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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Mariosonic2012.jpg
Australian Wii box art
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Director(s)
  • Eigo Kasahara (Wii)[7]
  • Koji Shindo (3DS)
Producer(s)
  • Osamu Ohashi
  • Nobuya Ohashi
  • Hiroshi Sato
Programmer(s)
  • Mitsuru Takahashi (Wii)
  • Kouichi Nomura (3DS)
Artist(s)
  • Hiroshi Kanazawa (Wii)
  • Hitoshi Furukubo (3DS)
Composer(s)
Sega Digital Studio
SeriesMario & Sonic
Platform(s)
ReleaseWii
Nintendo 3DS
Genre(s)Sports, party
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games[a] is a 2011 crossover sports and party game developed by Sega Japan. It was published by Nintendo in Japan and Korea and by Sega elsewhere. As the third instalment in the Mario & Sonic series, it was released on the Wii on 15 November 2011 in North America, 18 November 2011 in Europe, and 26 December 2011 in Japan. It was also released for the Nintendo 3DS in February 2012. Mario & Sonic is the official video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics and is licensed by the International Olympic Committee through exclusive licensee International Sports Multimedia. The game is the only Wii title to come in a yellow keep case instead of a standard white case.[8]

The game on the Wii and 3DS comprises a collection of numerous events based on the Olympic Games. Players assume the role of a Mario or Sonic character while competing against the others in Olympic events. Mario & Sonic received mostly mixed reviews from critics upon release, with many criticising its gameplay as underwhelming. It proved to be commercially successful and was followed by a fourth game in the series, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which was released in November 2013 for the Wii U.

Gameplay[edit]

Luigi performing equestrian jumping. From left to right clockwise, the game's interface displays the current player-character, number of hurdles, and stopwatch

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games comprises a collection of numerous events based on the modern Olympic Games.[9] The game brings together the two titular characters and 18 more from both franchises to participate in environments based on the official venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Each character has unique attributes which can serve as an advantage or disadvantage depending on the event. As with the game's predecessor, all player-characters are divided into four categories: all-around, speed, power, and skill.[10]

The Wii version features a total of 30 Olympic events,[11] including football, badminton, horse riding, canoeing, and volleyball. Re-imagined versions of previously existing events such as athletics, aquatics, and table tennis also appear.[10][12] The game introduces new cooperative mechanics including "Dream Events", alternate versions of Olympic events that take place in locations from previous games of the Mario and Sonic series,[13] and a challenge mode, which enables players to repeat complete challenges in various events.[14] "London Party" mode takes place on a board game-like depiction of London in which four players may compete in various sporting events and minigames. The ultimate objective is to collect enough stickers to fill up a "tourist book" – the player who completes the book first wins.[15][16] Upon the completion of any event, players earn scratch cards which can be redeemed in the game's "Bonus Mode" for rewards such as Mii costumes and additional music.[16] Unlike Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games does not support the Balance Board.[17][4]

The 3DS version has over 50 Olympic-based events in single-player and multiplayer.[12] Among these events which are not included in the Wii version include fencing, BMX racing, and weight-lifting, with the latter involving the use of the 3DS's microphone.[18] Like the Nintendo DS counterpart of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, it also contains an exclusive "Story Mode" which entails the characters from Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog's worlds working against their respective antagonists, Bowser and Doctor Eggman, who are trying to use fog machines to prevent the games from being held.[19][20]

Development and release[edit]

The first game in the series, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, was the first official crossover title to feature characters from both the Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog franchises.[21] The Olympic Games were chosen as a setting since Sega and Nintendo felt its competitive sportsmanship was ideal for the once-rival mascots Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario.[22] Sonic the Hedgehog is the protagonist of the video game series released by Sega in order to provide the company with a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario in the early 1990s.[23] The game proved to be a commercial success and encouraged Sega and Nintendo to develop a sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games. Shortly after its release, the vice president of marketing at Sega of America, Sean Ratcliffe, commented that the company would likely commission a sequel for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London if the franchise continued to capture interest among consumers.[24]

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was officially announced with a joint press release by Sega and Nintendo on 21 April 2011, after its predecessors sold over 19 million units combined.[12] As with its predecessor, Sega's Osamu Ohashi and Nintendo's Hiroshi Sato served as producers, Eigo Kasahara as director, and Teruhiko Nakagawa as lead composer.[7] Mario & Sonic is the only official video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics and is licensed by the International Olympic Committee through exclusive licensee International Sports Multimedia.[12] A peripheral was considered to launch alongside the game early in its development, although its nature remains unknown.[25]

Both the Wii and 3DS versions were developed by Sega Sports Japan and published by Nintendo for Japan and Korea and Sega for North America and Europe. Over 100 people developed the game.[26] The Wii version carries the distinction of being the only title to come in a yellow keep case instead of a standard white case.[8] Nintendo re-released the 3DS version of the game as a downloadable title via Nintendo eShop on 1 November 2012 in Japan,[27] on 30 May 2013 in the PAL regions,[28] and on 20 June 2013 in North America.[29] The Wii version sold 2.4 million copies in North America and Europe in its first two months of release.[30] Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was followed by a sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which was released worldwide for the Wii U in November 2013.[31]

Reception[edit]

The game received mixed to average reviews upon release. Both the Wii and DS versions hold an average score of 66 per cent at Metacritic, with the Wii version based on an aggregate of 38 reviews and the DS version of 28 reviews.[32][33]

