Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Olympics 2020: 6th Time is the Charm

We, here, at Alternative Mindz, would love to thank the team behind the making of Mario & Sonic for sending an advanced copy to review.

With that, I cannot tell you (the reader), how much of a blast my family and I have had playing Mario & Sonic!

Here’s a tiny synopsis of the story: Dr. Eggman and Bowser devised a plan to trap Mario and Sonic in an 8 bit video game system, which happens to be the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. Right here is where the story and main protagonists unfolds.

The above story plays out in Story Mode, while there’s Competition Mode where you just experience the games for themselves. Story Mode is 1 player (typical RPG fashion), while Competition Mode is just that, many players can go against each other using button only mode, motion only, or both together for some games. And, naturally, there are some 2 player only games like Fencing, Sumo Wrestling and Karate.

Where this game shines is in the physics of movement. As in the Skateboarding event, you’ll be surprised by how many tricks you can pull off. I found that using the motion controls for this event was very fluid and engaging. Also, traveling back in time to Tokyo Olympics 1964 in 8-bit brings a whole new nostalgia spin to modern competitive games. Definitely has an 80’s California Games old school vibe.

Another shining point is with how accurately detailed Tokyo is here. And, being a person that has been to Tokyo 3 times, this is a huge selling factor for me. It actually feels like your at major landmarks of Tokyo like Tokyo Station, Tokyo Tower, and other stadiums built specifically for the Olympics. There’s even a “Where’s Waldo” like game with trying to find Toad right in the middle of crowded Shibuya Crossing! It’s like going back to Tokyo and saving a 14 hour flight.

Where Mario & Sonic kind of falls is with the difficulty of some of the events. My 8 year old kept getting frustrated with the Wall Climb because of how you have to jump precisely on to the rocks. And, naturally, the smaller the rock, the higher the difficulty. The Discus event also has an extensive learning curve. You have to make sure you’re holding your controller at a specific angle while manipulating the buttons precisely to get it just right to throw the disc. We ended up fouling a lot more than we should’ve, which was really quite frustrating. Also, these events are crucial to move the story along so it was very daunting trying these over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, these events do get the competitive juices flowing because my family found ourselves taking turns to see who could succeed at a mission or not, but sometimes, the level of difficulty was too intense.

My family laughed, cried, cheered and jeered, but all in all, Mario & Sonic Tokyo Olympics 2020 is THE family competitive game of the year! And with this being the 6th installment in the Mario & Sonic series, this just feels like they got it right this time.

Available in North America: November 5, 2019

MSRP: $59.99 AGE: E10+

Crystal