M&S Winter Olympics Moves 6 Million Units

NBC might be losing over $200 million broadcasting the Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean everybody has to.  SEGA and Nintendo decided to remind us that the Mario and Sonic series prints money.  How good are times at SEGA HQ?  Just ask SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes:

“The original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was a huge success for SEGA,” commented Mike Hayes, CEO for SEGA America and SEGA Europe. “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is one of the leading third party games for Wii and DS and we were confident the title would have longevity within retail. The start of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games is a perfect time to ensure SEGA is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind when it comes to recreating that Olympic Winter Games feeling in living rooms everywhere.”

Funny.  Not once have I thought of blue hedgehogs and pudgy plumbers while watching the games.  Oh, press releases…

Speaking of the Winter Olympics, is anybody here watching them as avidly as I am?!  Speed skating and snowboarding have been very entertaining, but nothing is as compelling as the play unfolding in men’s ice hockey.  A classic battle between Russia and the Czech Republic unfolds this afternoon, but USA vs. Canada will be in an all-out rivalry game at 7:40 PM EST tonight.  Canada, David Backes will run you over.

Win a M&S Snowboard From OCRemix & SEGA Europe

We told you before that we would tell you when another Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games snowboard would be given away.  Well… I’d hate to not fulfill a promise.

OCRemix announced yesterday that they would be partnering with SEGA Europe to give away another one of these bad boys.  The contest’s site explains how you can enter to win:

HOW TO ENTER!

1. Email us (competitions@ocremix.org) with the following info:
* Your name
* Your YouTube account name, AND
* The name & description of a cool made-up snowboarding trick!

Trick Examples!

“IceCap Dash” – Sonic does a 360 rotation while spin dashing on the board!
“Space Harrier” – Hang in the air for more than 5 seconds, with a rocket pack attached to your back!
“pixietricks” – Sonic gets some air and jumps off the board, while Amy Rose jumps and lands on the board in mid-air! <3

You don’t need to be this literal. Be creative & cool and have fun with it! Your snowboarding trick idea can be Mario & Sonic-based, Olympic Games-based, OC ReMix-based, it can be ANYTHING! The coolest snowboarding trick sent in will win!

2. You ALSO must be subscribed to the OC ReMix YouTube channel. YouTube is how we’ll contact you if you win! Click http://tr.im/yOCR to subscribe!

Entries are due on Monday, January 18th, 2010, 11:59PM EST (GMT -5).  You can enter as many tricks as you’d like, but try to keep it to ONE e-mail.  The OCRemix judges panel will decide the winner and inform you via YouTube.

This contest is not limited to the UK.  It is open to everybody!

The Official Snowboard Contest Page

Capcom Takes A Dig At SEGA’s M&S Marketing

Capcom are causing all sorts of a ruckus in the gaming media. First they complain about poor sales for Resident Evil Darkside Chronicle and say,

“The Wii console is very much a family commitment [and] rates relatively low. So for us, Capcom, the future is the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.”

then they quickly correct themselves with the below statement.

“Further to comments made in a recent article on French website Gamekult, Capcom would like to confirm its commitment as a multi-platform developer and publisher of interactive software.”

NOW it seems Capcom are a little jealous of SEGA’s Wii success from their Mario & Sonic marketing strategy with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.

“In 2010, you won’t see as many Wii games from Capcom, but the ones we release will be much larger, event-size games. I also expect to see the market dominated more and more by Nintendo releases with fewer games from the major third parties, like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. Instead, it’s a case of the third-party publishers trying to figure out how they can make a return on their investment and maintain profitability. (said in a joking manner) Maybe the secret is for all of us just to adopt a Sega model — and just stick Mario into every game we make.” – Chris Kramer, Capcom senior director of communications and community

Very sly stab there, one has to wonder what SEGA would say if they were to react.

Source: Gamasutra via GoNintendo

Sonic Needs You To Save Him From The SAGY Wii Award

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ScrewAttack.com are holding the 2009 Shitty Ass Game Of The Year awards and in the Wii Exclusives category their members(g1’s) have nominated Sonic and the Black Knight, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Wii Sports Resort. Stuttering Craig in the nominations video states that “people didn’t buy this game for Sonic, they bought it for Mario” which is just plain wrong.

