It’s no secret that the Mario and Sonic series of games have been a bit hit on the Wii. With both games selling millions of copies and still not hitting the $19.99 mark, it has shown that the plumber in red and the blue blur have been a huge success together. So how the latest iteration stand up? Quite well actually. On the Wii, the graphics have been slightly improved. The models seem more detailed than last time and the lighting seems better too. There were several new events to try. While me and Nuckles87 did the dream events first, I thought I’d save the best for last.
The equestrian event was well done. I played as Yoshi (who gets to ride someone else for a change) while Nux played as Metal Sonic. You controlled the horse by shaking the wiimote up and down to gallop. Then turned it on the side to turn the horse with button 2 for jumping. This was a bit tricky actually as we’d forget to stop making the horse gallop during tight turns and we both ended up placing near the bottom. It was a decent mini-game though that was well representative of the event.
Badmitton was the weakest of the bunch. It’s best used with a wiimote/nunchuck, but we were only provided with the wiimotes. Basically, we just swung our wiimotes as the shuttlecock (snicker) came to us. Swing up or down provided different spins on the birdie. Overall it was very dull.
Rowing was mainly a rhythm game. I played as Sonic and Blaze and used the Wiimote like a paddle swinging it down to a rhythm to get the boat rowing faster. Nuckles was way behind, but once he got his stride he beat me. Overall a decent game. Now onto the dream games.
The first was an incredibly fun “Dream Long Jump”. The level is taken from Yoshi’s Story (I thought it was Kirby’s Epic Yarn by the yarn motif in the background, but I’ve been corrected several times.). You start off shaking the Wiimote to gain speed, then press button 2 to jump off. You keep in the air, going forward by bouncing off of clouds and each other. I was Vector and Nuckles was, well Knuckles. I managed to bounce off him and make him fall off the clouds. But once defeated, your opponent can come back as a spiked ball that can knock you off. I was just lucky enough to avoid him and got first place.
The other dream event was “Dream Discus Throw” taken from Windy Valley in Sonic Adventure 1. In this event you actually ride your disc. Collecting rings and knocking into your opponents to swerve them off course. You can also charge and boost into flying Badniks to get rid of them. It was funny to see Dr. Eggman taking out his own robots. Every part of the level seemed intact down to getting sucked up in the tornado. The event ends by landing on a large target where the one closest to the bullseye gets extra rings.
Now onto the 3DS. This demo consisted of several events strung together. The first one being Gymnastics. using the tilt controls I had to keep Amy Rose on the balance board as she did some tricks. I was able to land the tricks fine, but had problems with the balancing. Wario was up next for rowing. This event required me to rest the 3DS on the table and spin the thumbstick as fast as possible. Frankly, it made the event too easy as I beat it by a wide mile.
Next up…Judo! This event was fairly easy but very fun to watch Mario throw Sonic and Tails around. The controls are simple enough. Press several buttons displayed together before your opponent does. Sometimes once, sometimes two or three times in a row. This will then make you character do a Judo move and throw your opponent down to win the match. This would be trickier and more fun in multiplayer than against an A.I. opponent who doesn’t really react in good time.
The last event was speed walking. Yup, I managed to beat Sonic as Mario in a walking race. The trick was to slide the stylus back and forth like a pendulum to the rhythm of some generic music playing in the background. The better your rhythm and pace, the faster you….walk. I can see Sonic thinking “Walking?! Are you @#$%’in’ serious?”
The 3DS version did not keep me as interested in the games as much as the Wii did. This may be due to the lack of dream events in the demo, but the standard events were just bland. The dream events on the Wii however, seemed better than in the winter game. If you have only one version of Mario and Sonic at the London blahdedeblah (stupid long titles) make sure to get the Wii version. It’s just seems to be more fun overall.