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Quotation1 Mario and Sonic compete for the Gold! Quotation2
— Tagline

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (マリオ&ソニック in 北京オリンピック Mario & Sonikku in Pekin Orinpikku?, lit. "Mario & Sonic in the Beijing Olympics"), is a sports game developed and published by Sega for North America and Europe and was published by Nintendo for Japan.

The game was officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee through exclusive licensee International Sports Multimedia in 2005.[2] It was the first official video game of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to be released. The game was first announced by Sega and Nintendo on March 28, 2007. Sega showed the first screenshots and a movie of both versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games at E3 2007.[3] Many users of the internet from both fandom used think this game was an April Fools joke from Sega before it was eventually officially released.[4]

The game was known for being the first official crossover title to feature both Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, Nintendo and Sega's former rival mascots, along with other characters from the respective series. The player can assume the role as one of these characters while competing against the others in numerous Olympic events as well as fantasy events.

Development

Sega decided to use their characters that "young people love and are very iconic" instead of just developing a simulation. The corporation then requested and received approval from Nintendo to include Mario in the game Sega was going to use to help introduce young people into the Olympics. As a result of this and to ensure quality, Nintendo partnered with the developer in-house.

The creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, supervised the project and the game or one of its two versions may have been co-developed by TOSE, a developer known to not be credited for the games it produces. Sega revealed in early October 2007 that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games release date schedule has been advanced by two weeks and the game has gone gold. Over 20 characters were originally planned including D.K, Birdo, Silver, Jet, Rouge, Bowser Jr, Diddy Kong, Omega and Cream,as well as some sports, such as judo; however, some of these were left out of the final release.

Gameplay

Character Select (Mario & Sonic 2008)

Each character has his or her own stats.

Mario & Sonic brings together the title characters and 14 more from both franchises to participate in environments based on the official venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. These environments are stylized to fit the art styles of the Mario & Sonic video games. Besides the characters from the Mario & Sonic games, Miis can also be used in the Wii version. There are also a few randomly selected non-playable characters acting as referees or the audience for certain events. Each playable character has their own statistics which can serve as an advantage or disadvantage depending on the event. They are divided into four categories: all-around, speed, power, and skill. All-Around isn't really its own skill, but more of just being good enough in the other categories. There is also a statistic for stamina.

The gameplay involves utilizing either or a combination of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk on the Wii or stylus and button controls on the DS in various ways to complete each event. The events can require a combination of speed, timing, and some strategy. Each competition offers a slight degree of difference. In the running events, for example, getting a starting boost in the 100 m dash will either make or break the player's place, while in a relay race, which can last for well over a minute, this may not determine place as effectively. The game also has leaderboards that make use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to show the best times and scores.

Mario & Sonic features a gallery mode, where brief facts of the Olympics can be found. There are five categories of trivia with matching mini-games that, once completed, will unlock the answer to trivia questions. Classic music from both series is available for use in the gallery once all levels in a category are cleared. There is also a standard gallery theme.

Events

Fencing (Mario & Sonic 2008) Screenshot 1

Sonic and Knuckles facing off in a fencing event.

The Wii game has twenty Olympic events which are divided into eight different classifications; athletics, gymnastics, shooting, rowing, archery, aquatics, fencing and table tennis. All of these events are organized in the tournament and circuit modes. Some events such as 4x100 m relay race, allow the player to have a team of four characters. Circuit mode is where players compete for the highest overall score in a pre-determined series of events or design their own circuit. In the single-player mission mode, each of the competitors has six character-specific missions to complete, however each of the characters statistics are not as balanced as in the main game. For example, one of Mario's missions, beating Sonic, is more challenging here. Mario & Sonic on the Nintendo DS has 16 Olympic sports, most of them from the Wii version. Cycling and 10m Platform Diving are exclusive Olympic events on this handheld.

There is an unlockable version of four of the Olympic events in the Wii game called "Dream Events". They differ from their real-life counterparts by applying more fictional video game attributes from the Mario and Sonic worlds. As a result, these events also have recognizable locations, abilities, objects, and support characters from both gaming worlds. The Nintendo DS version has five exclusive Dream Events: canoeing, boxing, basketball, long jump and skeet shooting.

