Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

(Note: This review applies to the Wii version of the game.  The DS version is similar, but some of the events are different.)

Yes, I know it’s a little late to be reviewing a game that revolves around an event that happened months ago.  And I know most places in the US (except my hometown, of course) don’t have anymore snow.  But I take give you these things as I finish ‘em.  So… yeah.  Let’s get to it!

A couple of years ago, Nintendo and Sega teamed up to bring us Mario & Sonic at the Olympic [Summer] Games, which, based solely on the popularity of the two main characters, sold about a bazillion copies.  Late last year, the same co-op team brought us the winter version.  The first one was mainly motion-control based.  For example, you would shake the Wii remote and nunchuk as if you were running to do the 100-yd dash.  This time around, it’s about the same, although the controls are much less tiring.  It’s more a matter of steering down a slalom than running your guts out.

As is the case with most sports games, this game is considerably more fun with friends.  Computer players are either incredibly stupid or filthy cheaters.  In fact, this game’s difficulty is all over the board.  Some events  can be won on the first try without practice, and some events can take hours to get good enough to win.  All in all, it’s not too hard to unlock all the events.  It’s more time-consuming than anything.

m satowg skiing The game lets you play individual events, or play Festival Mode, where you play all the single events or all the team events over a 16-day period. It can take anywhere from about a minute to 30 minutes to complete a given day, depending on the included events.  In fact, a couple of the days only have cut-scenes, with no play at all.  Others have 3 full events, which could be Ice Hockey, Ski Jump, or one of my favorites, Curling.

Of course, the most fun probably comes from the Dream Events, which take standard Olympic events and throw them into Mario’s or Sonic’s world.  For example, Dream Ski Jump takes you into a Mario Galaxy-style world, complete with the original music and planets in the background.  Dream Curling is essentially bowling in Sherbet Land, with Frappe Snowland music in the background.  Other events, like Dream Figure Skating (Mario on Ice, pretty much) are less amusing, for obvious reasons.

There are also three party games included.  They are simple, not terribly fun, but they’re there.  You play an event, and depending on who wins, you get a certain number of darts to throw at balloons, or things like that.

m satowg hockeyAll in all, it’s a quite fun game.  I can’t in good conscience say it’s as good as its predecessor, because it’s not.  It’s seems a little less polished, and there’s a little less variation.  Also, they ruined Toad’s image.  You can’t play as him, plus whoever did his voice did a terrible job.  It’s awful.  If they had known I’d be reviewing the game, they’d have probably thought twice about Toad’s voice actor (cause you know that my blog is one of the biggest and most popular sites in the world!).

In any case, it’s a good game for one player, and a pretty great one for multiplayer.  You can even play as Miis (and earn and buy costumes for them to wear, which is fun).  It may not be worth $50 to everyone, but it’s certainly worth at least $30.

  • Several different events
  • Exciting Dream events
  • Great for multiplayer
  • Inconsistent AI
  • Toad’s voice is awful
  • It’s time a bit time consuming to unlock and buy everything
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:8p5


Devin said...

My brother-in-law got this one for Christmas and we played it a little bit back then. Pretty fun game, for what little I got to see. The bobsled sure was fun.

Rachel said...

You did such a great job beating this game. I'm sorry that some parts weren't as good as others. I can't believe they messed up Toad's voice! That is just horrible. Toad is like the second best ever! You're the first best ;) Love you!