Mario & Sonic: Going for Gold

Mario & Sonic: Going for Gold

We don’t have room to mention all the others in detail, but we also tried the Hammer, which had you swinging the Wii Remote and throwing a ball the furthest; the Trampoline event involving bouncing about and pressing buttons to quick timed events; Javelin, using the Wii Remote as you would intend to throw a really long sharp object; and Fencing which I was crap at so I won’t say anything about that.

As you know though, gentle reader, there are more events in store than the ‘real life’ shenanigans. There are also unlockable treats called ‘Dream Events’ which take place in the fantasy world of Sonic, Mario and co. The only event we really played was the Dream Race, which was more of a mixture between Sonic R and Mario Kart.

We didn’t have any images of the Dream Race, so stick with Knuckles in the Hammer event. It’s a bastard to get it centre.

A circular track is your battleground, and players must do the running motion on the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to reach their character’s top speed. Once they do this, they can stop ‘running’ as the character goes into autorun, and you can focus on all the obstacles you have to dodge – sandpits, Egg Pawns, Mario Kart style power ups… all of which will slow you down when hit, so the aim is to keep momentum and keep the other smeggers off your tail. Which I did to great victory.

Just a shame I was robbed of my loot in the contest then wasn’t it – in tournaments you get the chance to use a ‘Challenge’ sticker. These stickers can only be used in one of the three tournament events and can double your points if you reach one of the top 3 positions. Of course, if you don’t, you don’t get any points at all. It adds some spice to the party of players as they curse their way to victory or last place.

And that’s the way to approach Mario & Sonic, as a party game. There are single player matches and whatnot, but it’s obvious that these are merely there to keep the peace in what is essentially a game meant for four players and over (it is a rather good game to watch). You can connect to the WiFi and upload your best scores to the official Olympics leaderboards too and compete for the world record – that’s not exactly something you want to achieve on your own as only your invisible mate Jed could appreciate your glorious world-winning Javelin throw.

The trampoline is a really fun event. Sonic’s got the moves there. He’s such a B-Boy.

When we get a review copy, you can bet your life we’ll punish it within an inch of its life to see if it really stands up, but in a party atmosphere with close friends, this takes things up a gear in a trend that Wii Sports has successfully led the way in. The input and gameplay may be shallow but at the end of the day, this is not your typical Sonic game, nor is it a title looking for the hand of the hardcore player.

If Mario Party (or Sonic Shuffle) without the forgettable boards (or loading times) is your thing, then keep an eye on Mario & Sonic as it’s sure to treat you right at a house party with plenty of booze. Keep your eyes peeled on TSS for the definitive review very soon.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.