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.
Players select one event to play in. In single player only, the player can do a tutorial on how to play an event. Some game options can be changed for some events.
Some events put the players in teams, where some other events have 8 players vying for 1st place. If the player can place in the first 3 spots in an event, they win a medal. In events where there are 4 players in one team, characters will clap for their result if they finish 2nd or 3rd. The player can see which medals they won in the Select Event screen. By using the Road to Victory channel on the GamePad, they can view a history of their results in the events they have participated in, including if they won an event on the Hard CPU level, and other stats. A difference between the previous games is that this game skips celebrations for CPU players that place in the top 3.
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 2010 Wii game.
A change from the previous Wii games is that in Single Player or Co-op in events where they are played in a tournament style, the human player or team will always advance to the finals; this makes getting 3rd or lower impossible. When 3 or more human players want to compete in a free-for-all on events where only 2 players can compete, the seeding is determined randomly. First round winners play for 1st or 2nd place while the losers play for 3rd or 4th place. If there are only 3 players, the seeding determines who gets a bye in the first round and is guaranteed at least 2nd place. The loser of the first round gets 3rd place; the winner of that round faces off against the player that got a bye in the first round to battle for 1st or 2nd.
4 players compete in a medley to see who is the best player across a series of events. When playing with 3 or 4 players, a 2-vs-2 match can also be played. The game settings set for the individual events in the Single Match mode will also apply to the same events in the medley. Medals and records can also be earned/set 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, though events in Medley Mania are never played in team mode. The difference is that players earn stars based off their results in the events:
Note that before selecting a character, human players can choose whether they can have a "Handicap Bonus"; if on, 2 extra stars are awarded if they place in 1st or 2nd, so 6 or 5 stars are awarded for 1st and 2nd, respectively for these players. If a 2-vs-2 competition is being played, the total amount of stars both players earn is the team's score.
Extra characters (as a teammate or an opponent) are chosen at random for events that feature them. In addition, for 8-player free-for-all events, the results by the extra CPU players in the events have no effect on the stars each player earns. Note that the current medley standings do not determine seeding in tournament-based events. Another note is that 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 pre-event screen.
At the end of a medley, the Award Ceremony scene is shown where characters are placed based off the amount of stars they earned. In 2-vs-2 mode, special winning animations may also occur depending on which characters were on the winning team, just like in Single Match. Note that the Award Ceremony scene is still shown in 1 player mode even if the player places 4th; if that is the case, the music for 2nd/3rd place will play during the ceremony. Characters never do their losing animation in the ceremony screen if they place last (they will always wave to the screen no matter what), and if there is a tie for a position, the lowest player number will win.
The Medley Mania final results screen will show a standings list of all players and the amount of stars earned; it will also display a replay of the last event that the players have competed in. If the last event of a medley does not have a final results screen or a replay, the medley's final results screen will take place after the ceremony where all action in the ceremony is frozen.
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.
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; 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 when the timer reaches 0, 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. The rank for the player's country for 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 boss. 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 last event in the mode is Winter Sports Champion Race. Any character can be chosen for the final event. The player goes up against Eggman Nega, Dry Bowser and Rouge; the player must finish the event in 1st place to clear the event and the mode.
Action & Answer Tour
The players compete for points by travelling to a number of different venues and answering questions that occur in the middle of events. The player can choose to play 4, 6 or 8 rounds. After the end of all the rounds, the player with the highest total wins; if there is a tie for first, a tiebreaker question is held among the players that tie.
Generally, 10 points are awarded to the winner, but this can be different in certain points of a game, such as when it is the final round. It is possible for multiple players to be correct; on some events, fewer points may be awarded depending on the position the player ended up in if they were correct. The distribution is as follows for events that can rank from first to last:
These values are adjusted accordingly if the amount of points the winner will receive is not exactly 10. Note that there are some events where all players are always correct, even if they end with a score of 0 on that event. There are some events where points are solely based off how many points they earned in the event. 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.
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 during times where there is no gameplay or for events that don't use the GamePad; 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.
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