There are a few strange things about Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games. Some are small but some are big. The sight of a Toad manning a TV camera on the badminton court will surely wind up every Mushroom Kingdom aficionado. Don't they know that Lakitu should be the cameraman?!
Then there's Yoshi riding a horse in the showjumping event which just looks wrong. Seeing as Yoshi is usually being ridden by Mario or a Toad, it's odd to see that him on top of a steed.
Personally, I would have liked to see Link being drafted in as a guest character for this event so that he could ride upon Epona while Ganondorf could also show up on his armoured steed. But then Mario and Sonic and Link At The London 2012 Olympic Games might just be too long a title.
Okay, perhaps I'm just being a Mario nerd. This is pretty minor stuff and when I took my Mushroom Kingdom anorak off, I found myself enjoying a few of the events in the Wii and 3DS versions of Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games.
Yet even with my anorak off, it is odd that the Wii version doesn't make use of the MotonPlus accessory, nor will it be online.
Sega's excuse it that it wants everyone to play the Wii version and not many people own four MotionPlus accessories. I can see their point on that one but sadly that does mean that Mario & Sonic At the London 2012 Olympics probably won't be as good as Wii Sports Resort which offered players a greater level of accuracy when they played archery or table tennis.
As for online, there can be no excuse for that one. Sure Mario and Sonic games, like Wii Sports, are probably best enjoyed with four players crowding around the one television but players should be given the opportunity to compete online.
Something like a quick game of canoeing or a co-op game of badminton would work nicely online too. These were just two of three events that were playable online at Sega's recent event in London, the other being the showjumping.
Once you've got over the sight of Yoshi riding a horse, the equestrian event is possibly the best of the three events, simply because it's the one that's most challenging.
Jumping isn't the hard part as you can pretty much see when to jump by keeping an eye on the churned up line of mud (you just need to press the jump button when it ends).
However, you can't keep moving that Wii Remote up and down to gallop as you'll probably fall off when you have to steer your steed around a corner. So you need to slow down before turning and then sprint when on a straight before leaping over that jump.
With penalty points for each missed jump plus the time you lose when you fall, this is quite challenging and you could have fun trying to get the perfect run and win gold on this one.
Less challenging is canoeing as you just need to watch the circles which appear on screen to time your strokes. When the circle gets smaller and is on the point of disappearing, you need to move your Remote as if it were an oar. This can be quite enjoyable in two player co-op as both players will have to time their strokes at the same time but it is very simple.
Then there's badminton which just feels a little dated. Waving your Wii Remote to hit a tennis ball (or, in this case, shuttlecock) was fun in Wii Sports in 2006 but we're past that now.