Icon Type Wii Events Nintendo DS Events
Aquatics icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Aquatics
  • 100m Freestyle
  • 4x100m Freestyle
  • 100m Freestyle
  • 10m Platform (DS Exclusive)
Archery icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Archery
  • Archery
  • Archery
Atletics icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Athletics
  • 100m
  • 400m
  • Athletics - 4x100m Relay
  • Athletics - 110m Hurdles
  • 400m Hurdles
  • Long Jump
  • Triple Jump
  • High Jump
  • Pole Vault
  • Javelin Throw
  • Hammer Throw
  • 100m
  • 400m
  • 400m Hurdles
  • Long Jump
  • Triple Jump
  • Javelin Throw
  • Hammer Throw
Fencing Fencing
  • Individual Epée
  • Individual Epée
Gymnastic icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Gymnastics
  • Trampoline
  • Vault
  • Trampoline
  • Vault
Rowing icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Rowing
  • Single Sculls
None
Skeet Shooting
  • Skeet
  • Skeet
Table Tennis icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Table Tennis
  • Singles
  • Singles
Cycling None
  • Pursuit
Dream Events icon (Mario & Sonic 2008) Dream
  • Dream Race (Sandhill Race Course)
  • Dream Platform
  • Dream Fencing
  • Dream Table Tennis
  • Dream Race (Blue Sky Island)
  • Dream Fencing
  • Dream Table Tennis
  • Dream Basketball
  • Dream Canoe
  • Dream Boxing
  • Dream Shooting
  • Dream Long Jump

Circuits

Triple jump final

Yoshi, Tails and Knuckles ranking in a circuit

  • Beginner's Class
    • Mercury
      • 100m
      • Long Jump
      • Hammer Throw
    • Venus
      • 110m Hurdles
      • Skeet
      • Javelin Throw
    • Jupiter
      • 100m Freestyle
      • Triple Jump
      • Trampoline
    • Saturn
      • Singles
      • 4x100m Freestyle
      • Individual epée
    • Moonlight
      • 4x100m Relay
      • Single Sculls
      • Dream Race
  • Advance Class
    • Stardust
      • 100m
      • Long Jump
      • Hammer Throw
      • Archery
    • Planet
      • 110m Hurdles
      • Skeet
      • Javelin Throw
      • High Jump
    • Comet
      • 100m Freestyle
      • Triple Jump
      • Trampoline
      • 400m
    • Satellite
      • Singles
      • 4x100m Freestyle
      • Dream Race
      • Dream Fencing
    • Sunlight
      • 4x100m Relay
      • Single Sculls
      • Individual epée
      • Dream Table Tennis
  • Master's Class
    • Meteorite
      • 100m
      • Long Jump
      • Hammer Throw
      • Archery
      • 400m Hurdles
    • Supernova
      • 110m Hurdles
      • Skeet
      • Javelin Throw
    • High Jump
      • Pole Vault
    • Cosmos
      • 100m Freestyle
      • Triple Jump
      • Trampoline
      • 400m
      • Vault
    • Galaxy
      • Singles
      • 4x100m Freestyle
      • Individual epée
      • Dream Race
      • Dream Platform
    • Universal
      • 4x100m Relay
      • Single Sculls
      • Dream Table Tennis
      • Dream Fencing
      • Dream Race
    • Big Bang
      • Dream Race
      • Dream Fencing
      • Dream Platform
      • Singles
      • 4x100m Relay

Characters

Team Sonic

Name Skill Type Stats Flag
Sonic Speed Sonic-stats MyS emblem Sonic
Shadow Speed Shadow-Stats MyS emblem Shadow
Knuckles Power Knuckles-Stats MyS emblem Knuckles
Vector Power Vector-Stats MyS emblem Vector
Tails Skill Tails-Stats MyS emblem Tails
Dr. Eggman Skill Eggman stats MyS emblem Eggman
Amy All Around Amy-Stats MyS emblem Amy
Blaze All Around Blaze-Stats MyS emblem Blaze

In addition, Cream, Espio and Charmy act as referees in both the DS & Wii versions, and Big makes further background appearances on the Wii version.

Team Mario

Name Skill Type Stats Flag
Mario All Around Mario-Stats MyS emblem Mario
Luigi All Around Luigi-Stats Luigilogo
Princess Peach Skill Peach-Stats MyS emblem Peach
Waluigi Skill Waluigi-Stats MyS emblem Waluigi
Bowser Power Bowser-stats MyS emblem Bowser
Wario Power Wario-Stats MyS emblem Wario
Yoshi Speed Yoshi-Stats MyS emblem Yoshi
Princess Daisy Speed Daisy-Stats MyS emblem Daisy

In addition, Shy Guy, Lakitu, and Toad and act as referees in both Wii & DS versions, Koopa Troopa on the Wii version.

