Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Wii U)
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is a sports title for the Wii U, which is the fifth installment on the Mario & Sonic series, along with the Nintendo 3DS version. Like the other games, it takes place in the host city of the Olympics of the corresponding year, being Rio de Janeiro.
In the game, the main menu, called Shortcut Menu, is unlocked after winning a medal in the first tournament, is optional and is activated with the button. The game always starts instead on Copacabana Beach, that is explorable and contains several characters the player can talk to, either characters from Team Sonic and Team Mario or Miis of other players. Outside of tournaments, the player always controls their own Mii on the beach. By talking to Miis of players from unknown countries or by talking the first time to characters from Team Sonic or Team Mario after entering the first tournament, countries' and characters' flags can be obtained respectively. Furthermore, after participating at least once in the Heroes Showdown mode, there is also one Mii that gives a tip card about the Heroes Showdown mode, if all said cards haven't been already collected. When characters from Team Mario or Team Sonic are found at the beach, one Mii also gives additional information about one character, chosen randomly among at least two small pieces of information of this kind per character. In addition to this, there are important locations and characters that can be talked to in order to access the game's modes, to purchase items or to obtain additional rewards, these are:
Here the Single Matches modes can be chosen by talking to the following characters:
Rio 2016 Tournament Gate
This sand statue is completed after the player comes in first place or wins five Single Matches. Here the tournaments can be chosen or the number of players participating in them can be changed by talking to the following characters:
This monitor is activated after passing the first phase of the second tournament. Here, messages from other players that were sent to the game's group on Miiverse could be seen, furthermore the player could talk to Red Toad to send a message to the game's group on Miiverse.
This sand statue is completed after the players arrives in first place in all the Single Matches or wins a medal in seven tournaments. Here the Heroes Showdown modes can be chosen by talking to the following characters:
Ghost Match Entrance
This pedestal appears once the statue of the Versus Arena is completed. Here a Shy Guy can be talked to in order to participate in match against the ghosts of other players in three events; the 100m, the 4x100m Relay, and the 100m Freestyle Swimming. The player can choose to challenge a ghost of a player with similar skills as them or the best ghost recorded for the event.
Here Big the Cat can be talked to in order to view the current collected items, change the player's Mii's outfits, change the background music of events, view the player's profile, change various settings or view the game's credits once all level 3 tournaments are cleared.
Item Stands are gradually unlocked as tournaments are cleared. There, the player can obtain items using coins or rings. 5 coins or rings allow an item to be obtained, while 50 coins or rings allow to obtain 11 items. The items obtained are chosen randomly, and the same item can be obtained more than once, with items not already owned marked as new when obtained. The color of the containers coming out of the machine reveal what kind of items are obtained: yellow ones contain hats, red ones contain outfits, green ones contain stamps, light blue ones contain music tracks. There are three item stands, hosted by the following characters:
A Lakitu on his Cloud appears on the beach every five Gold Medals or 1st Place Medals earned. By talking to him the player receives 30 Coins and 30 Rings as a reward. If the player's Mii is wearing the full Lakitu costume, Lakitu will double the prize to 60 Coins and 60 Rings.
After winning all level 1 tournaments, Rio carnival floats can arrive at Copacabana Beach once a tournament ends. After the first time, the carnival floats return after 3 tournaments not chosen using the "Past Tournaments" option. When this happens, the background music of Copacabana Beach is replaced with a vocal theme song, Canção do Rio, and five Miis at the beach give information about Brazil while the others talk about the ongoing carnival. There are four types of float, each one with a character (selected at random from a pool of specific characters for each float) that can be challenged to a Carnival Challenge in order to obtain a part of his or her costume. If the costume part has already been obtained, a wear that has not already been obtained will be given to the player, either a hat or outfit or a costume part that can be obtained at the item stand of the team the challenged character belongs to. When every wear has been obtained, the prize will be either 99 Coins or 99 Rings, depending on the team of the challenged character. The carnival challenge consists in winning in a match against the character while satisfying peculiar conditions. The image shown on the card illustrating the conditions indicate the kind of item obtained when winning. Only Miis can participate in Carnival Challenges. In order to participate in said challenge, the player must pay either Rings (for Sonic's and Dr. Eggman's floats) or Coins (for Mario's and Bowser's floats). If the player fails to win the challenge, the challenge can be retried by paying an increased amount of Rings or Coins. After three unsuccessful tries, the character on the float becomes easier to beat. The Rio Carnival stays at Copacabana Beach until the player participates in a tournament. There are four floats: Mario's, Bowser's, Sonic's, and Dr. Eggman's.
