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Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games Review

Full of thrills and chills, or a bit cold-hearted?

It was inevitable, really. Considering Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games has sold over 7 million copies to date, and given that the Winter Olympics (or the Olympic Winter Games as we keep being reminded it's called) is on its way very soon, the decision to make a second game based on the winter tournament was a complete no-brainer. What is perhaps a little more surprising however is the amount of work that's gone into making this a decent sequel.

After all, let's face it, After the success of the first title, Sega could have taken the original game, removed all the characters and events, made a rubbish title screen in MS Paint and slapped Mario & Sonic 2 on the game box and it would still have shifted millions of copies. That's why we're so chuffed to see that there's actually been a conscious effort here to make a game that's improved on the original in many ways.

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The game consists of 27 different events, 16 of which are based on actual Winter Olympic sports. The ones you'd expect are here in full force. Downhill Skiing, Ski Jump, Snowboard, Speed Skating and the like all make fairly obvious appearances, alongside some interesting choices that help give the game a bit of variety. Ice Hockey is fun once you get to grips with the control system, and Curling and Figure Skating are the sort of Marmite events that'll have you going either way. You'll either love them immediately or play them once and never go near them again.

That's the general case with all the events in fact, but that's the nature of this particular genre. There's no such thing as a mini-game collection (which is what this clearly is) where every single activity hits it out of the park. Even Wii Sports had baseball and its sequel had wakeboarding. Anyone who enjoyed those events probably hated different ones in their place. Our point is, we doubt there's going to be anyone who thoroughly enjoys all 27 events in this game.

There's plenty of variety in terms of control methods so if you don't like games where you have to waggle the Remote you'll only dislike a couple of events, for example. Some events can also be played with a Balance Board, though while these work well, they're single-player only.

Icy What You Did There

The events that nearly everyone will enjoy though are the 11 Dream Events, which chuck the rules out of the window and change the location from real-life Olympic venues to mental Mario and Sonic-based areas. In the original Mario & Sonic there was only a handful of these events and they didn't really fulfil their potential. We wanted to see them running through the Mushroom Kingdom and the Green Hill Zone, but instead we were given generic 'fantasy' locations with a couple of familiar enemies chucked in for good measure. This time it's far more interesting.

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Take the Dream Ski Cross event, for example, which is a near-perfect replica of the Mario Circuit track in Mario Kart Wii, only with snow instead of a track and skis instead of karts. There's remixed music and loads of familiar Mario Kart weapons, such as red shells and star power, and the whole thing really feels like a 'dream' event.

Similarly enjoyable are Dream Ski Jumping (which sees you blasting off into space through the Good Egg Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy, collecting coins and landing on a huge target to get as many points as possible), Dream Snowboard Cross (which takes you through the Radical Highway stage from Sonic Adventure 2 and sees you collecting rings and hitting springboards) and Dream Ice Hockey, which is based in Bowser's castle and ends up getting thoroughly bonkers once the power-ups start getting chucked around.

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Comments

31 comments so far...
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  1. cp.06 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 10:09

    Can someone please tell me if it has balance board compatability? :) Please and thank you!

  2. ChrisONM Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 10:24

    Yes, it does, but only for some events and it's single-player only.

  3. Gavin Rozee Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 11:08

    What a predictable score.

  4. jinzo64 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 11:16

    What a predictable score.

    thats true.
    omg it's got mario in it automatic high score mario games normaly get rated high with scores between 80+100

  5. ClockMenace Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 12:13

    Weird how Sonic's higest (probably) game score on a console this side of the decade has him teamed up with Mario.

    I'd like to play it. Not buy it yet, but play it.

  6. toffeeman30 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 12:15

    no online play,bah!

  7. ChrisONM Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 13:04

    What a predictable score.

    thats true.
    omg it's got mario in it automatic high score mario games normaly get rated high with scores between 80+100


    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co. ... hp?id=2259

  8. Gerry-rich Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 15:03

    What a predictable score.

    thats true.
    omg it's got mario in it automatic high score mario games normaly get rated high with scores between 80+100


    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co. ... hp?id=2259

    My thoughts exacly Mr Scullion, I don't think the haters will ever listen :(

  9. Gavin Rozee Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 15:39

    I just don't like the M&S games at all. They're too cheap Sega feeling for my liking. Shallow and clumsy. Doesn't deserve to have Mario characters in.

  10. MetallicA-knight Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 15:55

    Im guessing the DS and Wii ones are pretty much the same? So does the score still apply to the DS one? Thanks

  11. ChrisONM Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 16:21

    Im guessing the DS and Wii ones are pretty much the same? So does the score still apply to the DS one? Thanks


    They're actually pretty different this time. Here's my review of the DS one, which I slightly preferred:

    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co. ... p?id=12437

  12. piccadillio Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 16:22
  13. snes2 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 16:44

    http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/marioandsonicattheolympicwintergames

    that be true.oh and onm are biased.

  14. Ai64 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 17:05

    Early for 2010 again but still cool.

