Get ready for all of the excitement and fun in Tokyo!
System: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam(PC)
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Sports / Party
Players: 1-4 (Local) / 2-8 (Online)
Official Website: https://www.olympicvideogames.com/marioandsonic/
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 | All The Fun Trailer
Who it Caters to
With less than a year left to go on the global calendar for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, many people are getting charged up and prepared for the glorious event. What was once a small spectacle in Athens, Greece has now risen to become an iconic and prestigious event where all countries come together to celebrate sports and of course try and grab as many gold medals for your respective nation. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is all about providing players with a taste of what to expect, along with fun activities that provide some insight into the history of the event itself throughout Japan’s point of view. With more than 30 events to choose from along with a plethora of wild and fun minigames to dive into, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is shaping up to be the biggest sporting event title yet!
What to Expect
Many people including ourselves were looking forward to having a great party type experience on the Nintendo Switch, and when Mario Party dropped our expectations were high. Sadly, the game just didn’t seem to provide that same fiery excitement that its past predecessors had ignited but for some reason Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has done so. With so many minigames to choose from and the ability to play up to 8 players online either through the classic 1964 events or more modern style events, the game has much more to offer in terms of multiplayer and allows for more diversity. You have more than 21 3D events; 10 classic, retro-styled 2D events; a pretty lengthy story mode, along with brand new events such as Sport Climbing, Surfing, and one of our favorites, Skateboarding. Tie all of that together and you have a game with infinite replay value and plenty more especially with Dream Events, which we’ll get into later. So is Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 truly the ‘Mario Party’ we’ve all been waiting for? Keep reading to find out!
Dr. Eggman and Bowser are up to no good, as Dr. Eggman has created a device called the “Tokyo 64” (Nintendo fans will get the reference) that sends Mario & Sonic into a frenzy, throwing them into a 2D-themed world which resembles that of 1964 Tokyo. The two must now somehow figure out a way to stop Dr. Eggman and his devious plans before it’s too late, and prevent any more problems from ensuing.
Players who have dabbled with previous Mario & Sonic titles will be pleasantly delighted to know that this current version is hands down the best looking out of all of them. The Nintendo Switch does a great job of animating all of the 3D models, maintaining a very clean and consistent frame rate while also doing a stellar job of creating a 2D world which resembles that of the classic 8-bit era. These two realms are of course where both Nintendo and SEGA were born and so it should come as no surprise that everything within the game is polished, with very little hiccups in terms of visual performance. The UI is very well designed to maintain simplicity, while also throwing in charming Japanese aesthetics to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. One of the more intriguing aspects about the game is just how much attention to detail is put into the overall design, especially when players must roam around both 1964 and modern day Tokyo.
As someone who lives in Japan and has an opportunity to actually see these places in person, it brings a sense of joy and awe since you’re actually able to experience the game from a different perspective. From the well designed Shibuya Crossing to the accurately depicted Tokyo Station, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 doesn’t shy away from realism while still maintaining a fun atmosphere for all players to enjoy.
Much like its visuals, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 does a wonderful job of fusing a lot of Japanese instruments to create a very distinct soundtrack that you’ll likely only find in this game. Whether it's the powerful and harmonious sounds of the Shamisen or the subtle tones of the Koto, the game really brings a Japanese touch to everything which only creates a sense of authenticity while playing. These types of instruments play a very integral part in Japanese culture and so incorporating them into the gameplay is quite fascinating.
This is of course the shining aspect about the game and there’s a grocery list of reasons why the game is such a blast to play. Of course we’ve already noted how marvelous it is to have the designs accurately reflect current day Tokyo as well as 1964 Tokyo (even down to the actual building designs!, but what’s more exciting is how you can just jump straight into things with very little loading time. There’s an abundance of events to choose from, all of which have their own unique approach and will require players to get accustomed to the button functions. We’ll be honest and let you know that getting used to the button timing and movement will take some time, especially in some minigames where hand-eye coordination is so pivotal to you winning. The story mode was very lengthy and quite exciting because along your journey, there are little items that resemble trophies which give you quizzes about the history pertaining to the Olympics, but also Tokyo itself. This was a feature we actually found very enlightening because it actually taught us a lot about the event itself, but also Japan’s history and their involvement from the beginning. There were also some fun tidbits as well such as questions asking us how many people cross the Shibuya Crossing on a daily basis, or other factual information such as how tall the Tokyo Tower is.
So even while you’re playing you’re learning something new along the way which we found to be pretty cool. So there are over 30 events to master within the game along with what are known as Dream Events, which up the ante in terms of chaos and challenge. All of these games can be played online with up to 8 players, making this game the ultimate party experience. It’s surprising because Mario Party never truly gave us that true classic party-type feel but Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 really went above and beyond to really create an exciting online world for players. You have a long list of characters to choose from, many of whom you can unlock through playing in the Story Mode. You’re also able to choose between playing with the Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller, which helps to create more versatility with gameplay.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We had an absolute blast with this game and can only recommend this to anyone looking for a real thrilling party experience on the Switch. Not only do you get a chance to experience Tokyo in a fun and uplifting way but you get to do so with your friends locally and online! The amount of action that takes place in the game goes way beyond our expectations and only gets more exciting as you go up against other players to prove just how capable you are. No matter how many times you play there’s always something new to learn and that’s really where the game shines in a wonderful way. You’re never feeling bogged down by bad gameplay mechanics or stuttering in visuals, it’s all just a very fluid experience that you can’t get enough of. We hope that people actually stream the game because it can really be the next big party game that many have been waiting for on the Switch.
Anyone who played the previous titles will be delighted over the improvements and how much more polished the game is.
Making sure to include Japanese aesthetics such as music and just overall authenticity in design was a huge plus.
Online is a blast to play, especially when you have a full lobby of players going at it.
Infinite replay value.
It’s a sports title and so those who aren’t really into the Olympics or just sports in general may not find the game to be enticing.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope that players will give the game a chance and really dive into all of the action with friends, since that’s where the game shines the most. Single player is totally fun on its own with the very amusing and wild Story Mode but this game was truly built around bringing people together to celebrate the wonderful world of sports, very much like the Olympics itself. So grab as many people as you can to join in on the fun to see who comes out on top in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020!
Until next time!
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!