Qualifying But Not Record Setting –
Building off the foundation set by the Winter Games a couple years ago, Mario and Sonic are trying their hand at summer based Olympic sports. However, this game takes a distance bronze instead of going for the gold.
In terms of gameplay, Mario & Sonic at the 2012 London Olympic Games should not really surprise anyone; it is a mini game compilation after all. With over 50 games to compete in, there is no shortage on quantity. Negatively, the quality has been spread a little thin as some games are definitely better than others. Don’t expect any Mario Party style boss battles either.
Using pretty much every feature of the 3DS hardware, the wide assortment of games will have the player doing everything from button mashing, system twisting, and microphone blowing. To this day, it continues to boggle my mind as to why developers think that blowing into the microphone and getting spittle all over the screen is fun and will make games better. The same goes for rotating and twisting the system; this is not fun and you can’t even see the screen let alone the 3D functionality when moving the system around. Point being, any mini game that uses the mic or gyro sensor are a chore to play. Games that use the touch screen and button inputs are the best of the lot.
Many games have also received the dumbed down Wii Sports treatment. For example, tennis and badminton focuses on merely striking the ball/birdie; the characters move around the court on their own. Similarly, soccer is reduced to a simple shootout instead of a full match. And shouldn’t Sonic be able to finish all running based races in about 1 second flat?
Playing through all the mini games will take a fair amount of time but the included story mode, in which EggMan and Bowser release a fog over London, isn’t necessarily great but is still playable. Luckily, the game offers quite a bit of reply value thanks to online leaderboards and a ton of different achievements to collect. Local wireless play is also an option but Streetpass functionality has been omitted. The graphics are also bright and colorful, the voice quips hit the usual charm, and the 3D effect works well when the player isn’t forced to rotate the system.
Mario & Sonic at the 2012 London Olympic Games is a standard mini game compilation that is not necessarily better or worse than its forbearers. At the core, it is a decent time waster that is designed to be played in shorter bursts. However, it is not going to set any new world records.
On Par With: the Wii version
Also Try: New International Track & Field – DS
Wait For It: the next inevitable sequel in a couple years
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