Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games Hands-on PreviewBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted May 20, 2011
Every two years a spectacle of showmanship that enthralls the whole world takes place. Skills from all types of characters are put to the test as different individuals compete for the title of "the best." I'm obviously talking about Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Next year will mark another installment in the series that tests the might of many, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Sega and Nintendo team up every two years to pit their mascots against each other in the name of the Olympics. Previous titles took Sonic, Mario and friends to Beijing and to Vancouver. Now, the rivals are taking the battle to London-town. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games follows a similar format as the past games; a mix of Sega and Nintendo characters fight it out in a series of colorful mini-games. This time around, Mario and Sonic will be competing exclusively on the Wii and 3DS.
Gamers will have their choice of 20 classic characters. There are four skills-set groups--Power, All-Around, Speed and Skill--each with five characters each. Staple characters include fan favorites like Luigi, Peach, Tails, and Vector. The games, like soccer and Dream Long Jump, are played by flailing in true motion-sensor form. You can avoid motion by using a nunchuck attachment. Sadly, this wasn't an option for me when I played. You can adjust settings, choose characters and levels, but you can't turn off your dignity, a feature that consistently keeps me for succeeding at Wii games.
London 2012 Olympic Games will have 30 types of mini-games. I got to test my might at Equestrian, Badminton, Canoeing, and two "Dream Games," Dream Discus and Dream Long Jump. The first event was Equestrian. I, Vector, had to ride a horse around a track and jump over poles. The horse was on a set track, so I didn't get to control where it was going. I did control how fast it went and when it jumped. Holding the Wiimote, one end in each hand, I had to whip it up and down to control the speed, pushing "2" to jump. Now here's where it gets tricky; I sucked. I would try to jump and my horse would run into the poles. Time was running out so I sped up; Vector plummeted off the horse, face first into the dirt. No one else seemed to struggle like I did.
Canoeing was just as dismal. Holding the Wiimote up, sensor toward the ceiling, I tried to simulate rowing a boat. My team, Donkey Kong and Vector, were humiliated. My performance in badminton was also embarrassing. All you have to do is swing the controller and leaning towards the left or right is reflected in the way you hit the ball back to the other team. Or at least that's what I was told.
I was becoming visibly frustrated so the Sega PR guy came over to make sure I was doing okay. He suggested we play Dream Long Jump, an easy mode where you simply jump and not fall off. I was pitched on a level where anyone could win; within seconds, I fell. I feel the need to note that this doesn't seem to be a reflection of the game but of my own capacity for Wii games.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is definitely geared towards a more causal, younger audience. And while it is shaping up to be exactly what you expect from the series, it's not something I feel the need to play again. I will admit that my own flailing abilities kept me from succeeding.