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  • Author's Saving Throw: Tokyo 2020 brings the back The Dream Events after their removal from Rio 2016, which was divisive among fans.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Zavok and Zazz. Their inclusion in Rio 2016 is a very sour point for those who can't stand Sonic Lost World and/or the Deadly Six. Others aren't so bothered, as they're only 2 out of a roster of about 40 characters in the game, and both of them are exclusive to only one event each (table tennis and boxing respectively).
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  • Breather Level: In the later chapters of Tokyo 2020's Story Mode, the events can feel very unfair, but facing Jet in Football Kickoffs is surprisingly easy, as his goalie will often make no attempt to block your ball, and Jet himself will often kick the ball straight into you.
  • Broken Base: Rio 2016 Wii U replacing the Dream Events set in the Mario & Sonic universe with Duel Events set in Locations around Rio has caused mixed reactions. Some are okay with it while others see them as a poor replacement for Dream Events, which were the part they mostly looked forward to.
  • Critic-Proof: Reviews for all games were mixed, and the mainstream doesn't seem to care. It's mainly because fans wished that this crossover would be used for Platform Games instead.
  • Critical Dissonance: The London game had considerably worse reviews from professional critics when compared to Vancouver, but fans tend to regard it as being as good, if not better than its predecessor.
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  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Those that find the gameplay average tend to greatly appreciate the character interactions, especially for the extended Sonic cast, who've been Demoted to Extra in most Sonic media after their introduction.
  • Even Better Sequel: The handheld renditions of Vancouver and London are well-regarded for their quality, as are their home console counterparts. Having a strong single player campaign, a unique story mode, and clever interactions between the characters certainly helps their case.
  • Growing the Beard: While the first game (Beijing 2008) wasn't bad by any means, it was a quite underwhelming minigame-a-thon. Only four Dream Events, and the Mario and Sonic characters seem to be there just to be there. In the sequels Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, everything was shifted into overdrive. Four new characters (DK, Bowser Jr., Silver, and Metal Sonic) were introduced to expand the roster, Boss Characters were introduced, the handheld versions were given their own little story modes, Dream Events were expanded upon and actually took place in iconic locations from both franchises, and the games overall were given a lot more personality, making it stand out from the other Mario spinoffs.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the Rio 2016 closing ceremony, one of the characters used for the linking sequence for the handover between Rio and Japan was Mario, complete with a Warp Pipe set up by Doraemon.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: The games are some of the best selling games of all time and eclipse even the main Sonic games. Despite this, you'll be hard pressed to find either Mario or Sonic fans mention the Olympic titles. They rarely get discussed by gamers.
  • Memetic Mutation: Shirtless Wario and EggmanExplanation 
  • MST3K Mantra: In full effect considering why the characters from both rosters would crossover for the Olympics of all places. (Does not count Sonic occasionally fighting Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, DK, Diddy, Rosalina, Wario, Yoshi, Bowser Jr., the Koopalings, Dr. Mario, Daisy and a Piranha Plant every now and then.)
  • Narm: Males can take part in female-centric events such as synchronized swimming or rhythmic ribbon gymnastics. Cue snickers as Bowser, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, or Vector participate.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Hammer Throw event in London 2012 has the characters letting out a scream as they prepare to throw the hammer, which generally sounds as over-the-top as you'd expect. When the character in question is Daisy, however, the scream sounds surprisingly realistic and blood-curdling.
    • The ending of Tokyo 2020's story mode has the video game Sonic, Mario, Eggman, Bowser, and Toad are trapped in's battery slowly run out, which would make everyone trapped cease to exist. The battery dies just as an escape route is opened, causing the game world to fade into nothingness while everyone's speech fades in and out. While Eggman yells at everyone to hold on, no one can move, and they slowly dissolve into a single pixel as the screen flickers and goes dark, taking them with it... They all get better, though.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The YouTube trailer for Sonic at the Olympic Games - Tokyo 2020 has quite a few people surprised there’s a version without Mario. In actuality, the first two games had similar counterparts before they were pulled from the Apple Store.
