Friday, December 13, 2013

Game Review: Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

 This sports/party title with the super-long name is the fourth game in the commercially successful Mario & Sonic series. It releases ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in February in Sochi, Russia.
The typical events are showcased with kind of an overload of skiing and snowboarding events. They look and control basically the same with the Wiimote. The motion controls are hit and miss as you steer down the slopes, inadvertently bumping along the sides.
Other games are fun like hockey, where you use special power shots to shoot the puck into the net. Curling is very creative. The GamePad is used to draw out strategies and the Wiimote slides the rock down the ice. Pairs figure skating is great with others and involves a bunch of waving of the arms.
Dream events shine over the regular ones. These include Winter Sports Champion Race, where snowboarding, skiing and bobsledding are played simultaneously; Hole-in-One Curling, where you try to slide the rock toward a marked spot in as few moves as possible; Snowball Scrimmage, where you launch snowballs at others; and Bullet Bill Sledge Race, which plays like Mario Kart.
Other game modes include Legends Showdown, which pits you against evil-looking clones of characters. For a campaign, it's kind of bland, and surprisingly difficult on normal difficulty. Action & Answer Tour is a little better by focusing on puzzles and other objectives during events. Online mode is disappointing due to a limited amount of events available.
Kids will enjoy this newest Mario & Sonic game, even though it comes across as just another mini-game collection.
2 stars out of 4
Reviewed by Jeff Hoard for Digital First Media, reprinted with permission.

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