Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is ready to shine on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 review!
After getting a montage video showing the characters you’ll see in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the many activities you will take on as you aim for the gold. The setup for the game’s story mode is that Mario and Sonic (and friends!) find themselves trapped inside of a retro console – the Tokyo ‘64 -, as part of a plan from Bowser and Dr. Eggman to finally trap the duo. This is why you’re going to get some retrotastic fun with events that reminded me of the old-school track and field and Olympic games, thanks to the 2D sprites, which are a mix of 8-bit and 16-bit characters, for a double dose of retro goodness. And yes, the console’s name is both a nod to the Nintendo 64 as well as to 1964 when the Tokyo Summer Olympics took place.
The retro console is received as a gift addressed to Mario and Sonic, in commemoration of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games. They have no idea who sent it – but we do. Once Luigi shows up, and since no one has managed to get the console going, Bowser grows anxious, and he turns on the console, trapping everyone inside of it – minus Luigi! Since Luigi was holding the console, and he was not standing in front of its screen, he managed to remain safe from the pixelating flash of light.
The first thing you will notice as you start to play Story Mode is that the game will have some trivia questions you can try to answer – they’re presented as trophies of sorts. Once you’ve made your guess, press the A button to peel away the sticker that is blocking the answer to see if you guessed right. It’s a nice touch that adds a bit of extra information on the real event and everything that surrounds it, giving you some extra incentive to explore between the 2D Olympic events. When playing the Tokyo ’64, the sound effects, music, and voice-overs will be retro in nature.
Before each of the events starts, you will end up getting a short tutorial so that you can learn what you need to do. Winning is all that matters, so you’ll need to pay attention to the instructions to make the most of your abilities. If you’re having trouble with an event, in particular, you can decide to skip up to three events, so don’t use this option until you don’t have another choice. You can select to play with the Joy-Con (sometimes in single or double Joy-Con configuration) and their motion controls, or use only the analog sticks and buttons.
Each character will have different stats for the events you play. For example, in the Equestrian –Jumping event, Mario and Luigi will be the all-around characters, while Bowser and Wario will be good at super moves, Peach and Dr. Eggman will be able to make tight turns, Daisy and Yoshi can make the horse gallop faster, and so on. It’s a fun way of making sure that players who have a favorite character – or five! – can find some variety in how each character will perform in a particular event.
The selection of characters you can play as offers a nice variety. There are ten characters from the Super Mario Bros. universe and ten characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, so there’s bound to be several of your favorite characters thrown into the mix. From the Super Mario Bros. series, we get Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Bowser, Wario Waluigi, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Bowser Jr. As for the characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, they include Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Dr. Eggman, Shadow, Silver, Metal Sonic, Blaze, and Vector.
What can you play in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020? The 3D events include 100m, 110m Hurdles, 3×100 Relay, Javelin Throw, Triple Jump, Discus Throw, Sport Climbing, Surfing, Skateboarding, Boxing, Karate, Football, Rugby Sevens, Canoe, Swimming, Gymnastics, Equestrian, Badminton, Table Tennis, Fencing, and Archery. And then you have the 2D events in the Tokyo ’64 retro console, which are 100m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Marathon, 10m Platform, Vault, Kayak, Judo, Volleyball, and Shooting. It’s quite a nice selection!
And on top of all these, there’s also a trio of special events to take on: Dream Karate, Dream Racing, and Dream Shooting. Dream Karate has you trying to know down your opponents over the battle area so that the panels they land on turn to your color. Whoever controls the most panels at the end of the match wins. For this, you can punch opponents to combo them with three punches in a row to knock them down, kick them around, charge up a power strike, or grab and throw opponents. Dream Racing has an air of Mario Kart to it mixed with a certain je ne sais quoi that ended up reminding me of the F-Zero series. Dream Shooting is a 3D shooting gallery type of game in which you’ll use the Joy-Con motion controls to shoot at targets and balloons as you try to get the highest score.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a fun game on Nintendo Switch that players of all ages are going to enjoy thanks to its fun gameplay mechanics, and colorful and charming graphics. It looks great, plays great, and offers a ton of variety, covering the different sports that are part of the official Olympic games. Boxing? Sure. Gymnastics? Certainly. Swimming? You bet! It’s been over three years since the last game, and this one is a bigger and better experience. The game is now available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, and at $59.99, it’s a very easy recommendation.
This Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Sega.