Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Nintendo 3DS)
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games the third installment of the Mario & Sonic series, taking place in London, the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Much like the other games in the series, the game is largely based around the 56 minigame-like Events, the most featured in a single installment in the series' history, with various modes allowing for the events to be played in different formats such as medleys and offering both single and multiple cartridge multiplayer for the mode. In addition to this, the game features a new Story Mode, centered around a plot based on Bowser and Dr. Eggman trying to stop the Olympic Games taking place using the Phantasmal Fog, in which the player completes various event challenges to progress. The game also has a number of collectibles in the form of badges, and also allows the player to view online leaderboards of records for certain events. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games marks the first installment of the series released on the Nintendo 3DS, and was released roughly three months after its home console counterpart on the Wii.
Olympic Mode is the main mode within the game, and is based around playing the game's various events. Much like the other games in the series, each event is structured like a short minigame based on an Olympic event, where a winner is determined from the four entrants. Each event has a unique objective and control scheme, menaing that different events have varying lengths and difficulties. The mode can be played in both single player and multiplayer.
In this mode, the player plays a single match of an event using the standard rules. For each event, the player an select a COM Level which determines the difficulty of the computer-controlled opponents from Easy, Normal and Hard. A medal an be earned for each COM level in every event, however earning a medal at a higher difficulty level will also earn the medal for lower ones. For example, earning a gold medal at normal COM level will also earn the gold medal for easy if the player does not already have the medal. The player can select their character for each event from the four available for the entry character class, with each event being assigned one of the five character groups. After completing each event, an award ceremony is held, during which the final placements of all of the characters are shown on a podium. If two characters tie for a position in an event, through having the same number of points for example, they will both appear on the podium in their respective position. For events in which the player controls two or four characters as a team, only the players' characters will appear on the podium and will do their victory animation for their placement. The characters will appear on a podium even if they place fourth in the event, whereas only those in the top three stand on the podium for single character events, with the fourth place character off to the side. After the awards ceremony, the player is given the options to replay the event, choose a different event to play or return to the main menu.
Certain events require the player to select a team of either two or four characters to play the event. For these events, extra teams made up of non-playable characters are added for the event. In two-character team events, the extra teams are a pair of Chao and a pair of Koopa Troopas. The teams never physically appear in the events, and in events where the player is required to directly compete against a COM team rather than using a score to determine the rankings, the player can only place first or second in the event as the Koopa Troopa and Chao teams will always place third and fourth. For the events that require the player to use all of the characters in the class, the COM teams will be made up of green, yellow and blue Shy Guys. The Shy Guys only physically appear in 4x100m Relay, with their times and scores being used for the other events of the type.
In Medley Match mode, the player can compete in medleys made up of several different Olympic events to earn points, aiming to score more points than their opponents. For each event, the player will receive a number of points based on their placement in it, winning 10 points for first place, 6 points for second place, 4 points for third place and 2 points for fourth place.
In this mode, certain events are always treated as bonus events, giving them slightly different rules and awarding different point scores at the end of the event, mainly based on the score that the player achieved. The following events are treated as bonus events:
Upon creating a new file, the player completes the Warm-Up Medley consisting of three events, 100m, 100m Freestyle and Judo. Any records set during this medley do not count, and the player cannot see the results of the events. This medley is not available in the game afterwards.
There are two ways to play Medley Match, standard mode and quick mode. Standard allows players to choose a character from each of the groups, as well as allowing them to set and select a group of favorite characters. When playing two-person medleys, the second character will be randomly picked, and when playing team medleys the player's selected character will be the lead character. Each event shows the player the instructions screen before playing, and also provides intermittent screens between events showing each player's current position, point increases and position changes and often features commentary from Toad, Wenlock and a Chao about recent occurrences. In the quick mode, all of these things are absent, with the player receiving a random selection of characters and their current position in the medley and number of points being displayed in the bottom right of the Touch Screen during the events. The quick mode is the only mode in the game where the main instructions screen of an event can be fully skipped.
London Games mainly consists of medleys based on a selection of events from a specific class, but also features some medleys that are a combination of classes or based on the team size instead.
Variety Medleys are made up of events that are grouped together based on things like the type of gameplay or input used in the events.
