|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sega||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: EVERYONE||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Most of this game takes place on the Olympic field, with a few events involving slightly more exotic backdrops. Although many of the locations seem somewhat drab, with all of the different sporting events and methods of control available throughout the game, the gameplay remains mostly fresh and enjoyable. In one event, you will be swinging your Wii-mote like a table tennis racquet as you return incoming shots, and in the next, you will be steadying the Wii-mote and Nunchuk together to line up an archery shot.
While there are many interesting uses of the Wii's motion sensing controls throughout, far too many of the included events require the same method of control. In any event that is based on running or swimming speed, which trust me is a lot of them, you will need to pump your arms alternately up and down to accelerate. This is not only overused in this game, but in Wii games in general. When will developers realize that flailing your arms up and down repeatedly instead of endlessly mashing a button isn't really an improvement? This particular use of the Wii-mote isn't fun in the least and just serves to hurt your arms more.
Speaking of arm pains, the way the game scales in difficulty helps cause more than its fair share. When competing in the game's circuit mode, you can choose from tournaments in beginner's, advanced, or master's class. In the beginner's class, you will breeze to victory in most of the events, many by sizeable leads. There is very little challenge present in this class, but it serves as a good place to learn how to play the game. When you eventually move up to the advanced class, you will begin to feel like you actually have to try to win each event. With practice and good execution, these events will feel challenging and fun at the same time. Once you have finished with this class however, you are basically done with the game's circuits. Not because there are none left, but because it is just not worth it. The master class is so ridiculously difficult to place in, it will eventually crush your spirit and force you to play through the game's mission mode. This is a fairly obvious addition to this game but a welcome one. Every character in the game has a set of specific missions to complete. These missions are roughly tailored to each character's abilities, making them an enjoyable experience overall.
As the first Mario and Sonic crossover game, I can't help but feel a little disappointed by this title. With the endless choices of game possibilities, I still can't believe that this game is what was made. Factoring that out of the equation however, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is a fairly decent Wii title. With competent graphics, a real feeling of character, and mostly good uses of the Wii's motion sensing controls, this game is an enjoyable experience overall. Just don't let the allure of the crossover cloud your judgement when deciding whether or not to play this title. If you aren't interested in playing a cartoony version of the Olympics, Mario and Sonic's crews most likely won't change your mind.
CCC Freelance Writer