So if you think Sonic and the Black Knight and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games are undeserving of the SAGY Wii Exclusive award then sign up at ScrewAttack’s forums and vote for Wii Sports Resort. Voting closes 16th December.

Mario & Sonic T-Shirt Competition CLOSED: We Have A Winner

M&S2 T-Shirt competition

Our Mario & Sonic Pre-Order T-Shirt Competition is now CLOSED.

The question we asked was –

Where are the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held?
A: Antarctica
B: Beijing
C: Vancouver

The correct answer was of course C: Vancouver, we had 27 entries altogether of which were all correct answers.

Now my lovely assistant, I mean wife has just blindly picked one of your names randomly out of a shoebox.
Our winner is….

* Drumroll*
…..
…….
……….

Emma Butler AKA Angel The Hedgehog

The Mario & Sonic T-shirt is yours, we will contact your for a delivery address and it will be sent your way in a Sonic second providing there’s no Royal Mail strikes in the way.

Congratulations!

Olympic Winter Games Already Slashed To £18.99

MCV is reporting that Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is the latest victim of supermarket price-cutting, with Morrison’s selling the Wii sports mashup for only £18.99 until Sunday. That’s a discount of over 50%, and a counter to Sainsbury’s free pack-in of the game with new Wii consoles.

Other games that have fallen victim to supermarket price cutting include EA’s FIFA 10 and Codemaster’s Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. The UK games industry has rallied against the increasing trend, calling it ‘worrying’. In the case of Mario and Sonic, although it can be argued that this price drop will get the game into more people’s hands, there’s no real reason to doubt that people would have bought this title at full price anyway. Regardless, it results in less money returned to the developer – money that, in a recession, publishers are finding hard to come by.

UPDATE: GAME & Gamestation Reveal M&S Pre-order Gifts

UPDATE 2: My copies of both versions have arrived from HMV via Royal Mail with 2 of the t-shirts and both are size Small. Reports have come in of people getting otehr sizes delivered. It seems HMV are just sending out random sizes. Awful way of doing things but even if you dont get your size they still make good collectors items.

UPDATE: TSS has learnt that HMV accept orders outside of the UK and ship via air mail so if you live overseas and fancy HMV’s exclusive t-shirt then get your pre-orders in. Remember though, Wii’s are region locked so PAL copies won’t work on U.S. consoles. The DS is region-free though.
HMV delivery info page UPDATE end.

M&S2 t-shirt better pic
Above: Thanks AAUK over at the Sonic City Blognik

M&S2 T-Shirt

If HMV’s free M&S t-shirt shown above wasn’t enough to encourage you to pre-order Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games then maybe GAME and Gamestation can tempt you.

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If you pre-order either version of the game at Gamestation you can take home some Official Charms as seen in the photo I took earlier today shown above. Five charms are included, one with the games logo, one with Sonic’s emblem, one with Amy’s emblem, one with Mario’s emblem and one with Yoshi’s emblem.

PSP Pics 023

If your looking for something more on the cuddly side GAME are offering a Sonic beanie toy with pre-orders of either version but unfortunately it is the same beanie they’ve already been selling for ages.

HMV Wii
HMV DS
HMV t-shirt offer available online only.

GAME Wii
GAME DS
GAME Sonic beanie offer only available in-store.

Gamestation Wii
Gamestation DS
Gamestation charms offer available in-store only.

Second Piece Of M&S Olympic Winter Games Merchandise Revealed

M&S2 Sticker Sheet
After the news of the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games pre-order t-shirt at HMV ArchangelUK over at the Sonic City Blognik has revealed SEGA Europe’s second piece of merchandise. The item as seen in the above photo is a sticker sheet of various pieces of art for the playable characters included in the game. Alot of the art you will have seen on the games website but a few pieces are new such as the Bowser art. AAUK hasn’t revealed what SEGA Europe plan for the sticker sheets but we’ll let you know as soon as any information is given.

Source:
Sonic City Blognik

UPDATED: M&S Winter Olympics DS Demo Now On Wii Nintendo Channel

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UPDATE: 7TH Oct: European demo is now available from the European Nintendo Channel.

