The odd thing is that Mario & Sonic's biggest "thing" - having Mario and Sonic - barely registers. Partly because the game's so lacking visually, with Mario Party levels of tiresomely repeating animations on shiny polygon dummies. But mainly because, quite rightly, you're able to play as your own Miis (and your own leotarded Miis at that), which, in many ways, makes Mario & Sonic the Wii Sports 2 we've been waiting for. There's not the depth of tennis, boxing, and golf - and there are some odd decisions by Sega, like splitting the screen for table tennis and the 100m. But when it's your face on characters stumbling over hurdles, passing batons in the relay and stabbing each other with pointy metal sticks, the Olympics really comes alive.
It's bigger and better than Wii Play. It's more fun with friends than Mario Strikers Charged. Yes, some of the events are a pain; others drag on way too long. We can see someone on one side of the country detesting M&S like baked bean sandwiches, while someone else on the other side happily plays it until the real-life Olympics roll around. But if Pictionary and cheesy rolls aren't doing it for your party, there's a good chance Mario & Sonic will.