Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will feature retro-style 2D classic events. A first for the Mario & Sonic series, these Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games 2D events feature old-school sprites, screen filter options, and unique audio design.
Shown off in a Nintendo U.K. Gamescom 2019 presentation video, the 2D classic events call back to the last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964. Players will be able to select a “Tokyo 1964” option in the event selection screen, which will bring them to a menu with 10 different 2D events to choose. These include the 100m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Marathon, 10m Platform (diving), Vault, Kayak, Judo, Volleyball, and Shooting events. Each of these events is redesigned specifically for the 2D mode, with unique button-only inputs that don’t allow for the use of motion controls. The Nintendo U.K. showcase showed off gameplay from the 400m Hurdles, 10m Platform, Long Jump, and Marathon events that required different button mechanics to win.
During the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games 2D modes, players can only select from among eight characters. These include the 8-bit, Super Mario Brothers-style designs of Mario, Bowser, Luigi, and Peach and the 16-bit, Sega Genesis-style designs of Sonic, Eggman, Tails, and Knuckles. Each event also features the kind of crackly, muffled, carnival barker-style commentary you’d expect from a poor-quality, 1960s sports broadcast, along with retro-style music cues and sound effects. Players also have the option to enable a CRT-like filter over the gameplay, complete with scan lines.
The Nintendo U.K. video also showed off several of the other, non-2D Olympic events, including the Sport Climbing event and Archery Event. As you would expect, archery allows players to aim and fire the bow using dual-Joy-Con motion controls, accounting for wind intensity and direction. Most events allow for players to choose between dual controllers, single controllers, or buttons only. Like the 2D events, however, some 3D events (such as Karate) require button-only control schemes. You can watch the full Nintendo U.K. showcase below.