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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

by Steven Rodriguez - July 14, 2007, 10:51 pm PDT
Total comments: 26

If you think it's ridiculous that Sonic can get beat by Mario in the 100m Dash, wait until you see him get smoked by Bowser.

The first appearance of Mario and Sonic together in the same video game (and with luck, not the last one we'll see this year) is one that will carry the official 2008 Summer Olympic Games license with it, though not exclusively. Developed by one of Sega's Japanese sports groups in close conjunction with Nintendo, it'll finally answer that age-old question of who is the better mascot character: Mario, or Sonic?

Those two aren't the only characters in the game, of course. The E3 demo version we got to take a look at featured eight, but according to Sega reps demoing the game there will be “significantly more" in the final version. Each character has a specialty in one of three areas: speed, power or technique. Obviously, Sonic is one of the speed characters. Bowser and Knuckles were labeled as power characters, with Tails and Luigi being some of the technique characters. In addition to a field of specialty, each Olympian also has individual stats in one of four areas: speed, acceleration, dash and technique. Mario was also classified as a speed character, but his stats are much more balanced than those of Sonic, who has the highest top speed but very poor acceleration.

The different technique types and stats are meant to balance the characters in a way where any character has a chance to win at any event, but still give an advantage to the characters who excel in an event specialty. Bowser would naturally do better in the hammer throw than Peach; and Tails or Luigi would be better suited for the technique-heavy triple jump. The final game will have multiplayer challenges that span multiple events, so things will even out over time. However, Sega said that if you wanted to break an Olympic or world record in an individual event, you'll have to select a character that specializes in it.

The Wii remote and nunchuk will be used in different ways during the various events. In the 100m Dash, it's all about drumming the controller halves as fast as possible. During the first half of a race, however, you can only run at about 80% capacity. A blue meter tells you your speed, but if you drum too fast and go into the red, you'll stumble a bit and lose time. After the halfway point this restriction is lifted and it's just a full-on sprint to the finish. The potental to screw up in the opening means it's possible for slower characters (like Bowser) to outrun faster characters (like Sonic) if the person controlling ol' blue messes up a bit. But all player skill levels being equal, speed characters will win every time.

In the triple jump, a technique event, the drumming of the controller will get you up to speed during the run-up. You won't need to do this all the way to the jump plate, however, as the game will lock in your speed a few moments before you need to flick the Wii remote upwards to start a jump. The second jump is done with a similar nunchuk flick and the final jump is the Wii remote again. Each jump has an angle meter that tells you the trajectory of each jump, but it wasn't clear what determined the jump angle from Sega's demonstration. It appeared to me that it was the force of the flick, but it could also have to do with the controller angle when flicking. Either way, the goal is to get a 45-degree leap each time.

The last event on display at E3 was the hammer throw. For this power event you must hold the remote upwards and twirl it around in a circular motion to get the speed up, then hit the A Button with good timing to fling it out of the cage. It didn't look like the remote motions required to build speed were very vigorous in this event, but since Sega wasn't allowing anyone to try it hands-on we do not know if giving the remote a violent shake will provide more power.

There will be some neat extras you can do with the Wii remote strewn about the events. Before starting a run in the triple jump, you can clap your hands a few times by doing the same motion with the two halves of the remote to pump up the crowd and give you a little power boost. In the 100m Dash, thrusting the controllers forward at the finish will make your character perform one final thrust toward the tape. There will be more of these in the final game.

And finally, the combination of the Mario and Sonic universes won't stop at the character select screen. Footage has already revealed a few cameo appearances from minor characters from both camps. In the triple jump, Toad watches for jumping fouls and Lakitu measures the final jump distance. In the hammer throw, Cream the Rabbit raises the red and white flags to signal a fair or foul throw. This is an indication that even if a recognizable character doesn't make the final roster, it'll probably still show up in the game somewhere.

Sega was pretty much mum on other key details during E3, such as the number of events or specifics on extra game modes. It did, however, say the game will be out this November, a good nine months before the real Olympic Games get under way in China next year.


MashiroJuly 14, 2007

I have no doubt in my mind this game will sell 7 million copies as Sega predicts.