UPDATE 6TH Oct: ArchangelUK has confirmed on the Sonic City Blognik that a European version of the demo is comng soon. END UPDATE

SEGA of America have released a demo of the DS version of upcoming game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games to the Wii’s U.S. Nintendo Channel. The demo allows you to try out the touch screen controlled Alpine Skiing event as 1 of 2 characters (yes you guessed correctly) Mario or Sonic. So if you’ve been on the fence as to wether to get the DS version you might want to give the demo a try.

No word on wether we in Europe will be getting this demo on the Nintendo Channel, if one becomes available we’ll be sure to let you know right here at TSS.

Thanks to dabbido for letting us know via the SSMB topic

UPDATED: HMV Pre-Orders Nab You Exclusive M&S T-Shirt

hmv-logo

As I mentioned in yesterdays article about SEGA’s UK Marketing Campaign, SEGA have some pre-order incentives planned. Well HMV.com have updated their product pages for both versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games with a new pre-order offer.

Pre-order Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games on Nintendo Wii or DS and receive an exclusive Mario & Sonic T-Shirt (T-Shirt to be delivered within a week of release date)

M&S2 T-Shirt

UPDATE 1 – PIC GET(Thanks Jix Hedgehog): As you can see above, HMV have uploaded a picture of the t-shirt now. The shirt has all of the playable characters emblems on the front and another image on the left sleeve, making for one funky t-shirt.

The Wii version costs £29.99 and the DS version costs £24.99 and both have free delivery available.

UPDATE 2:
When asked at my local HMV store the colleague behind the counter informed me the T-shit offer is online pre-orders only.

SEGA Reveals UK M&S Marketing Campaign Details

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SEGA Europe have revealed to MCV their UK marketing plans for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and it’s set to be SEGA’s biggest campaign ever.

TV
90 second ads costing millions of pounds will be shown alongside big shows such as the X Factor and on five kids channels on launch day.

Sega estimates that 93 per cent of housewives and 88 per cent of kids will see the advert 11 times each, while 80 per cent of 16 to 34 year-old adults will see the advert eight times each.

Cinema
8 million cinema goers over the span of 5 months will see 30 second ads for the game before family and childrens movies.

Print
SEGA has secured 5 front covers of various magazines over the course of 6 months and will be print advertising the game for 3 months.

Online
SEGA will be running online ads on various key specialist and lifestyle sites for 4 weeks.

Trade
As mentioned earlier, this will be SEGA’s biggest marketing campaign ever. SEGA are planning the following:
– Instore activities from launch to February 2010
– Full range of premium POS
– Pre-order incentives
– Competitions and online features in the months after launch
– In-store events across 40 retail outlets.

Looking to be a very exciting game launch, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more info so stay tuned to TSS in the coming weeks.

Two More M&S 2 Gameplay Trailers

Wii
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I1osgF1c8U[/youtube]

DS
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-MQuzweRes[/youtube]

SEGA released two new trailers yesterday for next months Mario & Sonic collaboration sequel Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Like the last two trailers we get to see more Wii and DS gameplay but this time for some of the ice events such as Hockey, Figure Skating and Bob Sleigh. The Wii trailer allows us to see more of how each event is controlled from Wii Remote to Balance Board. Shaping up to be alot of fun with some friends over.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will be released for both Wii and DS formats in the U.S. October 13th and October 16th in the UK.

Source: Sonic City Blognik

TSS Takes To The Slopes for Mario and Sonic

ben takes tips

TSS took to the snow with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games hopeful and Half-Pipe Snowboarder extraordinaire Ben Kilner to watch some spectacular stunts on the slopes at Manchester’s massive indoor snow slope Chill FactorE. We also got a taste of the action, and another sneaky peek and play at some more of the up-and-coming Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games title for the Nintendo Wii!

Continue reading TSS Takes To The Slopes for Mario and Sonic

M&S 2 DS Gameplay Revealed In New Trailer

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N9CfcvSXX4[/youtube]

After revealing Wii gameplay for the first time in their last trailer, SEGA have revealed a new gameplay trailer for the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. The trailer is titled Snow Sports so of course showcases skiing and snowboarding events. Fans who visited Summer of Sonic this year won’t see anything new gameplay wise in this trailer as they are the same few events from that demo.

Some cool new art for Tails and Luigi is shown in this trailer too.

Stay tuned to TSS for more coverage of the game as we approach it’s European release October 16th and U.S. release October 13.

