With the Olympics in Beijing just months away and the London 2012 games constantly popping up in the headlines it's no surprise that Sega and Nintendo have joined forces for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. But can the game get gold? We got training to find out.
If you remember Track and Field on the Atari and its need for you to violently shake the joystick from side to side, you'll know the premise here.
Just as then, you are charged with competing in 16 Olympic events modelled after real-life Olympic venues with actual Olympic events including track and field, archery, skeet shooting, as well as Olympic events exclusive to the DS, such as Cycling pursuit and 10m platform.
Being Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games you get to play all the characters from the Sonic games: Tails, Dr. Robotics et al, as well as all the characters from the Nintendo universe including Princess Peach, Donkey Kong and Luigi.
You can either play races singularly or as a set and the controls vary accordingly. However virtually all require you to use the DS console's touchscreen.
Take the 400m or 100m races for example, here you have to move your stylus side to side for every pace your character makes.
If you're not careful and opt to play it on the train people might give you some funny looks, they certainly did us as it looks like you are doing something else, eherm.
Other levels, such as shooting, require you to tap on the screen to hit your target as it flies through the air, while long jump sees you drawing out your jumping line at the right moment to achieve a long jump.
So does it strike gold? Well yes and no. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is good fun, although soon befalls the same fate as every other track and field or Olympic-inspired title we've ever played; it gets boring very quickly.
The races are short while the loading times are long, and once you cracked how complete an event then there is little motivation to do it again.
As for the Mario and Sonic element, well you get to run as your favourite game character and each character has different skill sets. Wow. It's as about exciting as watching paint dry.
Overall Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is great fun, just don't expect the excitement to last to the 2008 Beijing games, let alone the London 2012 Olympics.