Well, I still doubt it'll be a good game, but it has the star power for the casual and semi-casual "Wii shaking controls. And I remember Mario and Sonic!!" crowd. 7 mill with the current user base would be a bit much.

MashiroJuly 14, 2007

Yeah I agree TYP.

I bet it will sell well on the basis alone that kids still love mario and sonic (of course) and a game with the two of them alone will make it sell decently to that crowd but 7 mil is pushing it.

Now if it were say a Mario and Sonic RPG game or Adventure game . . .that'd be a different story hehe.

KDR_11kJuly 14, 2007

Heh... 7 million copies... I wonder if they'll end up in a landfill somewhere?

pSYCO-gAMER321July 15, 2007

I bet it'll get the old school and newcomers. If they advertise to the right crowd (NBC anyone?) then they'll reach it no problem.

@Mashiro: Mario and Sonic RPG will sell like hot cakes. Both Sega and Nintendo need to take a look at this flash movie called "Super Mario Bros. Z" and use it as a bases. Or just rip it off. Either way, it'll be awesome!

Athrun ZalaJuly 15, 2007

7 million?

OMFG Sega is insane... not that we didn't know that already....

the game has potential, let's see if it delivers...

Bill AurionJuly 15, 2007

It'll sell 7 million in Europe alone for having Sonic in the title... =|

ShyGuyJuly 15, 2007

They could sell an extra million if they back in a Mario and Sonic "together for the first time" poster.

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

ShyGuy, you're on the right track, but I'd like mine to say Together again, for the first time ever.

I think this game should be made to a realistic scale. Eggman should be taller than Mario and Luigi, Sonic should be about the size of Mario's shoe. Tails should probably try to eat one of the Sonic characters. Bowser is probably the same breed as Godzilla, and by size default, he should win just about every competition. In the end of the game, Bowser loses because Knuckles makes a deal with the ants, promising not to eat them, so long as they make Bowser's feet swell up with poison so badly that he is unable to walk, forcing him onto the back of his shell, rendering him immobile. Sadly, for the ants, Knuckles was unable to maintain his promise.

So with Bowser defeated and a stadium full of dead people, Yoshi arrives on the scene for clean-up duty, and eats the dead, because, well, that's just far too many people to bury, and it's not like Sonic, Mario, and the rest are even from Earth or anything. The increase in food intake allows Yoshi to hatch several thousands, if not millions of eggs, and introduces a violent increase of a new omnivore into the world's ecosystem. The mushrooms, turtles, and caterpillars are the first to go, along with berries and fruits, and for quite some time, the Yoshis remain stuck in the eastern hemisphere, as several dissolve when they just touch water, and the rest aren't large enough to cross the oceans without being eaten. After some time, they begin to run out of food, and begin to forage through Russia, who, in distrust of America, secretly built a wall across the Northern boundary of China. It takes the Yoshis so long to cross that wall that the Russians have effectively come up with a plan to rid the world of the Yoshis.

Now, as time passes, they gather up the Yoshis, enclose them in cotton fields to keep them from uprising (Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy), and herd them into the missile and shuttle silos they have rapidly built across the land. They launch the Yoshis and their friends into Space. Unfortunately for the Mario Party and Tails, there aren't any space suits made for Yoshis, turtles, walking mushrooms, foxes or women, and that is how we get to the plot of Super Mario Galaxy: Mario is stranded in the universe, all his friends are dead, Luigi may still be alive, and he has no idea how to get home. It's a clever integration of licensing to advertise both games effectively across both Nintendo platforms, and assures that all those casual gamers who get Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games to buy Super Mario Galaxy.

It's a genius plan and plot if you ask me, but I won't fall for a story like that again.

CericJuly 15, 2007

Actually in Sonic lore its been proven that in the Sonic universe and ares that all non-human characters can survive in space. So Sonic characters be ok in that regards.

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

No, you see, in Sonic canon, only Super characters can go into space and survive. All other times in space were in the upper atmosphere, not actually space, so they passed out from a short supply of air, and as they fell (Which shows they weren't in orbit, helping my assertions), they oxygen levels rose, and whichever character fell could get enough air before he died. I believe you're referring mostly to Sonic 2, here.

