Electronic Theatre Preview: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

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Electronic Theatre ImageWith the London 2012 Olympics rapidly approaching its time for another edition of the Mario & Sonic franchise from SEGA, with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It was inevitable that SEGA would be doing an update to the previous editions, as the Beijing and the Winter editions both proved extremely popular, but can SEGA bring new life to this waggle fest?

Electronic Theatre got hands on both the Wii and Nintendo 3DS preview versions recently, and it’s the Wii version we’ll be discussing here. Nintendo 3DS fans need not worry however, as there will be a second preview to follow shortly. Now first off not a lot has really changed from the previous Wii versions, in terms of eventsElectronic Theatre Image almost all of them have returned but there are some new additions to entice fans back. The look of the game is still Mario-esque but now with all the landmarks you’d expect from a game set in London: Big Ben is used widely in backdrops or as a foreground object, while Wembley Arena and the Greenwich Observatory also pop up.

They say familiarity breeds contempt, and as such SEGA hasn’t been resting on its laurels and has re-designed some of the competitions into Dream events. We now have sampled some of these new events: Dream Long Jump, Dream Discus, Dream Hurdles and Dream Equestrian. These events differ from their traditional routes in that they have a far more wacky feel to them, for example the long jump is a side-scrolling game where you need to survive as long as possible by bouncing on clouds, avoiding obstacles and fellow opponents. The Dream Equestrian event has you and three other players pulling a cart with eggs inside, the goal being to be the team to finish the quickest but you are penalised if any eggs are dropped.

As for the new events, Electronic Theatre got hands on with football and canoeing, but there is also Equestrian Showjumping and badminton to try out. The football will be very familiar to anyone who has played Mario Smash Football, being able to play four-player and charging your shot to fire the ball Electronic Theatre Imageinto the back of the net. The canoeing is a two player co-operative game but naturally can also be played by a single player, and is all about rhythm. Holding the controller vertical you need to get your timing right to zoom into the lead.

All your favourite characters make a return; there are twenty in total split into team Mario and team Sonic. So if you’re more Wario than Mario or prefer Tails to Sonic then you’ll have no problems: they’re here each with their own stats to make them suitable for the different events. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be released later this month and is shaping up to be an enjoyable Olympic games tie in that should be well received by the casual market it’s aimed at.


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