Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Additional Game Gear eShop Titles Unveiled via Nintendo Direct

Woah nelly, Sonic fans were in for a freaking treat this morning!

First up, as you may recall, the name Sonic Lost World was trademarked by SEGA yesterday, prompting a large amount of buzz within the community as a reveal seemed to be right around the corner. This morning, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata unexpectedly began today’s scheduled Nintendo Direct with news pertaining to Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic Lost World has been officially unveiled by Ninty’s bossman, with Iwata confirming that it will be exclusive to both Wii U and 3DS consoles. More details to the game will come before E3.

Sonic Lost World

Forest world, jungle world, ice world, desert world, volcano world, water world… Oh this looks gorgeous!

But this wasn’t the only new Sonic game to be revealed! Before Lost World was showcased, Iwata gave a presentation concerning Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, tying in with the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Screenshots of the Wii U game are available after the jump!

Continue reading Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Additional Game Gear eShop Titles Unveiled via Nintendo Direct

Winter Olympics Sells Over 250,000 In The UK

mario-and-sonic-at-the-olympic-winter-games-artworkSEGA has announced that Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has already sold 250,000 copies in the UK, with a 24% sales increase last week on the back of a new marketing push, outlined below.

Since launching on the 16th October, the game has held fast in the Top 10 and currently ranks #7 in the Chart Track Official UK Game Charts. SEGA’s Marketing Director John Clark said to MCV that the mascot mashup is a good contender for Christmas #1.

Just like the Summer Olympics before it, SEGA is going for a huge marketing push in the UK to advertise Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. The blitz will be the company’s biggest ever ad campaign, covering prime time and children’s TV, cinema exposure and physical presence in public spaces.

Hyde Park will receive the most of SEGA’s goodwill, sponsoring the Winter Wonderland that is currently taking place at the venue. A Mario and Sonic branded ice rink will be established and an area to play the game will be nearby to capture passing consumers. Open until 4th January 2010, Hyde Park alone is expected to drive a total of two million visitors to skate and play the game.

Elsewhere, Mario and Sonic will be sponsoring ITV’s breakfast programming bloc, GMTV, and its children’s weekend counterpart, Toonatik, until 10th January 2010. M&S adverts will feature in between these shows, as well as prime time ITV programmes such as The X Factor, Coronation Street and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! Thirty second spots continue to appear in cinemas for moviegoers watching Where The Wild Things Are as well.

If that wasn’t enough, SEGA is splashing out on shopping mall marketing as well – this will run up to Christmas and will include posters and HD screens (most likely showcasing game footage).

TSS Review: Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

When Sonic fans learned of the epic teaming up with bitter 90s rival Mario in 2007, tongues salivated at the possibilities. Just what kind of game could be made from a Mario and Sonic game? Imagine the disappointment when, following Sonic’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, that the resulting product would be a sports-influenced party game instead. Despite the somewhat unwarranted vitriol (one might argue that a platform game would be even more blasphemous to both franchises), Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games was honest fun with friends and family.

Two years on, and the IOC (the board that runs the Olympics) are clearly wanting to milk this cash cow as much as SEGA. And who can blame them – the 2007 hit remained high in the charts for well over a year, and outsold Nintendo’s own Super Mario Galaxy handily to boot. A Winter Games edition was inevitable. Vancouver, Canada is the setting for our licensed heroes this time, and SEGA has been more than keen to take better advantage of the Sonic and Mario franchises. Does it retain the same Christmas holiday fun as the last Olympic Games? Continue reading TSS Review: Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Let The Olympic Winter Memes Begin!

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So there I was, innocently adding the new Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Artwork page (with transparent, clean PNG character art and all), when I came across these monstrosities. These images are part of SEGA’s “lifestyle” advertising campaign for the new Mario and Sonic sports mashup, and… well, they’re quite terrible, aren’t they?

