Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
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Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (stylized as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games: Sochi 2014) is a Wii U game, and is the fourth installment in the Mario & Sonic series. It includes a variety of events from the winter games such as skiing, figure skating, and curling. As the title implies, the game is centered around the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, taking place in Sochi, Russia. Different events uses the Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii U GamePad, or both. As the other games in the series, it features realistic events with ones in Mario's and Sonic's worlds. As the game is a Wii U exclusive, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is the first in the series to not have a handheld version. It is also the first game in the series published by Nintendo outside of Japan and South Korea rather than SEGA, who published the first three games.
The game features five overall modes total.
The basic mode of play where players select one event to play in. The player can change the CPU difficulty level, the music to use in events, and extra options for certain events. The number of players and the team settings are decided upon, each player selects characters to use for an event, then the match begins.
Before each event, there is an event intro screen. Events where all 4 players play at once show the VS screen, displaying which players or teams they are up against. For turn-based events, the current results screen will be shown, similar to the final results screen that shows the current running order prior to the next player or team beginning their turn. For head-2-head events, the tournament grid, showing the 4 players or teams in a tournament bracket, will be shown.
For the latter two types of intro screens, these screens are shown again during the course of an event after a player or team finishes their turn in case of turn-based events, or after a round is complete in case of head-2-head events, until the final results have been determined.
There are some events that put the players in teams. There are also other events that have 8 players vying for 1st place. In certain events, the results of CPU players/teams are simulated, and are shown in the current results screen before the next player/team begins their turn. The length of an event depends on how the event is played and the game settings for the selected event.
Mario & Sonic Live
There are some events that are played without the GamePad. For these events, the Mario & Sonic Live will be displayed on the GamePad, with Toad hosting the events. Toad will comment at the start and end of events. Miis would give tips on how to play an event based off posts from the Miiverse network; due to the shutdown of Miiverse, the Penguins instead now give a preset list of tips for the event. There are some events with a track map that shows where the players are running at the moment; the map can be enlarged to fit the screen by pressing .
At the end of an event, players are ranked based on how well they did in an event, such as how many points they earned, how fast they finished the course, etc. There are some events that grade players on various criteria from C- being the worst and A+ being the best; the letter grades are converted to points to give an overall result.
If the player can place in the first 3 spots in an event, they win a medal. In Figure Skating Spectacular's 2-vs-2 mode and events where there are 4 players in one team, characters never do their individual victory animations, and characters will clap for their result if they finish 2nd or 3rd. A difference between the previous games is that this game skips celebrations for CPU players that place in the top 3, and that the ceremony is done first before the final result screen, rather than after it.
After the ceremony is complete or if the player/team finishes outside the top 3, the final result screen is displayed, showing each player or team's score, which varies depending on the type of event. The player can watch the replay of a completed event by pressing . Once the player presses , the Retry menu appears that allows the player to play again, change the character or event, or go back to the main menu. There are some events without a final result screen or replay, so the Retry menu will pop up at the point where the final result screen should appear after such events.
The player can see which medals they won and the best record they have set in the Select Event screen. Records can be set in events that feature them, but they can only be set in Single Player or Co-op; multiplayer versus or team battles do not allow records to be set, like the 2009 Wii game. Also from the 2009 Wii game, Best Runs can only be set in single player mode. However, certain challenges can be cleared in multiplayer versus or team battles.
More details on the player's record for a specific event can be displayed in the Road to Victory channel on the GamePad. This channel allows the player to view a history of their results in the events they have participated in, the accomplishments they have made, as well as a graph showing up to 20 of the player's most recent attempts, the change in score from the first attempt to the most recent attempt, in addition to two other statistics.
The following 5 events have only two players or teams compete:
These events are played in a tournament fashion. The number of players and the team setup determine what happens next:
4 players, either in a free-for-all or in a 2-vs-2 battle, compete in a medley to see who is the best player or team across a series of events. When playing with 3 or 4 players, a 2-vs-2 match can also be played. The game settings, CPU difficulty and the music track set for the individual events in the Single Match mode will also apply to the same events in the medley. The player can also win medals, records, and challenges in Medley Mania mode, though this can only be done during a single player session.
