Mario And Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games Wii review As the third game in the hugely successful Mario & Sonic series it would be foolish of Sega to mess around with the formula too much. Sure enough, not a lot has changed here.
It shares many of the same events as the original and there's still a lot of waggling involved to build up power in some sports, so if you were hoping Sega had carried Winter Olympics' relatively waggle-free gameplay over you may be disappointed.
Party Over Here
The one main addition to the series is the London Party mode. This is a special competition for up to four players (you can play against three CPU opponents), which plays a little like the Mario Party games.
The 'board' is a big area of London and players run around trying to bump into secondary Mario and Sonic characters. If you hit one you'll trigger a mini-game - one minute you'll be racing across the Millennium Bridge while avoiding potholes and jumping hurdles, the next you'll be running around the streets trying to hit each other with green shells.
Every now and then you'll compete in an actual Olympic event too. Winning these mini-games and events will earn you stickers that you than can add to a sticker book. When you've filled the spaces you've won the game. While it's a bit of a hollow experience in single-player, it gets more interesting with four players.
The London Party mini-games are a mixed bag - some of them are a good laugh but others feel like they could have been slapped onto any generic mini-game compilation were it not for the fact they have Mario and Sonic characters in them.
Unfortunately the Festival mode from Winter Olympics has gone. Even though it only took a few hours to get through it, it was a fun way to play through each event, with variations like boss battles thrown in to keep things feeling fresh.
There's a Challenges screen that essentially gives you a set of achievements to aim to complete, but other than this there's no real purpose in playing this game on your own.
Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games is a step sideways for the series. It'll no doubt sell bucketloads, but be warned that if you're getting it you'll need friends handy, since playing it on your own is a pretty underwhelming experience.
This is an edited version of a review that appears in the Christmas issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is on sale now. For more in-depth analysis and screenshots, buy the magazine here.
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