Mario Tennis Open Review

Mario Tennis Open Review
From: May 25, 2012 To: May 24, 2013


Mario Tennis Open relives the Mario Tennis series for the Nintendo 3DS. Camelot Software Planning is the developer, like what they did to their predecessors. The game features gyroscope support like Mario Kart 7 and online multiplayer using the Nintendo Network procedures as well. However, online multiplayer is limited because a region lockout has been set for Japan, North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong and China, and South Korea. This is the first handheld installment in the series to not include a Story Mode or RPG elements, and the first handheld installment with a Tournament mode and including the first Mario game to use QR Codes. Special Games make a return to this but Item Battle for the first time in the series does not make a return. The game also uses StreetPass to receive notifications of new challengers.


Mario Tennis Open has a total of 17 characters: When you start the game from scratch, only 13 will be available with 4 that need to be unlocked. The characters available are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Bowser, Bowser Jr. , Boo and your Mii. Those that need to be unlocked are Baby Mario, Luma, Baby Peach and Dry Bowser. In addition, the game can have a total of 25 characters if it’s combined with the new QR Code feature and those characters include 7 colored Yoshis; Red, Blue, Light Blue, Yellow, Pink, Black and White altogether and returning from Mario Kart 7, Metal Mario. Each character has a character class and there are a total of 6, all returning from Mario Power Tennis and they are; All-Around, Technique, Speed, Tricky, Power and Defense. Your Mii can be customizable at the Clubhouse. For the tennis courts there are 8 locations available, and they are in Mario Stadium, Mushroom Valley, Wario Dunes, DK Jungle, Bowser’s Castle, Penguin Iceberg, Peach’s Palace and Galaxy Arena. The types for Mario Stadium are the Hard Court, the Clay Court and the Grass Court; and the Galaxy Arena are the Crystal Court and the Morph Court. The Morph Court takes on many forms from all courts of the game and a certain Chance Shot bounce can change it. The Galaxy Arena (both versions) would need to be unlocked by winning the Star Open Tournament.


The gameplay elements from the previous installments return once again, with the addition of ‘chance shots’ and how they work. The Chance Shots only appear if the player’s opponent makes a rebounding mistake and this would give the player an advantage to score by pressing the correct buttons, or using the touch screen controls. There are 5 chance shots and they have different effects; the first one is a Flaming Shot (Fire Flower) from the Topspin shot and if the opponent hit it, he/she will be pushed to the back of the court. The second one is a Spin Shot (Blooper) from the Backspin shot and will cause the opponent to spin out of control on contact. The third one returning from Mario Power Tennis is the Drop Shot (Bob-omb) which results the ball to bounce twice quickly at the front of the court and is much lower than the original drop shot. Another one is the returning Lob Shot (Cheep Cheep) which results the ball to bounce at the back edge of the court, curving and at an even higher attitude. And the most powerful of them all is the Smash Shot (Super Star) and is the fastest shot performed in the game. The opponent can weaken the effects of the Chance Shots by doing the opposite (i.e., Flaming Shots may not make much impact if the opponent retaliates with a Slice). A Simple Shot causes a weaker shot rather than the real inputs.


Tournament mode is the same thing from Mario Power Tennis with an addition of two new cups and two different sets. The player’s character must have a star ranking that they won in the Special Cup to participate in the second set of the tournament and it gets harder during the play in both sets as the player progresses. In Doubles Tournament, only the character controlled by the player earns the rank, not the CPU teammate! :p This also unlocks the Pro difficulty for the CPUs, which is more difficult than Expert, while last cup unlocks the Ace difficulty for the CPUs that can only appear in Exhibition Mode. Once the player has unlocked another cup by winning a previous one, he/she can play that cup when they want to, no matter which character is being used. Afterwards, characters don’t have to clear three cups to beat the Special Cup to earn the Star Rank for the first time in the Mario Tennis series.


