Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Review

Seeing Mario and Sonic together in the same title is no longer news, just seeing them in the competition for 8-bit medals.

Within months of the Olympic flame finally reaching Tokyo, marking the start of the summer games in 2020, Sega and Nintendo anticipate the cauldron fire and celebrate yet another world-class sport event. videogame, joining the characters of two universes in renewed and lit competition. It is also curious that being Mario and Sonic two characters created by Japanese authors, this is an opportunity to celebrate at home. It is well known that Mario & Sonic provides a set of trials and challenges marked by simplicity and accessibility, and for more to take place on a platform of Japanese origin, this is undoubtedly a special moment.

Although based on the Olympians, this is not an official product of the race, nor are all the modalities that fill the competition over a month. Only part of the best known. From athletics to swimming, volleyball, shooting and javelin, it is possible to try a good set of events (about 30). The composition is arcade, capable of evoking the gameplay of farther titles such as Athlete Kings, when in a sprint we systematically pressed the same button after the game until the character gained pace and reached the finish line first. In other modalities, such as football or volleyball, there is some more construction and character control even allows some autonomy, even though the technical options are somewhat limited, except for some skills tests.

In the end this is a sporty party game arcade, there is no hiding this evidence. Behind this title in partnership form are integrated many Olympic sports activities, but configured in the form of mini sports, as challenges with simple and clear rules, without losing sight of the challenge and even at times the complexity needed to stop The easy result.

’64 8-bit Japanese Olympics

It is surely the biggest news of this edition the inclusion of a story mode that allows the characters to go back in time to the first Olympic games held in Japan. It was in the distant year of 1964, even before the consoles and videogames existed. But the producers chose to include this retro strand, developing an 8-bit proof set, synonymous with some nostalgia and dedication.

As might be expected, the argument serves no purpose other than touring the Olympic village, stadium and other venues. Eggman and Bowser were sucked into a console, dragging with them Mario and Sonic, as well as the rest of the entourage. In this step back in time, all space, character and games are designed as if it were an edited game for an 8-bit console. Even the music and sound are quite similar.

The interesting point of this step back in time is the change in appearance of games. From 3D they moved to a retro 2D and full of nostalgia. In practice it is almost the same thing, just with a broader perspective. The effects of characters and sprites are almost similar to those of 8 bit games. Sonic always looks that fast at 100 meters, while clay pigeon shooting can bring back the time spent playing Duck Hunt.

“Surely the biggest news of this edition is the inclusion of a story mode that allows the characters to go back in time to the first Olympic games in Japan.”

What is worth in this mode is that it is all made as if it were an 8-bit game. Even the dialogues have that typical lettering, accompanied by the sounds and movements of the characters. Do not expect to come to great conclusions about history. It serves something else, which is competition and the evolution of events, as they will have to fulfill certain objectives by playing with characters selected by the computer.

The commands are simple and the difficulty in terms of challenge is not too great. It takes some skill and concentration to move smoothly forward. Alternatively, these story mode sporting events can be played freely and autonomously using the multiplayer route in a fully dedicated section. As a novelty, this addition of 8-bit format games adds a good tonic to the original challenge, but it should be noted that it does not escape the concept of “party game”, the minigame format, conveying an idea of ​​adapting an existing format.

Alone or with more players

With regard to games in 3D format, there is no big news to add over previous editions. The dominant note is the inclusion of 4 new modalities that will make their debut at the 2020 Games. Of these Karate and Surf ensure more depth and are still well designed visually. Climbing is a time warring challenge, while Skateboarding is all about stunts. Here too the movements are simple. It should be noted that there are three ways of interaction for each game. Through the buttons, via one command only and the option two commands simultaneously. Despite the different configuration of the interactive system, the operations are simple.

If you have had a chance to play any of the previous titles, you will find again. It is the largest set, the inheritance. From football to archery to javelin throws, the fight for a podium spot is on. This fight can go through multiplayer via multiplayer, both locally and online. Returning are the Dream Events, larger events, based on arenas and welcoming spaces for more participants. It is a mode especially aimed at multiplayer. Noteworthy are Dream Racing, Shooting and Karate, which due to their expansive size can even provide more interesting moments compared to the regular challenges.

The highlight and most appealing point of this experiment is undoubtedly the 8-bit composition of a set of modalities presented in the form of a story. The rest is the “party game” or sequence of minigames we are used to during the summer or winter Olympics. The presentation is reasonable, sober, and above all there is great accessibility in the introduction of each of the tests. It is interesting to add the 8-bit format of the competition, but the evolution of this Mario & Sonic is discreet and brings little news.

8-bit Olympic ModalitiesSports party gameAccessibility and various interactive systemsContent is not much different from previous editionsDiscrete EvolutionPoor longevity

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