Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Wii was, to put it bluntly, disappointing. An increase in the number of events wasn't enough to make up for a decrease in game modes and the promising-looking London Party mode turned out to be just a bunch of boring mini-games with the London Eye or Big Ben in the background. Still, we continued to have high hopes for the Mario and Sonic London Olympics 3DS because, after all, the Mario and Sonic Winter Olympics DS game was better than its Wii big brother Does the handheld version come up trumps again this time? As you'll discover when you read this review, the answer is yes, but only just.
Mario and Sonic At the London 2012 Olympic Games 3DS features a ridiculously large 57 events, covering a wide range of disciplines from the standard 100m and pole vault to quirkier things such as taekwondo and weightlifting.
While the number may initially impress, it's worth bearing in mind that these should be considered mini-games, rather than actual events because each one is a tiny bite-sized version of the full thing, focusing on only one aspect of it.
The Marathon, for example, could potentially have been a proper test of your button-bashing stamina, but instead it's just a mini-game that takes place near the finish line and has you timing three button presses to grab a bottle of water.
Some of the other events are handled in a similarly inane manner, asking you to perform tasks that probably don't mean much to actual athletes: all that weightlifting demands, for example, is that you shout into the mic at the right moment.
What this means is that you don't always feel like you're taking part in the Olympics, because nearly every event is a cut-down version of the real thing.
Even the 100m, which takes under 10 seconds in real life, cuts the middle out and has you controlling your character at the start and end of the race.
Other points-based events are needlessly short in Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games 3DS, too, meaning tennis is over in three points, as are volleyball, badminton, and water polo. Sega could have easily featured an option for you to set the number of points needed to win...
As a result, what could have been a great little bunch of time-wasters is instead a group of mini-games that are over before you really get into them. Maybe some of us want to have an epic, five-set tennis match between Luigi and Tails, but unfortunately that can't happen here.
Other odd decisions include the total removal of Dream Events which your choice of characters is restricted to four per event. Want to see Yoshi doing weightlifting or Knuckles taking part in a spot of synchronising swimming? Tough.
While this is all sounding very negative so far, it's worth bearing in mind that the mini-games are good fun, even if they are just a bunch of novelty scenarios. The controls are mostly well explained and it'll take you a while to finish every event on Hard difficulty and collect all the medals on offer, as well as getting all the badges you earn for completing certain tasks.