Previous Olympic Game compilations staring Mario and Sonic have done a reasonable job of that. Mario and Sonic at the London Olympic Games fails. Dismally.
There’s some 50 events in the game, but you’ll be lucky to find five that are worth playing more than once. The problems the events face are varied. Some are, as expected, a simple matter of mashing the ‘A’ button to run fast. Some have clunky, unnecessary controls; thrown in to make you do something different. There was no need to force people to blow into the microphone to make the sailing boat sail, for instance.
And then finally there’s the minigames that could have been interesting, except they last for no time at all. The various racket and ball sports (tennis, beach volleyball, badmitton) finish when a player wins just three points. Fencing is over in much the same time, and Judo is over the first time a player scores a full point. Their brevity does a good job of hiding how utterly limited the games are in terms of depth, but it doesn’t make them more fun.
Couple all of this with an incredible lack of challenge, and you’re over the game in almost no time. Going back to the gymnastics floor event, I missed getting a 100 per cent perfect rating by just one beat on just my second attempt.
The focus of the game is all off too. The story mode is full of cutscenes, and I suspect that no one wants a sports game that focuses on the story mode. Because the sports games are so short in execution, most of the story mode is literally cycling through dialogue, and let’s face it, the writer of this game won’t be working on the next Elder Scrolls game.
The online leaderboards don’t help, since it’s quite easy to 100 per cent the game, and in the end London Olympics becomes Mario Party without the board, and with even less reason to come back to it for more.
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