Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games might already win the award for the longest game name this year. But besides that, it’s a pretty fun collection of Olympic themed mini-games on the Nintendo 3DS. It doesn’t make much use of the 3D functionality, but other than that I found myself mostly enjoying it.
Like the previous entries on the both the DS and Wii, this game tosses together the worlds of Sonic and Mario, and puts them into the real world (to a certain degree). The game is filled with Olympic info and trivia, so there’s a certain edutainment value within.
There’s also a ton of games present. Pretty much every Olympic event you can think of from the summer games is present here. You’ve got Judo, Archery, Sailing, Sprinting, Tennis, Volleyball and much, much more. Every event plays out differently, and most are completed in a matter of seconds or a couple minutes’ tops.
The game makes heavy use of the touch screen, microphone, and tilt functions of the system. Skeet shooting, for instance, will use the tilt function to assist your aim. Whereas Sailing will require you to blow into the microphone to put some wind behind your sails.
Some of the games can be a little tedious, the already mentioned sailing event is a little awkward to play in public places, and in general not that fun. But there are literally so many events in the game that it’s hard to not find a handful that you’ll genuinely enjoy.
London Olympic Games contains a main story mode that branches off for both Sonic and Mario. It just pits the heroes against the typical story villains, namely Bowser and Eggman, who are attempting to ruin the Olympics with giant fog machines. It’s a little goofy, and not that entertaining to play through, but will appeal to a much younger audience than myself.
Multiplayer is restricted to local only, which is disappointing. It does allow for download play, so at least you can match up with other 3DS owners that don’t actually own the game.
Finally, you can just participate in the events you want to play, across a few difficulty levels. This will probably end up being your preferred way to play the game, and you can opt to play single events or make a playlist of sorts. Certain character classes are locked into different events, so unfortunately you can’t just choose to play Bowser against Tails in the 100m dash.
Worth noting is that every event begins with a little tutorial screen to help refresh your memory on how to control the event. It’s completely unobtrusive and appreciated as far as a tutorial goes, and pretty much necessary considering the number of events in the game.
The visuals look pretty crisp and cartoony, as you might expect, and they’re a clear step up from the DS Winter Olympics game. Again, the 3D effect is pretty slight, and kind of hard to use considering that a lot of events tend to either cause you to shake the 3DS from mashing buttons, or literally move the 3DS about. If you’re primarily interested in the 3D effect, this won’t be top tier title for you.
Overall I found this collection to be pretty fun though, but it doesn’t do anything that’s particularly mind blowing. It’s competently put together, contains a fair amount of content for a mini-game collection, and really tosses in the kitchen sink when it comes to summer Olympic events. It’ll definitely appeal more to a younger audience, but I think it’s worth checking out for 3DS owners.