Gameplay for events in Medley Mania are the same as in Single Match. Events usually will be played in a free-for-all; the exception is if the medley is played in 2-vs-2 mode and the event allows players to split into pairs. For events that are played in 2-vs-2 mode, the team setup for the event will be the same as the team setup for the medley.
The player's objective here is to perform the best they can out of all events played in the medley against the other players. The results of all rounds that are played are tallied up to determine the final ranking for each player in the medley; the better the player does in the events, the better their final ranking will be.
Before each round is a splash screen showing the medley being played, the current round number of the medley, and the event that will take place. The current medley standings are only displayed on the GamePad until the final event is complete.
In Medley Mania, a star system is used to determine the winner of a medley. The way stars are awarded to players at the end of each event is very simple. In this system, all players earn one star, plus one additional star for each opponent they beat within a round in the medley. In other words, stars are awarded as follows:
Before selecting a character, human players can choose whether they can have a "Handicap Bonus"; if enabled, 2 extra stars are given for each top 2 finish, meaning 6 and 5 stars will be awarded to 1st and 2nd, respectively. Note that even with this option On, there is no bonus for finishing outside the top 2. This option is not available for CPU players; it is locked to Off.
In 2-vs-2 medleys, star accumulation for each event varies depending on the multiplayer formation of the event. In a free-for-all, the total amount of stars both players earn from their finish positions are added to the team's score; for 2-vs-2 events, the winning team earns 7 stars and the losing team earns 3 stars.
Extra characters (as a teammate or an opponent) are chosen at random for events that feature them. However, they do not influence the amount of stars a player or team earns at the end of a round, even if a player wins or loses against them. Stars will be awarded based on only the player's results against the 3 other players participating in the medley.
The amount of stars a player has earned does not determine the seeding in tournament-based events; the seeding for these events will be determined the same way as in Single Match. In addition, when 3 players are playing an event in a medley that is played in a tournament style, the CPU player will earn 1 star for the 4th position, despite not even appearing in the tournament bracket screen.
At the end of a medley, the Award Ceremony scene is shown where characters are ranked based off the amount of stars they earned in each event.
The Medley Mania final results screen will show a standings list of all players and the amount of stars earned.
The scoreboard shows the position and how many stars each player has accumulated over the course of the medley, and whether or not they are given a Handicap Bonus. The scoreboard is shown on the GamePad. In the case of 2-vs-2 medleys, the scoreboard will show both teams and the players in each team, the position that team is in, and the total amount of stars the team has earned.
The scoreboard is always shown at the start and end of events, during events that don't use the GamePad, and during the Award Ceremony scene; for events that use the GamePad, the scoreboard will be hidden for the duration of the event until the Final Results screen. For events that do not use the GamePad, the scoreboard will replace the live TV screen and the track maps for racing events that feature them.
The player can play in 8 pre-made medleys, plus one user-made medley.
Sonic Stage Medley
Mario Stage Medley
The player can create a custom medley by pressing the Edit button, and selecting from 2 to 5 events that the player wants in their medley. is used to remove events from the medley. Note that the order the events will be played in is based off the order the player has picked the events in the Select Event screen, so will need to be used if the player wants to change the order the events are played in. Once the player has chosen the events they want in their custom medley, the player presses the Save button to finish.
Players can compete against up to 3 other friends or players around the world online. There are always 4 players in a match, if less than 4 players gather up at the conclusion of the entry period, the rest of the field are filled with computer players. Note that when playing with friends, only players that are friends with the user of the first player's console can join. Competing in online matches raises a player's Strength Points, which helps contribute to their selected country's ranking. However, losing matches has a chance to lower a player's Strength Points. The Strength Points are shown after going past the event results screen, and it will show whether that value has increased or decreased. The rank for the player's country in each event is shown before the player selects an event to compete in.
