marioolympics3.jpgA few weeks ago, I got a copy of Mario & Sonic At The Olympics for the Wii. It is the very first time Sega and Nintendo’s main protaganists have appeared in a game together. Who would win against these two behemoths of gaming?

Who cares? How good is it to play?

Well, there is plenty that impress. The graphics for one are fantastic for the supposedly graphically retarded Wii. It’s bright, fun and colourful. There’s plenty to unlock and keep you busy, and it’s fabulous in that things keep appear from nowhere. You think you’ve unlocked everything and then you get minigames, and then you get dream events, and so on.

The other great points is that the events by and large work really well. Not one event you’re left trying to work out what to do, although the Long Jump and Triple Jump are so tricky that I refuse to play them more than I have to.

However, there are a few bad points, and ironicially it’s in the areas where it should supposedly shine.

marioolympics2.jpgMultiplayer.

First of all, should you play multiplayer, you may as well skip the running events, or invest in more nunchuks. Although it says that you can play with only the Wiimote on certain events, me and my brother have proved it to be bollocks. You really need to have deep pockets to fully enjoy this game with 4 Wii remotes and 4 nunchucks. Or have a rare thing: three mates who own a Wii.

Secondly, the developers have introduced profiles, you pick your name, your country and an emblem to represent you when you get a stonking record either on the Wii, or to put it online. Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? But unfortunately in the developers infinite wisdom they’ve decided that you can only use the profiles on single player, what this means is two things:

  • That once you have unlocked everything, they think that your friend will sit down and unlock everything else, which is bollocks.
  • When you play the game in real time you don’t put in your country or name, instead using the details of whoever’s profile it is.

marioolympics.jpgSo say I get a world record, but I’m playing on my brother’s account. It gets listed as my brother’s record on the rankings on the Wii, and on the rankings worldwide. The only thing that suggests it was my win was my Mii’s eyes, or the eyes of whoever I’m playing as. It’s not exactly huge forms of glory, but still it really irks me, especially from the days of playing Athelete Kings in my old house in Liverpool, and how heated it got whenever somebody broke somebody else’s record (we’re talking text messages people). It just seems obvious that every single atheletic’s game since track and field allows you to type your name and select your country for all glory, why can’t this game?

The other thing that irks me is free circuit mode, and there’s no way to set the difficulty of the computer characters, so if you’re playing on your own in free circuit mode, you will walk it.

Some more online functionality would be nice. Maybe not fully online, but the opportunity to download ghost characters from your mates would be fabulous.

Is it worth getting? Yes. I’m just being petty and it does detract for me. If you’ve got mates with Wiimotes and Nunchucks, then certainly get it, as it’s a good way to spend a Saturday night. If you haven’t, well, then get some mates who do to play this game.

Buy Mario & Sonic At The Olympics From Amazon

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