Mario and Sonic, two iconic characters who’ve been locked in a heated rivalry for decades. There’s no better way to settle one’s differences than on the playing field. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is upon us. I’ve had the chance to take a peek at the upcoming title, and want to share some of my initial thoughts.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is the 6th iteration in the franchise and the first since Rio 2016. I haven’t played the others in the series, so I can’t say who is and isn’t returning. In total, each side has ten playable characters. Mario and Sonic both look great, though a lot of the Sonic crew look the same in my opinion. I was never a Sega kid growing up, so I’m not as familiar with the Sonic characters as I am with Mario and friends. Regardless, it’s nice to have twenty playable characters off the bat. Each character also has strengths and weakness as it pertains to each event. The player’s choice isn’t just for aesthetics but could help in the outcome of the competition.
There’s a slew of events to choose from in Tokyo 2020. All in total, there are over 21 3D events to choose from. So far, I am finding some to be exceptionally fun, while others are mind-numbingly simplistic. I know the game is meant for all ages, but at times, it’s so easy I have to wonder if it’s solely for the under ten crowd.
The game has a cool retro addition thrown into the mix. Aside from the 3D events, you can also play a mixture of 10 2D retro-style games. In a nod to the previous time Tokyo hosted the games, ‘Tokyo 1964’ takes players back in time. I honestly found some of the 8 and 16-bit events just as fun as their 3D counterparts. They’re extremely basic button mashers for the most part, but the ’80s kid in me loved it.
Like a lot of Nintendo Switch games of this nature, it’s always fun to play with friends. If you’re like me and short on companions, the game has an A.I. but it’s always easy to beat. There’s a story mode as well with the game, and I find it pretty endearing thus far. There’s a fun story of how Mario and Sonic must band together to stop Dr. Eggman and Bowser through 3D and 2D events, mini-games, and trivia. There’s something for everyone.
Complaints Thus Far
I still need to play through more events and give others a second look, but I am finding it both easy and at times confusing. Some events are so easy, I win every time. I would like more of a challenge. I can’t figure out what to do in other events. To be fair, I’ve been using the Pro-Controller a lot, so I need to see how the Joy-Con’s hold up. I am starting to get the sense that some games don’t work well with one controller or the other. I find more often than not that I follow the directions given pre-event, but I still can’t get moves to work. Surfing is a good example. No matter how many buttons I pushed, I couldn’t get the character to do anything. This might have been a Pro-Controller vs Joy-Con issue. Let’s see what a little more time yields, and I’ll follow up on this in the full review.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a cute game, no doubt about it. In the era of massive open-world titles, it’s great to see something a little more grounded. It might only appeal to a younger crowd or perhaps adults that have partied a little too hard. I’m still trying to feel it out, so stay tuned for my full review in a couple of weeks.