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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review

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On 02/11/2012 at 01:04 PM by Jon Lewis

The ghost of Wii Sports lives on... and on.

For the younger audience, or those who can't get enough of mini-game collections.

Not content to release a "dull and outright boring" 2012 Olympics mini-game collection just for the Wii, Sega was kind enough to spread its time-tested mediocrity to the 3DS. 

This year's game presents over 50 events. They come in different categories ranging from Athletics, Aquatics, and Cycling, to Shooting, Weightlifting, and Equestrian games. There are many more, and within each category come specific challenges, like the 100m dash, or other riveting events like rowing. 

Players will be asked to complete the tasks using one, two, or even three of the 3DS's many control schemes. Some challenges will require button use, while others rely only on the circle pad. Some rely on the touch screen, the gyro sensor, and there are even a few that use the 3DS microphone. The variety is a novel concept and it helps each game have an interesting twist despite its flaws. For example the 100m breaststroke asks the player to blow into the microphone as the character comes up for air. While this sounds great in concept, it ultimately comes off as gimmicky instead of fun

Many other mini-games ask you to place your 3DS in specific positions. Again, while this sounds good on paper, there are many times where it becomes more of a hassle than fun. If you are playing while traveling, you would probably find it awkward to hold your 3DS flat as if it was on a table, or to swing it in circles while preforming the Hammer Throw. Some mini-games work well, specifically the ones that use the traditional buttons, though overall the gameplay is a let down, and gets boring way to quickly

This game also has a story mode which is clearly aimed at a younger audience. Bowser and Dr. Eggman take a strangely huge offense to their exclusion from the games, so they create a colorful, fog-like substance that creates clones of the various characters in the game. Over the course of the story, you see the cast being challenged by these foggy doppelgangers to Olympic events. The amount of characters from both the Mario and Sonic series is satisfying. You'll see the regulars like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Sonic, Tales and Amy among many other series mainstays. Despite the fan service, the plot is very childish and will bore the average gamer. That said, the younger audience will probably get a kick out of it. 

The game makes pretty good use of the 3DS technology. As stated before, many of the system's features are used, including the touch pad, the microphone, and gyro sensor. The 3D is there, but not fully necessary to enjoy the game. Some mini-games benefit from the added depth perception, but obviously the ones that require you to tilt the screen or move the system will disorient the effect. 

This game features local multiplayer but not online play, which would have been a pretty fun feature if included. At least there are online leader boards, which is great for those competitive in nature. 

For the right audience, Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games hits the right notes. For me, it's just mediocre. While it's far from deserving of a gold medal (or even silver), this game does provide slight fun that the younger crowd will probably appreciate.  

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Travis Hawks Senior Editor

02/12/2012 at 09:43 AM

I always hope that the magic of multi-event sports games like this can return somehow, but I think the era has passed.

Our Take

Matt McLennan Staff Alumnus

02/12/2012 at 03:15 PM

When something like Go Vacation can be better then countless Mario and Sonic At (Whatever), you are seriously doing something wrong SEGA. And you still haven't put NiGHTS in as a playable character. That's even worse.

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