I am an 80’s baby, I had my childhood in the 80’s with my NES and SNES and have fond memories of playing as a famous Italian plumber. Sadly I never got to play an original Genesis as much as I would have liked, yes every now and then I would go to my buddies and we would play Mutant League Football on his system, but I never got to play the classics like Sonic and Golden Axe. I also have fond memories of the commercials slamming each company and trying one each other up on the graphics and games.
To this day it is weird to see Sonic on ANY Nintendo device and it is even weirder for me to see them in a game together. The Mario & Sonic Olympic games have been around for a few years, but it isn’t until recently I got to get my hands on one. What makes it even cooler is the fact that I get to play the Tokyo 2020 version of the game, the headquarters of both of these great companies. From my few hours with the title and very few people to play online with at the moment, here are some of my first impressions.
Now, I have both a Switch and a Switch Lite (the review for that can be seen here), this makes playing super long JRPG’s much more feasible in an adult world. I downloaded onto my Switch Lite for easier access and Sega did a great job accommodating how that system is set up. You can play couch co-op on the Lite with a wireless controller.
Now if I wasn’t such a loser and had some friends I could have enjoyed some Olympic co-op, but sadly, no co-op for me. Also at the time of publication I couldn’t find anyone to battle on online multiplayer. They do have it set up quite nicely so that you can play with one Joy-Con, two Joy-Cons or connected Joy-Cons. More reviewers need to get online before my review goes up, I want to see if the online is handled better than Mario Maker 2.
This is where I spent a majority of my time, I have no siblings to play couch co-op with and I’m yet to figure out how to remove my Joy-Cons from my Lite. I’m also not really a huge multiplayer person anymore, I like to game on my time without having to count on someone to join me. Hence, my love for strong single player games and the campaigns in multiplayer games.
In this campaign Dr. EggMan and Bowser have teamed up to remove Sonic and Mario from our plane of existence, thanks to Luigi this backfires big time and all four get trapped inside a Tokyo 64. This console was created by Dr. EggMan to trap Mario and Sonic forever thus letting Bowser and him rule the world. Instead they are trapped in 1964 Tokyo where the first Olympics ever held in that city are taking place, and they decide to compete.
Basically you flip from the real world and the game world to compete in Olympic style mini-games. This reminded me a lot of the Game and Wario series, you’re thrown into quick time events and have to beat the AI to proceed. The games aren’t as funny as the Game and Wario series, but you’ll sure be learning the buttons to your Switch super fast!
In the real world the characters look great and almost lifelike, which I’m still getting use to. Mario should be more pixelated in my book but we can’t all have our way can we? In the real world everyone looks “normal” but in the Tokyo 64 world you get some Retro action going on, which I LOVE! It has all the Mario characters in 8-bit glory and all the Sonic characters in 16-bit beauty.
I really enjoyed the in game parts more than the real world parts, except for the skateboarding competition, I could play that for hours. Man I miss good Tony Hawk games! The overworld map is really nice too, it looks like a real layout of Tokyo and it is your hub world between events. You travel from arena to arena competing to be the best. You get current Tokyo and 8-bit Tokyo which is pretty sweet, I plan on snapshotting them and seeing if they are the same or show the difference from 55 years ago. Since I’ve never been and probably will never get to Japan it’s pretty cool to experience it in game, much like the Yakuza games.
Since this is an Olympic based game you get to partake in what the athletes do. If you looked at me in real life you’d see the only thing that I would partake in is a piece of pizza and that I’m not athlete. It’s nice to be able to play some of these events that I’m either too old for or two out of shape for. I enjoyed the track and field and had a bit of trouble with the gymnastics, but when I got to be Luigi in the Skateboarding event, I was in love.
In the early 2000’s Activision would release really good Tony Hawk games in October or so. I bought them up and unlocked all the goodies with my buddies. I miss that time in my life and that era in gaming and it was nice to see Sega absolutely NAIL skateboarding in this game. Yes, it is a tad simplified, there are no button combos but I loved the idea of whipping around the park while grinding and ollieing to my hearts content.
Right now after putting a few hours into this title, I’m thinking Sega may be getting the Gold. The mini-games are fun to play against the CPU, but I’m itching to try my skills out against some real competition online. Hopefully as November 5th comes closer and closer more reviewers will begin to play the game and I can battle against some YouTube personalities and maybe some paid “journalists.” We all saw how well they did with Cuphead!