They sell fairly well, but among us gamers, it's almost like they (along with stuff like Wii Party) don't even exist. Like, to the point where they aren't even MENTIONED as part of holiday lineups. I still haven't picked one of these Olympic games up, but I'm always intrigued by the variety of novel control schemes, and rentals/demos have always been pretty fun (and often physically exhausting). I think that it might finally be time to jump in. It's always nice to have more party games.
Every Christmas we have my Grandmother and Grandfather over and we play bowling, Mario Party AND this. A bunch of fun with a lot of people, but like Mario Party in the fact it isn't the best for solo play.
My niece had the original. It was pretty much the kind of game that gave waggle a bad name. But, I can't say that it wasn't somewhat fun and it does look like the newer ones are much more polished. I wouldn't be opposed to trying one if it could be found cheap, but I think these games sell too well to go on a big discount.
I rented the original and, yeah, it was waggle-riffic. I'd totally bite on a new one if someone I trusted assured me that it had WSR levels of polish. There's potential. But I generally look at it as a cash-in game.
Do I "care" about the series? That's probably too strong of a word. I pay attention to it, but that's probably the extent of things.
I actually think the concept makes more sense than it might first seem. The real Olympics bring together people from lots of different countries, so it's a fine setting for Mario and company to clash with Sonic and crew. I'm sure it isn't the type of game anyone's ever dreamed of when they imagined a Mario and Sonic game, but it's a good way for the worlds to collide nonetheless.
If only the games were better. The first one is largely a waggle-fest, most of the games are the equivalent to the button-mashing found in old NES games like Track and Field. Even the games that have decent control have little depth, so the package is shallow. A couple of the Dream events were pretty cool, but that isn't enough to make the game worthwhile. The first winter Olympics game, this one was an improvement over the previous game, but still on the simple side and not quite enough depth to have lasting appeal as a multiplayer title. The games were more fleshed out, and most had better control, with only a few activities left that required waggle. And the things that did use waggle were things like running to start the bobsleigh, so it wasn't used the whole event. There are also a lot more Dream events, and they were better also. You could even earn tickets that you can use to buy Mario or Sonic themed decals, Mii costumes, music, and more, so there's a bit more Mario and Sonic goodness on offer.
I don't have the third game in the series and have not played it, but I haven't heard good things. The third game, which is the second summer game, doesn't seem to add much new. There are no new characters, and the events from the first game seem to be nearly unchanged, with the same ol' waggle. The new games added don't seem to offer any more depth either, and most seem to be more waggling. It seems to have a lot of the same extras as well, with not much new there either. There are more Dream events this time around, which appear to be the best part of the game once again. The new winter game appears to be the same as well: no new characters, and the events don't seem to have changed much either. The Dream events may be expanded and even better though, we shall see. But I haven't seen anything that makes it look better.
One thing I've noticed is that the Dream events are always more fun than the regular events, and the regular ones seem bland in comparison. I think it'd be better if the whole game focused on fantastical events featuring the characters in their various worlds... but without that tie to the Olympics, the games probably wouldn't sell nearly as much. Oh well.
@Mop it up My rental experiences were pretty similar to yours, except I don't mind a bit of Track & Field action now and then. As with Wii Sports, the physical aspect elevates the stakes a bit. I thought the Winter game was decent, as well. And the 3DS demo was quite fun. Always meant to pick that up. Actually, it's one of those games that I ordered for in-store pickup during Best Buy's deal of the day, and then didn't pick up in time. Which has happened to me, like, five times. Give me more time, Best Buy!!
I wonder if there'll be a handheld version this time. I could probably look it up. But I'd prefer to wonder.
@kriswright Hmm, I never thought of the games as cash-ins, although they certainly are. But there are enough clever touches and control mechanics to leave me with a favorable impressions. Even with the games that don't quite work as well, I admire the effort.
@Anand Normally myself. When we played Mario Party together when I was a child I used to be terrible and would always lose to my Mother. I was a happy child when I started winning. My younger brothers now are starting to give me a bit of a run for my money.