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Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games review

Proof for scientists at last that the dinosaur can outrun the echidna

The events are brilliant. We've actually got a little list in our notes: ten of the 20 you'll find scribbled under "GREAT!"; only four appear under "BAD!" For the record, it's almost always the controller-flicking sports that fail: having to judge your leap off the long-jump board with an arbitrary lift, or tilt the nunchuk to get Mario's "pasta ass" over the high-jump bar just doesn't work. The triple jump needs three jerks of the wrist - the bewildering randomness of it all sucks the life out of a party like James Blunt turning up.

But the rest? Great fun. Trampoline knocked us backwards with its unexpectedly addictive A-B-twist combos. Javelin (A+B to grip, then pull back and hrrumph) is exactly as competitive as it should be. Skeet Shooting just works. Archery - where you draw two crosshairs together by tilting the nunchuk and remote, and have to cater for wind speed - gets a big thumbs-up.

And then there's the track events and swimming bits. If you've ever laughed harder while playing a videogame, someone must have been tickling you. They're all based on waggling like crazy for the duration, and, because Sega care not a jot for your rapidly-tiring muscles, they're the most face-reddening, mouth-grimacing, scream-out-loud, up-off-your-chair bursts of hilarity on Wii - both to play and watch. The ten-second 100m is funny enough; watching four players enduring the 4x100m swim relay, a two-minute marathon of relentless "strokes" like pushing left and right or shunting forward and back, will bring tears to your eyes. Forget all that rubbish about people sweating over Wii Sports: this is a proper workout.

More Info

DescriptionIt's bigger and better than Wii Play; if Pictionary and cheesy rolls aren't doing it for your party, there's a good chance Mario and Sonic will.
PlatformWii, DS
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date6 November 2007 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)