The 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games had a strike against it from the beginning, simply because it comes with 50 plus activities better suited to a motion controller like the Wii remote. People want to get off their butts and mimic using a bow to fire an arrow over messing with a touch screen and face buttons.
At the same time, we don't hate Sega's creation. On the contrary, we feel it provides just enough charm and addictiveness to warrant a purchase, or at the very least, a rental.
Here's the thing: you'll love some events and hate others, which is fine. We don't particularly dig blowing into the mic to push sailboats across the ocean, but really enjoy fencing, which is easy to get the hang of. Judo is a big waste of time. You just hit buttons before your opponent (been there, done that, no need to play it ever again), but Table Tennis kept us busy longer than expected.
In the end, everyone will have his or her favorites. That said, the game has eleven categories, including Aquatics, Contact Sports (think boxing), Gymnastics and Cycling. You're free to play games one at a time, or create a medley that Sega lets you share with others via Wi-Fi.
There's even a story mode that centers around Bowser and Dr. Eggman using a fog machine to sabotage the Olympics, but the basic plot left us feeling empty. Most cut scenes involve settling differences by defeating the competition across a variety of events, and the developers carry this theme throughout the entire experience, but hey, at least the cut scenes gave us something to watch.
On top of that, Mario & Sonic comes with multiplayer, but it's local only, though you're free to square off against friends using one copy of the game.
Craving a bigger challenge? Online leaderboards definitely help the game's appeal.
So does the outstanding presentation. The epic soundtrack captures the importance of the Olympic games, while the bright and colorful visuals show what 3DS is capable of, with Sega and Nintendo mascots battling for medals while hundreds of animated fans fill the arenas. Even better, the glasses free 3D is easy on the eyeballs.
The biggest knock against this game, though, is longevity. With mini games lasting mere seconds, it doesn't take long to see everything Mario & Sonic has to offer. At the end of the day, you can only play Beach Volleyball for so long.
On that note, we had a good time with this one, especially with so many famous faces (Peach, Metal Sonic, Tails, Wario) to choose from, but there's a definitely lack of depth that may derail your potential enjoyment, and Sega made a bad decision by restricting characters to certain events.
In the end, not a gold medal, but a stately bronze.
Review copy provided by Sega.
What's Hot: Over 50 events, entertaining story mode, single card multiplayer, dramatic music, looks cool in 3D, online leaderboards.
What's Not: No online play, some events get old fast.
This article originally appeared on Modojo.com.