Product Type: Sega Wii games
Newest Review: ... with a mixture from both) and play the event. I think it's best played with a friend or two as the competition is a huge part of the fu... more
Are you up to the Olympic challenge?
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
Member Name: pumfster
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
Advantages: Really good fun on multiplayer mode, but enough challenge for the single player option to be fun.
Disadvantages: Not very realistic.
I bought the game for £19.99 from Game, but it is now probably a bit cheaper and even more so if you take the time to search on the Internet. The game is based upon the Beijing Olympic games in 2008 and there is a follow up game, which has just been released based upon the London games, so it's probably even cheaper to buy now.
A with any Wii game, to load is as simple as placing the disc into the machine and clicking on the icon on the menu screen. Getting to the game itself is just a case of waiting for it to load and then clicking through the usual start up screens and warnings about flinging the Wii remote across the room. (Still never done that thus far!)
The game has several different modes to play through and a whole range of different events based upon actual sporting events at the Beijing games. These include running races, various jumping and throwing events, as well as a selection of other events such as fencing, gymnastics, rowing and shooting to name a few. The controls vary quite substantially between events, so it's not really feasible to go into them here. Suffice to say they generally involve shaking or moving the remote in a certain way that reflects the action required. An example being shaking the remote up and down on running races to simulate the legs pumping. Some games also involve pressing a button at a certain time such as to throw in the javelin.
You can select any of the characters to play with, and each one has differing characteristics based upon their persona. Smaller and weaker looking characters are generally not great at the strength events such as javelin but may be experts at running fast, and vice versa. There are a few solid jack of all trade type characters too such as Mario himself, but this can make winning individual events a bit more tricky, but you should place well in all.
The first gameplay option is the Single Match, and this basically is used as a training option, with just one challenge to complete. You can choose which event you try out on, but it's not particularly challenging, with the computer players being a little rubbish so consequently I don't do this much except to practise some of my weaker events on occasion.
The second option is the circuit mode, and this is by far my favourite gameplay mode. On the first levels you have a 3-event challenge to compete against either other human players or computer opponents. The events are pre-selected, so you can't just pick your favourites, although this does add to the challenge. If you can finish in 1st place in all of the beginner level challenges, you will unlock the next advanced level, which takes the form of a 4-event challenge, and the computer is a lot more competitive across the board. Again placing first in all of the advanced level challenges will unlock the final master level. This takes the form of a 5-event challenge and is pretty hard to win, with the choice of character being of the utmost importance based upon the selection of events in each challenge.
There is also the option of the free challenge, which allows you to pick your own customisable 4 or 8 event challenge and then play this. The computer competitiveness is that of the beginner level, so unless you are playing this with a friend, it should provide too much of a test, especially as you are likely to select your best or favourite events to make up the challenge.
There is also a mission's mode, which basically provides you with a range of scenarios where you have to achieve a certain task. This is effectively your chance to play the role of a match fixing cheat, as not all scenarios challenge you to win. I find this option a little bit strange in a sports game and for this reason alone I don't play this one very much.
There are two more options on the main screen, neither of which I have given much time to. Firstly there is the records section, which displays your highest scores or best times. This is moderately interesting if playing against friends for bragging rights but has little other purpose in my opinion, and lastly there is the gallery option which is basically a small encyclopaedia of all things Olympic. This might interest some people out there, but I would prefer to use the Internet to do some fact finding, and stick to using my Wii for game playing.
By far the best option in this game is to get another Wii remote on the go and play against friends or family. I play with my wife and this adds the extra dimension of a bit of competitiveness which can be lacking when playing purely against computer opponents. All of the events work pretty well in the multiplayer mode, by either splitting the screen into however many parts are needed, or by taking it in turns on the events which are individual in nature. One slightly annoying thing is that you don't get to see all of your computer rivals having their go at the events, but you are kept up to speed with the running order at all times so you know what you need to achieve to win.
The graphics on this game are just what we have come to expect from the Wii. They are slightly over the top on the cutesy factor, and are chunkier than you would find on any other platform, but this is the charm of the Nintendo Wii, and they all work very well in this game. The detail level when playing the individual games is very good indeed, and you do imagine you are in the arena competing after a while, and I find the addition of a quick reminder of how to play each game before starting it to be a nice little touch.
Sound wise the game is also pretty good, with no annoying sound track playing. Authentic crowd noises, and sounds, which are reflective of the event you are attempting are the name of the game and this game doesn't disappoint. Again its pretty much what we have come to expect of the Wii and it definitely adds to the game playing experience.
So to sum this game up, I would definitely recommend it to any fans of Olympic sports, or fans of other competitive multiplayer sports games on the Wii, and for the price that it is now available for you can't really go too far wrong. The individual single play mode is enough of a challenge to keep you entertained for many hours, but as with most Wii games the real fun comes in the multiplayer modes. Its not perfect by any means, with the fact that you don't see your competitors taking their turns at the individual events being a tad annoying, and it does lack any sort of realism, however I would say that if you are looking for realism you are probably playing the on the wrong console.
Thanks for reading this review and it may also appear on Ciao under my same username.
Summary: An enjoyable game and the type that work very well on the Wii.
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