Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Review

"Tokyo Through the Ages"


December 12, 2019 at 6:39pm
By Jason Stettner

Two iconic gaming mascots meet up once again for some sporting challenges. Using the licensing for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 games we have a unique narrative based backdrop for using the history of the sporting games at this city. When it comes to the story you’ll play as a roster of characters from both the Mario, and Sonic franchises.

The lead characters have been sucked into a sort of game system and are playing the old 1964 games in 2D form. Outside of that the rest of the roster is meeting up and enjoying 3D sports from the current 2020 games. In the story you’ll move within mini hubs to play games and get some rather bland dialogue. The dialogue is poorly paced, rather boring and it takes forever to sift through as you play.

Outside of that, the open world idea is neat, yet minimal and in general I found it uninteresting. You could say that for the narrative as well, which was neat in concept yet very light. I did find the inclusion of historic facts about the Olympics in Tokyo to be an interesting addition. If working through a story isn’t for you, there are options for just quickplay. There you can compete alone against the AI or with others locally using various controller configurations.


In regards to playing with others, up to eight can enjoy the sporting events. A number of them are more limited, and how many players can get involved is of course up to the type of competition you’re jumping into. They do a great job of providing a variety of sporting events, including many that will be distinct or well new for the latest Olympic Games.

It’s often hard for these titles to provide quality within each event since there are so many, but they do a generally alright job with this. Some handle better than others, but most are generally good. A tad minimal in terms of depth for some events I suppose, but they cover the important ones. Some events will also offer a selection of motion or standard button controls which is neat to take advantage of.

When it comes to the visuals and experience both franchises are presented beautifully. Even the 2D designs which include ten sports were built with retro care. The colors are vibrant throughout, but it is a tad rough around the edges at times. That being said, there’s a good sense of scale and depth within the crowds that are present within this.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is an alright rendition of the sporting event that provides many of the competitions but a rather weak attempt at a story. The campaign aspect really was disappointing in this, they could have perhaps done better without including one as it dragged it down.

Most of the supported sports were solid in terms of their representation, but like many Olympic based games there are so many sports so the depth isn’t quite there. There’s also a decent roster of characters from both franchises, but they could have went further there as well.

It was nice to have so many sports included, and I did have fun with this. It’s got the charm of both franchises, and feels like it respects both of them which is nice for fans. They do a lot here, and present the new competitions such as skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, and karate for those interested in what’s to come in the actual event.

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Review on Nintendo Switch
Review Code Provided by SEGA

Rating Overall: 6.2

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner