Big price tag for a small but fun game.
Mario Tennis Aces is a fantasy tennis game developed and published by Nintendo. It’s also pretty much the only tennis video game that anyone ever needs to buy. In it, you do many things ranging from playing tennis matches to other things. That, of course, is made all the better by being able to play this game as Mario and all his friends with a unique spin on the whole tennis experience. That’s not all though, you also do things like hitting targets or enemies in the campaign. You also fight some pretty big bosses. The real question has to be, is it worth the full $60 price tag? Let’s show you the goods:
They’re beautifully done, colorful and diverse for the maps. The characters have a lot of life in their models, outfit designs and moves. The bosses look as believable as real action games. It’s comparable to something between Mario 3D World and Mario Odyssey. As for visual effects, I really liked the bullet time feature. The characters are all uniformly designed with precision. The ship level stood out to me because the color of the ocean made a good contrast with the ship itself.
The story itself kinda sucks, but it isn’t terrible. An ancient people loved Tennis, had a magical powerful racket sealed. Wario and Waluigi find it and offer it to the Mario bros. Mario doesn’t want it but Luigi falls for it and is controlled by it. You have to collect some infinity sto- I mean power stones so that Luigi’s racket doesn’t get more powerful. I like that it does lead to a quest around an island to meet fun characters and an epic conclusion of you vs. possessed characters, but I don’t like the whole ancient power stuff. The difficulty is good, it was never too hard. You will never lose more than 2 times, and it starts easy and simple to get you used to the gameplay. What annoyed me was that there are a few really tricky stages, and I don’t mind losing a bunch of times, but I hate the forced loading times and forced unskippable character chats every time you lose. You can skip the campaign though, Tournament and Free play are available from the start.
The music is really good but there a so few songs, it can get very repetitive. The game already has a very short campaign and the OST feels shorter yet. Basically, everything was of excellent quality, the sound effects, menus, the character voices, the announcer, and the music itself. Maybe one thing that sounds not so great is the “clop” sound when you walk/run. That thing sounds like a 90s video game and not in a good way, but it doesn’t bother me. The music feels like there are 3 or 4 songs you end up hearing the most. This game costs $60. The OST doesn’t reward you for that. What you hear is really fitting of the game though, and get the mood to play a sports game, but 90% of it is forgettable. I doubt anyone’s gonna even be talking about the OST at all.
I never played Tennis in real life to tell you if it’s fake, but I think sports games that are true to life aren’t that interesting. For example, as a kid, I watched people play NBA Jam, and the ball would transform and be on fire! That kinda stuff is exciting and makes it more videogame-like. In Mario Tennis’ campaign mode, you immediately do things like playing Tennis against Donkey Kong but with Pirahna plants that will take the ball in their mouth and spit it back at you if you throw it their way. Really a fun and challenging twist! You also fight big bosses by returning their attacks back at them with the racket, kinda like Zelda OoT’s final boss. But the Tennis matches do have Tennis rules like the ball must bounce within the field lines, and you have to let the ball bounce once before the first return. Details like these make it feel real, but details like breaking an opponent’s racket made it really satisfying especially if he was difficult to beat by “normal” means.
Really enjoyable and addicting! Usually, when I start a game, I stop and wait for the mood to come. This game put me in the mood right away with its demo, bought it at launch, and played nonstop to the end. Part of this is because it’s Tennis, and I’m new to it, so it was a fresh new experience for me. I wasn’t tired at the end either, I was lamenting that it had ended. I want Nintendo to convince me to play more sports games this way but they better have more music, be longer, and have legit stories. Again we’re paying $60, the same as a fully fledged game like Mario Odyssey or an epic RPG. For example, a game like Mario Kart has no story at ALL. But it is really long with lots of race tracks, which are huge and full of details and have the most wonderful and memorable music. Mario Tennis has only a few maps, AND they’re just a 1 screen tennis field basically. So I guess the fun is up to you to have either by yourself or with friends. There’s nothing wrong with a short game if priced right.
But yeah this is like the first time I’d ever consider price into a rating. No other game, even Wind Waker or FF13, which are $60 games that I rated terribly, even those justify the price, it’s obvious that the effort and scope were big like those. But in Mario Tennis Aces I feel like, this is for rich people who pay lots for simpler things. That said, if you are a big fan of tennis and want to play online with 4 friends, it could be the best. That’s the fullest experience it will deliver.