Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games

I Don’t Think The Ancient Greeks Ever Imagined Donkey Kong on Ice Skates

What It Is

As I’m writing this, we are just a few days away from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver so I figured it would be the perfect time to review Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games for the Nintendo Wii and DS/DSi. This is the second Olympics game (Beijing’s Summer Games was the first) to take some of the most popular and loved characters from the worlds of Nintendo and Sega and pit them against one another in a quest for gold. Playing as one of 20 characters including Mario, Sonic, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Peach and Tails, gamers will compete in 27 Olympic events ranging from ice-hockey to figure skating.

Why It’s Fun

At it’s core, Olympic Winter Games is a collection of sports challenges like the downhill ski race in which up to four players choose a character and race each other down the slope. Introducing the comic stylings of iconic Nintendo and Sega characters into the race turns this game from a fun competition into a hilarious party game as each of the characters have hysterical personalities and all sorts of humorous actions. Just seeing Yoshi on skis is priceless!

You don’t need the Wii Balance Board to play or enjoy this game, but if you have it, it adds a new level of physical fun to the event challenges, especially Skeleton (that insane sport in which you lie face-down on a board and fly down a course).

Moreover, it’s fun to see familiar characters whose paths would never cross actually in competition with one another.

Who’s Going To Love It

This game was a huge hit with my family at a recent get together. We had kids as young as 5 playing with adults approaching 40. Even the grandparents enjoyed watching and rooting for the “kids” playing. My five year old nephew needed a little help getting started (setting up the game requires someone who can read) but quickly mastered the game-play and was schooling a room full of 30-somethings in the nuances and competitive play of the game in no time.

Nintendo and Sega are two game companies with a very large and devoted fan following. These groups of people, regardless of age or sex, will love playing against each other as their favorite characters including Bowser, Knuckles and Tails.

What To Be Aware Of

In addition to playing as the Nintendo and Sega characters, the game can also be played using Miis, which can be customized with sports equipment and clothing from the game’s store.

While, as noted, the balance board is not required to play Olympic Winter Games, however, a Wii Nunchuk is.

The Nintendo DS version of the game features an exclusive story-based adventure in which the player battles through levels and bosses on various missions.

Fun Scale

4 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games
Publisher: Sega
Rated: Everyone

System: DS, Wii
Genre: Sports/Party
Players: 1 - 4

SRP: $34.99 (DS), $49.99 (Wii)
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: Holiday 2009
Date of Review: February 12, 2010

*Rating determined by the ESRB

Comments

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