I’ve not seen any of these being used in ‘lifestyle’ print or magazines (although having said that, I don’t make it a point to collect issues of Grazia or whatever), it makes you wonder whether SEGA, Nintendo et al just do these photo shoots for a laugh one day, never to be used for fear of irritating readers with these guys’ faces. Some of these faces are hilarious though, but deep down it really kinda wants you lose the will to live.

Gallery full of 20-odd lifestyle promotional M&S images after the jump. Best captions win Awesome Points™.
Continue reading Let The Olympic Winter Memes Begin!

M&S Winter, All-Stars Racing At Summer of Sonic

Those going to this year’s Summer of Sonic convention (a joint venture between The Sonic Stadium, Sonic Wrecks and Sega Europe) will have yet another few reasons to get excited, as Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing make their first ever playable debuts in the UK.

Both the Wii and Nintendo DS versions of Mario and Sonic’s new athletic adventure will be playable in the Games Zone, alongside a bunch of Xbox 360 demo pods that will feature classic games from Sonic’s gaming past. Sega reps will be on hand to help fans trial the game, and there may even be a contest or two for those who take to the games very well indeed.

A PlayStation 3 pod will also house a playable copy of Sumo Digital’s upcoming multiplayer, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing – this will be the first time outside of E3 that a copy of the game has even seen daylight, let alone the first time anyone from the gaming public will get to try it. Sumo Digital’s Executive Producer, Steve Lycett and Lead Designer, Travis Ryan, will also be present to demonstrate the game.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is set for an October 16th release in the UK, with Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing due for release TBA 2010.

Get 20% Off M&S Olympic Winter Games at Argos

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UK Mario and Sonic fans are in luck as Argos are currently giving 20% off of pre-orders of certain video games with the promotional code GAME20 that expires 24/07/09. Both Wii & DS versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games are in the offer so be quick like the spikey blue one and get in there now. WARNING to everyone though that money is taken on order and not on despatch.
Here are the prices before and after the 20% is discounted:
Mario & Sonic: The Olympic Winter Games DS £24.99 £19.99
Mario & Sonic: The Olympic Winter Games Wii £32.99 £26.39

Bargain!

Source: Hot UK Deals

M&S Olympic Winter Games Dated

The sequel to the rather-good-if-massmarket-preaching Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games has had its release date confirmed, thanks to a post on the official Sonic City Blognik sporting a snazzy advert. The Nintendo DS and Wii versions of the game will arrive on store shelves on the 16th October 2009.

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In addition to this, the official website for the game has been updated, and box artwork have been released for both the Wii and Nintendo DS versions, both of which you can download in high quality from TSS’ Game Archive.

More New M&SATOWG Screens, Silver Confirmed

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Some more new screenshots of both the Wii and DS versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games have appeared from E3 on Sonic fansite Planete Sonic. The most interesting of the screens is the above screenshot(click to go large) of Tails skiing in what looks like one of the Dream Events but what is so interesting you ask? Eagle eyed SSMB Member speedfreak has pointed out a Silver The Hedgehog icon flag among the other character icon flags in the background confirming him to be a playable character in this game.

Silver was discovered to be a playable character in the Wii version of the last game at one point in development when leftover data was discovered in the final game so it’s no surprise they would add him in to this title. We’ll keep an eye open for any further media/info on this game as it happens.

Winter Olympic Shenanigans

Those of you with a good memory will remember last week I mentioned something about a little surprise I had for you all. Well today I’ve gone and let the proverbial hedgehog and plumber out of the bag as I’ve posted a hands on Preview of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Oh yes, it’s right up there, to the top right hand side of the site for you to have a read over. Believe me when I say that game is worth getting excited about if you were a fan of the previous game. It’s probably time to start planning who’s sitting where in your imaginary Bobsleigh, made up of a row of chairs.

The entire event was great fun and I want to thank Dreadknux for offering me the experience, as I only went on his behalf because he was on holiday, and ArchangelUK for smuggling me in with an ace dude from Digital Spy to sit and play the game with some Swedish journalists, flown in especially for the day. In fact I was quite annoyed to hear it’d only taken them two-and-a-bit hours to get to London from Sweden while I’d been sat on a hot, sticky bus for four hours travelling down from Leeds.