Party Mix medleys function differently to other medley types, as while there are three different individual medleys, all of them use a randomized selection of single character events. All three Party Mix medleys are available at the start of the game, with the only differences being the number of events in each and the amount of points awarded for the Party Mix Awards event. The main difference to Party Mix medleys is the addition of Party News events, which are various randomly occurring events in the form of a news broadcast hosted by Omochao that appear at various times in the medley and often award players bonus points. The Party News events that can occur are:
Custom Medleys consist of medleys that the player has made using the Make an Event Medley mode or traded with another player using the Trade an Event Medley function. The player can create up to twenty medleys, with the options of making medleys with five single character events or three two or four-character team events. The player can store up to twenty medleys across all types, and is also able to name their medley. Custom medleys have a rarity rating, which is rated from 1 to 10 stars, which is based on both the average of each event's Best Event Ranking from 1 to 57, and a "hidden value" that takes the ratio of the average score of the events in the medley to the average score of all 57 events in the game. An event's Best Event Ranking is determined by three attributes:
The three attributes determines a score for the event used to determine the Best Event ranking, which is shown to the player while making their medley. By picking events with a lower number ranking (the lower this number, the better the player is at an event), the rarity rating for the event will increase. The ranking does not take into account events being in other classes though, meaning that if a player's top events are distributed over single character, double character and quadruple character events, the maximum rarity rating of ten cannot be obtained unless the player changes their top ranked events by repeatedly playing and winning the events in either Highlight Match, Medley Match, or Story Mode. A "hidden value" is also another factor of determining the rarity rating, which is the ratio of the average score of the events in the medley to the average score of all 57 events in the game. When a player plays an event, this "hidden value" will increase very rapidly for medleys containing the event, and decrease very slowly for medleys not containing the event. This "hidden value" will have an effect on the rarity rating given to a medley containing certain events.
When playing multiplayer, the medleys available in the Custom list are based off medleys in the host's list, and only the host can win badges for winning a medley with a certain rarity rating. The rarity of the medley does not change once a medley is created and the player must recreate the medley to determine if the rarity rating has changed. The COM Level that the player competes against in a custom medley does not affect whether a badge will be won for winning a custom medley with a specific rarity rating.
The Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games offers both local and download play multiplayer for up to four players. Download play gives the players the option to compete in both highlight match and event medleys, controlled by the host. During this mode, after completing an event, the usual option to quit is replaced with the option to disconnect the other players.
In Local Play, both Highlight Match and Medley Match are played as normal, although with only the host being able to make selections. All records, including those set by a team, can be saved in Local Play.
In Download Play, the player can play Highlight Match, in which only the host player can select the events, or Medley Match, in which only a "Party Mix Demo DL Medley" is available, in which all players play all of the events as different colors of Yoshi. Download play also features some technical restrictions, including character sound effects being removed and some music being changed, certain features being removed, the top screen becoming inactive at some points, and data such as records not being saved.
The way that teams are set up in multiplayer also changes depending on the number of characters playing, taking advantage of the number of players to allow events to be played in different ways. To accommodate for this, certain events make use of control changes to allow for more of the players to be playing simultaneously. When two players are using the mode, they will automatically be taken to the final in tournament based events, and will always be paired up against COM characters in 2-character events. For three or more players, the host sets the teams, with a COM being used to fill in an extra member if required. For events that make use of a four character team, the set up of the players will also vary. If four players are connected, then each selects a character and the team order runs with the player numbers. For some events, if there is an incomplete team of human players, COMs can be used to fill the remaining team slots. However in events where this is not possible, certain players will take multiple characters. With two players, each player selects two characters each and alternates control throughout the event, and with three characters, player 1 will also take control of the fourth character.
In the Story Mode, players play through a story split into several episodes. Each episode consists of an opening and closing cutscene, with a number of challenges that must be completed in between them to unlock the next part of the story. The cutscenes can be skipped using the start button, and also feature dialogue which the player can page through by pressing the A Button. The first cutscene usually sets up the challenges, occasionally mentioning specific events that the player will play. Each episode can have up to seven challenges, which are either single events or medleys of three or five events. The events featured will often be adjusted for the mode, sometimes featuring fewer specific and occasionally exclusive opponents, with medley challenges working the same way as in medley mode, though occasionally with adjusted point values based on the number of opponents. Not every challenge is required to be completed for every episode, as episodes with multiple challenges will sometimes specify a smaller number of challenges that need to be completed in order to progress, and the player can complete any of the available challenges to fill this quota. The difficulty of the opponents gradually increase throughout the Story Mode, with the opponents being easy difficulty up to A Rainbow In Fog, where the first set of normal opponents appear. Normal opponents appear up until the end of the main story, and hard opponents then appear in all of the bonus episodes.