Now, beyond that, as a Fox without chickens around, Tails probably ate Sonic, Amy, and several of the rodent characters in Sonic, which leaves Knuckles and Eggman, I think. Eggman didn't go because he's an evil communist who joined the Russians, and Knuckles never needed to cross into Russia. He was two busy dining on the Earth's abundant ant supply.

Essentially, that's why Tails is the only Sonic character who went into space.

Bill AurionJuly 15, 2007

"I believe you're referring mostly to Sonic 2, here"

I'm fairly sure the final boss in Sonic & Knuckles is fought in space... =)

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

Right, but technically, when you link the cartridges together, the only way to fight in space, and not the upper atmosphere, is to have seven emeralds and be playing as Sonic.

CalibanJuly 15, 2007

You guys are nuts lol!

Bill AurionJuly 15, 2007

There's no way the place you fight Robotnik can be called the "upper atmosphere," and even if it was there's still no oxygen to breathe! (Not to mention the temperature at such a distance from the Earth's surface!)

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

That's why Sonic passes out! Besides, in canon, only Sonic and Shadow go into the upper atmosphere, anyways, and every time they do, they're supposed to have seven emeralds on them or were immediately powered by the seven emeralds. So if Tails is the only one who goes into space, then it doesn't even matter how Sonic and Shadow react to the atmosphere. You're just a Nintendo spy trying to divert attention from the leak of your scam! I see what's going on now!

If you keep going, I'm going to have to add in a section about Link, the first female space pirate who wasn't Mother Brain.

Bill AurionJuly 15, 2007

"If you keep going, I'm going to have to add in a section about Link, the first female space pirate who wasn't Mother Brain."

Oh no you don't, not if Captain N has something to say about it! face-icon-small-mad.gif

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

I'm sorry, Captain N was before my family could get basic cable where we lived, and as a result, I was never able to watch it growing up. I don't know what Captain N has to say about the genders of Space Pirates, and Wikipedia isn't helping. Was Mother Brain male on the show, or were the just female space pirates on the show?

Bill AurionJuly 15, 2007

The entire cast was female space pirates, including Captain N (which was secretly revealed at the end of the series...) And you can't prove me wrong either! face-icon-small-cool.gif

MashiroJuly 15, 2007

Metroid Dread should be based off Captain N and have mother brain return with King Hippo and Eggplant man!

It will be the greatest threat Samus has ever faced.

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

Well, that wasn't Metroid canon, so there =P

Once Mario completes his quest through the galaxy, facing numerous trials with hideous space pirate experiments, such as villains that resemble pretty only enemies he's fought before, and also involves stealing Space Pirate and Chozo technology, such as the Bee, Boo, and Bobbity suits, he fights his one true nemesis, the creature that took him from his humble plumbing job in Brooklyn, where he fought turtles, fire, and a really violent case of crabs, and deposited him into the Mushroom Kingdom, where women are by far a minority. As you know by now, this is Mario's one true weakness and why he went to the Olympics in the first place. Anyways, he fights the man that did this to him, Retsen.

Defeating Retsen was no simple task. Most of his attacks involved being beaten in video games by Howard Lincoln, but he was Mario's most challenging foe yet, as he would take direct control of Mario to throw him in pits and stuff. Using the second Wii-mote, Mario had to fight Retsen's control over Mario to save the day.

Coming up next, the exciting story of Link, the up-and-coming Space Pirate Queen!

MashiroJuly 15, 2007

Captain N was pure canon. In fact it's based on a real story.

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

No way. Captain N is not on my official Sega/Nintendo mash-up crossover canon guide, because Shadow never lost his memory on the show.

MashiroJuly 15, 2007

Lol. This thread / news post has ben officially de-railed.

Caffeinated CheeseJuly 15, 2007

I'm just telling everyone why this game will sell thirty-twelve billion copies.

MashiroJuly 15, 2007

lofl! Oh ok my bad =)

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Mario & Sonic in the Beijing Olympics Box Art

Genre Sports
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Release Nov 06, 2007
jpn: Mario & Sonic in the Beijing Olympics
Release Nov 22, 2007
RatingAll Ages
eu: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Release Nov 23, 2007
aus: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Release Nov 22, 2007
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