Review: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS)
Mario & Sonic are back, but this time in London for the 2012 Olympic Games. Does the game get the gold or does it finish in last place? Find out in this review.
When the Mario & Sonic Olympic Games titles first released in 2008 it was a joyful occasion to see the old two rivals put things aside and compete in the Olympic games together. Since then we have had the Winter Olympic game on both the Wii and the DS, and more recently the 2012 Olympics on the Wii. After a short delay, it’s now the 3DS’s turn to head to the track.
My initial thoughts when booting up the game was excitement, I haven’t even really acknowledged the Olympic Games being held in my home town and I have never really had much interest in the live events, though I have enjoyed the video games enough to make me want to watch the live events. This quickly changed after playing the game for 10 minutes with the 3D switched on. This is the first 3DS title that has actually hurt my eyes and caused me to have an headache. After giving the 3D a rest and playing in 2D my eyes felt relaxed and I continued playing and checking out what the game has to offer.
The game has four modes including Single Player, Story Mode, and Multiplayer. In Single Player mode you can choose to either play a Highlight Match, which is a mode that lets you choose an event and play one round, or Medley Match where you can choose numerous events and try get the top score. You can also design your own Medley Matches with events of your choice, to then share them to your friends.
In Medley Match you choose a five-person team from five groups: Heroes, Girls, Tricksters, Wild Ones, and Challengers. Sadly, you can’t just choose specific characters to participate in specific events. I was disappointed by the lack of my favourite characters being present in some events.
I was initially surprised to see a Story Mode as the game doesn’t really need it, but it does add a narrative to the the game and has some interesting scenes. Multiplayer lets you play in Local Play with up to three friends with their own carts; Download Play is also present which gives players without the cart a more limited selection of events. Record Log lets you see play data, medals, and online rankings. The lack of online multiplayer is a shame and I feel it would of opened up a whole new level of enjoyment for the title.
There are a lot of events to keep you on your feet, but many feel rather too gimmicky and they pretty much try use all of the 3DS’s functionality. It’s a nice idea but some of the events are far too frustrating due to the awkward control scheme. The variety of games is good, but they do vary in length drastically, though they are still entertaining. I was really excited to jump in and play hockey and soccer but the limited functionality held back the events from their true potential.
The design of Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic Games 2012 is bright, colourful and vibrant. Something that we are all familiar with if you have played the previous entries. The colours are charming and from time to time nice to look at, I did manage to test out the 3D some more and it didn’t hurt as much but still the 3D wasn’t that impressive. The characters also suffer with some rough patches, which can be a bit distracting when playing.
Lastly, the sound. The soundtrack and sound effects throughout are very interesting and have a lot of emphasis on the Olympic Games. Mario and Sonic’s theme compositions are included with some nice funky music.
Mario and Sonic are back in their first 3D endevour. It’s an enjoyable title overall, but at times there were many issues, and for me it took some time to adapt to the colurful 3D effects. The gameplay has some nice elements and good events, but is flawed by many dodgy control schemes, and the lack of online multiplayer may put people off. Fans of the series may be impressed by the library of events which is where the game stands strong. The overall look and appeal is decent, and along with some nice added sounds make the game enjoyable but not perfect.