When first starting the mode, The Night Before cutscene is the first episode unlocked, and must be watched to unlock the first pair of episodes with challenges, Stadium Blues and Sonic Arrives. Completing each episode unlocks another initially, with the Mario episodes leading into the Girls ones, and the Sonic ones leading into Challengers. Once both The Mysterious Thief and Enter Bowser?! are completed, Mario and Sonic is unlocked, and completing this episode then unlocks The Secret of the Fog. After completing the Secret of the Fog, Waluigi's Ambition, Wario's Scheme, The Banana Incident and Corner the Koopa King! are all unlocked. Waluigi's Ambition and Wario's Scheme must both be completed to unlock Stop Dr. Eggman!, and completing it along with The Banana Incident and Corner the Koopa King! unlocks the Clear Skies Again cutscene. After watching this, each episode is unlocked sequentially until the completion of Junior Triumphant!, which unlocks both Bowser's Blues and Dr. Eggman's Robots. Both the Wild Ones Bonus Story and Tricksters Bonus story must be completed in their entirety to unlock the Girls Bonus episodes, with Mario's Defeat?! and The Fog Returns' completion unlocking An Innocent Request. The final two episodes are then unlocked sequentially.
The mode also offers players a Clear Assist option, which allows them to complete a challenge in the episode after failing it enough times. This allows the player to progress through the story, but will mark the episodes cleared in this way with a gray banner until challenges that the player used Clear Assist on are properly completed by the player. Even if the player completes the required number of episodes for the challenge without Clear Assist, if one or more challenges is finished with the Clear Assist the episode will be marked with a gray banner. Episodes that have optional challenges will marked as cleared with a white banner if not all of the challenges have been completed, and episodes where every challenge has been completed regardless of whether it was compulsory will be marked as clear with a gold banner.
In this mode, the player can view data based on their gameplay.
View Play Data
In the View Play Data option, the player can see their records for the forty events in the game that allow for records to be recorded, as well as the characters used to obtain the records. If both files have play data the, player is able to compare the records of the first and second file in this mode.
Play Data Top 5's
In the Play Data Top 5's[sic], the player can view the top 5 for Best Event, Best Controls, Most Played and Best Genre for the file. The Best Event shows the events that have the highest in-game ranking as used to calculate the rarity of event medleys, the Best Controls details the control scheme in which the player performs the best, the Most Played lists the events that the player has competed in the most frequently, and the Best Genre is the type of game that the player performs the best in. The mode also displays the player's current play time for the file.
In the Collection, the player can earn and view several types of the game's collectibles.
The player can view their medal collection, which shows an overview of the medals achieved for each event based on their best medal earned on the highest game level. For example, if the player has earned a bronze medal for the normal difficulty, but a gold medal for the easy difficulty, then the bronze medal will be displayed rather than the gold one. However, if no medals have been earned for the higher difficulty rating, then the best medal for the difficulty below is displayed instead- so if a silver medal has been earned on the normal difficulty, but no medal has been earned for the hard difficulty, then the silver medal will be displayed. If no medals have been earned for an event yet, then the medal case for that event appears empty. Each medal is accompanied by an image for the type of sport for which it was obtained, and can be selected to view the medals earned at all game levels in the event.
In this mode, the player can use tickets earned in-game for competing in events and playing various events to spin the badge machine and collect various badges in the game. The number of tickets that the player has earned is only shown when viewing the machine and are given no indication that they are earned when playing in other modes. A maximum of 999 tickets can be held at once. A badge can be earned by using the stylus to spin the handle onscreen, or by pressing the A Button. 160 different badges can be obtained from the machine, distributed across three different rarities- there are 100 common badges of various objects that come in blue capsules, 40 uncommon badges that come in yellow capsules of minor Mario and Sonic characters, plus six of the London 2012 Olympic mascot Wenlock, and then 20 rare badges of the athlete characters that come in pink capsules. Badges with higher rarities have a higher background, with the rare badges appearing with an exclusive square shape. Each badge can be collected multiple times, with the number obtained also recorded. The player can also press the Y Button as a shortcut to their badge collection.
In this mode, the player can view the badges that they have collected from the badge machine, as well as another forty that can only be unlocked for completing in-game criteria. Of this forty, 20 are treated as the rare square badges, and the other 20 are uncommon. Each of these badges can only be earned once. The badges are grouped into pages based on their rarity and designs. The player can also set any badge that they have earned to appear on their profile in this mode by either touching the badge or pressing the A button when it is selected. The player can press the Y Button in this mode as a shortcut to the badge machine, as well as being able to view their current number of tickets.
