Mario (Super Mario Land 3D - Nov 11)
and Sonic (Sonic Generations - Nov 11) are probably the hardest
working video game characters in 2011, both with current gaming
releases and this time their working together! Even though both
characters are from two different companies, SEGA have brought them
together again in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games in
this friendly collection of competitive mini-games.
However, as mentioned, this is not the
first time that Nintendo and SEGA have brought their characters
together and in 2007, we saw Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games but
it didn't stop there. 2008 saw them together again Super Smash. Bros
Brawl and then in 2009, it was Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter
Games. So with the London Olympics just around the corner, SEGA have
done it again.
Given that Mario & Sonic at the London
2012 Olympic Games is a collection of sporting mini-games on the
Nintendo Wii which does feel a little stagnant at times, however
SEGA have attempted to spice up the games and try something
different but like most sporting games for the Wii, especially
mini-games, some work and some don't.
In order to spice up the gameplay and
give it that English feel, the developers have used almost every
London landmark and cliché in the book to give the title a real
London feel. The three main gaming modes available include Dream
Events, Olympic Events and London Party.
Controls are also a mixed bag in the
game and would have been nice if the title used the new MotionPlus
capabilities of the Wii because the inaccuracy of the controls and
limitations of the old controller does make the games feel a little
dated at times. Also, for those that don't like to move, this game
requires quite a bit of arm moving, especially if you’re trying to
break a record.
The dream events incorporate Olympic
type events into the game with over the top gaming mechanics that
include weird surreal experiences such as running along on clouds
and other arcade type adventures that are quite reminiscent of the
Mario and Sonic titles. Next up are the Olympic games which are more
realistic gaming modes that include sports such as badminton,
canoeing, football , equestrian, shooting, volley ball and hurdles
The highlights for me in the Olympic games was definitely badminton
and shooting. Badminton reminds me of tennis from Wii Sports which
in essence have replaced the tennis ball with a shuttlecock which
allows you to have long volleys before smashing the shuttlecock on
your opponent’s court to win the point. Canoeing is also fun as the
Wii controllers are used to mimic the motion of rowing that can
sometimes be a challenge. Horsing riding and football are a little
lacklustre and overall, we've pretty much seen all these games in
some incarnation before. As to shooting, even though the accuracy
was a little hit and miss, it was fast blasting those skeets away.
However London Party is where the REAL
fun is to be found which mirrors elements from the Mario Party games
as London is turned into a huge board game. Allowing up to four
players, this mode requires you to explore London in order to
collect items and complete your tourist sticker book. The first to
It's also cool that you can race other
players to your destinations which creates a healthy dose of
competition. Another fun aspect about the game is that the title
rewards the players with a considerable amount of unlockable content
thanks to the scratchy tickets that you are given. By scratching
these tickets, it will award the player with bonuses such as new
clothing for your Mii character to other prizes like music from the
Mario and Sonic games which can then be used in the sporting events.
It’s definitely a game for the family!
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is a
decent looking game on the Wii with its over the top characters that
all look like their gaming counterparts. Although the game looks
quite cartoony in all its elements, it's actually a fun looking game
that assists in the overall party atmosphere. The virtual
interpretation of London does look rather impressivem including the
landmarks such as the Eye.
Great sound effects and some awesome
musical scores which do need to be unlocked add to the overall
gaming experience. All in all, the gameplay and graphics come
together well and although it’s not the most original game, it
delivers the fun.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is an interesting
game that is reminiscent of those classic 80's Olympic games like
Summer Games but with 21st century graphics and the innovative Wii
gaming mechanics. Like all mini-game collections, some of the games
work and others are just a little embarrassing.
Fortunately the majority work but where
the game does shine is through the Dream Events and the London Party
mode which is rather fun, especially with other players.
Sure, it may not be the most original
game of the year but its fun seeing the colourful characters of
Nintendo and SEGA together again, especially in the Dream Events
that take certain aspects from games such as Mario Galaxy and
incorporates those into these mini-games with the gorgeous locales
of London as a background. London has never looked more colourful or
cleaner for that matter.