When the player is participating in a tournament, a few changes happen at the beach. The background music is changed, all the characters participating in said tournament can be found at the beach and the player's Mii is replaced by the Mii or character chosen in the character select screen shown when entering said tournament. Furthermore, there are also Miis that give suggestions about hidden controls or features of the tournament's event; among those, one Mii gives a tip in the form of a card that can be collected and is shown after each match in said event, if all said tip cards for that event haven't been collected. Lastly, the player is not able to participate in ghost matches, single events or in the Heroes Showdown and is not able to change the number of players in the ongoing tournaments.
Statistics shared with other players through Nintendo Network
While the game does not offer real time online play functionality, several statistics and data about the player and their Mii are shared with other players through Nintendo Network. When talking to a Mii of an other player or when viewing the profile of a ghost, the following statistics of said player are shown:
Furthermore, the results of the following events are ranked in an international ranking:
Finally, the ghost of the player's performance is saved through Nintendo Network in the following events:
35 characters are playable. Character costumes that can be used by Miis are playable as well. The 21 characters that are playable in the Wii versions of the second installment and third installment, as well as the fourth installment, are playable in all events. All newcomers to this installment (known as guests) are only playable in one event each (with the exceptions of Diddy Kong, Jet, and Rouge, who are also playable in the Duel versions of their respective events). Like the 3DS version of the game, guests have to be unlocked by winning a match against them.
General stats information
Unlike the other home console versions of Mario & Sonic games, there are no character types. However, each character still has three stats (Power, Speed and Technique) that are then translated in stats specific for each event. The points for each stat range from 0 to 10, with base stats for the characters in Team Mario and Team Sonic ranging from 3 to 9 and having a sum of the points of the three stats which is always 18. Mii without hats and outfits has 2 points in all stats.
Fourteen official Olympic Games Events and three Duel Events are playable along normal events. In the Duel Events, special items from the Mario and Sonic universes are usable and certain actions increase Duel Points. Once a try, point, or goal is scored, said Duel Points are added to the total score of the team while the Duel Points of the opponent's team are halved. In tournaments of Duel Events, 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place Medals are earned instead of Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals respectively.
Olympic Games Events
Tornaments, unlocked after winning in five Single Matches, are event-specific and consist in three phases. Furthermore, a special prize is earned if a condition related to each tournament is satisfied. Four levels of increasing difficulty exist. After a few unsuccessful attempts at obtaining a medal, the difficulty of a specific tournament decreases, even though its level remains unchanged.
The participants of tournaments are mainly Miis of other players and the character or Mii chosen by the player. Characters from Team Sonic and Team Mario can sometime participate in tournaments of level 2 or higher. After the first time, said characters appear every 3 tournaments played. When this happens, their presence is indicated by a question mark in place of the head of the athletes participating in the tournament. Said characters are actually decided after the player chooses and confirms the character or the first character in a team in the character selection screen. If a character from Team Mario is chosen, all those characters will come from Team Sonic, if a character from Team Sonic is chosen, all those characters will come from Team Mario, if a Mii is chosen, those characters will be selected among all characters from both teams. It is important to note that in events involving teams these restriction apply only to team leaders, that are the characters whose heads replace the question marks and who are actually found in Copacabana Beach, the other members of their teams are chosen among the remaining characters in both Team Sonic and Team Mario. In each tournament, tough competitors are indicated with an exclamation mark. Finally, guests of the particular event of the tournament may appear at Copacabana Beach after the qualifiers or preliminaries are passed, if the player talks to them their flag is earned, furthermore if the tournament is successfully cleared, the guest challenges the player and, if beaten, is unlocked. After all level 3 tournaments are cleared, it is possible to choose characters from Team Mario and Team Sonic in the character select screen shown while entering in a tournament.
There are two kinds of tournaments: elimination series and bracket series.
This kind of tournaments is composed of four Qualifiers, two Semifinals and one Final. In each phase (Qualifiers, Semifinals and Final) the individual performances of athletes are evaluated and ranked. In the Qualifiers and Semifinals the first half of the athletes passes to the next phase, while the bottom half is eliminated. In the Final, the first three athletes receive the medals.
