Release Date: November 5, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch
What’s It All About?
Like previous entries that had Mario and Sonic battling it out at the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 has the usual round-up of sports, games, and characters from those famous Nintendo and Sega properties. This time around, we get the newest additions to the Olympics, like skateboarding and karate, while also getting a “Classic” 8-bit mode celebrating the last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo: 1964.
If you enjoy team games, and especially classics we got on the Wii like Sports and Sports Resort, then you’ll probably enjoy this game as well. Most of them can be played using only one controller, or even one button on a controller. It’s that kind of simplicity that mostly works for Mario & Sonic Tokyo 2020, although it can make some of the games feel repetitive.
Highlights for me included karate and archery. I also really enjoyed the “Dream” sports that are available, like Dream Shooting and Dream Karate. Both work well as fun, exciting games to experience with a group of friends or family members.
You can also play select sports in a “Classic” 8-bit mode modeled after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It’s a nice and welcome addition, and although I preferred playing mostly in 3D, it’s a fun way to play for a short time.
Unfortunately, the roster isn’t super great. You can choose from around eight different characters initially, and then unlock some more as you go along. At last count, I think I had around twenty. If you’re expecting something more like Mario Kart Deluxe‘s roster, you’re going to be a little disappointed. I don’t need a massive roster like Smash Bros. Ultimate, but I think the game could have benefited from having a little more character variety.
The controls can be a little difficult to master, as well. Some of them felt overly complex, and some seemed to rely too much on motion controls when buttons would’ve been better (like in Dream Shooting). Others, like the 10M Platform, had great mechanics that utilized the Joy-Cons in effective ways without resorting to gimmicks.
Like most games in this genre, the replay value is high–as long as you have someone to play with. I’m not sure I’ll play Mario & Sonic Tokyo 2020 much by myself. That’s because it’s not meant to be played alone, but it still means that it won’t have much replay value if you don’t have friends or family nearby. So, keep that in mind if you’re looking at this being your first Mario & Sonic at the Olympics game.
There’s nothing really wrong with the game. In fact, it can be a lot of fun if you have others to play it with you. The only thing I can really add here is that while all of the sports were fun to try out, once I completed them, I didn’t feel the need to really keep playing. I think how much you get out of this game will ultimately come down to personal preference. Because of that, I’m not sure the game is really worth the $60 I paid for it.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Tokyo 2020 is a fine game for what it is. Kids will probably love it. Adults might have a good time, too. I’m just not sure the replay value (or lack of one) and full price is enough to justify buying it. For a quick afternoon game with a group, it could be just about perfect.