Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Mario And Sonic at the Olympic Games: Wasted potential

Mario and Sonic, Nintendo and SEGA, the figure heads of the first major Console War. Bare in mind kids, this was in the time when there was actually a difference between hardware and devices weren't trying to see who could be the first outdated "not a PC". With such a legacy, to say that it was a big deal when it was confirmed that, for the first time ever, they were going to be in the same game is an understatement. People joke when they say that the day Sonic was confirmed for Super Smash Brothers Brawl was "the day the internet almost died", but it wouldn't be too far off... However that wasn't the first game. That title goes to... a Wii and DS collection of sport themed party games... oh joy... Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games...

Normally I'd start with the plot, and I will still do so. The plot is simple: Get the Gold, olympic and world records in everything... We're dealing with a launch window Wii game and a DS game both about olympic sports, what do you think the plot and goal of the game is?
"Clap monkey clap. Clap for the face of gaming, CLAP!!!"
The point of the game is to win olympic events with different controls for each style of mini game, yes they're mini games. And in terms of control, I have to give it to the DS version. This was a Wii Launch window title, however the game feels rather clunky when it comes to some games like Archery and Skeet, and the Trampoline makes you feel like a contortionist at times, but most of the games resort in what became an industry term, "waggle fest", which in games like say, the 100m and 400m sprints, or any race for that matter, and any jumping one too, your arms WILL KILL YOU at the end of them. On the DS version, the controls are a bit more controlled, as most use the touch screen. Archery? Touch screen. 400m? Touch screen. Swimming? Touch Screen, but swimming is one of the few games where I prefer the motion controls. I also have to give the gameplay style to the DS version as well, because the game feels more satisfying to play on the DS, whereas with the Wii, it feels like you're playing Mario Party with CPU's. Its the same sort of problem I have with Smash 4, the console version needs something singleplayer oriented in the game that doesn't feel like another party mode. This is something that gets kinda addressed in the sequel game, but I'll get to that one eventually (when I get the console version to review).
Be honest, how many of you remember Vector is a character in the series
Art style and music wise, the game looks and sounds perfect, its a nice blend of the two franchises, nothing feels out of place, which is something that many crossovers fail to pull off (such as Super Smash Bros Brawl). The soundtrack is actually so good I want it on my iPod, but its an absolute pain to find any soundtracks of the Mario and Sonic series, which is a shame.
"Now we duel like gentlement, ready your sword, En gerde"

If you're going to get this game, get the DS version, I think its the superior version of the game purely because of controls. Visually, of course the Wii version is going to look better, its a DS game vs a Wii game. But control can, and will, make or break a game for me. You may wear through DS Stylus', but its better then having sore arms because you have to wave them around to make the game think you're running. Up next though, a video on today's Smash Direct coming next week, and included in that will be the introduction of the second writer for the site, who will be having the 200th post published to the site so stay tuned for that one. The next review from me will be the day before Christmas Eve, for Wakko's Wish, to which I'll see you then, but right now, if you'd excuse me, my graduation from my university course is in a few hours from time of upload.

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