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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS)
Publisher:  SEGA Developer:  SEGA
Genre:  Sports Release Date:  01/22/2008
ESRB:  Everyone More Info on this Game
By Gerald Villoria | Jan. 29, 2008
The Beijing Olympics play host to Nintendo and Sega's favorite mascots.
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Pros Cons
Unique stylus and button control schemes for each event; plenty of characters to choose from. Mario can run as fast as Sonic; Wi-Fi functionality is awkwardly implemented.

The 16-bit generation's most bitter rivals are at it again, this time competing against each other in celebration of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Representing Nintendo, we have Mario, Yoshi, Bowser, and the familiar cast of their well-known kart-racing, sports, and party games. Sega offers up the likes of Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles and even Dr. Eggman. Sixteen of these treasured mascots set their differences aside in the spirit of competition, competing in events like the 100m dash, javelin throw and archery. In the same vein as classic franchises like Track & Field, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games provides a smorgasbord of mini-games to compete in, and chances are you'll find a handful that you'll absolutely love.

On Your Marks, Get Set... Scribble!

Sega handled development on this game, but ably captured the vibrant look and feel of the Mario sports titles. The characters are large and colorful, and the events are equally well-designed to make use of the Nintendo DS touch screen. You'll be vigorously rubbing the screen during races or carefully adjusting your aim with the stylus during shooting events, for example. The control methods are hard to fault, except that you'll occasionally struggle to find a comfortable position to rest your DS so that you can get a proper angle for the frenetic pace you'll periodically have to scribble at.



There are lots of events to compete in, ranging from mile-a-minute footraces to challenges that will require a steady hand and proper timing, like archery and shooting. You can unlock dream events as well, which include canoeing and boxing. With sixteen events to begin with and twenty-four in total, there's a good mix of different gameplay experiences and techniques for you to master. There's also a surprisingly small amount of overlap, meaning that each event feels like it contributes significantly to the package rather than just being included to pad the numbers.

We had some issues with the game's online functionality, as it takes a significant amount of time to download the rankings for each event's leaderboard, and you'll have to download them individually for each event. This is made up for in part by the four-player wireless support, which should be good fun for anyone who wants to stage their own mini-Olympics from the comfort of their living room.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is just about as good as the Nintendo Wii version of the game, with similar events that trade off the kinesthetic hands-on Wii controls for the ease of handheld portability. You'll get more of a physical workout with the Wii version of the game, but this is a perfectly fine way for you to get some of that Olympic spirit without having to break a sweat.


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