It pains me to sit here and write down my thoughts and feelings on Nintendo’s newest Mario Tennis game. I played the demo and loved every second of it. I figured, if this is the demo, the game has to be so much more! I even wrote a review for the game when it came out and gave it an 8.5 out of 10. I have since been playing and kept playing Mario Tennis Aces and boy, was I wrong. This game could be so much more than it is.
I understand that a tennis game can only have so much. There is a ball, two people with rackets and they hit it back and forth. It is pretty simple. However, in the new Mario Tennis game, something about it seems gimmicky and disingenuous. The special moves are fine, the characters are the best part of Mario Tennis Aces but the game play itself seems like something is off. When it was announced that Mario Tennis Aces was going to have an Adventure Mode, I was very excited for what it could be. A combo of bosses and puzzles sounded like a fun new take on the genre but as I have played through, I found myself frustrated with the controls and the game play. The tasks at hand were not too hard, nor too easy but the controls and the way the ball always somehow found its way to the opponent was beyond annoying. I don’t know it if it is operator error, but I can never get that slam I want, unless I am using the gimmicky trick shots or super shots, which are to be expected in a Mario game.
Even so, Adventure Mode is not the feature mode because it is not what Mario Tennis Aces is at its core, which is a tennis game. So I do play a lot online, in hopes to have competitive matches with other players online. I never get those matches however, it is either a blowout against me or I completely ruin the other person. No in-between. When you get matched up with someone, it shows the character who they are going to use, which I found to be very helpful because I have officially began refusing to play anyone playing as Boo or Rosalina. The curve that those two players can produce is not only unfair, it defies all physics and natural laws. I know, I know, it is a Mario Tennis game. However, the trick shots and ball curves really make this game a lot less fun and more annoying for the player. I found myself trying to hit a ball that was curving the length of the court, in the other direction it was hit. How is that possible? It really makes it so that people just want to give up and play another game. So Nintendo, if you’re reading this, please please please: nerf Boo and Rosalina.
My last gripe with Mario Tennis Aces is that for as fun as they want this game to be, they make the majority of it linear. There is no fun customization, no leveling up of your best characters to make them better, and god please help me, the Mario Tennis music is stuck in my brain forever because that is the only damn thing that plays. The stages and music should change, putting a little more effort into making the experience a little more personal. Allow us to change the colors of characters or even unlock different outfits. Something to just give this game a little more originality and some Easter Eggs to make the experience a bit more exciting.
I am sorry if this rant was not on par with how you feel about this game. I wanted to love it much more than I do. I initially did love it but damn, how 2 weeks of playing a game makes you want to rip your hair and ears out (thanks constant Mario Tennis music…..). I am hopeful that Nintendo does some tweaking to the game to make it more of what the fans would want. There have already been demands of refunds because the game doesn’t allow for 7 set games, making games go by in minutes. Even so, there are promises of new characters, such as Diddy Kong and Koopa Troopa, but I don’t know if they will be enough to keep me coming back into the fold. This is a fun party game, where you and your friends can yell at the TV but for me, this game has already lost its luster.