The plumber and the hedgehog are back for some more athletic competition.
Every couple of years, Sega and Nintendo’s main legendary mascots put aside their long-standing rivalries in the spirit of sportsmanship, and with the 2020 Summer Olympics on the horizon, they will be doing so once again. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 might not be the flashiest, most high profile sports game releasing this year, but like its predecessors, its guaranteed to be a hell of a lot of fun. With its release right around the corner, in this feature, we’ll be covering a few important talking points that you should know about the game. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Mario and Sonic 2020 will once again feature a host of events for players to participate in across a variety of sports and athletics, with their a total of being well over thirty sporting events, all told. Once again, the majority of these will be Olympic Events (with some of them coming with a unique twist, which we’ll discuss shortly), while a few will also be Dream Events, which are loosely based on real Olympic Events, but with a little bit more flourish. These include Dream Karate (set in Super Mario Odyssey’s Mushroom Kingdom), Dream Racing (set in Sonic Forces’ Metropolis), and Dream Shooting.
Of the events included in Mario and Sonic 2020, many of them are going to be familiar to those who’ve played the previous games in the series. These returning events include the likes of 100 meter dash, 110 meter hurdles, singles and doubles table tennis, singles and doubles badminton, individual or team archery, football, 110 meter freestyle, discus throw, javelin throw, triple jump, and many, many more.
Of course, not all the events in the game are going to be ones we’ve seen in previous Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games. At least four new Olympic events have bee confirmed for Mario and Sonic 2020 so far. These are kumite karate, shortboard surfing, park skateboarding, and sport climbing. If we move into an entirely new feature in this year’s game though, that list of new events grows significantly…
One of the most interesting new additions in Mario and Sonic 2020 is a 2D mode, which includes events from 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The 2D mode features, of course, 2D gameplay, which runs on button controls only and is based on older sports games, while using Sonic’s 16-bit sprites and Mario’s 8-bit sprites.
Mario and Sonic 2020 will have several 2D-specific events for players to play as well. Some of these are volleyball, shooting, long jump, marathon, 100 meter races, 400 meter hurdles, vaulting, judo, canoeing, and more. Controls and gameplay for each of these will be similar to the good old simplistic sports games we used to play back during the NES and SNES days, so they should provide a nice change of pace from all the other sports and events in the game.
Mario and Sonic 2020 also has a story mode, featuring characters from both, the Mario and Sonic universes. Notably, the story mode will also feature both, the regular 3D sports events in the game, as well as many of the 2D ones. There will also be 10 minigames in the story mode, five of which will be 3D 2020 ones, and five 2D 1964 ones. 3D minigames include activities such as climbing a tower as Tails or looking for Toads in a large crowd as Luigi, while the 2D ones task players with things such as running along a bridge as Sonic while avoiding obstacles to catch up with a train, or having to find keys as Mario.
The point of the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games titles – at least partly – is seeing the casts of these two universes coming together and playing with and against each other. So which characters from both sides can we expect to see in this year’s game? Nintendo’s representatives will include the likes of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Wario, Waluigi, Yoshi, and more, while from Sega’s side, we’ll be seeing the likes of Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Knuckles, Amy, Dr. Eggman, Blaze, Silver, Vector, and others.
GUEST AND SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
Like previous Mario and Sonic titles, Mario and Sonic 2020 will also feature supporting and guest characters from both side. This year, Rosalina, Todette, Larry, Diddy Kong, Wendy, and Ludwig are Mario’s guest cast, while Eggman Nega, Espio, Zavok, Jet, Zazz, and Rouge will be coming along with Sonic. Supporting characters include Hammer Bros, Boom Booms, Toads, and Birdos for Mario, and Eggrobos, Egg Pawns, and Pockies for Sonic.
Traditionally in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games titles, all the characters wear the clothes we normally associate them with, regardless of what even they’re taking part in. In Mario and Sonic 2020 though, things are going to be different. While they’ll still be wearing their regular clothes in Dream Events, in actual Olympic events, all of them will be seen in proper, appropriate sports clothing for those events.
Mario and Sonic 2020 will, of course, include multilayer gameplay – that’s very much the point of these games, some might argue. Meanwhile, using the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, the game will also support local split-screen multiplayer.
You wouldn’t expect Switch games to be too hefty as far as file sizes are concerned, especially not a game like Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Thankfully, for those looking to purchase and download the game digitally, you won’t have to clear up too much space in your system. The game will weigh a total of just 6.4 GB.