We’re less than a week away from IAAPA 2019, and while I thought about keep this as a part of the IAAPA 2019 Preview post ‘n video, there was enough new info to “go to wire” with, so here we are.
While Sega had announced Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Arcade Edition for Japan earlier this year, they played coy about their plans on it for the rest of the world. That is, until IAAPA Expo Europe 2019 came along and the game made an appearance. There was zero fanfare about it’s presence there though; it only happened to be noticed as photobombing a redemption product.
Not long after that, Sega confirmed that the game would be headed West, and to our surprise, that it would be offered as a conversion kit to existing Rio 2016 Olympics machines. This morning, Sega issued another press release to tout their IAAPA 2019 line-up, focusing entirely on the video games of the event. Mission: Impossible Arcade headlined the release, but right below it was an entry for Mario & Sonic Olympics.
First, let’s take a look at the cabinet. This is the same as the Japanese version, which ditches the odd joysticks of the 2016 version in favor of reliabile and easy-to-fix buttons (MASRIO2016 cabs were notorious for their controller issues; sadly, while they offered something different, they also became targets of people who enjoy giving arcade cabinets a good thrashing):
My guess is that these still use 55″ screens, but no idea if the game board is the same or not (MASRIO2016 was the Sega Nu). According to the press release though, “At IAAPA we will be exhibiting the conversion.” Too bad it won’t be both, but I understand why they would want to get previous buyers interested in the update.
Onto the gameplay, there are 12 characters to choose from and 12 events to compete across; MASRIO2016 had 9 on the latter. To phone it in and quote all of the pertinent details:
The only official licenced Olympic arcade game in the world from Sega and Nintendo. Visitors can participate in twelve events, including Gymnastics, Rugby, discus throw, triple jump, 100m, sport climbing, surfing, 100m freestyle as well as four retro events. Choose from a legendary cast of twelve characters including Mario, Sonic, Luigi, Amy, Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Eggman, Shadow, Yoshi, Wario, Bowser, and Peach.
Players can choose ‘athletics’ or ‘easy’ mode. In athletics mode, players must beat the target score to move on to the next event. While Easy mode makes the game fun for all players. “
I find that last line interesting, as developers have to figure out that fine line between pleasing core gamers and casuals (with casuals often winning that battle). We’ll have to see how it pans out in practice.
No release date has been given for this game yet, but we’ll probably get that piece of info next week.
What do you think about this game from what has been unveiled up to this point?