Publisher(s): SEGA; Nintendo (JP, SK)
*JP: January 17, 2008
*NA: January 22, 2008
*AU: February 7, 2008
*EU: February 8, 2008
*SK: June 26, 2008
*CERO: A (All Ages)
*ESRB: E (Everyone)
*ACB: G (General)
*JP: マリオ＆ソニック AT 北京オリンピック™ (Mario ando Sonikku ATTO Pekin Orinpikku, lit. "Mario & Sonic AT Beijing Olympic")
*ES: MARIO & SONIC EN LOS JUEGOS OLÍMPICOS (literal tranlation of the English name)
*FR: MARIO & SONIC AUX JEUX OYMPIQUES (literal tranlation of the English name)
*IT: MARIO & SONIC AI GIOCHI OLIMPICI (literal tranlation of the English name)
*DE: MARIO & SONIC BEI DEN OLYMPISCHEN SPIELEN (literal tranlation of the English name)
*KR: 마리오와 소닉 베이징 올림픽™ (Maliowa Sonig Beijing Ollimpig, lit. "Mario & Sonic Beijing Olympic")
Number of Players: 2-4 (Via DS Wireless Play and DS Download Play)
*Available Languages: English, Español, Français, Italiano, Deutsch.
*Also available on Wii.
*First crossover between Nintendo's Mario and SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog, the first Mario Sport title based on the Olympic Games, and the first game based on the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.
*SEGA handled the development, publishing and marketing duties of the game for the Western releases, except for the development, Nintendo handled those roles in Japan and South Korea.
*Originally thought to be an April Fool's joke, since the announcement of this game was on March 28, 2007, it was later confirmed at E3 2007 that the game was, indeed, real.
*Originally started development as a Sonic game after SEGA got the license from the IOC, later SEGA requested Nintendo for permission to include in the game, Nintendo approved, and thus the Mario & Sonic series was born.
*SEGA also commissioned Eurocom to develop Beijing 2008 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, which are also based on the Bejing 2008 Summer Olympics, but, unlike MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES, which is more fantasy-based, Beijing 2008 is a realistic sports simulation game; SEGA also released a version of this game for mobile phones in June 2008 called SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES, which doesn't have Mario characters, only has Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy as playable characters and uses sprites from the SONIC ADVANCE series.
Prepare for the Olympic Season with two of the most famous characters in Videogames history.
Gameplay: The game is designed as a pick-up-and-play game, it's simple, choose the event, select your character, and you're ready to go, there are 16 characters to choose from, 8 from each Team, and there are four types of characters: All-Around (It's stats are balanced), Technique (Have good ability, but lack in other areas, especially strenght), Speed (Faster than the others, but are prone to fatigue), Power (Incredible strenght and energy, but are slow and lack ability). The athletes include:
From Team Mario: Mario (All-Around), Luigi (All-Around), Peach (Technique), Daisy (Speed), Yoshi (Speed), Wario (Power), Waluigi (Technique) and Bowser (Koopa in Japanese and Korean versions) (Power).
And from Team Sonic: Sonic the Hedgehog (Speed), Shadow the Hedgehog (Speed), Amy Rose (All-Around), Blaze the Cat (All-Around), Miles 'Tails' Prower (Technique), Knuckles the Echidna (Power), Dr. Eggman (Eggman in Japanese and Korean versions) (Technique) and Vector the Crocodile (Power).
The game has an overall 24 events to choose from, 16 Olympic Events, that take place in different locattions where the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics would take place (at the time of the game's release), and 8 Dream Events, which are crazy versions of the Olympic Events with Items and Special Abilities and take place in different locations to Beijing, the events are:
Olympic Events: 100m, 400m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin Throw, Hammer Throw, 100m Freestyle, 10m Platform (DS Exclusive), Trampoline, Vault, Archery, Table Tennis, Fencing, Shooting, Cycling (DS Exclusive).
While the Dream Events include: Dream Race (an on-foot version of Mario Kart), Dream Canoe (a Canoe version of Mario Kart's Coin Battle) (DS Exclusive), Dream Boxing (an exclusive event that plays a bit like Punch-Out!!) (DS Exclusive), Dream Long Jump (a special version of Long Jump with Items and Speed Rings) (DS Exclusive), Dream Table Tennis (a simplified version Mario Power Tennis), Dream Fencing (a special version of Fencing with Special Abilities), Dream Shooting (a special version of Shooting with Items) (DS Exclusive), Dream Basketball (an exclusive event featuring Special Balls) (DS Exclusive).
You can choose from 3 different game modes, Single Match, Circuit and Mission.
