Preview: Mario Tennis Open (3DS)

There’s only 20 days left until the release of Mario’s latest sporting outing, Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS.  Some publications have already published reviews early on this game, saying that it’s a bit too simple.  This may not be a bad thing at all.  Mario Tennis Open goes back to the game’s 3D roots, while staying close in regards to gameplay to Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64.  There are plenty of new features and additions, but is this game worth the buy when it releases?  Continue reading to find out! -Amanda Manos

Mario’s back in another sports game, but we haven’t seen this one in a while. Mario himself made a cameo in an NES game “Tennis” in 1985. Since then, tennis video games would become a huge part of Nintendo’s history, with at least one title on every console. It impacted Mario’s history even greater as one of the most popular spin-off series Mario has. It’s arguable that is all started with Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64.

That very classic defined staples of the series, introduced an addicting formula to tennis gameplay, and greeted us with a satisfying cast of Mario characters to play tennis with. The last time (besides remakes) we saw Mario and his pals rally off some tennis balls was in 2004, under the identity of Mario Power Tennis. Although the Wii didn’t get a “true” addition to Mario’s tennis tradition, gamers were treated with a remake of Mario Power Tennis, which was all you could’ve really wanted from such an amazing game.

Camelot’s back developing the next title, Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS. so we know it’s going to be great. After seven years of waiting for a return to the tennis courts, fans should be eager to get their racquets rusty!. So far, the game looks like it’s not a game to disappoint. We can clearly see so many characters, beautiful areas based on the environments of past Mario games, and many customizable options.

Miis redefine customization for any sports game Mario has ever been in. You can literally create your own stats with items. This hasn’t been done before, and I’m not sure why, because this idea will work great for any player that wants to find their perfect play style. With different outfits and accessories that are available to buy from an in-game store, there’s plenty of goals that players can set for themselves.

Whether you want to buy the most attractive items, the most beneficial items, or just buy it all, there’s bound to be tons of reasons to make this shop a common stop. And all the items you can buy are plain awesome! You can buy costumes to resemble other characters (other than the stats boosts, I don’t really know why you wouldn’t just play as the character itself), new racquets, new outfits, character sets, and more! All it costs are coins, which are earned by playing the game.

The controls featured in Mario Tennis Open can best be compared to Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64. Unfortunately, there are no special moves, but that and along with the convenient touch screen controls make this game the most fair and balanced Mario Tennis title yet. You can use the gyroscope to control the camera angles for interesting perspectives to help you aim. Other than the tournament modes that Mario Tennis has to offer, there are a few “Special Games”. These are basically mini-games that focus intensely on accurate and precise serves and rallies. They are fun games that help the player learn how to play at the same time. The addictive gameplay formula should be enough to last dozens of hours of playtime.

This game really takes a reminiscent step into the Mushroom Kingdom. You’ll see familiar areas from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, and many more. The character roster is impressive. Some surprises, all familiar. With so many secrets to unlock, many of your favorite Mario characters will be playable.  This game shines through its multiplayer features. Online play, local multiplayer, and Streetpass add to the fun this game is going to offer in late May.  What do you think about Mario Tennis Open?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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