The Special Games makes a return to Mario Tennis Open and there are four available to choose from. These games have different rules and features that vary from the normal gameplay. Ring Shot makes a return as it is not an Exhibition option. We have the known Super Mario Tennis, a remix of Super Mario Bros. where players must hit the ball against a screen wall to destroy blocks and enemies and collect coins and Power-Ups from that game to increase their time remaining. If they miss, they will lose a ball, collecting a 1-up Mushroom restores one ball. If the player losses all of his/her balls, then it is game over. If the player hits the Goal Pole, then the level is cleared. The third is Galaxy Rally, where the player must return the ball to Luma and avoid missing the court as there are holes that can form during the process, and the fourth is Ink Showdown, where the player must return the ball served by the Inky-Piranha Plants and make sure their rival at the other side does not return it. Each Special Game has four difficulties, which are described according to one. If the player clears level 3, a character will be unlocked. Level 4 is a challenge to test out the player’s skills.


There are two choices of Multiplayer Modes for Mario Tennis Open: Local Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer. In Local Multiplayer, there are two options: Local Player, where players have a Mario Tennis Open game card and options can change from the host, and Download Play, where other players don’t have a Mario Tennis Open game card and options are limited. Up to two players can play Super Mario Tennis World 2 levels and a maximum of four players can choose Exhibition and Ring Shot (also, two players have the same options). In Online Multiplayer, you can choose between Exhibition or Open Match. In Exhibition, you can play with your friends of up to four players (although registration is required) and Open Match where you can face opponents who have the same game in your region only. There is a VR like system called Rankings and each newcomer starts with 2000 points, and like Mario Kart, it increases if you win and decreases if you lose. An Internet Connection for the Nintendo Network is required for online play. You cannot challenge players from around the world online, because Nintendo has restricted that feature by using the regional lockout setting.


You can encounter other players who have the same game by using the StreetPass function, but they both must be activated however. When you encounter someone using StreetPass, the opponent’s Mii will show up and you will have two options: StreetPass Match and Ring Shot. If you defeat the Mii in the StreetPass Match, you will earn coins and it will increase if you create a winning streak. In Ring Shot, this depends on how well you score during the game of how many coins you will earn. If you endure the same Mii again and the coins you earned earlier will be earned again.


The Clubhouse, also known as the Club Room in PAL regions, is where the player buys new gear, customize their Mii character (as well its character class), check game records from Single Player, Local Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer modes, StreetPass greeting messages and game options. When you collect coins during the game, you can buy new items from the Item Shop and you can use them for your Mii character (which can also change its character class) and there are also character costumes, unlike the customization items that you’re or going to purchase and they’re not for sale, but each costume has a objective that you must complete in order for each one to be unlocked.


The game uses the control buttons of the system during matches most of the time, though players can perform a wide variety of tennis shots by selecting the shot panels on the touch screen, which will light up to alert the player of the best shot to use in a given condition. Sometimes players can make use of the abovementioned gyroscope support by holding the console vertically, which disables the 3D functionality to avoid bad gameplay. This places the camera behind his/her character, which will move automatically, and allows the player to control the direction of his/her shots based on the position of the console. The gyroscope support can be disabled by doing one of the two commands: One is holding the console horizontally and the other is disabling it in the Options menu.


There’s too much going on with this game with the Yoshi Hunt event and 8 secretive characters; I find those disappointing. It can be too hard for the player to complete a certain Master level match in Single Player. Although I did find a few positives thanks to the Special Game; Super Mario Tennis but it is not enough to keep me playing it with the rest of the modes, so I suggest that I should hit the HOME button on my Nintendo 3DS and opt for something else. “If you want to challenge your friends outside your region with a Mario game on your Nintendo 3DS, choose Mario Kart 7. Therefore you will have more fun racing better than a dim-witted region lockout for such a sequel.”

Gameplay 5.7
Controls 5.1
Sound 7.2
Graphics 7.0

Total 6.250