Mario is the hardest working mascot in gaming. This is his fifth game in the past 6 months. He’s always busy, when he isn’t saving Peach from one of Bowser’s evil plots; he’s somewhere competing in a sports event (or throwing an epic party). Here are my thoughts on his latest endeavor.
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Title: Mario Tennis Open
Release Date: 5/20/12[/toggle_box]
- Addictive Gameplay – Tennis is a simple game, the only thing you have to do is return the ball and try to make your opponent miss. Mario Tennis Open throws in a few power-ups, like a curve shot, fire shot, and a few more Mario-esque power-ups. The game’s simplicity and responsive controls make it highly addictive.
- Game Modes – There’s single player, local multiplayer, online multiplayer, and Street Pass. In single player you can play through the game’s tournaments, play an exhibition match, or just mess around with the mini-games in the “special games” section. Local multiplayer lets you play against a nearby friend (download play is supported). Online lets you challenge people on your friends’ list or strangers.
- Controls – The face buttons are different shots. In order to successfully pull off a power shot you have to step on a designated spot and perform the correct shot. If you don’t want to use the face button you can also execute shots with the touch screen.
- Colorful – The graphics are colorful and they look just as good as every other first party 3DS game. The characters and courts are full of life.
- Soundtrack – The soundtrack is perfect, there are classic tracks and a few form some of the newer Mario games.
- Better With Friends – Playing against the CPU is fun, but nothing beats playing against friends. And thanks to download play you don’t have to worry about if your friends also own a copy of Mario Tennis Open. It may not be as intense as Mario Kart 7, but it’s still a great way to pass time with friends.
- Customization – You can customize your Mii with the goodies you unlock in the tournament mode.
- Finding a Balance – The tournaments start off super easy, but by the time you get to the last one you’ll be pulling your hair out. The difficulty ramps up nicely, and once you feel like things are becoming too easy someone will put you in your place.
- Camera Controls – You control the camera with the accelerometer, but it never feels right. While playing you’ll accidently change the camera angle and miss an important shot. Luckily you can disable the accelerometer controls. Although, there doesn’t appear to be a way to change the camera with the 3DS’ buttons. So make sure you set the game to the desired angle before disabling the motion controls. Yes, it’s as awkward as it sounds.
- Needs More Characters – I understand that this isn’t Super Smash Brothers, but it would have been nice to see a few more characters. Mario Tennis Open includes the Mario sports game regulars. You’ll quickly tire of playing the same people over and over again. Sigh, I guess you’ll have to do Daisy.
- No 3D in Dynamic View – For some reason when you switch to the dynamic view (or the behind the shoulder camera) the 3D effect is automatically disabled. This is unfortunate because it’s the best camera angle.
- Shallow Mini-Games – The retro Mario mini-game is fun at first, but the novelty quickly wears off. The same can be said about all the mini-games, after playing them a few times you’ll quickly forget about them.
- Stuck on Repeat – The soundtrack is amazing, but the same can’t be said for all the audio. The characters are super annoying; they repeat the same things at least a hundred times during a match.
Mario Tennis Open isn’t the best Mario game ever; it isn’t even the best Mario sports game ever. But it gets the job done and is a lot of fun to play. This won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re interested in this game go ahead and pick it up. It’s that simple, you basically know what you’re getting yourself in to.
[box_light]We believe that the score is the least important part of a review. It’s tough trying to assign a numerical value to an experience. Furthermore, is there really a difference between a 7.5 and an 8? Gamers place too much importance on arbitrary numbers. This is why our scores are hidden by default. Only look at them if you absolutely need a number between 1-10 to see if a game is worth your time. You can read our review guidelines here. A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.[/box_light]
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Replay Value: 7
7.5 Very Good – This game flirts with greatness, but ultimately falls short. Still it’s highly entertaining and worth a look.[/toggle_box]