As well as an excellent people smuggler I learnt AAUK is awesome at opening doors for people, going to find food for guests (I was too late though, Sega had eaten it all, even the fruit!) and synching Wii Remotes to a console.

The boss and T-Bird are back in a number of days but to try and ease my jealousy of their Japanese adventure I managed to track down some ‘Pocky’ in London. While it didn’t help in the slightest it tastes nice. I’ll be sticking around until then at least and maybe beyond if they like. This has all been great fun and a huge learning experience. It helps that 99% of the people who post comments or in the forum greatness. Thanks for all the words of support and I’ll do my best not to nuke the community in my final days!

New Mario & Sonic Playtest In Games Master Magazine

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In their new issue out in shops from today Games Master have a new 6 page hands-on playtest of both the Wii and DS versions of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Aswell as their hands-on views Games Master have plenty of new screens, all new info from a recent talk with the games producer and directors and a look at both Mario and Sonic’s games over the years.

You can pick up the mag in UK stores now or online here for just £3.99. People outside the UK can buy the mag on that site too.

Mascot-Branded Winter Olympiad Needs Hockey

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Mini-game collections.  Does the Wii need more of them?  Absolutely not.  Every developer out there has shelled out game parties, carnivals, and sporting events in an attempt to cash in on the motion-fad and the wallets of unsuspecting parents.  The strategy works, especially when two of the most iconic video game mascots went head to head in one last year in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.  Many scoffed at SEGA’s corporate director, Masanao Maeda, when he predicted that the game would sell 4 million copies on both Wii & DS combined.  Those folks were silenced when the game ended up selling more than 5 million units across both systems.  As a result, we’re looking at a sequel in Vancouver this winter.

My rental time with the Beijing title was brought on by curiosity, as I wanted to see how well both franchises were incorporated.  I had no desire to play another Olympic game.  They have been made since the NES days with Konami’s Track & Field.  While you could stomp around like an idiot on the Power Pad to compete in the track events, the game’s core mechanic remained the same: quick, alternating (sometimes timed) button presses that absolutely destroyed your controllers.  Every Olympic game that followed did the same.  In the case of Mario & Sonic, the Wii controllers were spared thanks to their motion control, leaving players to flail around like Margikarp and earning a wanker’s cramp alongside their virtual gold medals.  The DS was not immune to physical damage, though, as unprotected touch screens were totally annihilated due to back-and-forth rubbing.  Our wrists and touch screens need a break to play a something more than just a mini-game.  The Winter Olympiad only has one sport that doesn’t warrant a bunch of rubbing, waving, or leaning.  That sport is hockey.

I don’t have to even mention how important the sport of hockey is to the country of Canada.  The two are synonymous with one another.  Not including hockey on a Winter Olympics game in Vancouver sounds odd to me.  Hockey also would play out like a stand-alone game, instead a series of button presses or waggles.  It would be the deepest aspect of M&S at the Winter Olympics and would be enticing to people like me, who desire a bit more from their Olympic games after living through them year after year.

Hockey has never been seen on a winter olympics title due to licensing issues, as the National Hockey League players participate in the winter olympics, representing their home countries.  The Olympic teams can be found in modern day hockey games by EA and 2K Sports as a concession.  With Mario & Sonic, there are no country designations and, obviously, no NHL players.  Reaching a licensing agreement with the NHL Players Association can be bypassed altogether.

Speaking of EA and 2K Sports, their hockey titles have been consistently the best sports games on the market.  With EA’s NHL ’09, which garnered almost all “2008 Sports Game of the Year” awards across various gaming sites, the sport became an experience that rivaled, and in some ways bettered, Madden when it game to gameplay depth and replay value.  It’s a picture perfect emulation of the sport that still managed to be improved with each yearly release.  The Wii does not have a hockey game that is close to decent.  NHL 2k9 for the Wii was a colossal disappointment for hockey game fans, who were frustrated by complicated motion controls and graphics that were comparable to the Nintendo 64.

