Wii U Review: Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Mario and Sonic battle it once more, this time in Rio…

The Mario and Sonic set of Olympic games began on the Wii, since then we’ve had Wii, 3DS and Wii U versions of each Olympic games. I recently reviewed the 3DS version of Rio 2016, but now it’s time for the Wii U version.
I was fully expecting to have to dig out my Wii Remote and Nunchuk as it’s been a while since I’ve needed them, but I was expecting Rio 2016 to have motion-controls. Oddly enough, it has none…it can use the Wii Remote, but only as another controller. I would have thought that they might also use the Gamepad’s features for events, but it’s more like it’s 3DS counterpart, mostly feeling like a collection of mini-games instead of sporting events.

Rio 2016 does introduce Rugby for the first time, but that’s the only new event. There are some fun moments to be found, but I personally enjoyed the entries with that used the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Sega seems to have placed it a bit safe with this entry, but what I don’t understand is why they didn’t simply add in the same career mode that the 3DS version has. Instead you can play against a selection of Mii’s to earn medals and that’s about it.
The problem with this version is that there’s little reason to replay a sporting event after a few goes, it lacks any incentive to do so. It is definitely a visual improvement over the past entries and load times do seem shorter than before. I know not everyone is a fan of motion-controls, but it would have been nice to at least have it as optional instead of it being MIA.

The Verdict

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games fares better on 3DS than on Wii U. The events are still fun, but they run out of steam quickly and there’s little incentive to come back to them. The lack of motion-controls is a surprise considering the series’ history began on the Wii. Despite that, it’s still a decent entry…it’s just not the strongest.

Score: 7.0