M&S Trailer 3, Interview And New Screens

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5NC24NDxRQ[/youtube]

After the original leak, SEGA have now officially unveiled the third trailer for the hotly anticipated Mario & Sonic Olympics sequel which this time round see’s them join the Winter Games in Vancouver. This new trailer officially reveals Silver the Hedgehog and Bowser.Jr as new playable characters to go with the last trailers revelations of Metal Sonic and Donkey Kong.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEBqwXoty6o[/youtube]

SEGA Europe have also had an exclusive interview with David Corless, Head of Marketing on the game who reveals the differences between this game and the first one and his favourite events among other things. Check out the full interview in the video above.

Source: Sonic City Blognik

Mario__Sonic_at_the_Olympic_Winter_Games_-_GC_09-Wii__DSScreenshots18030Dream-Snowboard-Cross-1

SEGA have also revealed many new screenshots from both the Wii and DS versions of the game including new areas like Sonic Adventure 2’s Radical Highway level, some new Dream Events and even Dream Snowball Fight. You can find more screens over at Official Nintendo Magazine’s website.

New M&S at the Olympic Winter Games screenshots

MASATOWG_Wii_05-08-09

SEGA have released some new screenshots for both Wii and DS versions of upcoming title Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. In the screenshots we can see new HUD bits in both versions and some on-screen Wii Remote instructions displaying how the motion controls will work in the Wii version. Graphics are looking to be some of the best we’ve seen on the Wii.

In other sightings, Nintendo fans will be happy to learn that the course seen in the above screenshot is revealed in one screenshot to be none other than Mario Circuit from the famous Mario Kart series as has been speculated since the course was first revealed.

MASATOWG_DS_05-08-09

The new images of the DS version showcases more of its events too like the bobsleigh, skiing and snowboarding. It looks like the bobsleigh will control with the D-pad and buttons if the on screen controls in a screenshot of Metal Sonic and DK getting their bobsleigh started is anything to go by. New HUD displays reveal a gauge will play a part in the bobsleigh event too.

Snowboarding has also gained a gauge and items to attack your opponents with much like in the Dream Race event in the first DS game. Also like the first DS game SEGA aren’t holding back in the graphics department as they again look to be pushing the DS to its limits to make another beautiful looking game.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will be released for Wii & DS October 16th in the UK and October 13th in the U.S. Check out more info and media at the Official Site.

Screenshot source : CVG

New M&SATOWG Wii & DS Screens

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ds-adventure-modeds-adventure-mode-2

SEGA have unveiled some new screenshots via GameWatch for upcoming Wii and DS title Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Included are some skiing and hockey screens for Wii, some bobsledding, skiing and snowboarding screens for DS together with a couple of screens of the DS’s exclusive Adventure Mode. One of the Adventure Mode screenshots displays the new character interaction with Toad talking to Sonic while the other shows some top down style gameplay with a typical RPG type HUD. It looks like you can switch between playing as Mario and Sonic by tapping the X button.

We’ll keep an eye out for any future media and info released for the game, in the meantime check out Mario & Sonic showing off at this years E3
mario-sonic-at-e3

Those crazy guys

New M&SATOWG Official Site Updates

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SEGA have updated the official site for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Among the new updates you can find the E3 ’09 trailer that reveals Donkey Kong and Metal Sonic as playable characters aswell as Tails cheating on the ski jump.

You can also find new screens for both Wii and DS formats, character artwork, info on events and character stats for 10 of the characters which oddly reveal Donkey Kong to have higher speed than both Sonic and Metal Sonic.

The site promises More coming soon’ and now displays a release month of October 2009.

SEGA confirm M&S Winter Olympics To Appear At E3

e3-logo

SEGA have confirmed via their Twitter feed that Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games will be appearing at E3, no version(s) was mentioned but I think we can assume that both versions will be present.

SEGA will also be showcasing these upcoming games –
* Alpha Protocol
* Bayonetta
* Planet 51
* The Conduit
* Vancouver 2010

E3 is also a place to announce the unnanounced so no doubt SEGA will have some more great titles appear at the event, maybe the next Sonic? Here’s hoping!

