Console Corner: Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 review
Wholesome fun but lacking depth.
Nothing quite screams NINTENDO-SEGA CROSSOVER like a good Mario and Sonic at the Olympics game.
And now the brilliant Nintendo Switch has one to call its own - and make use of its unique control systems - with the release of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 earlier this month.
With just over seven months until the Summer Olympics, this is well ahead of the curve (and just in time for some Christmas fun for all the family).
The 2020 game is the sixth installment in the Mario and Sonic series and developed and published by Sega for the Nintendo.
As is the case with previous incarnations in the series, there is a brilliant crossover cast of characters from Nintendo’s Super Mario and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchises.
The premise is simple, you take control of your desired character to compete in a multitude of events based on sports from the Olympics.
Events include boxing, football (or soccer as it is called in the game, yuk!), swimming, gymnastics and some of the new sports given the green light for the Tokyo games such as karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
You can use a host of different controllers from the Joy-Con motion controls to the pro pad. But the real fun is with the Joy-Cons - particularly with events like archery, sprints and hurdles which are just superb fun.
Split-screen multiplayer works really well and online play has been smooth thus far.
The game really plugged into the fan boy in me with its excellent added 2D mode which is based on the 1964 Summer Olympics and features 8-bit and 16-bit styles for Mario and Sonic, it looks and plays awesome.
There are a really original touches in this edition and the events are great fun, if often a little short-lived.
Elements of the game do feel a bit too gimmicky for my taste and there is not a whole lot of depth in places but this is very much aimed at solid family fun.
To that end the colourful, cutesy style plays on the nostalgic heartstrings and the new events add to the intrigue.
The controls and different options are undoubtedly the crowning achievement here as it really does make the game accessible and appealing to gamers of all ages and ability levels.
My daughter who is not really into video games, has had just as much fun and success as her dad - a veteran gamer of 30-odd years’ experience.
Story Mode is unfortunately lacking in any real depth and this won’t be what keeps you coming back to the game for more.
There is plenty good about the 2020 offering thanks to the innovative controls of the Switch. What it lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in good old fashioned family fun and retro coolness.