16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Simple but enjoyable,
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This review is from: Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games: Sochi 2014 (Nintendo Wii U) (Video Game)
If you've played any similar Wii or Wii U sports titles in the past, then you pretty much know what to expect from this game. It offers a fairly wide range of Winter Olympic events, such as ski jump, snowboarding, and figure skating. It's certainly not a realistic or in-depth simulation of these events though. Rather, each one captures some of the essence of the discipline in a colourful and accessible way, without getting too technical.
Most of the events are fairly short, and reasonably easy to learn. Some of them can make use of the game pad, but to be honest it really doesn't leverage its potential (except for a few quirky things here and there). It's mostly played with the Wii Remote Plus, optionally with the nunchuk. In my view, the controls are not always as intuitive as they could be for beginners, but there are the usual tutorials, and the on-screen prompts also help.
There is plenty of scope for local multiplayer competition, either simultaneously or taking it in turns (depending on the event). Some events also offer co-operative multiplayer modes, which can be a nice change of pace. It's enjoyable as a single player experience too though. You can monitor your progress to see how you're improving, and share your achievements with other friends who also own the game. You can even look at the best times and runs from other players round the world, which is a nice touch. There are a *lot* of things to unlock as well.
Each player can choose from a wide range of recognisable characters, such as Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, and so on. They each have particular strengths and weaknesses, such as speed, acceleration, and turning. These attributes can make a significant difference to the game, so your choice is important. You can also play as your Mii, and can adjust your own appearance and attributes by changing clothes and gear. (Clothes and gear are among the many unlockables.)
The online multiplayer is a nice idea, letting you compete to get medals for your home country. There only seems to be a very small subset of events available for online play though, and I've rarely been able to find an opponent. That may change as more people buy it though.
Overall, I'd say the game is worth having if you're a casual player, or enjoy some simple local multiplayer. It's been well designed and implemented, the breadth of things to do is good, and it's fun to drop into when you have a few minutes free. However, there isn't terribly much depth or long-term challenge in my opinion. As with many similar titles, I think most of the engagement will come from playing with friends.