Preview: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Ten years ago and the thought of Mario & Sonic appearing in a game together was either a dream or sacrilege depending on how extreme your opinions were. Since Sega left the hardware business and Sonic games crept onto Nintendo consoles the dream started to take shape and were finally brought into crystal clarity in the guise of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. A sports themed minigame collection  might not have been what many hoped for when gaming greatest rivals first met but has proved a popular enough idea to shift over 10 million copies worldwide thus far. A sequel was inevitable and a ‘Winter Olympics’ theme obvious. Not wanting to disappoint Sega recently revealed the existence of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. I was invited down to Sega’s London HQ to take a closer look.

Eager to capitalize on the success of the first game but not arrogant enough to think it perfect Sega have been hard at work improving things for the sequel. Very early on it was realised the DS version suffered in comparison it’s bigger brother on the Wii so there has been considerable effort going in to making each version feel like a different experience. The controls are also getting an upgrade with Sega trying to make them more intuitive and physical. Many sports in the first game had similar controls, especially those involving any sort of running. This time you’re likely to see things mixed up a bit and from what I’ve played I can say Sega are well on their way to nailing that.

A point they were keen to stress was that for multiplayer all events will be unlocked from the start avoiding the scenario of having to unlocking them all from scratch should you want to take the game over to a friend’s house for a knockabout. Apparently many players didn’t get as far as unlocking all of the Dream Events which is a scenario Sega wish to avoid this time round. Speaking of Dream Events Sega have been working closely with Nintendo and have been granted much more freedom with them meaning more items will appear from Sonic and Mario’s world to be used in whatever bizarre races they have planned this time.

The Olympic Committee has been keeping a watchful eye over things as well dictating that the game must be referred to as the “Olympic Winter Games” rather than just the “Winter Olympics”. The agreement is a two way street though and means Sega can feature real world places in the game. For example Speed Skating takes place in a cartoon approximation of the real Richmond Olympic Oval.

With all of the facts out of the way it was time to see the game in motion. The first thing to note before being shown ‘Downhill’ skiing for the first time by a Sega rep was a much improved tutorial that actually had a video detailing what you needed to do before setting off from the blocks. This was immeasurably more effective at getting the message across than reading sometimes pages of text in the original to get a handle on the event. Things only got better from there as it was evident to see the graphics have been vastly improved looking clearer and with more detail on screen. Spectators look a lot livelier and less like cardboard cut-outs and character animation in general has improved to allow more expression in the cast.

During certain races you’re given the ability to ‘boost’ by tapping the A button on the Wii Remote. The animation is different for each character but is usually a throwback to the past. Sonic for example does a spindash while Tails lifts a few feet from the air and propels himself forwards with his twin tails. Mario on the other hand has a spinning move as last seen in Mario Galaxy and Luigi appears to shoot himself forwards out of an imaginary cannon as seen in Smash Bros. As well as looking good tactical boosting could shave a good few seconds off your time.

Only eight characters were available to select but more were promised. On both Wii and DS versions only Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy were selectable from Sega’s team with Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi from team Nintendo. Eggman and Wario features in the games CG opening though and Shadow was shown in a video for the DS but it’s a safe bet to assume all the summer Olympic crew will show up for some Winter Olympic action with the possibility of some new faces. Before I could even ask who the Sega rep in charge said she couldn’t comment on that. I can tell you it won’t be Espio and Charmy of the Chaotix as they resumed their job waving flags and firing the starting pistol at the side of the track.

Two events were playable on the current build for the DS and three were available on the Wii. On the DS the Skeleton and Snowboard Cross; the former being controlled by the stylus alone and the latter using the DS’s face buttons. The Skeleton involves your chosen character hurtling head first down a chute similar to bobsleigh but a lot more dangerous looking and on what appears to be an expensive baking trey. The run up at the start is performed by you frantically waving the stylus horizontally back and forth on the screen until you enter the chute. Then you guide your character left and right, avoiding the walls which slow you down and swiping the stylus up when your character glows yellow for a speed boost. Snowboard Cross couldn’t be more different with you following a course with the d-pad and holding ‘Y’ to lower your character when you want to move at speed. You can drift by pressing the shoulder buttons and do tricks off ramps with ‘B’.

Sega’s goal for the DS version was to try and simplify the controls over the admittedly complicated original but still retain enough scope for skilled players to excel. The DS version will also allow for full 4 player action using just a single cart. To separate it from its big brother further the DS version will feature an ‘Adventure Tour’. A picture was shown of an island a little like the one shown in Sonic Rush Adventure but with more snow. Other than that Sega weren’t giving away any further information about it.

