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Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games

Review: Doesn't get the wooden spoon, but there's no podium place either

New World Record. These are words you'll be seeing quite a lot if you deign to give Mario & Sonic's Olympian DS offering a punt.

The number of records we broke in the first half hour of play probably outweighs the number broken by drug cheats in real-world athletics.

In fact, we smashed the previous best in the 400 metre hurdles while performing finger-bending contortions to take the screenshots on this page.

So you'll gather that triumphing in Beijing is far from a Herculean task in the vast majority of events.

China crisis

Despite its relative ease, the game is technically sound and largely enjoyable, thanks to the pleasing variety of stylus styles you need to employ.

Races involve vigorous, wrist-mashing rubbing of the screen, field events such as the triple jump require more timing and skill, while the likes of archery and shooting are slide-and-tap affairs that work very nicely.

The selection of events isn't as comprehensive as the Wii version, and the number of competitors has been knocked back from 8 to 4 where relevant (track events and so on).

Of the two DS-exclusive events, the shoulder-button powered Cycling is superior to the Diving, which is just Trampoline by another name.

The main sticking point lies with the multiplayer side. While single play tired quickly on Wii - as it does here - it was at least good for a grin with your mates.

On DS you'll need multiple game cartridges to play over Wi-Fi, and without the lounge-based competition element, most of the fun is absent.

The verdict

What was a passing distraction on Wii proves to be much the same on DS. Although enjoyable in spurts, this is lacking in any real challenge and there are no multiplayer antics to save it.

Nintendo DS