*all images are created by myself using the Miiverse screenshot feature
The Rio 2016 Olympics are soon to be underway and its time for Mario and Sonic and friends to dust of their running shoes and for you to purchase an ample supply of AA batteries for your WiiUmotes for some friendship rivalry with your pals.
There are 14 events to practise and compete in for glory.
In the main HUB of the game which is a white sanded beach, you will encounter CPU characters that represent your options, and Mii characters from around the world. As there is usually a sticker/stamp collection theme in Mario games it is here swapped out for country stickers where the Mii characters reside. Being a video game fan is world renown and more often than not like-minded folk like to interact with friends from around the globe. After competing in events will will be awarded coin and stars, and for medal events you also unlock items for your Mii character for customisation.
One of the highlight events of the game for me is the Archery event. It controls smoothly and particularly well with the WiiUmote. No characters stats are the same for any two events encouraging you to swap and try the different characters and their abilities. There is a chance in the third heat to hit star targets which will trigger the targets to become star targets for insanely high scores.
I am no fan of football but this event doesn’t feel like such a chore to endure due to its back to basics style and smooth controls akin to the likes of ISS for the Super Nintendo.
Similar to the football event, rugby has smooth controls and a simple style with extra robot CPU players that is a pleasure to play making it another highlight event for me.
I can’t help but feel a trick or two were missed with the events though. For a start the table the Table Tennis event is tiny, and although this may be accurate to life it makes what could be a great smash tennis style event tedious. A bigger size table could have gone a long way to enhancing the experience and the smash style mechanics.
If all the elements were right a Mario smash table tennis game with optional motion controls to me would be a very appealing idea.
Maybe I just missed it, which I don’t think I did, but I also feel a motion control option for the Wii U pad for Archery could have also made a big difference and would have allowed a smooth and responsive target domination.
Mario Nintendo games are often well known for mini games and game modes, I feel this is also missing from this title as there seems to be considerably less events compared to the M & S Winter Olympic games Sochi and extra events to appear to be unlocked throughout your play.
The HUB is certainly a missed opportunity in the form of mini games where walking upto the shore line could have activated options to surf on the sea, wake board or paragliding. Aswell as options to enter a sandcastle building competition, metal detecting, rock pooling etc. Maybe i’m rambling on a bit but you can’t deny these little touches would make great additions.
Maybe as Nintendo are aware of their younger audience, the control scheme seems to have been revised from the previous winter Olympics game and less technical. More children friendly if you like. Events such as Equestrian and Gymnastics are still rhythm based and require combinations of button pressing and holds and feel easier to negotiate. These changes do make the game more appealing to younger gamers and less inclined to get frustrated and give up too easily.
If you do feel the events are a breeze for you and you want more challenge, the CPU have 3 difficulty settings to chose from.
One thing I don’t like is the automatic return on a couple of the events in table tennis and beach volley ball, or at least the option to use automatic return or not as the option to have it is good for your average or occasional gamer.
While there doesn’t seem to be unlockable characters from the Mario and Sonic universes to use as a playable character, they do at least appear to compete against you in events.
The events for this game is a mixed bag of good and mediocre. For me personally, I feel this game while a solid effort, is not a scratch on the previous game which my family and I still love to play.
Overall I get the feeling that due to the newer control scheme and the events available that perhaps the 3DS version would suit its style better and will be the game to buy and get more play time from.