  15. hulkbuster Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 18:56

    WOW :!: what a high score ONM :?: other game sites have not given this game such a high score as you so how come :?: But i did get a copy anyway for my brother he likes this sort of thing :!: As for GAVIN ROZEE your SO right :twisted: .

  16. funmaker11 Friday 16th Oct 2009 at 22:11

    I'm not a fan of these games. I'll save my money instead for the new Mario game and a new Sonic game. 8)

  17. nintendo_guy Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 11:51

    DS version better than Wii version? How come?

  18. cp.06 Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 13:08

    Yes, it does, but only for some events and it's single-player only.


    Thanks a bunch!
    Much appreciated :)

  19. adam-ell Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 18:41

    this came out yesterday with uncharted right?

    i bought uncharted and what a came it is!! nintendo used to be the king of games and platformers but theyve lost it

    uncharted 2 on its own is a reason to sell a wii and buy a ps3

    what reason is there to trade in a ps3 n buy a wii?

  20. cookey Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 22:18

    Went over to Morrisons earlier today to pick up my copy for Ł18.99, thanks for the tweet ONM!

    I'm really enjoying it at the moment and consider your review to be pretty fair. I'd say its a huge improvement over its summer predecessor!

  21. ClockMenace Saturday 17th Oct 2009 at 23:49

    Actually got my wish today; There was a competition on the Snowboard area. It wasn't too bad. Pretty fun, actually.

  22. ILoveWii Sunday 18th Oct 2009 at 16:49

    DS version better than Wii version? How come?

    Because.

  23. dap594 Sunday 18th Oct 2009 at 17:27

    Thanks onm for the tip about morrisons super cheap deal!!

    I really love the winter shops and minigames as it adds a different level of gameplay to the olympics. Not as many games as i would like but it is still really good.

    I am not keen on curling. And ice hockey has really short rounds and i have never scored :(

  24. Lukeo10 Tuesday 20th Oct 2009 at 08:17

    I like that Silver and Bowser Jr. r in it, Silvers 4th game, Bowser Jr.'s 3rd Game(that they r playable in)

  25. chaosslayer Tuesday 20th Oct 2009 at 12:01

    Mario and Sonic would of sold more copies if it was just Mario and friends at the olympics and left all the sonic characters out.

    Sonic has never been in a good game and yes that includes the megadrive games! go on get them out and play them now and believe me its all rose tinted specs, those games are no classics.

    With Sonic being in this game it is probably putting some Sonic haters off from buying this game.

    I only bought the game because of Mario and friends being in it.

  26. adam-ell Tuesday 20th Oct 2009 at 14:50

    i cant wait to see the reviews a couple of years from now when nintendo run out of recycled ideas and just release mario toilet training and because it has that M word ONM automatically give it 90%

  27. xxmatthewxx Saturday 24th Oct 2009 at 19:29

    ONM never fails to amaze me, the previous Mario and Sonic game got 90%+ and so does the new one, what a surprise. Even though the first one got generally bad - average reviews, ONM gave it a higher score than any other reviewer. Now I've played the new one and its just the awful Winter Sports The Next Challenge with Mario and Sonic characters tacked on to make people buy it. I also love how love how Chris has tried to make it as though ONM don't favour Nintendo games by providing the Mario Party 8 review, what's that? About one bad review for a Nintendo game in how many years?

    This is what it says in ONM,

    "We're 100% official and 100% honest (yeah right) - a game gets the score it deserves, no matter who made it." Lying through you're teeth there aren't you?

  28. Jman2401 Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 12:06

    Yahoo This is gonna be great can not wait :D :lol: :roll: :idea: :shock:

  29. thenintendoer Friday 1st Jan 2010 at 13:18

    What a predictable score.

    thats true.
    omg it's got mario in it automatic high score mario games normaly get rated high with scores between 80+100


    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co. ... hp?id=2259


    thats still a good score and besides its only 1 game

  30. ONMaximum Thursday 4th Feb 2010 at 18:45

    I got Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games for Christmas. For me, this is a game that is extremely fun to play in short bursts (half an hour each session). I love the bobsleigh and skiing, but haven't unlocked much other stuff yet. It deserved this score, it's a great game!

  31. sheepfreak Wednesday 14th Apr 2010 at 10:20

    I first got a bad feeling about this game when I noticed that it had been reduced from Ł39.99 - Ł19.99 in game. My friends also tried to disuade me from it but I wanted to give it chance!

    First impressions:
    decent amount of content
    menus well polished

    After playing 4 sports
    Controls repetitive
    not much diffulcuty range (very easy - easy
    slightly tedious

    After completing festival mode (in one afternoon)
    Bored and Irritated with music ( need more of it)
    Needs more customisation options
    Needs more objects to buy - nothing to spend 6000 stars on!

    BUT DESPITE ALL MY NEGATIVE COMMENTS it is a good multiplayer family game and is worth buying as a big family!


    My score: 79%

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