Normally I wouldnâ€™t get excited over an Olympics title, of all games. Mario and Sonic Olympics though, I was willing to make an exception for. Like most Wii owners, I had more fun with Wii Sports than I really should have. Maybe Mario and Sonic could take things to the next level? Could this be the most fun since California Games?
Normally what Mario sports titles do is put a new spin on an old concept. Games like Mario Golf and Mario Tennis for example are loved by people that normally donâ€™t play games of those sports. Why? Because they are accessible and much larger than life. Even though some may think of golf as â€˜dullâ€™, Mario was able to be imaginative and show some creative flair.
Unlike these games which have â€˜spiced upâ€™ other sports, M&S stays faithful to all of the events. Nothing much has changed since games such as Olympic Gold on the Master System - so most of the events just come down to timing.
My biggest disappointment however is that this game doesnâ€™t take full advantage of any of either Marioâ€™s or Sonicâ€™s worlds. Sure there are the â€˜dreamâ€™ events that you unlock along the way, but I want more of this. Ok so that may not be faithful to the Beijing theme, but Iâ€™m sure there wonâ€™t be any blue hedgehogs playing table tennis either in the real event. Character models are pretty average too, as is the animation; I feel like I am still playing Nintendo 64.
Complementing the average graphics are average sound effects. As I write, Sonic is standing on the podium commenting, â€˜Itâ€™s all about speed!â€™ about once every five seconds.
Like most collections of mini-games, M&S has some games which to me were more of a chore than actual fun. Table Tennis is the main culprit for me; it doesnâ€™t offer anything Tennis on Wii sports didnâ€™t already offer and it takes a while to clear the event. My favourite events have to be the skeet shooting and the hammer-throw. Problem is, games like Point Blank and Time Crises are more fun, and Raving Rabbids has already done the hammer-throw better too. What we are left with are mainly games that play like the Track and Field arcade game from the 80â€™s, except instead of mashing buttons, youâ€™re waggling your wii-mote.
Another complaint I would like to air is that for some games, much like Wii Sports, you have to connect and disconnect the nunchuck. Itâ€™s not that big a deal, but youâ€™d think they would let you keep it plugged in even if you donâ€™t need it. Itâ€™s not like you canâ€™t aim a rifle if the attachment is left inâ€¦
At the end of the day, the Wii is already well catered for in terms of mini-games with waggle. Wii Sports comes with the console and is still a hit when the mates are over and has more interesting games in my opinion. If you just canâ€™t get enough of Wii Sports though, then Mario and Sonic is worth picking up (if you already have WarioWare). The single-player is an amusing distraction but playing with a few more people immediately takes things up a notch. Itâ€™s just a pity you canâ€™t jump straight into this as a lot of content needs to be unlocked first.