Referees

Cream the Rabbit calls foul

Cream acting as a referee

Guard viewing

Air viewing

Ground viewing

Gallery Feature

Both the console and the handheld versions feature a gallery where facts and trivia can be found. In order to answer the question, the player has to play a mini-game. As a bit of fan service, unlocking all mini-games in a section will unlock a tune from both series. The information, mini-games, and songs differ between Wii and Nintendo DS.

Wii

Unlockable Sonic Songs

Unlockable Mario Songs

  • Ground Theme (from Super Mario Bros.)
  • Underground Theme (from Super Mario Bros.)
  • Underwater Theme (from Super Mario Bros.)
  • Ground Theme (from Super Mario Bros. 3)
  • Ground Theme (from Super Mario World)

Nintendo DS

Unlockable Sonic Songs

Unlockable Mario Songs

  • Mario Puzzle Mix (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 Circuit (from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)

Face-Offs

Olympics091707

Luigi facing Shadow in a hurdle race

Between each character, each have their own rival as based on either mission mode or by the starting prologue. Here are the following face-offs:

  • Sonic vs. Mario
  • Shadow vs. Luigi
  • Knuckles vs. Wario
  • Amy vs. Peach
  • Tails vs. Yoshi
  • Dr. Eggman vs. Waluigi
  • Blaze vs. Daisy
  • Vector vs. Bowser

Reception

Publication Score
1UP.com C+ (Wii)

C+

Edge 6 of 10 (Wii)
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.3 of 10 (Wii)
Eurogamer 5 of 10 (DS)[5]
GameSpot 6.0 of 10 (Wii)[6]

6.0 of 10 (DS)[6]

IGN 7.9 of 10 (Wii)[7]

7.8 of 10 (DS)[8]

Nintendo Life Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[9]
X-Play Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg

The Wii version of this game was awarded as the best game of 2007 on its platform at the Games Convention in Leipzig.[10]

GameSpot praised the Wii game for its wide variety of events, but thought a number of them were too similar to each other. The reviewer called the motion controls utilized in the events as commonly "uninteresting and occasionally frustrating". X-Play agreed, calling the controls "non-intuitive" and some of the minigames require players to "wave their Wiimotes frantically while press several buttons at the same time, which can be a tad bit frustrating". An Electronic Gaming Monthly editor mentioned the controls are complicated for a game that should be a "pure pick-up-and-play party game". [6]

Nintendo Life praised the game in terms of controls, and numbers of events. Nintendo Life stated that Wii version was the innovation SEGA brought to the table in terms of control, while every previous Olympic games relied on speedy button bashing.[9]

IGN called the game a success in their minds in regard to the slight degree of differences each competition had to offer and generally most of the events were entertaining. However, the events within their own classifications felt similar, for example, the track events, the reviewer thought "five or six that feel nearly identical" and lacked diversity. Both IGN and GameSpot favored archery and the fantasy events Mario & Sonic had to offer which IGN states ends up "stealing the show".[7][8]

Sales performance

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has received mixed reactions by critics, however it was commercially successful, exceeding Sega's expectations by selling over four million copies. The Wii version has sold half a million units during its first 7 weeks of sale in the UK. By June 2008, both versions reached 1.2 million copies combined in UK sales prompting Sega to create plans on re-marketing the game there.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games claims two-times of the top charts in the UK's Top 40 charts released by GameIndustry International and Chart-Track.[11][12] According to the NPD Group, the Wii game was one of the top-ten best-sellers for the month of December 2007 in the United States, selling 613,000 units.[13]

In just over three months of being released, Sega announced on March 5, 2008 that both versions have sold 5 million units worldwide combined[14]. Simon Jeffery, president of Sega of America, in July 2008 showed interest in another game collaboration between the two mascots and has announced that the game has sold approximately 10 million units worldwide combined.[15]

Videos

Trailers

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) Teaser

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) Teaser

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES - Trailer

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES - Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - Team Sonic trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - Team Sonic trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Trailer - Team Mario

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Trailer - Team Mario

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) Mii Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) Mii Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Nintendo DS 1

