Review - "Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games" (3DS)

If you want to understand the true depth of human suffering, be sure to pick up a copy of Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

If you don't, avoid this game like the goddamn plague.

Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Available On: Wii U (June), 3DS (reviewed)
Rated E
MSRP: $39.99

I've never picked up an entry in the long-running Mario and Sonic Do A Sport Thing series, and for good reason. They've always kind of looked like kids' games. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. There's always a place for kids' games. I mean, heck, Mario and Sonic's series are both basically for kids. It's just that they're generally good games, so anybody can enjoy them. But the Mario and Sonic Hit The Gym Jamboree franchise always looked like a certain type of kids' game. The kind of kids game full of trite mini-games, no depth, no content, and no reason to actually exist. But I guess, as somebody who likes Mario and loves Sonic, I was destined to cross paths in one way or another with one of these games. So why not this one?

Why not this one? Because Mario and Sonic's Rootin' Scootin' Way Past Cool 2016 Rio Olympic Games is one of the most fundamentally awful video games I've ever had the displeasure of suffering through. No, really. That's not a joke. I'm not just being harsh on a children's game. This is actually one of the most fundamentally garbage games on the 3DS, or any console for that matter. It may even be the worst game I've played that has Mario or Sonic in it. Think about that for a second. Worse that Mario Is Missing or Hotel Mario. Worse than Sonic Labyrinth or Sonic R. Think about that. Let it sink in. Done?

I'm not even sure where to begin with this one, folks. For starters, let's talk about the main brunt of the game: the story mode. Path to the Games? Road to the Gold? I don't know what it's called, I got rid of the thing over the weekend, but it was something like that. You pick a Mii, you choose a side, you do a ton of mini-games, you beat another mini-game, you buy a costume so you can do another mini-game, then you win that mini-game. After you win enough mini-games, you get to go to another map. Guess what you do on that map? You play. More. Fucking. Mini-games. That's it. That's all there is to it.

It doesn't matter if you side with Team Mario or Team Sonic, because you're going to have to do practically the same things. It just depends on which shallow interpretation of characters you want to spend multiple hours of your life talking to. Do you want to talk to princesses and turtles, or do you want to live out a DeviantArt member's wild furry fantasy? Your call. But honestly, they might as well be called Team Garbage or Team Shitpile, because they both stink. Not to mention the fact that it's basically the same mode as that really bad Mario Golf that hit the 3DS a few years back. Just a longer, and with more artificial difficulty. Because if there was one thing I wanted more of from Mario Golf, it was playing as a stupid Mii.

I would go into the mini-games specific to the story, and how bad they are, but I'll go straight into talking about the gameplay overall: it's awful. The Rhythmic Gymnastics is the exact gameplay as Hatsune Miku Project Diva DX, except with about three songs. The BMX requires rapid mashing of a button and feels like carpal tunnel waiting to happen as opposed to fun BMX racing. None of the touch screen games are close to responsive and are more likely to damage your screen and nerves than be fun. Golf, fucking golf is somehow fucked up, thanks to the developers having the bright idea to use the touch screen to play. Soccer, one of the big draws, is awful, thanks to wonky controls and broken AI. There are probably over twenty events on display here. I played them all. None of them are fun. No, really. None. Zip. Zilch. They're all awful, and you'll feel awful if you play them. I mean, the horse-riding one is kind of neat, I guess. Maybe. But... there's like one track. That's it. Same with everything here.

And the sad thing is, there are two versions of each event. The "real" version, and the version that's a whacked-out fantasy one. They all basically play the same, though, and not even dumb garbage happening on screen can make any of this ice pick to the skull of a game fun. It's just a non-stop ass blast in game form, no matter which mode you choose. It's an ass blast distilled onto a tiny cartridge and foisted upon unsuspecting children. And by the time you realize what you've given those children, it's too late. Their ass has already been blasted. Mario and Sonic Ass Blast The Children. That would have been a better title for this one.

Oh, I guess I should talk about the visuals, but really, why? They just make me upset. A lot of time has been put into some great renders of characters we don't get to see enough of. Like, I really want to see more of Princess Daisy, or Blaze the Cat, or Waluigi. But not like this. I've been wanting the Sonic series to put more of the supporting cast in the games for years, but... not like this. Not in this barren wasteland of a soulless husk of a mini-game ass blasting collection masquerading as children's entertainment. It's like watching Charles Bronson in the last Death Wish movie. You just feel bad. You know they don't want to be there, but the cruel hands of developers manipulate them like puppets, contorting them into sportsball-related poses for the sake of a few quick bucks. They're pimps. Video game pimps. And these visuals? They're basically furry prostitution. You can quote me on that.

Nothing about Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is good. The visuals are depressing. The gameplay is busted. The amount of content feels like a threat as opposed to a selling point. It's just a sad carnival of cringe that makes me think of everyone involved differently. And after I spent a while with it and played another game, I realized that a pixel on my New 3DS, barely three months old, had died.

That means that, no matter what, no matter what I play, no matter how many years pass, this game has left a permanent mark on my life.

Don't let Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games ruin your life, too. And don't let it ruin the lives of any children you know. If you see a copy of it, see if you can talk to a sales associate about burning it. Because a heap of melted, molten plastic would be more a contribution to this world than this miserable disaster.

- The visuals are okay.
- It's basically functional.

- Everything else.


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