However, if hockey were to happen, I wouldn’t recommend the simulation route and more along the lines of an accessible arcade style of hockey that was perfected by Midway’s NHL Hitz series, before Midway made the jump to “pro,” then three jumps back by becoming overly racy.  Arcade hockey features 3-on-3 gameplay and no rules, a la Super Mario Strikers (which was a violent game, compared to other Mario sports titles, that featured bodychecking into an electric fence that surrounded the playing field).  Icing, offsides, roughing, and all other penalities are thrown out the window.  Hit who you want (as long as it’s not the goalie), when you want.  Wind up for some wild, super-powered slap-shots and rickle the mesh.  Yeah, a contact sport sounds like a fun time for Mario & Sonic.  I recommend finding NHL Hitz 20-03 for XBOX, GameCube, or PS2 (it costs about $10 or less at used game stores) and giving it a play.  My friends who hate hockey play this game with me, so that is a testiment to how enjoyable arcade hockey is to some.

What do you think?  Should a sport that is much deeper than a series of button pushes be included in the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympics? Would you be more interested in the overall package?  Let me know.

Watch hockey.

Eurogamer Hands-On: M&S Winter Olympics

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SEGA held an event in Vancouver for the press to play some curling and try out Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games for the Wii and DS.  There are brand new screenshots and impressions from the new mascot-branded, mini-game collection for you to check out, but I’d just like to point out one thing:

Multiplayer is unlocked from the start of the game.  Thank you for correcting an awful design choice, SEGA.

The article also highlights Wii Balance Board support for sports like downhill skiing and bobsledding.  On the DS front, all sports will be sharable with up to 4 DS systems with a single cartridge. Wow!  Producer Eigo Kasahara says:

“Actually I wanted to make all the events available for free download last time, but because of time constraints it was difficult.  With this version, maybe players will bring the cartridge to school and play with their friends. Then kids will go home and ask their Mum to buy them a copy… So it’s a kind of viral marketing almost.”

All I need now is some hockey.  I mean, you can’t have the Winter Olympics (in Canada, no less) without hockey!

Eurogamer Hands-On with M&S: Winter Olympics

New “M&S: Winter Olympics” Scans from April’s Nintendo Power

msowgart1The latest Nintendo Power (#240) has some new information and images of the upcoming sequel to the popular summer Olympiad game that the two iconic characters competed at this past holiday season. The issue talked about some of the sports that Mario & Sonic will be participating in later this year in Vancouver, such as alpine skiing, bobsledding, and speed skating.  In addition to the titular characters, all characters that participated in Beijing will be returning for the Winter Olympics, in addition to some new faces.  If you ever wanted to see a purple, morbidly obese cat ride a skeleton luge, this game may make that dream come true.

Co-Op and competitive multiplayer will be available for the Wii version, while the DS will only receive the latter.  The Wii version will also put your unused Wii Balance Board to use.  When it comes to the DS, you might want to invest in some screen protectors for this game.  All that rubbin’ and scratchin’ will obliterate your touch screen.

Oh, and here are some scans, I guess:

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[From BlueBlur]

‘Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games’ Teaser Trailer

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They’re back!

You may remember not too long ago TSS reported a rumour concerning Mario and Sonic’s return with another Olympic Games compilation. Today, SEGA Europe have updated their official Youtube account with a HD teaser trailer for the upcoming game on Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS set for release ‘soon.’

The new trailer shows off some lovely CG quality movie scene footage and has Sonic, Mario and pals all snowboarding down a huge mountain in front of cheering crowds. The game will be out on shelves in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but for now fans of either series can check out the High Definition Youtube Teaser Trailer here.

What’s your opinion on the new trailer? Are you planning on picking up Mario and Sonic’s latest Olympic outing in time for Vancouver 2010? Let us know in the comments below!