In this mode, the player can compare their rankings in the 23 single character events that have non-integer records to other players around the world via the internet. The player can upload and update their own records in the mode. The player will be able to see their own ranking in the global leaderboards, as well as that of the four players directly above them and the five directly below, the overall top ten in the world and their ranking compared to any friends that have the game. For each record, the player can view the player's rank, set flag, profile star rating and title, file name, badge, character used to obtain the record and the record itself. When entering the mode, the player is also given an indication of any events that they have improved their record on since last updating their position in the rankings.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games features a ranking system for each of the profiles in the game, based on the completion of the save file. Progress for various modes in the game, including medals earned, badges collected, and Story Mode episodes completed, which give the player a star ranking from 0 to 5. Each ranking can be accompanied by a number of different titles, which can change without the player going up a rank and can be affected by the events that the player plays most frequently. The following titles are available for each rank:
A total of 20 different characters are playable in the various events of the game, using the same roster introduced in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. However, unlike prior entries in the series, not every character can be played as in every event- the characters are split into five groups of four, and each event can only be competed in as members of a specific group.
As well as the athlete characters, the game also features a cast of supporting characters and species from the Mario and Sonic franchises that perform a variety of roles within the game, including forming parts of the crowd, competing as opponents in or refereeing events and serving as rivals or allies in the Story Mode. The game also introduces one entirely new species in the form of the Fog Imposters that are created by Dr. Eggman in the game's Story Mode.
The Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games features a total of 57 events, the most of any instalment in the series. The events are split across 11 different classes, and make use of most of the features of the Nintendo 3DS as inputs for them. Each event has a specific character group that is used for it, and the player can only choose from characters in that group to play the event- for example, 100m is a Heroes event, and hence the player can only use Mario, Luigi, Sonic or Tails to play it. Each event has three difficulty settings which alter the performance of the COM characters in the events, as well as being given a game level rating which estimates the complexity of the event, going from one to three stars. Different events also require different numbers of characters, and as such may require the player to select multiple characters to compete in the event, or to pick one out to specifically control in the team. Some of the events also record records, which will have a starting record when the game is first played, but if the player manages to beat the record, their record will be stored as the top one for the event instead.
On March 1, 2012, a demo of the 3DS version of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop. Five events are playable in the demo: 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Football, Trampoline, 100m Backstroke, and BMX. The player cannot choose their character or name, as it is always set to "M&S". The demo can be launched a maximum of 30 (20 in Europe) times once downloaded.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games received mainly mixed reviews from critics with some positive ones, scoring an average of 66 on Metacritic based on 28 reviews and 67.30% on GameRankings. Critics praised the gameplay of many of the game's events and the large amount of content, though criticized the limited multiplayer modes, control schemes for certain events and the similarity to previous installments in the series.
Richard George of IGN gave the game a 6.5 out of 10, praising the majority of the events, as well as the collectibles and use of medals and records, but criticized some of the simpler events and the restriction of certain characters to specific events. George also criticized the game's Story Mode and lack of Dream Events, frequently comparing the title to earlier ones in the series. Mark Reece of Nintendo Life gave the game a 6/10, similarly criticizing some of the control schemes, the Story Mode and overall weaker quality in comparison to earlier instalments, but praised the game's graphics and variety of collectibles and events. Shane Jury of Cubed3 gave the game an overall more positive review with a score of 8 out of 10, also praising on the game's graphics and event gameplay, as well as the advantages of simplified nature of the game, use of all of the input types of the Nintendo 3DS and the Story Mode, unlike the other reviewers. Jury also praised the game's soundtrack, but also criticized the game's poorly implemented multiplayer modes and unrealised potential.
Similarly to many of the other games in the series, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was developed by Sega and Group 4 of Nintendo Software Planning & Development, with Sega also handling the publishing in most regions, and Nintendo publishing the game in Japan and South Korea. The game shares many of the key staff with the Wii version of the game, with both featuring Nobuya Ohasis as producer and Okitane Usui as executive producer. Osamu Ohashi as chief producer from Sega, and Tomoyoshi Hamane, Emi Watanabe, Toyokazu Nonaka, Hiroshi Sato, Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata in various production roles for Nintendo. The Nintendo 3DS version does have some specific staff, with Koji Shindo as director and Shinya Takahashi as a general producer for Nintendo. Many of the staff for this game have returned from working on earlier instalments in the series.
Pre-release and unused content
Originally, all characters were going to wear swimsuits for the Aquatics events rather than just the girls, but the idea was rejected by Sega because Sonic cannot have his shoes removed. Swimming costumes for some male characters were later added in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
References to other games
Names in other languages