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Nintendo DS 1

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Nintendo DS Trailer 2

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Nintendo DS Trailer 2

The Dream Event - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Trailer

The Dream Event - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Games - Hammer Throw Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Games - Hammer Throw Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Games - 110M Hurdles Trailer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Games - 110M Hurdles Trailer

Commercials

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) commercial

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) commercial

Mario & Sonic (ALL COMMERCIALS) M&S at the Olympic Games

Mario & Sonic (ALL COMMERCIALS) M&S at the Olympic Games


Trivia

  • All Mario female contestants wear clothing from sports games they've been in. However, Amy and Blaze wear new sporting gear similar to what they wore in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.
  • This is Vector's first playable appearance since Shadow the Hedgehog.
    • This is also the debut of Team Chaotix on the Wii and DS.
    • This is also Charmy's first appearance on a handheld console.
    • This is also Vector's first time being the only playable Team Chaotix member.
  • The only Mario characters with new artwork are Mario (cover & special posters), Luigi (poster), Peach, Daisy, & Bowser (Poster).
  • In the aquatic events, Sonic wears a lifejacket, since he can't swim.
  • Silver the Hedgehog, Jet the Hawk, Cream the Rabbit, Big the Cat, Espio the Chameleon, Rouge the Bat, Donkey Kong, Birdo, and a Goomba were all supposed to be playable characters in this game, but got deleted. They are still in the beta and are only available by hacking the game.
  • In the track and field events, you can see Big the Cat in the entrance to the stadium. He is also seen being the referee of the Single Sculls event.
  • The Dream Race event can be seen as an on-foot version of Mario Kart.
  • There is a Co-Op event in Super Smash Bros. Brawl called "Sonic and Mario". That event may have referenced this game.
  • In the USA Wii commercial of the game, the played song is called "The Final Countdown" by the Swedish hard rock, heavy metal and glam metal band Europe. It was released in 1986.
  • In Shadow's artwork for this game, he's missing his tail.
    • Shadow's artwork also has him doing the same pose as one of the Japanese artwork of Sonic for Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • It appears Blaze was a last minute character, as her model appears unfinished in Pole Vault. It looks as if she only moves one leg at the start. This may just be the angle of the camera, though.
  • In this game, Dr. Eggman and Bowser are rivals, yet in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, they work together.
  • Tails and Yoshi were the only two rivals in both the introduction and the mission mode to have the same eye color. Both of them having blue eyes.
  • Peach and Daisy were planned to have swimsuits for the aquatic events, but the designs were rejected by Nintendo. They were later given swimsuits in Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic Games along with Amy and Blaze.[16]

References

  1. Mighty (10 October 2007). Nintendo Fall Conference (Sonic In Brawl, plus new games). Kingdom Hearts Insider Forum. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.
  2. Bramwell, Tom (06 December 2005). SEGA to develop Olympic Games 2008 title. gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved on 03 August 2018.
  3. Devries, Jack (11 July 2007). E3 2007: Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games. IGN. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  4. Lord_Ian (08 June 2007). Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games. Robosheep. Roosterteeth Forum. Retrieved on 03 August 2018.
  5. Gibson, Ellie (11 February 2008 archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20090628072558/https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/r_mariosonic_ds archivedate=28 June 2009). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Not even bronze. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 03 August 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Thomas, Aaron (08 November 2007). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harris, Craig (22 January 2008). Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games Review for Nintendo DS. IGN. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bozon (06 November 2007). Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games Review for Nintendo Wii. IGN. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dickens, Anthony (17 February 2008). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Review (DS). Nintendo Life. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  10. Arenot, Susan (27 August 2007). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games beats Super Mario Galaxy in Leipzig 'Best of' awards. Wired. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  11. Bramwell, Tom (22 January 2008). Mario & Sonic comes from behind. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.
  12. GamesIndustry International (11 December 2007). Mario & Sonic tops Charts. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.
  13. Thorsen, Tor (18 January 2008). NPD: 2007 game earnings nearly $18 billion, Halo 3 sells 4.82 million. GameSpot. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.
  14. IGN Staff (05 March 2008). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games hits 5 million in Global Sales. IGN. Retrieved on 01 August 2018.
  15. Crecente, Brian (18 July 2008). Another Mario Sonic Collaboration in the Works?. Kotaku. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.
  16. Wotts, Steve (19 December 2011). How Mario and Sonic get outfitted for the Olympics. Shack News. Retrieved on 02 August 2018.

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog handheld video games
Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off video games