Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is an arcade sports game and is available this month on PS NOW. The Olympics started last week to an amazing opening ceremony featuring popular songs from videogames which include Final Fantasy, Sonic and Monster Hunter. It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper official Olympics game going back to London 2012 and it was a good laugh with friends back then as is this game.
With Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 recently being released on PlayStation Now I think it’s the perfect place for it. As you start the game, they ask you to create your own athlete and this is where there are quite a lot of customizations which include Sonic, a spacesuit and you can even wear a dress. You can also make your character overweight or lean which is amazing. This ends up being your main avatar for the game’s events.
You can also customize your entire team as well and have them all look unique or exactly the same. It’s a good system as there are tons of outfits and styles to pick and you can have a different one for each event. Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has 18 events to compete in and you can play both online and offline modes. Whilst none of the events are going to light the world on fire, none of them are terrible either.
Most of them entail mashing the X button but sometimes you might need to pace yourself or time it right so there is some variety. The 100-meter sprint for example is simple, Mash X to run fast and press another button to stretch across the line. Seeing your character reach speeds that will break the sound barrier whilst wearing a sumo thong is extremely funny. Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 hides hints like charging up at the start away until you’ve played the events a couple of times.
You can press start and view the controls from there which is kind of weird that the game doesn’t tell you this information right away. You have quite a few events with totally different control schemes like your basketball, football, baseball and rugby. Don’t expect Fifa or NBA2K out of these but they are easily approachable games to just have fun with. You also have events like the long jump, swimming and hammer throw that mixes it up a bit more and obviously some events are better than others.
I know I said none of them are terrible but the BMX event is the worst. Obviously for all these events, depth isn’t the main focus but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some elements to really nail down. Like in the long jump you have to get your jump angle right, football has special shots you can do when the meter is full and the tennis has different shot types to pull off and counter so it’s not without any depth.
The controls are simple but effective so none of the events feel clunky besides BMX obviously. As you can probably tell from the images or the video, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 leans more to the arcade side of things unlike previous entries which is fine as it makes the events feel more accessible to everyone. What I don’t understand though is why there aren’t any more events in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. You can have the 200-meter and 400-meter events with the same mechanics as the 100-meter or relay event.
Considering the previous game, London 2012 had 31 events and it seems like a step back a bit. If you are playing offline, you have 3 rounds to complete in each event, qualifier, semifinal and final. Think of this as easy, medium and hard. With most events it’s not too bad on hard but on some it feels like the A.I. has been on some serious performance enhancing drugs and you have to do every step perfectly to even stand a chance.
Online is a different story obviously because real people have the chance to make mistakes and in events where athletes take turns you just see their ghosts so that keeps the pace of the matches up. You can also play local on your console with 2 players, not 4 unlike the 2012 game and again it feels like a step back. Visually Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is okay and you can tell it is a mid-budget game. It has a cartoony style to it, the colors all look very nice, the animations work fine and it runs very smoothly.
As I said at the start PS Now is the perfect place for this as $40 for this game feels overpriced. To load up this game when you have friends around or to play online for an hour is good fun. People who wanted a more realistic adaptation of the Olympics will be disappointed but the game is perfect for families, kids and people who just want some good clean fun.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been permanently added to the PS NOW library.
*Requires an active PS NOW subscription to play this game.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 offers us a fun arcade style Olympics game that strays away from the previous iterations and gives us a much more cartoony version. With plenty of hilarious customization options and the majority of the events being fun, this game is a blast to play especially with friends.