There was a sense of hell freezing over when Nintendo and Sega’s respective mascots, Mario and Sonic, first appeared alongside one another in a videogame. But few things build bridges faster than a pile of cash, and the commercial success of Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games, back in 2007, has made this London-centric edition inevitable.
Most of the formula is resolutely intact, too, which is the weakest factor about the game. The assorted Olympic events we’ve mainly seen before, and while the Dream events are more creative, thanks to taking a lot more liberty with reality (the massive trampoline jumps, for instance), you could hardly accuse Sega of pushing the boat out.
The events, it should be noted, are still entertaining. Explained well, and very much encouraging multi-player shenanigans, it’s an acceptable way to entertain a room of people.
Where the game manages to find some identity is in its willingness to embrace London. This is particularly prevalent in the far more entertaining party mode, which married up the idea of Mario Party to the sporting mini-game mechanic. The overarching aim here is to earn the stickers required to fill a book, and these are picked up by winning events, unlocking bonuses, and running around a map of London.
Like most of the game, it’s a bit of a chore in single player, but with a few others waving their Wiimotes? It’s where Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games is at its best. It’s certainly the game at its most creative and entertaining, and even though the London Party, as it’s called, has a habit of dragging on close to the end, it’s terrific fun at its best, with some imaginative mini-games.
You don’t get bad value here, in all, and there’s certainly plenty to do. You fear that the same events will be rolled out again in four years time, and if it’s Olympics you want, then you’re as well heading to the bargain bin to get the 2007 release. For a gaming party, though? You really could do worse.
- The London Party. Lots to do, sufficient surprises, multi-player gold.
- So much of this we’ve seen before, four years ago.