    • This series is not the first time Nintendo has made an Olympic themed game. They previously made an Olympic themed game about Hamtaro called Hamtaro: The Ham Ham Games. What’s more, the game was made by AlphaDream, who helped with the Tokyo 2020 iteration.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • In the 100m Freestyle minigame of the DS version of Beijing 2008, most characters require you to either rub horizontally, rub vertically, spin in a circle, or trace a semicircle. Vector requires you to trace a figure-8.
    • Characters being limited to certain events in the handheld versions, a trend that began with London and is continues with Rio. Being the mascots, Mario and Sonic are excempt from this rule. This extends to the guest characters being restricted to certain events in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
    • While the plot is good and the unique character animations are memorable, the loads of tedious, unskippable dialogue in Tokyo 2020's Story Mode is often the point of criticism.
  • Sequelitis:
    • The direct sequel to the Beard-Growing Vancouver and London games, Sochi 2014 had big shoes to fill and had the unfortunate timing of being the first M&S game to be released on the then-new Wii U, which made development and marketing awkward. Sochi had no handheld edition on the 3DS; the number of Dream Events was reduced to just eight; and the single-player features were bare-bones compared to the two prequels.
    • Rio 2016, despite finally expanding the character roster and having a 3DS port again, had a very lukewarm reception due to the introduction of a few Scrappy Mechanics, namely the elimination of Dream Events and the odd decision to lock each character to specific events.
    • Tokyo 2020 was also lackluster to some, compared to even Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, for how barebones the single player experience is (the Quick Match and Story mode is pretty all there is to it), the removal of Miis, custom music remixes, Tournament mode, and other features players loved in the previous games, the amount of Dream Events only being three, and lack of bonus content after completing Story Mode. It did not help that players had waited a long time over the skipped Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics and expected Sega to craft up something very spectacular for an Olympics happening in their hometown.
  • That One Boss: The match against Bowser and Dr. Eggman in Fever Hockey in Vancouver 2010 has become quite infamous for being a huge Difficulty Spike.
  • That One Level: The Museum Sneak minigame in Tokyo 2020's Story Mode. While the first three floors are a cakewalk, the fourth and final floor becomes difficult. The patterns of the moving Koopa Troops are aligned together dangerously close and require precise timing, not to mention the Hammer Bro who is able to move freely and catch you easily. Expect 75% of your time to spent on this floor as you constantly fall into a Koopa Troop's spotlight. If you decide to rely on Mercy Mode and skip the minigame, remember in order to lose, you have to spend all of your 20 minutes, so expect to wait an hour.
  • That One Side Quest: Several of the Carnival Challenges in the Wii U version of Rio 2016 can become this since the price to enter them doubles with every failure, and unless you know all the tips (which are locked until you first hear them), you're likely to find a challenge that doesn't even make sense. How many people know what a Dump is in Beach Volleyball anyway?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Jet the Hawk's most obvious traits are his love for racing and his desire to claim Sonic's title of fastest thing alive. This would make him an obvious candidate for guest playable character in events such as Skateboarding, Surfing, and especially Dream Racing, but he is restricted to Football in Tokyo 2020, much to his fans' disappointment.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Vancouver 2010 and London 2012. These two games grew the beard and introduced many beloved features and characters to give the Mario & Sonic games a ton of personality and charm, especially the handheld versions, which received solid acclaim. The Wii U entries Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 had a lot to live up to and ended up with a far worse reception both by professional critics and fans. The Switch entry Tokyo 2020 managed to fare a tad better for having a more rounded story mode, but the continued lack of Dream Events and continuing to lock popular characters to specific events overall prevented it from reaching the reception of Vancouver and London.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the bare bones presentation of Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 (least on the Wii U for the latter, the 3DS version was cited to be somewhat decent). Tokyo 2020 finally put more effort into things by giving a pretty quirky Story Mode and the return of Dream Events. While reviews did cite that there were actually fewer characters in this one compared to Rio 2016 and would've like more Dream Events and character selection for the retro style. It likewise is a vast improvement as well.

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