so youíre bound to find one or two favourites. Each of them have their own stats too, so while Bowser may exceed at a power event such as the hammer throw, he will likely struggle a little in a race event like the 100 metre dash. So there is a little element of strategy to make sure you pick the best character for said events. Slightly disappointing however is the absence of some characters like Donkey Kong or maybe Super Sonic plus the fact you canít unlock anyone else on top of the original sixteen leaves little excitement when you complete tough challenges knowing it only rewards you an emblem.

The mode selection is actually quite robust offering just enough whether youíre playing alone or with three friends. Like any sporting title you have exhibition mode where itís simply a matter of selecting any of your unlocked events to play. Then you have circuit mode which is where the greatest chunk of single player longevity lies. With around fifteen trophies to win from playing Mario Kart style point-based leagues you can assure youíll be here a while. But it doesnít end there as Sega decided to throw in a challenge mode for good measure. Here youíll find six objectives for every character ranging from finishing a race in a certain position to making a perfect jump on high jump. While they can be tough yet still be fun and a nice change of pace from always aiming to win, (It does seem weird aiming to come fifth in a swimming race or only throw a javelin fifty metres) they often repeat much too often between characters. After a few missions youíll begin to recognise the same objectives and already know the best way of tackling them. Also there is little to reward you for completing each charactersí missions which is a shame. Gallery rounds off the options here with a screen that displays Olympic trivia and facts as well as mini games that include card type, memory and counting goombas and other enemies. They are really dull and not worth your time of day to be honest.

While it is a great disappointment that there isnít any online competitive play, Sega included online leader boards to soften the blow. It is cool to be able to view your overall ranking in the world, but really this game should have had online play to begin with. No excuse.

As far as looks go this is a solid effort. The character models are nice and animate well, however the backgrounds tend to suffer. Water effects and stadiums could look better but overall it isnít too shabby. The music in the game I can see as being hated by most players. The range of random upbeat music to the boasting powerful uplifting tunes played from menu to event may not be to their taste. Honestly however I thought it suited the games Olympic feel. The voices however are a letdown. Too often are the phrases repeated and in typical Sonic Adventure fashion their mouths donít move at the right time when they speak.

Multiplayer is where the game truly comes into its own with hours upon hours of fun to be had with three mates. You can simply tackle any single event alone or play a personally created circuit of five events and thatís it. But thatís all you need. Yes it would be great to have the ability to play larger circuits but other than that you canít really fault the multiplayer. It is four player, offers a range of activities to perform and itís extremely fun to play as well as watch.

The game is fun but itís not without its flaws. As mentioned before there is no live online play. The game can also feel a little restricted at times in both options and ability. Basically you cannot pick to do a full 10 or 20 off event circuit with your friends. Itís five at a time or nothing. Next on events such as pole vault, high jump and trampoline it can be pretty easy to get the maximum height and points after some practice. The great thing about Konamiís track and field games is that there was always room for improvement and those world records the game set seemed so far away. Often more times than not you could break the world record on each event on your first attempt. It needs to be slightly more difficult. While 24 events is a nice number, more would have made the game great. Wrestling, rings or diving. There are so many more events that could be added and itís a shame they arenít there.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games is a really fun game and one of the best multiplayers on the Wii yet. It may not be the groundbreaking cross over game we were hoping for, but accept it for the simple enjoyable experience it is and youíll love it. Just make sure to pick up some extra controllers!

80%

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