Chris Scullion from the Official Nintendo Magazine asserted that the Wii version was a "step sideways" for the series, regarding the gameplay and lack of challenge as an overall underwhelming experience for an individual player.[15] John Minkley of Eurogamer likewise thought the game failed to replicate the "charming" and inclusive formula of its predecessors, saying that many of its game modes remained too similar and "undercooked", despite new additions.[14] While Mike Anderiesz from The Guardian opined that the game may not have done justice to either of the franchise's universes in light of their distinctive environment and visuals, he did commend Mario & Sonic as a "colourful diversion" for its young target audience.[11] GamesRadar+'s Neilie Johnson lamented on the game's overall lack of new content and predictability, although he singled out the "London Party" mode as "fun" and the only part of the game which took full advantage of the UK setting.[16] Likewise, both Mark Langshaw of Digital Spy and Lucas Thomas of IGN complained that the game rehashed many elements of its predecessors.[34][4] Langshaw ultimately heralded the game's colourful cartoon-like aesthetic and wide array of characters as bolstering appeal for the younger generation, and felt that part of its appeal was the fact that none of Olympic events featured offer accurate representations of their real life counterparts.[34] Thomas praised the game's presentation of London and said that its prominent depiction of world-famous landmarks alongside Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog characters elevated the overall experience to which its predecessors did not emulate.[4]

On the Nintendo 3DS, reviewers found the game to be largely similar to its Wii counterpart. Tom East from the Official Nintendo Magazine found that the 3DS version was a marginal improvement over the Wii version, praising its "outstanding" soundtrack and the novelty of seeing characters from both franchises interact with each other as factors which add a degree of longevity to the game.[19] Shane Jury of Cubed3 praised the crisp visuals of the 3DS version, remarking that the characters are animated "incredibly well" and felt that the game's overall vibrant and colourful atmosphere and 3D capabilities helped make it stand out from the Wii version, albeit lightly.[20] While IGN's Richard George thought that some of the minigames "fared better" than its Wii counterpart in terms of replay value, he expressed disappointment over the "embarrassing design" of certain minigames and criticised its "shallow attempts" of replicating some Olympic events.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: マリオ& (アンド)ソニック AT (アット) ロンドンオリンピック, Hepburn: Mario ando Sonikku atto Rondon Orinpikku, lit. 'Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics'

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dutton, Fred (27 July 2011). "Mario & Sonic London 2012 release date". Eurogamer. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Overview". Polygon. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Amazon.com: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games". www.amazon.com. Amazon. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Lucas. "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - Wii". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  5. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (August 16, 2017). "Sonic Mania Review – Switch eShop". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Amazon.com: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games". Amazon. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games instruction manual. Nintendo. p. 25.
  8. ^ a b Fletcher, JC. "Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics' release dates, yellow box revealed". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012.
  9. ^ Zivalich, Nikole (20 May 2011). "Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games Hands-on Preview". G4. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  10. ^ a b Davison, Pete (16 May 2011). "Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Preview". GamePro. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Anderiesz, Mike (15 November 2011). "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games – review". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d "London's Calling Mario & Sonic" (Press release). Sega. 21 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  13. ^ East, Thomas (16 May 2011). "Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympics: Will you live the Dream?". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b c Minkley, Johnny (21 November 2011). "Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic Games Review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Scullion, Chris. "Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games review". Official Nintendo Magazine. Bath: Future plc. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d Johnson, Neilie (December 2011). "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games review". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  17. ^ Hernandez, Pedro (18 December 2011). "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  18. ^ a b c George, Richard. "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review - IGN". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  19. ^ a b c East, Tom. "Mario And Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games 3DS review". Official Nintendo Magazine. Bath: Future plc. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  20. ^ a b c Jury, Shane. "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Nintendo 3DS) Review - Page 1 - Cubed3". Cubed3. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  21. ^ Fitch, Andrew (6 November 2007). "Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Wii)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  22. ^ Thorsen, Tor (29 March 2007). "Q&A: Sega, Nintendo on the first Sonic-Mario game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2007. Scott Steinberg: It's the perfect backdrop, since Olympics being synonymous with the spirit of sportsmanship. It's a great context for Mario and Sonic to come together in their first game. So it couldn't have been written in a better script.
  23. ^ Kennedy, Sam. "The Essential 50: Sonic the Hedgehog". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 23 March 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
  24. ^ Gaudiosi, John (6 April 2009). "Sega shows off next big Olympics game, targets Wii and DSi". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  25. ^ Smith, Jamin (16 May 2011). "Peripheral once planned for latest Mario & Sonic game". VideoGamer.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  26. ^ Robinson, Andy (16 May 2011). "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games: Can success strike thrice?". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  27. ^ McFerran, Damien (3 October 2012). "More 3DS Download Titles Coming To Japan's eShop". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  28. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (27 May 2013). "Nintendo Download: 30th May (Europe)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  29. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (20 June 2013). "Nintendo Download: 20th June (North America)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  30. ^ Rose, Mike. "Sega Sammy profits hit by weak game sales". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012.
  31. ^ "Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Game details". Nintendo. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Critic Reviews for Wii". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  34. ^ a b c Langshaw, Mark (29 November 2011). "'Mario & Sonic at the Olympics' review". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Official videogame of the Summer Olympic Games Succeeded by