The controls for each Event varies, some use the Stylus exclusively, others use the system Buttons, and in some cases, a mix of both, The Stylus and some Buttons. The DS built-in Microphone is used as well. When played for the first time, an event has a tutorial of how to play the event, it can be later reviewed.
Difficulty: When playing Single Match, the COM LEVEL can be adjusted between Weak, Normal and Strong, in Circuit, the difficulty get progressively harder, as well as Mission, the Final Mission is a rival's competition. The game's real difficulty lies on the controls of some events, as some can be tricky, like Archery and Shooting.
Graphics: The game is presented in 3D, and shows almost exact recreations of the locations where the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics would take place.
The graphical style of the Mario characters resembles a bit that of Mario Kart DS and Mario Hoops 3-on-3, while some of the Sonic characters have a new style, and others resemble their SONIC RUSH appearance, it should be noted though, most of the characters wear their normal clothes, while Peach and Daisy wear their typical sports clothes, and Amy and Blaze get a new sport outfit exclusive to these games. The characters have 2 different avatars, the original one for this game (also seen on the Wii version), and another one for the events based on the characters' different artworks, like New Super Mario Bros., Mario Party 6, SONIC CHANNEL, and SONIC RUSH, just to name a few.
The signature Mario font (seen in games like Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Superstar Baseball or Super Mario Galaxy) is used as the game's main font.
Sound: The game features mostly original music not related to Mario or Sonic, composed by SEGA's Teruhiko Nakagawa, supervised by Nintendo's Koji Kondo and Taro Bando. On the Dream Events that have the Star as an Item, the Mario Kart DS Starman Theme plays when it's used, , additionally the sound effects when using an item are taken directly from Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros. and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, outside of that, the Gallery has some unlockable Mario and Sonic music, including:
*Mario Puzzle Mix (originally Mario Tetris), from Tetris DS.
*Mini-Games Coincentration, from Super Mario 64 DS.
*Bowser Battle, from Tetris DS.
*Mini-Games Bounce and Pounce, from Super Mario 64 DS.
*Mario Bros. Circuits (Mario Kart DS version), from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
*Green Hill Zone, from SONIC THE HEDGEHOG.
*Star Light Zone, from SONIC THE HEDGEHOG.
*Emerald Hill Zone, from SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2.
*Right There, Ride On, from SONIC RUSH.
*New Venture (originally Hidden Island or A New Venture (Instrumental)), from SONIC RUSH ADVENTURE.
The voices of the characters are provided by their then current voice actors, i.e. the Mario cast have their voices from their actors during the Gamecube days, their voice clips are recycled mostly from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Party 7, Mario Kart DS and Mario Superstar Baseball, some characters have new voice clips, and are heard in all the versions of the game, though; and the 4Kids cast from SONIC X provides their voices for the Sonic characters in the Western releases and the Korean version, and the original Japanese Sonic cast for the Japanese version. The Narrator's voice was provided by Christopher Pelligrini.
Extras: Besides just the Olympic Events, the game also features a Gallery, which has some interesting Trivia that needs to be unlocked in 5 different Mini-Games:
*Replay (for Olympic Trivia), tap the icons in the order they're shown.
*Shoot! (for Modern Olympic Games), shoot to the enemies to get enough points with 3 Green Shells.
*Matching (for Beijing 2008), match 2 similar cards and get enough pairs within the time limit.
*Airship (for Ancient Olympic Games), blow into the Microphone and move the Airship to get enough Rings while avoiding Bullet Bills and Flappers.
*Coveyor Belt (for About Athletes), use the Stylus to put the characters as the come from the conveyor belt on their respective area.
Completing a Mini-Game also unlocks Mario and Sonic music that can be played on the Gallery.
The game also features Versus Play, a multiplayer mode which allows up to 4 players to play together,either via DS Wireless Play or DS Download Play, although, if played with DS Download Play, the game is limited to only 100m, Long Jump, Trampoline, Archery, Dream Canoe and Dream Basketball, and only the host system gets to hear the characters' voices.
On the Records section, the players can also access to Nintendo WFC Rankings and compare their results with other players around the world using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the events available for this option are: 100m, 400m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin Throw, Hammer Throw, 100m Freestyle, Archery, Shooting, Cycling, Dream Race, Dream Basketball and Dream Long Jump.
Closing Comment:While this game won't get a Gold Medal for "Best Game based on the Summer Olympics", it can get one for "Most Entertaining Olympic Videogame", but only while it lasts, but be careful, it can also get an award for "Best Touch Screen raping game", but really, you got nothing to lose with this one, just make sure to get some Gold Medals to home.
Now, go on and enjoy the London 2012 Summer Olympics.