A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
As you might expect, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a sports simulation tied to the Summer Olympics. It lets you compete in several competitions against other nations. It celebrates excellence in athleticism, and encourages friendly competition, national pride, and in some events, teamwork. But there are some violent sports such as boxing and martial arts.
Positive Role Models
You get to create a character from scratch before competing in these Olympic Games. This includes choosing a nationality, gender (male and female), skin color, hair and eye color and style, body shape, and other variables. There's good representation among your opponents, too.
Ease of Play
Available on several platforms, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 offers several tutorials to familiarize yourself with the controls. Some events, like Track and Field, require you to quickly and rapidly press a button in order to have your character run faster. There's also a Practice mode that teaches the rules and controls for each of the 18 sports.
Violence & Scariness
A couple of the game's sports involve combat, including Judo and Boxing. While not graphic or bloody, players must use offensive and defensive moves to score points against an opponent, such as punching, throwing opponents to the ground, and so on. Some special attacks in the Boxing match include a dramatic close-up camera angle for replays.
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Products & Purchases
There's a lot of visual branding of the Olympics logo (the five rings) seen in the competition venues, in the TV-like broadcast footage, on player's clothes, on items (like balls), and so forth.
Parents Need to Know
Parents needs to know that Sega's Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a sports game for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC (via Steam), and Google Stadia. There's some mild violence in two of the competitions, Boxing and Judo, which includes physical contact. This includes punches, kicks, and throws. The opponents may cry out in pain and fall to the ground, but there's no blood or gore. Some of the special boxing moves include a close-up camera replay. to focus on the Olympic Rings on the arena walls, athlete uniforms, balls, and other surfaces.
Is It Any Good?
This presentation of the various games for the international competition was a lot of fun. While the menu system of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a little busy and convoluted, it didn't take long to dive into some solo matches, and then feel confident enough to go online in a private game or public match to test your skills against others. There's also a Practice mode that teaches the basics per sport, including rules and controls. The button-heavy mechanic is easy to pick up, with some matches requiring you to tap super fast, which is reminiscent of the Konami's classic 1983 Track & Field arcade game. While you might be looking at poor or average scores the first few times you tackle an event, you'll no doubt learn the nuances and upgrade from, say, Cs to As, for each performance. The A.I. isn't too challenging, which is likely what Sega wanted, in order to appeal to all kinds of gamer skill levels and ages.
That said, you won't be able to button mash for all events, like 100m Dash. More analog stick work and timing -- and keeping an eye on your stamina bar -- are all key to success in several other events in the roster. In fact, there's more depth than expected, and not just breadth with the 18 events, avatar creator studio, and multiple game modes. Practice, as they say, makes perfect. The production values are also impressive with attractive graphics, smooth animation, and decent music and sound effects. For fans of the real Olympic Games, the announcers do a good job with reporting on the game, while loading screens show useful information about what's happening in Tokyo, as well as the history of the Olympics, and other fun facts. Ideal for players of all ages, Sega's Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a fun and accessible arcade sports game, with a lot of variety in the events. And at about half the cost of many other new games today, this multi-platform title is worth the investment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.