The only problem with being the only sports enthusiast on the team is that as soon as any title is released that has any links to sports at all it becomes my problem, or opportunity, to review it.
Most of the time I really don’t mind as I enjoy most sports games and even the bad ones are an enjoyable experience of sorts but I can’t say the same for Mario Tennis Open for the 3DS.
The thing is this game isn’t bad, it’s a Nintendo first party title and as such it has been put through stringent quality tests so you know it’s not going to be a buggy mess and the graphics are your standard Mario graphics so there isn’t much to say about that either.
The audio is simply cut from all other Nintendo titles and works and the background sounds are there and don’t really do anything wrong.
And I think you can see what I’m getting at here, the game is solid and yet unspectacular.
The premise is that you’re a character from the Mario universe and instead of having to save the princess you need to win tennis tournaments because well otherwise a tennis title wouldn’t make any sense now would it.
The tennis mechanic itself is split into two options, you can either play top down where you need to use the sticks to aim your shot and then either hit the respective button or tap the shot type on the touch pad. Just before the ball lands a coloured circle appears and if you hit the corresponding coloured shot then you get a super shot which will generally result in you winning a point.
The other gameplay option is to hold the 3DS up and physically move it to target your shots, this is far more entertaining and is a nice use of the motion controls.
The real problem with this game though is that it’s simplistic. Here’s a cheat, to win a point you need to serve, then hit a top spin to the other corner and if the AI returns it then slice it to the other corner. 99% of the time this will result in a point for you.
You get to play through a multitude of different tournaments earning money to buy things that don’t appear to make that much difference to the gameplay and on you go.
Personally I found this a chore to play and can’t recommend you pick it up. There isn’t anything actually wrong with the title the problem is more that there really isn’t much right or exciting with it. It works and that’s where I end.
I’d like to give it a lower score as I didn’t really enjoy the experience but there is nothing inherently wrong with the gameplay, it’s just nothing special
Design and Presentation: 7/10
It’s your typical Mario experience, they’ve not risked anything and can’t really be criticised too heavily
It depends, it’s a 5/10 as a single player experience but a 7 or even an 8 if you have friends with the game so let’s go with an average between the two
Overall: 6.5/10 (Not an average)
I’m conflicted as I didn’t really enjoy the experience but that might be because I wanted something new out of it. It’s not terrible and if you’ve never had a Mario tennis title before then you may enjoy it. Otherwise just keep with the one you have[Reviewed on a Nintendo 3DS]
Last Updated: June 20, 2012