Sega and Nintendo use to be mortal enemies, not anymore; which is still weird to me. I grew up during the first console war and seeing Mario and Sonic gracing the covers of video games makes my skin crawl a little bit. To be honest this is the first Mario & Sonic game that I have ever played, and it was actually pretty fun. When I first downloaded the game and fired it up I thought I was getting a kiddies game.
The first few contests were so easy I blasted through them and I was beginning to think I was going to get bored of the game very soon. Thankfully I was wrong, yes the game is focused on children and co-op, but it can be played and enjoyed by adults solo or with others. Think of this as a less funny Game and Wario title, which are some of the most underrated Nintendo games out there.
I’m mostly a solo gamer, my friends have moved on from this gaming life and I enjoy entering a world and having it all to myself. Most of the time I wouldn’t run headlong into a Mario & Sonic game to find solace, but the story mode of this game surprised me. Mario and Sonic have been gifted a mysterious video game machine that allows them to play past Tokyo Olympic sports. It’s called the “Tokyo 64,” which is later revealed to have been sent by Bowser and Dr. Eggman.
Luigi accidentally turns it on and the stars of the show are sucked into the machine ala Tron. Since its a retro system you can guess what the characters look like once they’ve been re-pixelated. Mario and Bowser are in their 8-bit glory and Sonic and Eggman are 16-bit; it is quite the stark contrast. The amount of nostalgia that was thrown at me was almost overwhelming but I welcomed it. I love remembering about old times past in games and my NES had a lot of playtime on it.
Anyone who has played a Mario game before understands that Tokyo is the hub world. You travel in the main story to all the arenas to unlock people and other arenas. At any time in the story, you can go back to what arena you like and compete again to best your score. All the special mini-games are unlocked for you as well once you beat them in the story, you can always go back and do better.
I enjoyed this layout and progression of the game, but during the Story Mode, it got so repetitive, almost to the point of it being a chore to play the game. I would unlock a new arena, have a cut scene go play a new type of game for a minute or so, then another cut scene. Wash, Rinse Repeat. The fun it there, it is just in small bursts between cut scenes you don’t really need to have and cannot skip.
I really, really wish that I could tell you about the online multiplayer or multiplayer in general. The wait rooms look good, you can play with lots of people, but as I tried every day to find someone to play with the rooms was empty. It was hard to believe that no one in the gaming journalism world was attempting to test this feature as I was, but alas, no one was.
My guess was that they got multiple download codes and were playing each other in the office since that is an option with the game. I will say that local co-op will be a huge selling point in the game. The competitions are fun and are a little reminiscent of the Mario Party games, just with less moving around the game board, which was totally boring!
If I was a youngster and got this for Christmas I would totally be bothering Mom and Dad to battle me at skateboarding and the like. Who doesn’t want to show off to their parents, especially when they aren’t athletically inclined to begin with?
I really enjoyed my time with Mario & Sonic, I don’t really think I’m in the age range or gaming demographic for this title though. Usually, I can play anything and look forward to playing it the next day and so on, but with Mario & Sonic it really became a chore. That doesn’t mean the game was terrible or anything, it just means I’d rather play a traditional Mario game.
The graphics are great, the controls are great, the Story Mode is great, but it didn’t pull me in like other mainline Mario titles. Normally I wouldn’t even give this title a look on the shelf, and that remains true, but I don’t have any friends to compete with online and my family consists of my mother, who will not join me in a match of Mario & Sonic.
This game is good, fun and well put together, it sadly just isn’t for me. However, it is for children, people with large families and people who have friends over all the time. I’m just not in the group. For those of you who have all that, enjoy the hell out of this game!
This review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Mario and Sonic are back at they Olympics again, but do they deserve the Gold or did they settle for the Bronze?
- Game looks great
- Controls are tight for all the competitions
- Lots of Sega and Nintendo nostalgia for older gamers.
- Very repetitive
- Story Mode has bursts of fun followed by boring cut scenes that last longer than the mini game
- People in mulitplayer were none-existant