A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics is the latest entry in the sports game series that unites video game mascots from rival companies. The game, officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee, features traditional sports from the Summer Olympic games like equestrian competitions, swimming, and running, as well as zany mini-games that are more familiar to fans of Sonic and Mario. The mini-games contain cartoon effects like bright explosions, "dizzy stars," and comedic power-ups, but none of this mild violent content is above and beyond what anyone would expect to see in a Sonic or Mario game.
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What's it about?
MARIO & SONIC AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS is presented as a collection of sports activities and mini-games rather than a game with any sort of cohesive storyline, but there is a single-player mode that tracks players on their quest to be the top athlete at the international games. There are competitions involving actual Summer Olympics sports -- swimming, track & field, equestrian, etc. -- as well as off-the-wall mini-games that are more fitting for the expansive group of whimsical cartoon characters.
Is it any good?
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics continues what has become a great sports game series and one of the most heralded licensed Olympic game franchises ever. The analogy of Mario and Sonic, once bitter rivals, duking it out in the most celebrated of global competitions is fitting. There are sports in this game that were not seen in the previous Mario & Sonic Olympics game, including soccer, badminton, and table tennis. The total number of competitions is exhaustive and will not leave players yearning for more. The game is best played with multiple people going against each other for the gold, but there is also a full single-player Story Mode that will keep solo players engaged as well. This cross-mascot game franchise has steadily improved since the first title was released in 2008, and this one is the best one yet.
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