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The Mario & Sonic series is is a collection of crossover sports games featuring characters from Nintendo's Super Mario series and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. This series marked the first time that Mario and Sonic ever appeared together in a video game.

The series began when Sega acquired the license to create videogames based on the Olympic Games, intending to create a version featuring characters from its well-known Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Due to the atmosphere of competitive sportsmanship the Olympics had to offer, Sega received approval by Nintendo to include Super Mario characters in the game with Sonic. The series has been overall well-received by the media, mainly for being a crossover between Mario and Sonic, with the gameplay and multiplayer having been praised as well. However, it has been criticized for the choice of setting for both series, the controls, and having the Olympics be the only theme in the series.

Games

Title
Cover, original release, and system Synopsis
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) (NA)Mario & Sonic DS NA
JP
November 22, 2007
Wii
JP
January 17, 2008
Nintendo DS
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is the first game in the series and the first game ever to establish a crossover appearance with Mario and Sonic, in addition to including a cast of characters hailing from the same franchises respectively. The game was released for both Wii and Nintendo DS, each one featuring exclusive content. The game is based on the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and includes 20 real-life events and the fictitious Dream Events (based on settings for both Super Mario series' environments and Sonic the Hedgehog series' environments).
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii) (NA)
JP
November 5, 2009
Wii
JP
November 19, 2009
Nintendo DS
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is the second game in the series, but this time the setting takes place at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics which includes different events from the previous games. It also incorporates four new playable characters in the series, namely Donkey Kong, Bowser Jr., Silver, and Metal Sonic. Much like its predecessor, it was released for both Wii and Nintendo DS. In addition, the Nintendo DS version includes an exclusive Adventure Mode revolving around a plot involving Bowser and Dr. Eggman's scheme to melt all the snow by capturing the Snow Spirits in Christmas Village, prompting Mario and Sonic to stop them.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games WiiMario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS) (NA)
JP
December 8, 2011
Wii
JP
March 1, 2012
Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is the third installment of the series featuring new sports and events. It was released for the Wii like past installments, and is also the first in the series to be released for the Nintendo 3DS. The game now takes place in London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Nintendo 3DS exclusive adventure mode begins with Bowser and Dr. Eggman releasing a colorful fog that ruins the Olympics. The heroes must find a way to put an end to this fog in a total of seven adventure stories.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
Mario Sonic Sochi 2014 (NA)

JP
December 5, 2013
Wii U
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is the fourth installment in the series. It is the first in the series to be released for the Wii U, and is the first that has not been released on a portable system. The game takes place in Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
M & S at Rio 3DS(NA)
JP
February 18, 2016
Nintendo 3DS
JP
June 23, 2016
Wii U
JP
February 2016
Arcade Edition
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is the fifth installment in the series. The game takes place in Rio de Janeiro, home of the 2016 Summer Olympics. There is once again both home console and handheld versions for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, respectively. An arcade edition was also released in Japan and North America in 2016. The game also features new playable characters for the first time since the second installment, with some of these characters having appeared previously in the series as non-playable boss/rival characters. Unlike previous games in the series, the character rosters differ between versions. Collectively, the games introduce Birdo, Ludwig, Dry Bones, Diddy Kong, Dry Bowser, Rosalina, Nabbit, Wendy, Larry, Roy, Espio, Cream, Omega, Eggman Nega, Sticks, Jet, Wave, Zazz, Zavok, Rouge, and Toad as playable characters to the series. The 3DS version of this installment also marks the overall playable debuts of Eggman Nega, Zazz, and Zavok.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Mario and Sonic Tokyo 2020 (NA)

JP
November 1, 2019
Nintendo Switch
JP
2020
Arcade
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is the upcoming sixth installment in the series, taking place in Tokyo of Japan (the home of the 2020 Summer Olympics). It is set to be released for Nintendo Switch in 2019 and arcades in 2020. Several characters have new outfits in this installment, such as Mario's clothes resembling his default outfit in Mario Tennis Aces. Like the fourth installment, it is not released on a portable system.

Mobile phone tie-ins

Following the release of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Sega published Sonic at the Olympic Games, a Java-based mobile phone game that features characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[1] Despite the similar premise, no Mario characters or references appear in the game.

Sega would publish another mobile title shortly after the release of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, called Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, this time on iOS. It similarly featured Sonic the Hedgehog elements but no Mario elements appearing at the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was taken down from the App Store a short time after release, with no reason currently given.[2]

Another title, tentatively named Sonic at the Olympic Games, is set to be released for iOS and Android platforms as one of the games endorsed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, alongside Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.[3]

Trivia

  • As the announcement of the Mario & Sonic Olympics video game series was revealed (starting with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games), the agreement was also reached that in the case of publishing and marketing duties for each Mario & Sonic Olympics installment, Sega would handle the process for all territories outside of Japan while Nintendo would handle the process inside of Japan itself. The fourth game, however, was published by Nintendo outside of Japan rather than Sega. Nintendo has since published subsequent titles globally as well.
  • The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics is the first and currently only time that the Mario & Sonic series did not have a game to coincide with the event since the start of the series. This is due to Ubisoft having the rights from making PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games video games.
  • If the handheld versions are counted separately, 100m, 100m Freestyle Swimming, and Javelin Throw are the only events to appear in every Summer Olympics installment in the series.

References

  1. April 8, 2008. SEGA Announces 2008 Mobile Games Line-Up. IGN. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  2. Erickson, Tracy (February 3, 2010). Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games disqualified from the App Store. Pocket Gamer. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  3. SEGA (March 29, 2019). 東京2020オリンピック公式ゲーム コンセプトムービー. YouTube. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
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