Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games Review

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The Plumber and Hedgehog face off at last


Were someone to invent a time machine, take a spin back to the mid-90s and tell a group of hardcore gamers that Mario and Sonic would one day appear in the same game, it’s likely they’d probably be torn limb-from-limb by furious fanboys. But while a game that combines the powers of gaming’s greatest mascots may sound like a dream come true, Olympic Games fails to capture the dynamic duo’s time-honoured charms.

Essentially another Wii mini-game extravaganza, Olympic Games features 24 different events, taking in athletics, gymnastics, shooting, rowing and a host of others. However, what separates the game from the sporting pack is how the motion controls are used; unlike most button-mashing simulations, actions such as running and sprinting see players jerking the Wii remote and nunchuck up and down to mimic the action of a runner’s arms, waving the remote to bounce on a trampoline, or swinging it wildly in the air to move an onscreen table tennis paddle.

But while there are hours of fun to be had in Olympic Games, it quickly becomes apparent that many of the events use exactly the same control scheme, meaning that a nagging sense of deja vu soon creeps in as you work your way through the repetitive tournament. The lack of a proper online mode also squanders an opportunity for players to challenge each other across the internet, making Sonic and Mario’s first love-in a decent weekend rental but not worth the premium retail price.