I know the lengthy-named Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games has been out for months now but we’re finally at the real-life London Olympics so I thought I’d take a look at the grand event from the point of view of an Italian Plumber and a bright blue Hedgehog.
This is actually the third Olympic game featuring these two – the first one came out in 2007 and then there was a Winter Olympics game. Now we’re back with the summer games and this brings a mixed bag of gameplay that’s also just a varied as to how much fun it is to play.
If you like you can just dive straight into the games based on real events with up to four players. There are track and field events such as hurdles and javelin and games based round other sports and races such as table tennis, badminton, horse riding, canoeing and trampoline amongst others. Each event uses motion controls bringing the benefit of movement and watching your mates make funny gestures to win a medal but also the frustration of actions sometimes being missed or cueing too early because you sneezed. Trust me when I say you need to play this with friends because alone, apart from winning scratch cards for placing, there isn’t much fun here at all.
More enjoyable are the Dream Events which have you playing games more loosely based on Olympic events. They vary from boss battles to racing and extreme versions of events and at least mix things up more than the normal events you’ll encounter.
And lastly there’s London Party mode which basically plays like a sort of Mario Party. The aim is to fill up your sticker book to win a prize and you do this by winning mini games as you free roam around the map and collect stuff.
Apart from London being featured in the game, there’s nothing here that feels that fresh. Lots of the events are recycled from the previous 2007 game and there’s not even Motion Plus support to make games such as table tennis, soccer or badminton feel a bit more realistic.
It may prove a distraction from the real thing but only if you’ve got nothing better to do on a hot summer’s day. Do yourself a favour and get some fresh air. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games gets 6 out of 10.
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