It started with the demo. Mario Tennis Aces Pre-launch Online Tournament was made available early June for a weekend. The gameplay immediately felt familiar (and refreshing) in the best way. Mario sports games come few and far between, the previous instalment of Mario Tennis for the Wii U (Ultra Smash) wasn’t quite the definitive title we were all wishing for, but this time around Nintendo / Camelot got it right!
The RPG elements integrated in Adventure mode (Story mode) add layers of depth to the experience. Playing in handheld mode in the back of an Uber brought the nostalgia we live for - Memories of playing the original Mario Tennis on Game Boy Color without a care in the world.
Adventure mode starts off with a dope cutscene you’ve probably seen all over the net by now (Luigi gone evil). Following up are a set of tutorials and entrancing practice levels. It’s filled with loads of increasingly difficult challenges and of course tennis matches which give you no other choice, but to use every trick shot / special shot you've learned in order to outsmart your opponent. Levelling up Mario and collecting new rackets feels great.
The Online tournaments are a highlight. Crushing the opposition on the court has never felt this satisfying. The necessity of mastering each and every technique makes for some very competitive and nicely balanced tennis. The energy gauge puts you in the moment and in control.
The amount of star power in the roster of playable characters is impressive. A few more stages (tennis courts) and alternate outfit options would be more than welcome. Things are lacking in the customization department, imagine being able to collect and master different rackets, each with their very own elemental effects!
Mario Tennis earns its’ spot on the top shelf of current Nintendo Switch titles, Aces is among the best of the best. — AVAILABLE NOW.
P.S. Camelot, we want Golden Sun for Nintendo Switch! 👀