[Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020]Olympics Video Game REVIEW： 18 Events marry arcade & realism perfectly
The wait is almost over – the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are just a month away after being delayed from last summer.
You may have been itching to get your hands on the official video game of the Games, and the Worldwide release is finally here – two years after it arrived in Japan.
One word – Fun.
With 18 events to choose from, you certainly won’t get bored with Tokyo 2020 – although the game is not as realistic as previous iterations in the series.
click to enlarge + 10 TAKE YOUR PICK – 18 events are available to choose from
SEGA has clearly borrowed features from its much more successful sister title Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, with almost all of the events featuring special power-ups – whether it be unleashing a sprint with flames, or producing an absolute wonder strike on the football field.
That said, that makes the timing of these power-ups super important, and provides a skill gap for online play – with it not all about bashing the buttons as hard as you can.
Here’s our brief assessment of each of the 18 events that are available to play.
The classic – and even when practising you should take home the gold.
click to enlarge + 10 STREAKS AHEAD – Time your final burst and it’s game over for your opponents
When entering the Final stage of the Olympics mode – that’s when things heat up, with powering up and timing your start absolutely crucial.
In the pool, timing is everything.
You will flick the analogue sticks for each stroke, and will gradually speed up if timed correctly.
Of course, very similar to the 100m, with the added mechanic of timing your jump over the hurdles.
Nail your timing and you will pull streaks ahead.
This was plenty of fun, with each leg of the race requiring a slightly different mechanic, whilst also being conscious to manage your energy.
click to enlarge + 10 LIKE A DUCK TO WATER – Get your timing right to claim gold
Keep it half full until the final leg – and then make sure you don’t waste any of it!
This can be frustrating, as it doesn’t operate the same as the 100m.
There’s a “prime” running speed which isn’t the max, plus you have to time your baton changeovers to claim gold.
Just wow – perhaps the most realistic of all the events on the game, perhaps because it’s near impossible to hit a home run!
click to enlarge + 10 BATTER UP – Nail your pitching and the batter has no chance
Just like in real life – the advantage goes to the pitcher with all their variations – but that one super-charged homer could make all the difference.
For a simple version of basketball, this is surprisingly good, with you required to time your shots to make sure they land in the basket.
Defense is hard, however, but fortunately, it appears just as difficult for your opponent.
A simple but effective event – with the mechanic working brilliantly.
click to enlarge + 10 SERVES UP – Beach Volleyball has one of the most effective mechanics in the game
You only have a split second to see where your opponent is aiming, but if you can recover, you can be set up to stick the ball away.
A great addition, BMX is like no other event in the game.
Fly off the line, time your jumps for a speed boost, but don’t overdo it as you’ll need to steer around the bends.
This brought back memories of boxing on Wii Sports, but with a side-on camera angle, it can be hard to judge where to move.
It is satisfying when you pull off a combo, but this event perhaps requires plenty of practice before you enter the Olympics.
A surprising inclusion given some heavyweight football titles on the market, but SEGA has managed to create a fast-paced, arcadey version which is a lot of fun.
click to enlarge + 10 FRESH LOOK – Unlock the perfect get-up for your Avatar
It can be hard to score – so make sure you utilise your special shot when it comes your way.
A classic from the Mario & Sonic games, the mechanic works the same by spinning around and then releasing the hammer at the optimum moment.
Of course the faster you spin, the less time to have to release – but with a bit of practice, you should have this in the bag.
BUY NOW: Official Olympics Game from Amazon
Another classic, but there are three components that are required for success in Long Jump.
Speed, take-off point and angle of jump – so make sure you put in the practice to nail it.
We were sceptical of Judo, but with a Street Fighter Style set-up, it won us over very quickly.
Advertisement click to enlarge + 10 LET BATTLE COMMENCE – Judo sees great tussles for takedowns
When you go for a takedown, there’s a mini battle for supremacy, which isn’t all about button mashing.
Sevens arrived at the Olympics four years ago, and this was another intriguing addition to the game.
It certainly provides the fast-paced nature of the seven-a-side game, but players do seem to drop the ball a lot for no reason.
The fresh arrival for Tokyo, and is one of the more exciting events in the game.
Timing and getting the angle right whilst tackling the climbing wall will have you racing towards a world record time.
We were expecting a little bit more from Table Tennis, with it perhaps being the only event where power-ups feel underused.
click to enlarge + 10 MAKE YOUR MARK – Wait for the right opportunity to put the pall away, or unleash your special shot
Playing against the computer is just a question of hitting the ball back until they miss it, whereas, against another player, this will come down to utilising, and defending, special shots.
Similar to Table Tennis, but the difference here is that you can charge up every single shot if you have time.
click to enlarge + 10 BRACED FOR IMPACT – Unleash your special shot to take the upper hand
Therefore you have the choice to shorten the points, or just manoeuvre your opponent around the court.
Those who were expecting a super realistic Olympic Game, with male and female athletes competing separately may be a touch disappointed, but in terms of “playability” factor – SEGA has got this spot on.
click to enlarge + 10 OUT OF THIS WORLD – Your success can unlock crazy outfits for your avatar
They have almost meshed together the classic Olympics games with its Mario & Sonic counterparts (so much so that you can unlock a Sonic costume for your avatar), to release a product that offers something for everyone.
Perhaps they have crossed the fantasy line with ridiculous unlockable outfits for your avatar – but then again, that’s only there if you wish to use it – with your country’s colours and looks completely customisable.
Plus, for a limited time you can challenge licensed athletes in training mode – and we can’t wait to see who appears.
RealSport Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam and Stadia (backwards compatibility available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S).
Head here to buy now from Amazon
We reviewed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game on PS5.