Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)

  • Original Platform: Wii
  • Where to get: Second hand.

A big improvement over the first Mario & Sonic title. This gives you all of the main events straight away, with the Dream Events being the main unlockables (but aren’t difficult to unlock). The events themselves also felt a lot more fun, with rules and controls that are simpler to understand and far fewer events where a single mistimed (or unregistered) Wii Remote shake can knock you out of the competition, or create a false start.

Skiing and Snowboarding are some of the main events, both with a trick version (jump for skiing and halfpipe for snowboarding) and a race. The controls are very similar (tilt to turn, pull back to slow down) except that skiing uses both the Wii Remote and nunchuck and the Snowboarding uses just the Wii Remote – although thankfully it doesn’t force you to unplug the nunchuck. Bobsled and Skeleton have you going down a long pipe, tilting the Wii Remote to stay within the optimal racing line.

Speed Skating I couldn’t properly get the hang of, the on-screen prompts are hard to see but luckily it’s not too difficult to get used to the rhythm needed to move the remote from left to right. It’s a good way to make it feel different to the other sports. Figure Skating is a “simon says” type thing which mostly works fine, except for a tilting action which I always failed at.

Ice Hockey is great fun. It’s a simple version of ice hockey, but as it uses buttons and analogue sticks, it feels very responsive. My only issue is that you can’t select to play one match, you have to take part in a mini-tournament with two matches. Curling is by far the worst event. The swing required for how powerful your hit will be is very unreliable, and it takes ages. I ended up just doing a full power shot each time, as without sweeping it’s actually a perfect short. To make matters worse, it’s also a mini tournament.

The Dream Stages are better than the main events, with races like Snowboarding and Skiing taking place on fancy tracks with loops, jumps, springs and items. They’re incredibly good fun, with other Dream Events following similar things. Dream Figure Skating is like a “Sonic on Ice” (or “Mario on Ice”) performance. The dream events feature some new ones.

Dream Gliding was not what I was expecting. It’s like the multiplayer from Lylat Wars/Star fox 64, a dogfighting game where you score points for hitting enemy units, or even more points for hitting opponents. I was expecting something like Monkey Target from Super Monkey Ball. This, however, does get a similar game in the form of Dream Ski Jumping.

The main campaign is called “Festival” where you play through various events and training exercises to try and earn the most points (although I don’t know how they work, as even though I lost a lot of events, only one opponent had a single gold medal). You don’t have to win to progress, they just add to your final score. Every now and then you’ll encounter a boss, who you do have to beat, although my main struggle was one race with Bullet Bill. Although I did have to retry a race against King Boo, but only because the game cheated and claimed he won, even though I crossed the line first (and even the replay showed this).

Overall, this is a much better party game than the original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, and the festival is even fun for a single player.

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