Another week goes by, another demo is available to download for your 3DS. This time, you can download the demo for the newest Mario & Sonic game to get a sample of the Olympic action. This demo takes 5 different events in the M&S event catalogue and throws them at you in a unique Demo Medley scenario; with 5 random characters assigned to you (one for each event).
The 5 events all require different uses of the 3DS, ranging from simple button presses to using the circle pad and even the gyro sensors. It’s a clever way to let people know what to expect in the game in regards to physical interaction, as well as how each event happens. Each event starts with an intro screen, telling you how to control your character (such as pressing the R button to shoot a pistol). It also offers minor tips as well as the official Olympic and World Records, in case you want to try and break them. The high scores aren’t saved however, and the medal challenges are not accessible in this demo.
Each event has its own quirks and features:
- 5m Rapid Fire Pistol – press R as the cursor moves over targets. Simple, fun and a great test of reactions
- Football – hold back on the circle pad and release to kick volleyed balls into a goal. Suffice to say, I don’t think I’ll be called up to take penalties anytime soon
- Trampoline – time your jumps with A and try and land at the centre with the circle pad. Fun and great use of the 3D, but very simple
- 100m Backstroke – draw circles on the touch screen to try and mimic a Backstroke pull. Unfortunately very fiddly and requires high precision. That or I suck at drawing circles.
- BMX – control with the circle pad, and press A to jump. Use the gyro control to land as flat as possible once you jump to get a boost. Has a very Mario Kart vibe to it, but not too unfair
Overall, the demo is a fantastic introduction to the game, moreso than some of the other 3DS demos (see Cooking Mama 4 or CRUSH3D). There is replayability in the game to try and better your last attempt, but the limited boot times does mean it’s not for long. The big positive is that the use of 3D in this is one of the best I’ve seen, especially in the Trampoline event (the character almost seems to leap out of your 3DS). The depth and clarity of it, alongside the good graphics, really added to the effects of the demo, so it is a good indication of what to expect in the full game. However, the way it was presented was a little rushed and short (it takes about 5 mins to do the Medley) and – personally – the way the games were presented gave me the feeling that Toad was going to appear and tell me how many stars I had compared to Chuggaaconroy and ProtonJon (apologies for the random reference). But it’s a minor problem for me and doesn’t really affect the demo as a whole. Regardless, it’s a great demo if you are mildly interested in the mini-game madness that is the M&S series and hopefully will help see if you want to try going for gold.
The demo is free, and requires approximately 1010 blocks of memory. This time however, it’s only available to play for 20 goes before it deletes itself.