It wasn’t until Beijing 2008 that I paid attention to the Olympic Games. Sure, I saw it on TV before, but never that interested. The same for 2012 as it was in London, then of course Rio. I’ll save you all the surplus history. With the ever-approaching games in Tokyo 2020, which I should be attending, I thought I’d give Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 demo a try. Y’know, to fool myself into thinking I was participating.

Usually, this type of game isn’t my thing. I played Track & Field as everybody else did back in the day, but I really don’t think there has been anything else other than Daley Thompson’s Decathalon that I played. Ask your nan about him. Nintendo recently emailed me (only me, we’re tight) and said that the demo was available, so I freed up some space to see what was on offer.

Taking the gold in Karate with Bowser

Something of an unfair advantage, methinks

If I had to choose, I would always go with Mario. Except for Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, I’ve never really been into Sonic games, so he took a back seat on my first game which was karate. Seeing Mario donned in a gi was quite amusing – the same with Bowser, but the minigame was quite good. Olympic karate is the sport kind, so you score points from connecting a punch or kick – even a takedown. It’s not a standalone fighting game, but it was quite fun. I failed with Mario but fared better with Bowser. It could have been those spikes.

Next up I tried the archery with Dr Robotnik – apologies, Dr Eggman. This was easily my favourite of the options. Hold the ZL to pull back on the bow, and ZR are to shoot. Your shot is affected by the wind and the target’s distance. Again, it was a lot of fun, and I took the gold. Naturally. In the full game, there will be Judo, skateboarding, surfing and of course the expected athletics, gymnastics and more. The usual suspects apply including Mario and his brother, Bowser and his tech brother Browser, Dr Robotnik Dr Eggman and some blue hedgehog that in no way should ever have a film made about it. Ah.

Dr Eggman steps up for a first shot in archery
Egghead, Eggman, Robotnik... whatever. He's doing archery, init?

I’d argue that it’s best suited as a party game. Visually, it’s done in the typical Nintendo style where it’s accessible to anyone almost immediately, bold and bright. For me though, I wasn’t that fussed, and I’ll most likely wait until it’s on sale or perhaps I go Olympic mad and end up buying on impulse in Akihabara (I’ve always found it hard to find a good selection of games in Japan outside of Tokyo). Name dropping like I know what I’m talking about…

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is out on November the 8th at 2:22 am. I made the time up. Just trying to look efficient.