This kind of tournaments is composed of four Preliminaries, two Semifinals, one Final and one 3rd Place Match. In each phase (Preliminaries, Semifinals, Final, 3rd Place Match) an athlete or their team directly faces another athlete or their team. In the Preliminaries the loser is eliminated while the winner advances to the next phase; in the Semifinals the winner advances to the Final while the loser advances to the 3rd Place Match; in the Final the winner wins a Gold Medal or a 1st Place Medal, while the loser wins a Silver Medal or a 2nd Place Medal; in the 3rd Place Match the winner wins a Bronze Medal or a 3rd Place Medal, while the loser is eliminated.
Leaving and Suspending
During a tournament, it is possible to either leave it completely or suspend it. In both cases, Copacabana Beach will return to the normal state and, as a consequence, the player will take control of their Mii and Ghost Matches, Single Events and the Heroes Showdown mode will be available again. In the second case, the player will be unable to change the number of players participating in a tournament but will be able to resume the tournament, with any subsequent failure in the resumed phase of said tournament resulting in immediate elimination, even in bracket series tournaments.
During tournaments, prizes are earned for certain achievements.
It is important to note that medals are only earned when arriving in the first three places in a tournament, as such, the victory animations can only be seen after obtaining a medal in a tournament. Both animations for single characters as well as animations for specific pairs of characters are featured. The animations that only involve the playable characters of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games are the same ones featured in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The prize depends on the character selected in the character select screen at the beginning of the tournament. If a character from Team Mario is selected, the prize is in Coins, if a character from Team Sonic is selected, the prize is in Rings, if a Mii is selected, the prize is equally split into Coins and Rings using half up rounding.
The special prize increases the prize of the medal by half using half up rounding.
In addition to these prizes, a wear is obtained when obtaining a medal in the tournament for the first time.
Leagues are special tournaments that can be accessed after winning 25 tournaments using either an amiibo related to the Mario universe or a Sonic amiibo. The Mario League, accessed with a Mario-related amiibo, has the player's Miis playing against opponents from Team Mario, while the Sonic League, accessed with the Sonic amiibo, has the player's Miis facing characters from Team Sonic. The reward of the Leagues is either a Mario or a Sonic Mii costume. Unlike in the normal tournaments, once a tournament for one sport is done, the player can then do the next tournament for that same sport, instead of having to pass all the tournaments for that level.
A Heroes Showdown mode is featured as well. It is unlocked after getting the gold medal in all the Single Matches or after getting more than seven medals in the tournaments. In it the player joins either Team Mario or Team Sonic and participates in knockout rounds against members of the other team in events chosen randomly, until either all members of one team or one of the two captains; Mario and Sonic, are knocked out.
The game supports amiibo functionality, accessed from the Shortcut Menu after winning a medal in 25 tournaments rather than by talking to a character in Copacabana Beach. A Mario-related amiibo lets the player enter the Mario League, and the Sonic amiibo lets the player enter the Sonic League. All other amiibo will give either coins or rings. Amiibo can not be used during a tournament or while the Carnival is at Copacabana Beach.
Hats and Outfits
There are 406 collectable hats and outfits for the player to use for their Mii character.
Some hats and outfits combinations are able to generate costumes, whose stats are greater than the sum of the stats of the individual parts. A majority of the character costumes return from the previous installments, in addition to some brand new ones.
As in the previous installments, music can be collected. All guests' themes are unlocked after beating them in an event. Winning Heroes Showdown with Team Mario unlocks a music track from the Mario series, while winning with Team Sonic unlocks a music track from the Sonic series. Music can also be obtained from item stands.
As in other Wii U titles like Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, players can obtain stamps to use in Miiverse posts. There are a total of 100 stamps in the game. Stamps are obtained at the item stands except for two obtained after clearing all level 3 tournaments.
Differences from previous installments
A free demo of the game was released on the 21st of July in Europe and on the 3rd of August in Japan. It doesn't feature Copacabana Beach and only allows Single Matches to be played.
Events featured in the demo
The following events are playable in the demo:
Characters available in the demo
Eight characters can be selected in the demo, four from Team Mario and four from Team Sonic:
Pre-release and unused content
The game originally featured Boom Boom among the playable characters of Team Mario in the introductory video of the game shown in the Nintendo Direct of March 2016. This video was also reused as the introduction of the game. Despite this, in the final game Dry Bowser, who doesn't appear in the introduction among the playable characters of Team Mario and is only referred to through his flags, replaces Boom Boom and the only playable Boom Booms are the supporting characters of the Rugby Sevens events.
Additionally, Birdo is shown as a goalie in the Duel Football event. In the final game, Birdo is replaced by different colored Birdos as goalies while Birdo makes no appearance in the game aside from appearing at the Heroes Showdown sand statue.