Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games
For some reason and ever
since Charles Martinet visited Australia, I cannot get the voice of
Mario out of my head and I can also imagine Mario saying "It's a meee
Mariooo and SONIC!" when the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the
Games was released.
Okay, enough Mario weirdness! Mario & Sonic at the
Olympic Winter Games joins both the Nintendo and SEGA universes together
as they compete in a variety of winter wonderland events from skiing to
bobsleighing but best of all, the classic characters such as Luigi,
Donkey Kong and Tails are all part of the fun.
At its core, it's
basically a collection of mini sport games that use the cool
controls of the Nintendo DS to create some memorable gaming moments. The
game contains 27 different events that include snowboarding and my
favourite, the downhill Luge.
Featuring a variety of different gameplay
modes, the DS version has an Adventure Mode that has the players
fighting against Dr. Robotnik and Bowser who are trying to steal the
snow spirits by melting the snow. As Mario and Sonic join forces, they
must compete in a variety of Olympic and Dream Events in order to defeat
these two nefarious villains but best of all, their friends are along
for the ride. The Dream Events are basically outrageous interpretations
of the winter sports and are very reminiscent of Mario Karts, especially
with the multiplayer modes.
The gameplay of Mario &
Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games is perfect on the Nintendo DS and
successfully uses both the console buttons and stylus in the majority of
events. Downhill skiing is quite entertaining as you use the stylus to steer your
characters, however other games may use a combination of the d-pad,
shoulder buttons or the stylus.
Thankfully each game has a mini tutorial
before you engage each game that even offers a practice run. The
majority of games work quite well with Mario & Sonic at the Winter
Olympic Games and the only real issue we found was with ice hockey which was a
little fiddle some at the best of times. Even so, the fun and replay
factor is up the high end of the spectrum and if you have some friends,
than welcome aboard the Mario and Sonic multiplayer train.
The game supports up to
four players via a single-cartridge as players download the appropriate
information to their DS consoles. Of course if each player has their own
cartridge, it's considerably faster and if you have net access, you can
access leaderboards to record your prowess. The multiplayer aspect is
like a new version of Mario Kart, except the events revolve around
winter sport games from powerups to stars to be collected, it's all part
of the fun and is easily as good as the single-player mode.
Graphically, the title is visually quite impressive on the Nintendo DS
with great colourful and cartoon inspired graphics that do pay homage to
their respective universes, Nintendo and SEGA. Add in some great
animations and even some cool looking effects for the Dream Events and
this is one well-made game. Musically, it matches the gameplay perfectly
as do the colourful sound effects and sound bites from all the
characters. Needless to say, we could not fault the graphics or the
At the end of the day,
SEGA have created a very fun and entertaining Nintendo DS game that
contains a wide range of fun games from snowboarding (tricks included)
to the fast experience of the downhill Luge. As all your favourite
gaming characters come together, it's easy to get addictive to this
game, especially with friends as you attempt to go for gold. Strong
gameplay, great graphics and best of all, you can have Mario vs Sonic!