Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a franchise whose games are based around the Summer or Winter Olympic Games that occur every four years. However, the COVID-19 virus has caused a 1 year delay of the Tokyo Olympics. So, what becomes of Mario and Sonic now?
Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Tokyo 2020 released on November 1, 2019 and was meant to give players a glimpse into what the Tokyo games would be like. Those of us that got the game probably couldn’t wait to see the real thing. The coronavirus pandemic has officially pushed the games back a year to 2021 so the game is now no longer based on an event that will happen in 2020.
Every other Mario and Sonic Olympics game is based around Olympic games that actually happened. Nintendo & Sega have a couple of options they could do. Either leave everything alone, patch it so the year it’s based on is fixed or make an entirely new game.
Patching it to adjust the title is a small fix but it’s one that will keep the game current with the year the Tokyo games will actually take place in. It helps that the Olympic Games would still take place in Japan around the same time they would have this year. It wouldn’t be as hard as making an entire game from scratch but it would be a lot better than leaving it as an awkward reminder of Mario and Sonic going to an Olympics that didn’t happen.
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Making an entire game from scratch is doable but it would be require a lot of development time. As a player the question then becomes, “Do I really want to spend my hard earned $40-50 on little more than a update to a game they may already own just so I can be up to date?” It would still be the summer games so the same events and characters would be in play, (soccer, archery, surfing etc.). There would have to be something very special in the new game to warrant this option like more dream events or characters, Given the time and people it would take, especially after recovering from the pandemic, this option is the least likely one.
Of course, Nintendo and Sega could just leave the game as is and that may be the way to go. After all, video games are meant to be enjoyed for what they are and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics Tokyo 2020 is a fun game with plenty of fun events whether you do the modern events or the events with the retro 16 or 8 bit graphics. It’s pretty cool to wonder about what might have been and those that are sad about the 2020 Olympics being cancelled can still live them vicariously through Mario and Sonic while they wait for the next Olympics and any other Mario and Sonic games that are made in the future.
Mario and Sonic may be the only ones going to the Olympic Games in 2020 but I still think purchasing this game is justified if you are a fan of the Olympics, Mario and Sonic. Regardless of what ultimately happens with the current installment. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is the best representation of Olympic based games so far and in my opinion, will be around for awhile.