SEGAbits at E3 2019: Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Hands-On Preview

Dakota and Patrick: The 90’s all-star rivalry is back in this year’s version of the Olympic Games, based off the Tokyo 2020 one. The demo had 5 sports: Skateboarding, Surfing, 100 M hurdles, Karate, and Archery. I also would like to note that every game played had motion controls, though some I opted to use buttons only and vice versa. Each one as certainly a fun time, although I personally had a lot more fun than others. Be sure to hit the jump for more information about the game.

Skateboarding – If Tony Hawk didn’t make the basic monopoly market on skateboarding games, then this Olympic spot might have had a shot. As you overlook the small sized skateboard bowl, you fly down a ramp to prepare for a trick. This sport I only played with motion controls, and I can say that it is pretty responsive. You must hold the Joycon flat and tilting it left and right moves the player. Tilting up brakes to a slower speed and swiping downwards kicks up speed. Tricks are performed by flicking up or in the direction of the indictor at the apex of the bowl. Arrows help you perform when to do those tricks, from ollies, nose grabs, and even  , and as you rank up point for 1st place, so it is satisfying to see you get better and perfect scores as you understand the controls and get better.  The only thing I had an issue was learning how to grind was a bit difficult, as I could never truly grasp how to do it. Just blame it on me and I’ll say that Skateboarding is a good bit of fun.

Surfing – I used motion controls for this one as well, because I wanted to see how well they incorporated two movement-based sports with the Joycons (I also played with buttons only). And while trickier to get the hang of than Skateboarding, it is riveting how enjoyable it is to surf with the motion controls. You start laying the Joycon flat in your hand and rapidly move left and right to paddle out while the waves rise. As they build up height, you start surfing and are put into small mini-game like sequences of it, and it ranges from jumping waves by flicking in an on-prompt direction at the right time to barreling through the wave by maintaining balance on the board by keeping the dot at the center of the line. It changes up the sequences each time, so it is never the same order of the mini games. I think this one is the best one out of the three new sports that they revealed, and I can’t wait to go back in line to keep trying to get better at it.

100 M Hurdles – Back from the original Olympic games, the hurdles are what you expect as nothing really changed from the original. However, I did use motion controls and it was not to bad. You hold the Joycon flat down like you are getting ready at the starting line of the sport. Holding the R button charges up your stand-off speed and then once the gun fires, you must overcome the sticks. Flicking up make you jump, and you must be precise in order to clear the hurdle. While I didn’t really care too much and it ended up being my least favorite, I did appreciate how the controls made you feel like you like you are somewhat at the track itself.

Karate – Ever wanted to kick butt as your favorite Sega/Nintendo character? Feel like punching the one you hate into oblivion? As surprising as this addition is to the game, it feels like it belongs. The rules are simple, first to 10 points wins. Each contact hit is a point and one can be taken away if you get hit. You can also evade to avoid getting hit or advance quickly on your opponent. It is fairly barebones to say the least, but it does offer some different moves with pressing the direction while attacking. It is an interesting sport to add to the mix and does offer some small strategic matches of “te tii”.

Archery – Returning from the original Olympic games as well, you can Robin Hood your way to victory become the sharpest eye in the gaming world. As with the hurdles, Archery is about what you expect, with three rounds of different distances with varying winds. However, I had the opportunity to play as a team with a wonderful SEGA rep at the kiosk. She actually got more points and bulleyes than me and I was impressed how fun the team aspect of archery is.

The graphics are a good step up from the Wii U Rio game, and the frame runs smooth like butter. The music sounds like standard fare for the Olympic games, which is always nice. On top of that, it is revealed that the game has 24 different sporting events as well as a mystery throwback mode that shows the Sonic and Mario pixel sprites from the classic games are available. There are also 20 characters from both franchises, all fan favorites to choose from. In all honesty, I did not give much thought into the Mario and Sonic 2020 Tokyo Games game before trying it at E3. Now I’m surprised and relieved that this will be a game I will enjoy in the future and I can’t wait to get back to shreddin’ some killer waves. The game is looking a release date of November 2019.

Favorite Olympic Sport: Surfing (Dakota), Karate (Patrick)

Least Favorite Olympic Sport: 100 M hurdles (Dakota), Surfing (Patrick)


One response to “SEGAbits at E3 2019: Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Hands-On Preview

  1. stephen says:

    ugly Sonic’s back …YAY!

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