Winter Olympics here we come! I'll admit, I'm giddy with excitement in regards to the upcoming Olympics that are set to take place in my beloved frosty tundra called Canada. I love snow--as long as I don't have to shovel it--and being able to play winter sports from the comfort of my couch in sunny California couldn't be more appealing. Well, in this case, Ricardo, Brian and I were technically playing Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games with a couple of Sega reps in our demo room under the warm glow of fluorescent lighting.
First up, was alpine skiing and since I'm such a good sport (aka Ricardo forced me) I jumped right in with Wii Remote and nunchuk in hand, picked my favorite green dinosaur and started blazing down the hill like it was second nature. Since you're holding your controller like a pair of ski poles, all you really need to do is pretend you're pulling yourself out of the gate and hit the A button. After that, it's all about leaning, and the closer you get to the bright red flags, the more speed you'll get. The gates are very wide however, so they're actually kind of hard to miss unless you're trying to cut corners for the extra boost. The game can also be played with the balance board, so it's time to break out the Wii Fit again for practice.
Next up was bobsledding, a four player team sport in which we shake the remote to get that running start and then press A to hop into our sled. As luck would have it, Ricardo got the front, then it was Brian me and one of the Sega reps in the back. All we had to do was clutch the Wii Remote to our chest, buttons toward us, and lean. Easy right? Yeah, well Brian didn't pull his weight for half the race so we bounced off the sides of the track a few times before he decided to join us in the leaning. A yellow line on the track is a guide on where you should be (see below for example), so if we had actually coordinated, we would have been able to take those corners without problems. Brian = weakest link? I think so. (And so what if he had dead batteries?)
Skeleton on the DS is almost like bobsledding, except more suicidal as you're going down the track solo, face-first on a tiny sled. This game is fun on the DS though, because the controls are tighter as you use the stylus to guide your character down the track, swiping upwards periodically to give yourself a boost. The other game we played was Snowboard Cross, in which you race down the hill against other boarders--using the D pad and buttons--doing jumps to gain speed and drifting around banked turns so that you don't wind up hanging out with the spectators.
Look Brian, TEAMWORK.
Sophia talking trash about my bobsleigh skills is hilarious to me. She's clearly jealous of my butt. You see, I probably have the most skilled tush in the GameSpot office. My heiny has been gaming longer than Sophia has been alive, probably. True story: My patoot once set a high score in Pole Position at a Jasper, Alabama arcade back in '85. My cheeks were last seen ripping up the slopes in Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party and now, with the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games, my hind quarters have dominated in Vancouver.
Forget the four-man bobsleigh; the best way to get down with the sleigh is to pop a squat on your Wii balance board. You still start off by shaking the Wii Remote to get a running start and pressing the A button to leap into your sleigh. Once you're in, however, it's all about scientifically precise buttock control; which I have in spades. Just as when you're playing with the Wii Remote, your goal is to keep your bobsleigh in the middle of the track and following the illuminated arrow; doing so will give you a burst of speed that will continue as long as you can keep it going.
While I didn't check, I'm fairly certain that my rear end broke several bobsleigh world records during my time with Mario & Sonic; a fact that makes it all the more clear to me: My ass belongs in the Olympics.