Sonic toned down for Mario Olympics

We recently got to sit down with Sega product manager Grant Gie to see a demo of the historic gaming icon tie-in, Mario and Sonic at the Olympics. Like all massive fanboys, the first question on our mind was "How on Earth is fat old Mario ever going to beat Sonic in a race?"

Gie responded, "The great thing about this is it's similar to Mario Kart in leveling the playing field. Sonic isn't always going to win the 100 meter dash; it's really up to the players and how well they use the Nunchuk and remote."

He continues: "Mario and Luigi for example are great all-rounders. Their stats are spread across speed, acceleration and dash. Sonic meanwhile has a good top speed but his acceleration is low. It's a real balancing act."

Sega die-hards probably won't be happy seeing their mascot slug off the starting line, but it's all in the name of pick-up-and-play appeal, says Gie.

"We're trying to go for that mass-appeal like Mario Kart; it crosses all boundaries. Kids can pick up and play Mario Kart and have a great time, but it's really fun at home with those core gamers who replay and replay."

A true-to-character Mario vs. Sonic race wouldn't be much fun anyway. Look out for the full interview, where Gie walks us through three of Mario and Sonic's events, shortly.

August 2, 2007