Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
|Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games|
North American Wii cover
|Developer(s)||SEGA Sports R&D|
|Series||Mario & Sonic|
|Distribution||Wii Optical Disc, Nintendo DS Game Card|
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (マリオ&ソニック AT バンクーバーオリンピック Mario to Sonikku atto Bankūbā Orinpikku?, lit. "Mario & Sonic at the Vancouver Olympics") is a 2009 sports and party game developed by Sega. It was published by Nintendo for Japan and by Sega for North America and Europe. The game is officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through exclusive license International Sports Multimedia. The game is the third official crossover title to feature characters from both Mario and Sonic's respective universes, the first and second being the game's predecessor Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and Super Smash Bros. Brawl respectively. It was released on the Wii and the Nintendo DS handheld in October 2009, and is the first official video game of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Mario & Sonic on the Wii and DS is a collection of events based on the Olympic Winter Games. Players can assume the role of a Mario or Sonic character while competing against the others in these events. The game features all of the playable characters that were present in its predecessor, as well as four new characters.
A third installment, named Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was released for the Wii on November 13, 2011 in Europe, and it was developed for the Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS counterpart was released in February 2012.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games retains the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor, controlling an on-screen character through authentic Olympic events with the specific tailored controls for the Wii and DS. Unlike its predecessor, some of the events in the Wii game can use the Balance Board accessory, but it is not a requirement.
All of the playable characters from the previous game return in addition to four new characters. It has been announced via the Nintendo Channel, that this game will have WiiConnect24 capability and the player can use their Miis in-game. A new feature added to the player's Mii is the ability to customize the Mii's clothes. The sequel introduces a Festival mode in the Wii version that allows the player to make their way through the entire Olympic Games, from opening ceremony to closure. The multiplayer mode offers "co-op and competitive gameplay" whereas the DS version will use its wireless capabilities. The DS counterpart has "Adventure Tours" where players can accept quests and challenge bosses and to stop Dr. Eggman and Bowser before they can stop the Olympics by kidnapping the Snow Spirits. DS Download Play is possible for those without an individual copy of the game.
In January 2009, a rumor from Spanish Nintendo magazine Nintendo Acción mentioned a sequel to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games would be created for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Both IGN and Eurogamer received confirmation on the games' existence, with IGN stating the game will be announced within the following month. Dennis Kim, licensing and merchandising director for the event, stated in February that a Mario & Sonic title "[is] being discussed and planned for Vancouver". Kim also stated "Vancouver 2010" and the IOC will share royalties from this game. In the same month, the sequel titled "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games" was officially announced via a joint press release by Sega and Nintendo on February 12, 2009. So, The game is being developed by Sega Japan under the supervision of Shigeru Miyamoto. This title is the third video game collaboration between Nintendo and Sega. According to gaming site IGN, development began immediately after the initial Olympic game was released in November 2007.
The Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games received a generally positive reaction from critics. The DS version had a higher score than the Wii version. GameRankings lists the average scores as 70.86% for the Wii version and 77.95% for the DS. IGN said of the Wii version that "Most of the events also use a whole lot of waggle or over-exaggerated remote tilt where controls could have made for a better experience", giving the Wii game a 6.5. X-Play's Adam Sessler asserted that the Wii version of the game is too simple and the events uninteresteing, and claimed that the controls are too easy, despite praising the Dream Events. Accordingly, he gave it a 3 out of 5. GameSpot agreed, criticizing the uninteresting mission objectives in the DS version. Nintendo Power was very disappointed that players can still use Wi-Fi only for worldwide rankings. No online play is available. GameTrailers also gave the Wii game a 5.2, criticizing the hit and miss motion controls. GamePro agreed, stating that "Where the original had a sense of novelty and charm, the sequel feels a little dated and tired."
GamesMaster praised the game, saying that it "justifies the hype." EuroGamer also praised the game, stating that "It's true to say that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is no Mario Kart. But it's a fun, polished party game with broad appeal, and a marked improvement over the previous one." Gamervision praised the game also, stating that "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games isn’t going to surprise anyone with its gameplay, graphics, controls, or concept, but it’s a perfectly serviceable party game for the Wii." Nintendo Life praised the events of the game, giving it a 9/10. IGN called the DS version "impressive", giving it a 7.5.
By December 31, 2009, the game had sold approximately 5.67 million copies, making it Sega's best-selling game in the fiscal year starting that March.
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- "Gēmu sofuto "Mario to Sonikku atto Bankūbā Orimpikku" hatsubai kettei! "Mario to Sonikku" atto Pekin Orimpikku" wo zensekai de daihitto saseta yume no kombi ga, arata na orimpikku gēmu de kaette kuru! (ゲームソフト『マリオ＆ソニック AT バンクーバーオリンピック』発売決定！『マリオ＆ソニック AT 北京オリンピック』を全世界で大ヒットさせた夢のコンビが、新たなオリンピックゲームで帰ってくる！)" (Press release) (in Japanese). Sega. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
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