There are 4 events to compete in on Worldwide VS:
The player competes on all events in the game, which are split into 6 areas. The player earns points based on how much they win an event by; the higher the margin, the more points earned. The maximum amount of points possible in an event is 1,000; the minimum points the player can win is 200 for most events. Friend AI can also appear, and also are worth 500 bonus points for that area if one should appear.
During an area, the points the player earned from events can be seen on the GamePad; once an area is complete, the TV screen will display the amount of points earned in each event. A rank will also be given with A+ being the best and C- being the worst, which depends on the number of points scored in that area.
In each area, the player selects a character from the 4 available from each area. In each event except the last event of each area and in events where a Friend AI takes over, the player competes against a dark form of the player's selected character, in which their name in-game is listed as three question marks. The last event of an area involves fighting a rival. In all events, the player must simply redo the event if they lose. Records can also be set in events played in Legends Showdown.
The characters and events for each area, as well as the rivals for each of the final events, are shown.
Characters are Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Sonic, and Tails.
Characters are Waluigi, Wario, Knuckles, and Amy.
Note: Magikoopa is called Kamek in European/Australian versions of the game.
Characters are Daisy, Luigi, Shadow, and Vector.
Characters are Mario, Peach, Silver, and Blaze.
Characters are Bowser, Bowser Jr., Dr. Eggman, and Metal Sonic.
Note: Records cannot be set on Figure Skating Spectacular in Legends Showdown as this is programmed as a 4 vs 4 event; they can only be set in 1-player mode on Single Match or Medley Mania.
The player selects any of the 20 characters and competes in Winter Sports Champion Race against Eggman Nega, Dry Bones, and Rouge. When the player finishes the event in 1st place, they clear the mode and the credits will play.
Action & Answer Tour
This mode is about playing in Olympic Events with questions thrown in within the events and answering them.
The players compete for points by travelling to a number of different venues and answering questions that occur in the middle of events.
In most cases, 10 points are awarded to the winner of a minigame. However, this can change at certain points of a game, such as when it is the final round. It is possible for multiple players to be correct depending on how the minigame was played. There are some minigames that award a different number of points to players in the order they answered or where they finished in:
There are some minigames where all players are always correct, even if they finish with a score of 0 on that minigame. There are other minigames where points are solely based off how many points they earned in the minigame, and there are also extra chances to earn more points depending on what happens in the game.
When it is the final round, the amount of points the winner can earn changes to a number between 12 and 28, which is based off the sum of the displays of all players, which range from 3 to 7. If the last minigame can award partial points to players, the amount of points that would be earned normally, multiplied by one-tenth the maximum amount of points possible for that round, would be the amount of points the player would earn for that round; if the result is not a whole number, it is rounded down.
The scoreboard in Action & Answer Tour shows the position and how many points each player has accumulated over the course of the game, which is shown on the GamePad.
The scoreboard is always shown at the start of a match, during intermissions, for events that don't use the GamePad, and at the end of a match; for events that use the GamePad, the scoreboard will be hidden for the duration of the event until the event ends.
The game features 16 Olympic events total.
The game has eight total Dream Events.
Legends Showdown Rivals
Figure Skating Spectacular Bosses
As with the previous games, there are a variety of collectable costumes for the player to use for their Mii character. All the costumes from Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games return (with the exception of the Wenlock Costume, being replaced by the mascots of the new Olympic games). The method for unlocking them is different also; instead of buying them from a shop using in-game points, they are obtained by completing specific challenges (the same applies for all unlockable music, which exclusively includes music from past Mario games and past Sonic games). Here is a list of costumes and their unlocking requirements.
Most of the songs used are from past installments.
A * notes that the song appeared in a previous title, but wasn't a customizable song.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games received mixed reviews from critics. IGN gave the game a 4.5 (a "Bad" rating). They praised its large quantities of unlockables, but criticized its lack of games to be played online. GameXplain gave the single player mode a 3/5 stars and its multiplayer a 3.5/5. Destructoid gave the game a 6.0. The game received a score of 49% by Official Nintendo Magazine - while they praised the game's "TV-show-style to menus and games", they criticized the controls (describing them as "almost universally abject") and the event gameplay.
Names in other languages