hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mario Tennis Open

Review: Mario Tennis Open

2:00 PM on 08.02.2012 // Brett Zeidler

Getting its start in stereoscopic 3D on the Virtual Boy back in 1995, the Mario Tennis series has returned to its original roots with Mario Tennis Open on the Nintendo 3DS. It's been seven years since we've seen a brand-new Mario Tennis title, with the last new entry launched on the GameBoy Advance back in 2005.

Every Mario Tennis game was seemingly better than the last, making the series a fan-favorite out of all the Mario Sports spin-offs. Every title had its own set of additions that expanded on an already satisfying amount of content. Mario Tennis Open doesn't particularly continue this tradition, but has enough of its own charm to keep fans of the series coming back for more.

Mario Tennis Open (Nintendo 3DS)
Developer: Camelot
Publisher: Nintendo 
Released: May 20, 2012 
MSRP: $39.99

There's not much depth to Mario Tennis Open at first glance. You pick from an assortment of Mario characters and, well, you play tennis. There's no story, and there's no reason as to why Mario and Bowser are playing tennis against each other over a golden banana trophy. To be fair, it's probably better that way. Still, it would have been nice to have some sort of reason for picking either Tournament, Exhibition, or Special Games and just start playing.

The game controls better than ever. Players can either use the circle pad or d-pad to control their character, while the face buttons control the inputs for each of the shots. The 3DS' gyroscope allows for a new way to play. By tilting up the system (which also turns off the 3D effect), players can turn their 3DS to where they want the ball to go. It's certainly an interesting way to play, but after a while gets tiring and the novelty wares off. Personally, I had the gyroscope controls off for most of my playtime. If the ball is hard to reach, players can roll by pressing R to save the ball. All of the shots can be found on the touch screen, making it easier than ever to pull off any shot at any given moment.

If a player pulls off a bad rebound, a Chance Shot will appear for the opposite player. Chance Shots randomly choose a color, which corresponds with one colored section on the touch screen. If players hit that section (or press the correct input) while standing where the Chance Shot appeared, the opposite player will feel its effects if not properly countered with the opposite shot. Chance Shots are absolutely vital for gaining an edge on your opponents to win the match.

In Tournament, you go through a series of -- you guessed it -- Tournaments in either singles or doubles. Besting the first four cups with a single character gains said character a star ranking, which will unlock the much more difficult second set of cups for them. Exhibition lets the player set up their own matches with whatever rules, characters, and stage they choose.

Where the game truly gets interesting is in its Special Games section. The first one players will notice is "Ring Shot," a mode where you volley back and forth against a CPU player while trying to get the ball through the randomly appearing rings on the court. The next is "Super Mario Tennis," a mode where the player stands in front of a giant screen and plays Super Mario Bros. by hitting the ball at things they want to pick up or go through, with the final goal being to hit the flag at the end of the level.

"Galaxy Rally" puts the player on a Super Mario Galaxy-inspired stage where the opposing court is split into four parts with pieces of star appearing randomly on them (their only purpose is to give you extra coins). The goal is to volley back and forth a certain amount of times while avoiding one missing section of the court. "Ink Showdown" has the player on the opposite side of one CPU opponent and three Inky Piranha Plants that shoot tennis balls and ink balls at you. Hitting the tennis balls past the CPU opponent a certain number of times wins the round.

Each of the modes has increasing difficulties, and each particular mode has its own unlockable character. They're all fun to pick up and play, with "Super Mario Tennis" being especially fun. They're perfect modes to help you get better at the game and teach you how to best use the many shots. Special Games is also the only place where you can get coins which allow you to buy clothes and rackets for your Mii (which also boosts their stats).

In multiplayer, the player can set up their own matches (or join them) for local or worldwide play against their friends. They can also choose to play against random players in quick or extended matches to increase their rating and leaderboard position. The matches I played went smoothly for the most part, with only a few that were disgustingly laggy. I also lost pretty much all of my matches, because most of the players were really good.

Mario Tennis Open feels a bit lifeless at first, simply because it doesn't give any other incentive for playing than to keep unlocking things and to just play more tennis. Modes from past entries -- especially the RPG mode from the GameBoy Color Mario Tennis -- are sorely missed. With new minigames like "Super Mario Tennis" and many ways to play, Mario Tennis Open will keep players coming back who just want to play a quick few rounds of tennis, unlock new characters and stages, and buy new clothes for their Mii.



Mario Tennis Open - Reviewed by Brett Zeidler
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Brett Zeidler, Contributor and Engineer
 Follow Blog + disclosure BrettZeidler Tips
Destructoid's Resident Baby/Super Contributor. Musician. Computer Science Student. Panda, corgi, burrito, iced tea enthusiast. Praise Yeezus. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Mario Tennis Open

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -