Mario is one of the most iconic characters in the industry, be it stomping on Goombas to defeating Bowser, he’s the man to call. Since his humble beginnings, we’ve seen Mario join the Olympics, teamup with Donkey Kong, master kart racing with his friends, earn his doctorate and even participate in Tennis. Speaking of Tennis, it’s been a while since he was on the court and that was way back in Mario Power Tennis. However, Camelot finally released a new Tennis game for Mario in the form of Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS.
With so much down time, does it still have that spark tennis fans loved in the previous Mario Tennis games? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Mario Tennis Open
The visuals that the Nintendo 3DS can do continue to impress me due to the Wii/Gamecube like graphics it can deliver. In Mario Tennis, the visuals are done phenomenally making it look like it’s from a Wii game. Character models in Mario Tennis Open are visually appealing and it’s close to the ones seen in the Super Mario Galaxy games. Throughout the eight cups in the single player mode’s tournament, you will go through a lot of different locales that will be pretty familiar for fans of the Mario franchise. Prepare to have a background from several stages in the Mario games such as the Bowser castle or in a nice sandy beach. All of these locales are designed beautifully and it doesn’t look like a portable game at all.
Tennis Game with a Twist
As the title says, Mario Tennis Open is a Tennis game. While for those fans who have played a lot of Tennis games including the ones with Mario, many are hesitant due to the limited playability it has or the differences the game has with other tennis games. While the premise of the game is simply tennis, Camelot added some twists on it while you’re on a match. As you play a match, you’ll encounter some sort of a power up on the side that you’re at on the floor. Depending on what power up it is and the button that you press, you can hit the tennis ball with different styles – it can either be a flaming ball going towards your enemy, or something that will be equipped with water that will rush through your opponent. These simple power-ups add some challenges because you never know what your opponent will be doing when it comes to hitting the ball on your side of the court.
Gyro controls are somewhat used in the game but not in a way where you’ll have to get used to it. Depending on how your Nintendo 3DS is positioned when playing, the way the camera is focused when you’re playing is changed. An example of this is when your handheld is on upright position, the game will focus on the character you’re using. But if you’re playing while the Nintendo 3DS is on down-ward position, it will have the classic birds-eye view. Take note that this can be changed on the options menu.
When it comes to the modes the game has, it’s pretty common and nothing exciting. There’s a tournament mode in single player mode where you can unlock up to eight cups and play either singles or doubles. Similar to other Mario sports games where it gives you a reward for clearing a cup, Tennis Open will give you some sort of tennis gear that you can use for your personalized Mii when playing online. Depending on how many gears that you’ve unlocked, you go to the Club House from the main menu to customize the gear that your Mii has.
One of the biggest draws to Mario Tennis fans in this game is the online multiplayer. When playing through the Wi-Fi connection, you can use any of the characters you’ve unlocked in the game, including your personalized Mii. Once you’re all set and ready to mingle with other players, you can easily hop to the online hub of Mario Tennis Open and start dominating every match by yourself or with someone else. The use of friends code here will only apply for those who want to party up, if you don’t have friends listed on your Nintendo 3DS, you can still look up for matches.