If you like sports video games, you probably own a copy of PES or FIFA, NBA 2K, Madden NFL, and other popular titles. However, every 4 years we also have an official Summer Olympics game, this time dedicated to Tokyo 2020. Here you'll find football (soccer) and basketball too, along with some of the most prestigious track and field events for you to enjoy. All you need to know is that Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game is not about photorealistic graphics, true-to-life physics, or licensed characters. Just focus on winning gold medals for your country!
What to Expect
To be more precise, Tokyo 2020 is a collection of 18 events (some of them coming as timed DLC) that give you the possibility to represent your country and show the world how good you are. Even though this is a licensed game, you won't be swimming against Katie Ledecky, running against Christian Coleman, boxing against Evgeny Tishchenko or testing yourself against the French team of football with Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, and all the FIFA World Champions; instead, this game takes the cartoony route, and all athletes and uniforms are fictional. Are you ready for Quick Time Events and a lot of button mashing?
One of the best parts of this game is how it looks! The intro is absolutely beautiful, the interfaces and menus are not only easy to navigate but also visually pleasing, and the cartoony feel of the characters makes it all very unique. For us, this is perfect because it ultimately helps Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game to differentiate itself from the most popular and graphically stunning sports games, but also from the upcoming and more family-friendly Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Yeah, some may say this is all style but no substance, but this video game truly deserves a gold medal in the graphics department.
Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game has a catchy and upbeat soundtrack, but wouldn't it be nice to hear your national anthem after winning a medal? It sounds simple, but this is one of the more iconic scenes of any Olympic event. Another missing piece is the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics song, but maybe we can ignore that too. This being an official video game, several things could be done better, but in the end, all sound effects and music pieces fulfill their function well.
Every Olympic event has 3 different stages: Qualifier, Semi-finals, and Finals; in every sport, you play as the character you created, but you ultimately control the whole team in sports like baseball, football or basketball.
Since this is a collection of minigames, all events are easy to understand. For example, football plays exactly like every other football game sans the fancy stuff, and the same goes for tennis, basketball, and baseball. On the other hand, events like 110m hurdles, 100m, and long jump will make you feel like playing Track & Field back in the NES era. However, since this is a cartoony game, we also have some special moves once your Special meter is full, because why not?
You can play against other online players, you can play solo against the AI, or you can go head to head against a local friend... or just practice until you get good enough. Another interesting thing is that you can pick whatever event you like or go for a Medley, a selection of previously chosen events where you compete back to back. Whatever the case, the goal here is not only winning gold medals but also enough points to buy new outfits for your character and national team, even if some of them look rather uncomfortable for an elite athlete. Have you ever seen a swimmer compete while dressed as an astronaut? And what about running with a knight armor on?
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Although some events are actually fun to play and way more user-friendly than their ultra-realistic counterparts, there are some things that we can't ignore. If you're not a casual player, Tokyo 2020 will feel extremely repetitive and boring after a while, and all events having no more than 3 stages doesn't help at all. We can't ignore the clunky controls either, and that feeling that every gold medal comes at the price of maybe breaking your joy-cons...
All in all, Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game is another case of a licensed hit or miss game, and we don't think more events are the solution we need. We know that it’s too expensive to license all events, nations and athletes, but one can only hope!
The game interfaces look gorgeous, and we love the use of color and music.
All games are easy to understand, although some of them need you to practice a lot before actually winning a gold medal.
This is a fun way of learning some bits of info about Tokyo, the Olympic Venues, and other interesting stuff.
Timed DLC events...
Even though Tokyo 2020 is fun to play, (partly) licensed Olympic video games are still lacking some soul.
It feels repetitive after a few sessions.
Honey's Final Verdict:
This may not be the best sports game ever, but the Olympic hype is real! If you’re as excited as we are, then go for it and try this game. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it can get really intense when playing against another human being. But hey, don’t get your expectations too high...
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...