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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Member Review for the DS

TOEZNG By:
TOEZNG
11/14/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Sports Party Game 
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER Sega 
DEVELOPER SEGA Studios Japan 
RELEASE DATE  
E What do these ratings mean?

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games may sound fun. Or does it? After all, it has both Mario and Sonic in it, just as it says in the title. At first, you'd be thinking, "Mario?" "Sonic?" Awesome! But then you read below it and it says, "At the Olympic Games". Don't you hate it when they always have to give you some sort of incentive, then take it away from you! BUT, let's be aware. This IS, after all, a game made for the Olympics. The Beijing 2008 Olympics, nothing more. So you aren't expecting a lot. Right? Perhaps, but let's give this game a chance.

So, to sum up the plot, there isn't one. Unless you want to be technical and say the plot is that Mario, Sonic, and all their companions, colleagues, and enemies, all take a break from crime fighting, blowing each other up, or whatever it is they do, to play a nice, relaxing game of Olympic events. Perhaps I said too much there. Anyway, what I have with this is, why aren't they blowing each other up? They're sworn enemies, for pete's sake! I wouldn't be wanting a medal, I'd be wanting Eggman's head on a platter! In an omelet, of course. You don't expect to see any of the bad characters actually playing fair, don't you? But again, this is the Olympics. Not Wrestle Mania.

The game play isn't surprising, you play events, either in bunches and rounds, or single events, to try and get a "world record". Each player is divided into 4 groups (depending on what their level is). Power, All-Around, Speed, and Skill. Honestly though, why do you need Power to play the Olympics when it's all about Skill? Or that's just me. Well anyway, pick the character you want, and get going! Some of these Olympic events you will do, involve running, fencing, swimming, and cycling. That's just a handful. Just be warned: Intensive button mashing and stylus-rubbing will occur. This game will make your blood boil, even more than Jackal. I mean it. Rubbing the stylus back and forth on the bottom screen, is a real workout on your upper body (And all along, I thought it was just the Wii...). And as for the button smashing, let's just say you hope to God not to break anything. Also, doing both of these at the same time is like having a seizure. You WILL get tired, and you WILL need help.

Also, the control scheme for most of these events are just mind-boggling. Without looking like a fool while playing this is out of the question. It's sort of hard to do backstrokes in the water with the stylus (up and down), AND press the L+R buttons to take in oxygen. Any little kid would get frustrated with this, especially every time they got last. And if you have small hands, you're out of luck. I don't, but I'm just saying. The hardest for me was the Vault challenge. Now, it only involved the stylus, but having to tap several numbers on the screen to do a flip and such, is complicated. You don't even have enough time to do it! That's also another problem in this game, the TIME it takes to do some events, and how random it is. One event takes longer, that's for sure. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, if you don't like using every single button on the DS constantly, caution yourself before you get this game.

A rather interesting addition to this, are the Mini-Games. But then again, that's just like every other game that has Mario in it, and is on the Nintendo DS. Also, it makes this game look like a Mario Party game rather than anything else. But staying on topic, the games are okay. Every time you play the games, and get a certain amount of points (it will say how much on the screen), you are given facts about the Olympics, past and present, as well as some soundtracks for your "Jukebox". The one thing that ticks me off is actually having to play the same one to unlock a fact. The missions are almost identical, and having to play "Memory" for 20 minutes to unlock something isn't something I had in mind. Like I've said before, would a little kid have the patience to do that? Not really.

Now, unlike Mario Party on the DS, this game supports Wi-fi connection, meaning you can play against everyone. Well, not really "play", just post stats on a worldwide stat chart for a specific sports. Not surprising, since it's the Olympic Games. It was probably the most fun I had playing this entire game; playing against your friends, and watching them having seizures trying to beat your high score, but always seem to fail, and you get to laugh in their faces...

Now, there's a lot more I could have said about this game, but overall, it isn't bad, but it isn't great game either. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games was just one of those games that was bought for nostalgia, and the fact that Mario was in it... and Sonic was in it... in the same game. But if you want to see some real action between these two characters, go and play Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

TOEZNG's Rating of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games:
Graphics: 8.5/10
Story: 6.5/10
Game Play: 7/10
Audience appeal: Very High, it has Mario and Sonic in it, didn't I mention this before?
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Pros:
- A wide arrange of characters to choose from
- Mini Games
- Bonus/Unlockables
- Online Gameplay

Cons:
- Difficult controls
- Repetitiveness
- Difficulty Level
- Speed Restrictions; why can't Sonic just break the damn 100m record already?!?


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