The first event shown in the Wii version was Downhill skiing. It could be played with a variety of control schemes suiting every Wii owner. You could simply use the Wii remote on its own, tilting it to turn your character down a course in-between flags. Add a nunchuck and you have to turn both but crouching with them or holding them low brings your character to a crouch affording them some extra speed. The ultimate combo was with Remote, Nunchuck and Balance Board. I’d never been on a balance board before but it was easily the most fun of all the options even if it was the most difficult to get a handle on. I might have looked like a fool in front of everyone but I didn’t care as my mind was focused on shifting weight to get my character to move in the desired direction. It was an honour to sacrifice my dignity to get into the spirit of the game to give a better insight here.

The fairly simple objective of following the track and staying on the course won’t get you the best time though as more skilled players will venture towards the flags on the inside of the course gaining more speed for their daring. Get it wrong and miss a set of flags and you get a three second time penalty which is instantly added to the clock. Its risk vs reward but if playing on split screen multiplayer it’s very hard to resist taking a few chances to stay ahead or catch up. You can’t fight on the track though as Downhill skiing is usually a solo affair. You opponent appears on your screen as a ‘ghost’ so you can see them as you play at the same time in split screen but you can’t interfere with their race. You can however press ‘A’ for a boost to try and catch up. Be careful though as you only have one so use it wisely.

Speed Skating; 500m was next and the sole control input was a Wii Remote. Again the event looked deceptively easy with you moving the remote from side to side each time making the character on screen put another skate forward. The keyword this time was rhythm. Madly swish your remote from side to side as you do in the sprint portion and you’ll haphazardly move forwards but not very fast. Instead the game informs you if you’re moving the remote too fast, too slow or with a ‘perfect’ in multicoloured letters if you hit the sweet spot. Again you can boost with the ‘A’ button but while it speeds you up it’s easy to mess up the rhythm directly after. Due to a love of rhythm action games this was easily my best event and as ArchangelUK can vouch for me I kicked ass at it on multiplayer.

The final event, the Bobsleigh, was easily the most elaborate. Using the Balance Board in single play or just a single remote in multiplayer it also ended up being the most enjoyable. Bobsleigh was aptly demonstrated by three Sega reps and AAUK sat in a line of chairs. If you’ve ever seen the movie Cool Runnings you’ll know the start of a Bobsleigh race is imperative. Firstly you run, achieved by waving the Remote up and down and in multiplayer. Secondly you need to get in the Bobsleigh itself one at a time, pressing ‘A’ in the right order. Once inside the idea is to hold the Remote to your chest and move from side to side to steer the sleigh down the course. In single player this is fairly easy and if you’re using the Balance Board you can even sit on it for added authenticity. With up to four players in multiplayer things can be a lot more difficult as I can personally attest to. It looked way too much fun to pass up having a go.

All of the events in the first game were competitive in multiplayer but the Bobsleigh is cooperative. You all have to lean in the right direction at the right time to move where you want to go. Sticking to a yellow glowing racing line for long enough yields a speed boost but with three other players can prove a lot more difficult than it sounds. Watching groups of four people playing this on chairs in their living room is going to be hilarious.

So who would win in a competitive competition between Team Sonic and Team Mario? The outcome of the summer Olympics was kept ambiguous but for the Wii version of the sequel Sega is panning a ‘Festival Mode’. This mode pits the two teams against each other in two separate campaigns to decide an ultimate winner of the Olympic Winter Games. 

Both versions of the game were very early in development and its long term success is going to depend on the variety of different sports and how intuitively the Wii’s various controllers are used. Sega can’t afford to rest on their laurels and simply release a Winter Olympic mission pack because this time the novelty of Mario and Sonic together is no longer a unique selling point. Sega are only second to Nintendo in coaxing out the graphical power of the Wii so that’s not going to be an issue. Fortunately on the evidence presented the game is looking good with every chance to eclipse the original in quality and commercial success. It’s an encouraging start with a number of different events each with their own different and fun control schemes. If only other developers put this much though into how to use the Wii’s controllers things would be a lot brighter on Nintendo’s console. So will it be two gold medals in a row for the Olympic duo of Mario and Sonic? Time will tell but on the evidence I’ve seen so far I wouldn’t count it out.