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Mario And Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games 3DS review

Mario and Sonic 3DS beats the Wii version

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.

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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.

Quit Dreaming

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.

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17 comments so far...
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  1. Mario84 Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 10:35

    Such a shame!

    I hoped they could do something similar to the Track & Field games of old, looks like they went for the quick buck!!

  2. MartinIsAwesome Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 11:13

    Wow. The image of DK and Bowser boxing is epic. Boxing gloves would have greatly improved the T-Rex fight in Peter Jackson's King Kong.

  3. bouncer0304 Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 12:47

    While it's disappointing the way the mini games are handled, at least story mode's back which is a good thing. Really enjoyed the story last time so i may pick it up when it's cheaper.

  4. ledreppe Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 13:56

    No dream events :x but a decent single player story mode :) I pre-ordered this and it was despatched before this review came out, I might have thought twice otherwise.

  5. imbusydoctorwho Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 14:15

    Shame it isn't as good as the brilliant Winter DS game,but I might go for this when it goes down in price.

  6. AirKoopa Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 15:04

    I got my copy this morning. Never played a Mario and Sonic game before but I'm really enjoy this. I've played Sports Island 3D and Dual Pen Sports but this is already miles better than those. Gyro controls work well, especially in the rhythm games and the online leaderboards should keep me coming back. Not having any Mii or Streetpass support is disappointing though.

  7. bennyt Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 15:19

    Still a good score with some positives, so i'll pick this up when it drops in price

    At least we have Mario Tennis to fulfil our sporting needs, just need a Mario Party 3ds now

  8. torterratrainer Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 16:17

    hah dry bones

  9. Dalekbuster523 Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 17:22

    I'm really enjoying Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 olympic games so far. The minigames are great fun but it's stupid because for each olympic event,you can only choose from 4 characters in 4 different characters which can mean you have to play as a girl for some of the events. Also,why are they so short? And the story in story mode is a bit lame.

  10. RealToonLink Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 17:36

    It seems Nintendo didn't pay ONM enough to give this game a high score like the previous ones. Just kidding.

  11. MikeIt0rNot69 Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 22:54

    Ah disappointed. I thought the game would be better

  12. bilboboy Friday 10th Feb 2012 at 23:06

    I was hoping this would be a good game, better than the previous efforts but alas it seems not. It seems Mario and Sonic are forever condemned to live together in mediocracy. It's that Sonic fellow i'm telling you! He's the one thats dragging it down! Take him out and you've got a 90% game I swear. :lol:

  13. dreamer87 Saturday 11th Feb 2012 at 19:59

    I love Mario I love sonic (not as much as Mario) and I love sports. To me this sounded like an excellent game. I got it yesterday and hurried home (like an excited kid) to play it but was dissapointed with it.
    Graphically it's beautiful and characters like toad make the game extra cute but the game play for some of the events just sucks.

    To me this is an average game because some events are fun but for me personally this is a huge let down. : (
    Maybe it's harsh calling it poor but to me it is.

    I'd like to see more mario games like the excellent mario 3d land and mario kart 7 which is extremely addictive especially online. Sonic generations is also excellent but Mario will always win in my opinion.

    Speaking of nintendo characters I'd like to see mega man and samus make an appearance on the 3ds. I'm really looking forward to next month to play snake eater 3d I'm a huge metal gear solid fan and in my opinion snake eater is the best in the series and to play it in 3d it just sounds blissfull. : )

  14. thenintendoer Tuesday 14th Feb 2012 at 15:08

    sadly it seems sega are starting to run out of ideas for these games

  15. chainchomper Wednesday 15th Feb 2012 at 14:13

    i bought this game a day after realease and i was absoulutely horrified about the decision to cut out the dream events, i mean they were the most fun bit! Also, i don't like that you only can only pick 4 characters depending on the event thats a bit stupid as well. however, it is a great one for wasting time on when youre bored.

  16. Zenuous Sunday 19th Feb 2012 at 18:02

    Eggman and Bowser cover London in a poisonous fog...wait, they caused this?

    That's a pretty badass plot guys, you actually killed people!

  17. blu fire Wednesday 20th Feb 2013 at 21:24

    I bought his game when it came out. I has the ds winter olympices ( my first DS game and one of my favs), london 2012, but this felt lazy. They shouldve renamed it Mario and sonic sports party- no boards but just annoying repetitive minigames.
    Still kept the game just for the story.

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