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Mario & Sonic Winter

"Its-a me, a faster than the speed of MAMMA MIA!!"

Jingle bells, Mario smells, Sonic laid an egg! Oh what fun it is to review this crossover game! Jingle bells, Mario smells, Sonic laid an egg! Oh what fun it is to review this crossover gaaame!!

{clears throat} Merry Christmas, everyone! It is I, your great and humble Ouroburos, who looks to be on Santa's "Nice List" this year. After watching Christmas specials and singing carols, I think that one other gift should be given to the majority of you. It's perhaps something the likes of Jesus Christ and both Sega and Nintendo fans can nourish on. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls: THIS is Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games


Okay, okay, okay! Now first off, you might be thinking why I'm reviewing this game instead of the more recent Mario & Sonic installment that is London 2012 Olympic Games, which was released last month. Remember that I'm channeling the essence of Christmas here, and what's one of those things that reflect the holiday? I'll give you an example: WINTER!!!!! Soooooo, I figured that reviewing M&SatOWG would be more to my liking because I own and played the game... and I really, REALLY hadn't obtained London 2012 Olympic Games just yet! {cricket noises} WHAT!?!?!? You guys expect me to review THAT game when I specifically stated this: 1) I repeat: I D-O-N-'-T own the entry to the series, 2) I've never seen any online footage, so feel free to recommend something, and 3) It just doesn't go too well with the holiday season! Moving on...

However, there is one problem with the Mario & Sonic series as a whole. The problem IS is that fans and critics had expected Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, two of the greatest platforming characters, coming together in order to make a platformer title. SEGA Sports R&D went ahead and made the games categorized into a "Sports party" genre. That, fortunately, doesn't make the games bad, though. Oh, what am I saying? I should be reviewing the Olympic Winter Games, not speaking about the franchise as a whole! :P

So now we have Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games; it was developed by SEGA Sports R&D (Duuuuuuuuuuuh!!!!) and published by Nintendo in Japan, and Sega in North American and European countries. It was released in the Fall of 2009, but I think it should've been the goddamn Winter season! Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, like with the predecessor, is a collection of various events... only this time it's based around the actual Olympic Winter Games. All of the characters in the originaly Mario & Sonic have returned, and are now joined with four new competitors: Silver and Metal Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, and Bowser Jr. and Donkey Kong from the Mario franchise... ooookay. I guess DK pretty much originated from his own series even though there are people out there that will still say otherwise.

One of the cool new features Olympic Winter Games has to offer is that now you can use the Balance Board accessory, although it isn't mandatory. Another thing is that the Wii version's multiplayer mode offers "co-op and competitive gameplay" whilst the DS port uses its wireless capabilities. Secondly, don't expect me to speak much about the Nintendo DS version because I have never played that just yet. There is also the "Festival Mode", in which you play solo or in a team going all-out in 13 (?) days while as you progress, you can take vacations at the Shopping menu to buy new equipment and unlock hidden songs. What you'll also be doing is taking on familiar rivals such as the Bullet Bill, Eggman Nega, and everybody's personal favorite... {drumroll} DRY BOWSER!!!! Somewhere far away, Beecanoe is now weeping tears of joy... ;)

Graphically speaking, Mario & Sonic does have its satisfactory points. Thus, this is one of those moments where Nintendo CAN prove that they're not joking around... even if the original Wii wasn't HD. Chill out, Santa's little helpers. The 3DS and the yet-to-come Wii U will be able to assist in no time!

Now let's discuss the variety of events in this game. For the most part, I like just about nearly all of them (particularly Dream Snowboarding, Dream Snowball Fight, Dream Ski Jumping, and Dream Ice Hockey), excluding the Curling and Gliding events. To say the least, they are PISS-POOR! Alot of gamers (even I) will find themselves having a merry good time with these mini-games, and do we regret it? Absolutely not! And if we DID, Santa would smite us all. In fact, when I was a bit younger, I never ever liked these sort of titles at all. But then I took an arrow in the knee! :) Y'see that, folks? Miracles do happen, after all!

In terms of music, it's A-okay. If you went to the Olympics in the future, would you find yourself listening to music like this? Yes and no, but the "yes" is something you have to lean toward to a little more. There are tracks that are unlockable as I've said earlier, and also some songs you will recognize in events. For instance, in the Dream Snowboarding event, you'll hear the "Radical Highway" remix, which on itself sounds catchy, but not as fast-paced and epic as the original back in Sonic Adventure 2. That's pretty much all I have to say for it because it's not bad music in the slightest. To some it is, but not to me...

In conclusion, how does Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games hold up? Well, it's far superior to the predecessor in terms of controls, gameplay, and all other aesthetics. The original did have its mixed feelings, but OWG gets fans of the franchise to REALLY like the game at its core. It might be a bit too simple, but lo and behold, how does somebody get bored of it? ESPECIALLY during the Winter!? {chuckles} It appears that Ouroburos has spoken...

I, the almighty Ouroburos as one of Santa's helpers, will give Mario & Sonic the Olypmic Winter Games a solid A-! Now let me just say that we've had a very fair list of titles being released this entire year. With games such as Mario Kart 7, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (not out for consoles, though), Pokemon Black & White Versions, King of Fighters XIII, and even Sonic Generations, it just proves that game developers weren't holding back this whole time. Next year should be just as terrific, if not better, with the likes of Kid Icarus: Uprising, Street Fighter X Tekken, Mario Party 9, Soulcalibur V, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (if it ever makes a launch date, that is... :P).

With that said, I'm Ouroburos.TheNewSaurian, and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! P.S. Christmas Day isn't until the 25th, but I wished you all a Merry Christmas, regardless.

Final verdict

Pros

  • The gameplay is really good... nuff said. And don't forget about the Festival Mode!
  • The variety of innovative events in this title are sure something to write home about.
  • A stellar soundtrack, even though there are little to no hits-and-misses.
  • Some characters might not have made it into this game, but are still either cameos or rivals (specifically the Dry Bowser character)
  • The way Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games tries to "fictionalize" the actual Olympic Winter Games is pretty satisfying
  • Great visuals for a Nintendo Wii title.

Cons

  • Considering it's Mario and Sonic, you would think the title would be a platformer... but then again, that doesn't mean this is a bad game
  • Somewhat too simplistic

Final vote

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