Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Has a Nostalgic Throwback Mode

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Has a Nostalgic Throwback Mode

Watch Dr. Robotnik scamper like in the good ol' days!

There's a good chance you haven't paid much attention to the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles since the first one came out for the Wii in 2008. The latest entry in the series, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 is doing something worth looking at: It's offering a "Classic 2D Events" mode that reverts Mario and his pals back to their former 8- and- 16-bit glory.

Earlier today, Sega uploaded a new Tokyo 2020 trailer that shows off the new mode in detail. Mario, Sonic, and the rest of the competitors all devolve into 8 bits as they dive, dash, run, and row through stadiums that look like they're straight out of 1986's Stadium Events for the NES. The highlight of the reel is definitely when low-res Sonic judo-spikes low-res Peach right into the mat. Wasted!

Classic 2D Events looks like fun, but there is a curious discrepancy between the 8-bit Mario characters and the more detailed, more colorful 16-bit Sonic characters. It's interesting Sega is sticking with the most primitive Mario sprites available outside his appearances on the 2600, whereas Sonic gets to strut his stuff. It's not as if the classic Mario games weren't re-made on the SNES in Super Mario All-Stars. Maybe this is just Sega's way of playfully re-living their old rivalry with Nintendo. As we all know, Genesis does what Nintendon't.

Look for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 on the Switch on November 5. Of course, the usual HD visuals are an option, too—but why would you want to deny yourself the joy of seeing Dr. Robotnik do that discount 16-bit Naruto-run that made him so famous on the Genesis?

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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