Adventure mode guides you through many different puzzles, boss battles, and tennis matches to find the power stones and beat the Legendary Racket that has been unleashed and is turning some of the characters evil. Each section of adventure mode allows for you to hone in on different skills and play a variety of characters from the Mario universe; some of which that are new to this Mario Tennis game. I’ve played through about 75% of this mode and I will have to say, it’s fun but doesn’t leave me wanting more. Having to follow along as only Mario is kind of a bummer, mostly because he’s such an average player. I wish it allowed for more variety because it would absolutely raise of the strategy of the levels and might make it just a tad more fun. The leveling up system is okay and the new rackets you earn don’t provide you with anything different than your old rackets. More customizable skills or even powers would make this a much better mode.
Swing Mode was something I was incredibly excited for, as I thought it would be similar to Wii Tennis. After playing 10 matches in Swing Mode, I was not left incredibly impressed. I hit the ball out of bounds a ton, didn’t get the power I needed to slam the ball and it didn’t seem to be as reactive as you would want in a tennis game. If I were to make adjustments and make this mode better, increasing the reaction time or even give a first person point of view that could make Mario Tennis Aces that much more immersive. It is however still really fun to swing a controller and have it react on screen.
After playing through the majority of all of these modes, I would have to say the most fun is the online tournament mode due to its competitive gameplay. Being able to play people online is a step in the right direction for Nintendo, as the matchmaking is fast and reliable, as far as I have seen. As I have said before, the variety of characters and abilities make this game as fun as it is and online is a great spot to showcase your skills with your favorites. A frustrating aspect about this mode is that it doesn’t allow for you to have sets to seven. Games go quick and so do the matches, which means people who have a couple bad games get buried and have no chance to come back. It leaves people longing for more time for each match and strides away from traditional tennis. The other issue I found online is that it can be annoying to play against people who abuse the special moves. Players can have their rackets destroyed if they do no time some power shots right, which would result in KO loss. Many online players have taken to that strategy instead of playing fun and competitive games. It leaves many feeling frustrated and not wanting to play online at all.
The mode that I have played the most so far has been free play. Nintendo is all about having you share in your experiences with friends and in free play you can play with up to four people on the screen. In singles or doubles matches, you and your friends can duke it out in breakpoint matches for best of five sets. This is the party pleaser mode that you and your friends can play on the big screen or even take it on the go. Needless to say, this is why you should buy this game.
Mario Tennis Aces is not the best game in the series of tennis games but it is by far not the worst. With solid mechanics, fun gameplay and a variety of modes, this is a must have for the Switch, as it is in the Mario family. Some of its faults lie in the fact that it is too fast paced, with short games and flashy moves that take away from what makes actual tennis so challenging. Even so, Mario Tennis Aces is a boat load of fun and looks to be a staple of the Switch until we see Super Smash Bros. in the winter. Enjoy this summer of smashing tennis balls and breaking rackets!