Games‎ > ‎

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - Wii Review

Game Info
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Wii | SEGA / Nintendo | 1-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer); Wii Remote and Nunchuk; Wii Remote (sideways)
More Related Articles: See bottom of page

13th January 2012; By Patrick

Every four years, various nations across the world host the Olympic Games, a time of unity and good sportsmanship as all athletes bond over common interests. In 2008, SEGA and Nintendo partnered to release
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, a novel idea that pit old rivals against or with each other. By selling well, a sequel was almost guaranteed, and lo and behold we saw the release of Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games not long after. With the Olympics returning in 2012, we have the second sequel upon us: Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Does this follow the idea of "third time's the charm", or is this merely a third place effort?

Series fans will know exactly what to expect with
London 2012, but for newcomers to the series, the games are essentially mini-game collections in which players compete in various mini-games inspired by Olympic Events or the Mario and Sonic games. Motion control is highly used, and Nintendo and SEGA co-develop. Now that we're all on the same page, let's talk about this specific game.

    From the start, the second you see the Main Menu, the game looks overly-flashy and "kiddy", to the point where it literally pained me to look at. For some reason, every subsequent menu and sub-menu is fine, but the Main Menu itself is problematic to me.  Characters are modeled as per usual for Wii games, although some items in-game such as hammers (for the Hammer Throw), and ribbons will completely clip through the character. The music is standard fare, and is reminiscent of both the Sonic and Mario franchises, while still remaining somewhat fresh and enjoyable.

    The main part of the game consists of simply picking an event and either competing against local friends or the AI. The reason that the second game had such a varied selection compared to the first was the fact that the Winter Olympic Games have very different events to the Summer Games. With this being the first game to repeat an Olympic season, there are a fair number of repeats, especially in the traditional events.

There are two types of events in the game: Olympic and Dream. Olympic Events are
based upon real events, with areas such as Aquatics, Gymnastics, and more. The Dream Events, which are usually more fun, are more "gamey" and usually have Mario or Sonic games as their origin, or are just fantastical events that are impossible to do in the real world.

    Most of the events in and of themselves are designed fairly well, with the exception of the central aspect: the controls. The controls were novel in the first game, and started to become stale by the second. By the third iteration, however, it is becoming frankly insulting to be expected to put up with unresponsive waggle-based controls. This is especially true considering a certain other game came out right around the same time. The controls are not only unresponsive and repetitive, but they are also tiring.

    The AI will compensate for this very inconsistently. Occasionally, the AI will be so awful that even with the control issues I ended up miles ahead of them in first place. Other times, in games such as Badminton, the controls are very unresponsive, yet the AI has absolutely no problems whatsoever on any difficulty hitting the shuttlecock back to me and scoring the point.

Overall, with all of these problems, the mini-games themselves are not that enjoyable, and feel like a complete and utter chore to play through -- even though I loved the first two games. Playing through the events and doing well will unlock Achievements and scratch cards, which can earn you extras such as costumes for characters.

    The big new mode in this game is London Party. In this mode, you go around London with other characters, attempting to reach goals before your opponents. Reaching goals or completing events (the same ones in the other mode, just chosen at random) assigned by non-playable characters will earn you stickers for a Bingo Card. There are other ways to fill it up, such as items that multiply how many stickers you get. Once you complete the card, you win. Games can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour in my experience, however it is still somewhat dull.

    Sadly, that's all there really is to it. The game has a lot of content, but the controls broke almost all enjoyment for me. I'm sure that for a more casual Wii gamer, there won't be too many problems interfering with their fun, but for me, the game seems like a shameless cash grab. I was really looking forward to this game, and was honestly let down. A game that has both Sonic and Mario in it should have a high pedigree, especially when developed by both SEGA and Nintendo. Even going back to the first two nowadays was more enjoyable for me than playing this game. This is one iteration you should skip.

15/30 - Below Average

Gameplay 4/10 - Dream Events unique, some rehashed Olympic Events, weak controls make gameplay mediocre at best, AI completely inconsistent
Presentation 6/10 - Main screen seems out of place, standard models, items clip through characters, music made up of variations of franchise songs
Enjoyment 2/5 - Many games don't function too well, Dream Events enjoyable, might be good for a more casual player, London Party is dull and boring
Extra Content 3/5 - Lots of events, extras to unlock such as costumes, London Party offers a slightly different experience for multiplayer

Equivalent to a score of 50% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by Patrick

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Review | Screenshot gallery | Press | Feature | Interview | Media