Mario and Sonic...Party?
I had a cousin in town this weekend, hes about 11 years old right now, and he himself owns a Nintendo 3DS. It's always been fun to play games with him. Even if they are more geared towards kids, its fun to take a casual break and not actually murder everything that gets in your way in a video game. This weekend he brought over Mario and Sonic Olympic games. When he was here, I didn't actually ever play it with him. But once he had gone home I realized he had left it here and wouldn't be able to pick it up until the end of the week. And well there aren't to many games out on the 3DS as of right now, so I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot on the train-ride to school. and since no one has even given this game two glances on GiantBomb, I figure I'd make it my first review.
Too my surprise, I actually enjoyed this game. It was kind of like having a shortened, less frustrating version of Mario Party in handheld form. The game has a surprising amount of mini games on it. I figured it would have the basic sports you would see if you were to flip your TV over to any sports channel. But it had every sport imaginable, from Soccer to Horse racing. They even had "Speed Walking" events and Water Polo (which was my favorite event to play.) And it is always interesting to see big ol' Bowser do gymnastic sports or Luigi have a Judo tournament against Sonic.
Each event is very short. It takes anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes to complete a simple sport, but they are in sets so you can play them in order which can end up taking about 20 minutes to do one Melody. There's roughly 50+ Melodies, and an option to create your own playlist. There's a story mode with Doctor Eggman and Bowser trying to ruin everyones fun in the Olympic games and win the Trophy for themselves. Obviously not a story that's going to bring tears to your eyes or have you on the edge of your seat. So rather than being forced to drag my way through events I didn't really care about, I just went ahead and played some Melodies.
As you play through the game you get to set up you're own teams, using almost any major character from the Mario and Sonic Universes. You can have Bowser working with Mario, or Walugii working with Shadow. Then its on to the games! The events are pretty easy, (Even if sometimes they do a terrible job of telling you what your suppose to do.) Even on the hardest difficulty I almost always took 1st place. Of course this game is geared more for kids and not 20 year olds who have been playing games since they would walk. But I had fun with it while it lasted. I only got to do multiplayer once. While it is fun compete against eachother and rub it into their faces that they just got owned by Tails, working together is a pain in the ass. Its almost impossible to tell each other what to do in time and the timing with one another is very hard to match, since a lot of the mini-games are based of rhythm.
This game has had some of the best Graphics on a 3DS so far. I understand that in a way they could be considered cut-scenes, but regardless, the gameplay looks great. Runs very smoothly, and the game works the 3D capabilities perfectly. And honestly It looks better than almost any game I've played on the Wii, showing that the 3DS is a power house.
Short, fun, and simple. Nothing to complex but nothing too keep you interested for too long. But that's really what handheld systems are for. Something to pick up and play while your waiting at the dentist, and something you can easily put down. And it is just a joy to watch due to its darn good graphics. I can see though why most people wouldn't even bother trying this game, as it is definitely not for the hardcore gamers. But if you're looking for a casual game to have to carry around, full of mini-games and Mario and Sonic goofiness, this game is perfect for you.