Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 E3 2019 Preview

Our E3 impressions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games left us wanting more challenging gameplay.

At E3 2019, I was able to try out the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the lengthily-titled next entry in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series.

The game has plenty of different characters to play as and a variety of different mini-games in which to partake, and its gameplay is surprisingly simple. Perhaps too much so for those that have yet to try the games.

The E3 demo featured a few playable characters and four different sports in which they could partcipate, including karate, skateboarding, surfing, and archery.

Karate was the first one I tried. Here, players must quickly hit or block opponents to gain points. Each round of karate can end in the blink of an eye, so it's best players keep their guard up if they want to ensure victory.

Skateboarding is extremely simple; all players have to do is go whichever direction they want and press "A" at the right time to perform tricks, and sometimes both "A" and "R" to garner more points while doing them.

Surfing is similar but includes rapidly pressing the "A" button to paddle and catch a wave. Once a player starts paddling, catching the wave behind is automatic, but staying on the wave and performing tricks requires use of the analog stick as well as the "A" button once again. There's also only a limited amount of time for players to stay on the wave, with the goal being to stay on it for as long as possible.

For Archery, players can either compete against each other or team up and get points by shooting arrows at targets. In this demo, Archery may have been the easiest sport of the bunch, since hitting the middle of the target was nearly unavoidable.

While it's still fun to play all of these modes in quick succession, from all of the simple actions utilized by the four available sports in the demo, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is best recommended for younger kids and more casual players at this point.

Maybe things will be more difficult in the final build over time, but this demo did nothing to indicate that. If you're looking for a modern title with similar gameplay to Wii Sports, this likely isn't the one.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 launches for Nintendo Switch in November 2019.


Writer pursuing a career in Games & Entertainment media. Specialties include coverage of non-Pokémon monster taming RPGs, event coverage, indie game coverage, and coverage of various Japanese games.

Published Jun. 17th 2019

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