Preview | Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 — Tokyo 1964 Events
In just under a month, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will release for the Nintendo Switch. Being the first title in the series to hit the newest Nintendo platform, it’s expected to be pretty popular. With no dedicated Wii Sports title on the platform, this may be the game active gamers turn to. We at GotGame have extensive time with the title throughout this month. With that in mind, we decided to give the game plenty of preview coverage to really dive deep in this new entry. For our first preview, we’re going to cover the Tokyo 1964 events.
New to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, it now includes retro inspired Tokyo 1964 events. Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games in 1964, the first time Asia held the event. Now the games are returning to Tokyo next year, and Mario & Sonic takes advantage of this multi-year venue. These retro style events put the titular characters and a few of their friends into most of their earliest incarnations. Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser appear as they were in the original Super Mario Bros. game. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Eggman appear as they did from the Sega Genesis Sonic games. While this limits the character selection, the character doesn’t actually matter for the events.
There are ten events in Tokyo 1964, all of which use traditional button controls. This makes it feel similar to NES titles like Track & Field or Hyper Sports. The events are 100m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Marathon, 10m Platform, Vault, Kayak, Judo, Volleyball, and Shooting. These events are rather simple, but can be pretty fun to play, much like the old NES games. Controls between the events vary quite a bit despite the simplicity. Running events typically involve repeatedly mashing the A button while events requiring more finesse tend to ask for buttons to be pressed in various sequences. Most events only use one or two buttons, but the simplicity adds a lot to the charm.
One of my favorite elements of the Tokyo 1964 events is the music. It takes a retro chiptune route with the modern soundtrack, and it sounds pretty authentic. Characters no longer have voices, though every event has an announcer to call out character and event names, or even certain actions. Like the audio, the visuals convert to 8 or 16-bit styles. This limits characters to certain animations, and honestly, I prefer seeing Bowser run this way over anything else. The Sonic characters utilize more frames, so they seem fine. Mario characters, on the other hand, just look ridiculous in all the best ways. Fans of retro style graphics may even want to try the Analog TV filter, making the visuals simulate old CRT televisions.
The nice thing about the Tokyo 1964 events is that since they all control with buttons, they all play rather well. Many of the normal events have button options, but some force motion controls, for better or worse. We’ll get to that in another preview, but for now there isn’t much more to say about the Tokyo 1964 events. They’re a lot of fun and even incorporate themselves into the story mode, which we will also cover in a later preview. Fans of old school sports games on the NES may really appreciate this mode. It adds a nice change and can provide nice competition. We’ll have more Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 coverage in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled!