While wandering the E for All show, I stumbled across a Wii without a line behind it. Upon further inspection I learned that this Wii held Sega's upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Taking advantage of the free system, I picked up the Wii Remote and tried my hand at the long-awaited Mario/Sonic crossover title.

After a few minutes, I truly understood why there was no line for this game.

M&S is a game that is packed with events, characters, bonuses, trivia minigames and more, but I just didn't have much fun when I tried to play it. The games I played were either too simplistic and easy or featured unwieldy motion control systems.

Target Shooting was one of the minigames I had the most hope for, as the prospect of simply shooting things with the Wii Remote seemed like something that no developer could get wrong. While it was amusing to see Luigi holding a rifle, the game itself felt like a stripped down version of the clay target level from the original Duck Hunt. You have a limited number of shots into the air as you attempt to hit the frisbee-like clay targets; repeat this a few times and get your score. Yes, Luigi stood there with his gold medal, but it felt like a shallow, boring victory.

Fencing seemed like a perfect match for the Wii controller, and I must admit that Peach did do fairly well when I sent her against the evil Dr. Eggbotnickman, but I didn't have much fun as I fought Sonic's foe. While I'm sure that the developers cleverly mapped controls and button pushes in some sort of meaningful way, all I know is that vaguely shaking the Wii remote at the proper time made Peach lunge forward and stab the mustachioed weirdo. Repeat this multiple times until the match ends and you have the high score. Yes, you can press various buttons to parry and feint and do all sorts of stuff, but I found myself just sidling left and right and shaking the Wii Remote to lunge forward when the enemy looked open. The gameplay feels simple and the controls feel unwieldy.

I tried out one of the racing games using Shadow -- Sonic's jet-booted adversary. By rapidly pumping both hands up and down, you can get your on-screen hedgehog-thing to slowly begin moving along the track. The faster you wildly pump, the faster your character goes, until you hit some stupid obstacle and grind to a halt while the 10-year-old watching you laughs. After a single lap, I grew tired of the dash and gave up.

As you might have guessed, I wasn't exactly "wowed" by Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. In all fairness, I must point out that I'm not exactly a fan of sports or Olympic video games in the first place and that this might have been much more fun if I had played with other folks. It looks like it's packed with features (including the ability to play as your Miis in the events), but it just didn't grab me. Perhaps if the "Dream Events" had been playable I could have experienced a more "arcade-like" game and not be so skeptical, but at this point I simply can't see myself buying a copy of Mario and Sonic's first crossover game.

Oh, yes, I tried the DS version too. It featured a racing game in which you rapidly zip the stylus back and forth on the screen to get your character to run. Strangely, I found that more fun than the entirety of the Wii version. Perhaps it's the tactile response?

-- David Dayton