Daily Archives: December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: The Game that Fun Forgot

Almost as much fun as really rowingI’ve signed up for two weeks off work this holiday season, but I other than a visit to see Bellyscratcher this weekend, I don’t really have any plans. So it seems like I ought to be able to pull off at least a post a day for the next couple weeks. And yet, before I can turn my brain to baseball matters, I’ve got to clear out some of this holiday junk that’s cluttering things up.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for Wii is a game we got last year for Christmas, and this year it’s a game we’ll be selling for credit at the game store. The premise is that the giants of Nintendo and Sega gaming are together at last to face off in Olympic events. And total props for the list of characters: it’s about damn time I’ve been able to play something as Dr. Eggman.

Trying to put into words why this game is so boring throws me into an existential quandary. Every Wii game is played by pushing buttons and waving your hands around in a more-or-less meaningless way. In this game, though, it actually feels like that’s what you’re doing. The controls are frustrating to use and frequently don’t actually mirror the real event. Unless the trampoline event really does require you to press A-A-B-A in rapid succession and I’ve just never heard about it.

Also, unlike Wii Sports, which has games like baseball that you’d actually play with your friends, Sonic and Mario at the Olympics has events that in real life require years of hard work and sacrifice that people put in for the accomplishment rather than the fun. Maybe the world would be a better place if teenagers played cosmic 40 yd dash or stopped hanging out at the IHOP to run some hurdles, but it just isn’t the way of things.