Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Retro video game mascots go for gold...
- Addictive skill-based challenges, fun multiplayer, plenty of events to try your hand at
- Some events are hit-and-miss, story mode is naff
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is a compelling purchase for party game and curling fans alike. If it's a quick bout of fun you're after, it's hard to go wrong.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
In February of 2010, athletes from across the globe will head on over to Vancouver, Canada, to participate in the Winter Olympics. For a couple of weeks, sports we wouldn’t otherwise care about will be plastered over our televisions, and everyone will suddenly become a curling expert in conversation.
Sonic and Mario have beaten the Olympics to the punch with their own branded game. It’s presented in a format that will be very familiar — collect various gaming mascots together, and throw them into a series of sporting events against one another. If you’ve played a Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers or Mario/Sonic Tennis game, Winter Olympics will feel right at home.
On the Nintendo DS, it works quite well — there’s a wide range of proper Winter Olympic games on offer, ranging from skiing to figure skating, bobsledding, ice hockey and curling. There’s also an additional range of fantasy challenges, which take standard sporting events and throw in power-ups, bosses, and musical tunes.
Events are controlled either with the stylus and touchscreen, or the face buttons, and thankfully there are precious few events that require smashing buttons as fast as possible to win — the games are more skills based, and save the DS from an early death. For the most part, they work well, and events like curling and figure skating are incredibly addictive, but of course, with this kind of variety, not everyone is going to enjoy every game.
There’s a fairly weak story mode if you’re playing solo (really, Sega? Did we really need a story mode?) which involves the baddies (two guesses to who) stealing winter and Mario and Sonic teaming up to rescue it back — with some heated curling, no less.
It’s very much a lead-by-the-nose “talk to character x, compete in event y to progress” structure, and gets dull well before the story is completed. Thankfully, it’s a mode that can be completely forgotten. Trying to beat the best times in each event, and the ability to save ghost data to race against yourself are more than compelling enough for single player gaming.
Like any game of this style, multiplayer is where the real fun is, and it is here that Sega has really outdone itself. Every event is available for single cartridge download play. Loading times are long, but not painful, and there’s a series of minigames to spice things up further. If you can find competitive friends, Mario and Sonic at the Winter Games is easily the most full-featured game that doesn’t require everyone to track down their own copy of the game, and it is very easy to sink hours into it.
Throw in the WiFi leaderboards, and Mario and Sonic is a compelling purchase, especially for those who just know they’re going to be glued to the Vancouver Winter Olympics from ceremony to ceremony.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- A third of all PC gamers on Steam use Windows 10
- Film Victoria backs women in gaming with new fellowships
- Nintendo kicks off 2016 with new Zelda release and new 3DS
- Expensive gaming desktops and laptops thrive in slumping PC market
- The PS4 is the fastest selling console in Sony’s history
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- FTProject Manager | SharePoint, Office 365 SkillsVIC
- CCOracle Apex DeveloperQLD
- CCWeb Content WriterSA
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCHybris Developer - Global ConsultancyNSW
- CCEXCEL Guru / Data AdministratorNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer | NV2 clearance | Defence projects | Immediate interviewACT
- CCJira Administrator - Western SydneyNSW
- FTDatabase AdministratorVIC
- CCSenior Visual DesignerNSW
- FTHelpdesk support - Level 1VIC
- CCSolutions ArchitectNSW
- CCSAP DS and BI SpecialistVIC
- CCIteration Manager/ Sprint Manager- PenrithNSW
- CCSolution Architect - .NET environmentACT
- FTChange & Communications OfficerQLD
- FTSystems Engineer / Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- CCOracle Applications Projects Functional ConsultantSA
- CCSenior Information Security SpecialistNSW
- CCContract System Analyst (MSSQL/.Net/Mobile App) 160122/SA/vhaAsia
- FTAxway API DeveloperNSW
- CCMultiple Middleware DevelopersACT
- FTJunior Project Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- FTNetwork Engineer | NV1 NV2 clearance | Defence projects | Immediate interviewACT