(scroll to the very end to see screenshots of most of the game’s characters, avoid scrolling completely to the bottom of this article if you don’t want to see them).
Mario Tennis Open follows previous Mario Tennis games including the original Mario Tennis (N64, 2000) and Mario’s Tennis (Virtual Boy, 1995), Mario Tennis GB (Game Boy Color, 2001), Mario Power Tennis (GameCube, 2004), Mario Tennis: Power Tour (Game Boy Advance, 2005) and the Wii re-release of the GameCube game, called “Mario Power Tennis: New Play Control!”, released in 2009; A version that added gesture controls to the game, making it feel similar to Wii Sports. Additionally, the original Mario Tennis was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2010.
So Mario Tennis Open for 3DS is effectively the 5th installment in this hit sports game series. If you’ve ever played a Mario Tennis game, then you’ll know exactly what to expect in Mario Tennis: Open, as the game seems to play essentially exactly the same as before.
Here’s some old footage of Mario Tennis: Open from when the game was first announced.
A new camera has been added to give you better depth perception since you’ll be playing the game in Stereoscopic, Glasses-Free 3D on the handheld, and the game also feature touchscreen controls (that allow you to select what type of shot you want to make… Lob, Topspin, Simple Shot, Flat Shot, Drop Shot, or Slice by tapping the screen) and support for the gyro sensor in the 3DS meaning you can tilt the system to do things in the game.
In this screenshot you can clearly see how the Touchscreen really enhances the game and will make it MUCH easier for newbies to play the game. Previously, in past Mario Tennis titles, you’d need to perform different button presses to pull of different types of shots. So for example you might press A then B in quick succession to lob the ball high into the air… you can still do that by pressing the facebuttons on the 3DS, but now you could do it much easier by simply tapping the screen. Does this give other players an unfair advantage verses those that use only buttons? Possibly so… it’s also doubtful you’ll be able to customize whether your real-life opponent uses the touchscreen or not…
Here is a diagram showing how you can move your 3DS and tilt it to get a new view of the action!
You can also now play as your Mii, who can be fully customized! Additionally, you can unlock 200 unique items, ranging from new racquets to new shoes to new outfits/costumes, that will not only change the look of your Mii character, but even enhance his abilities!
Which is awesome, because the previous portable versions of Mario Tennis for Game Boy and Game Boy Advance featured full-on RPG modes, sadly this one doesn’t include a full RPG mode… instead looking more like a console Mario Tennis game (which always lacked RPG modes)… but at least it DOES feature stat-enhancing, which still adds some cool RPG trimmings to the proceedings and a “reason” to keep playing. Stat-enhancing is also a first for the console Mario Tennis series, so it’ll definitely add lots of depth.
You also, of course, get the usual cast of characters who all feature different styles of play (Power, Technique, Defense, Speed, and Tricky), ensuring that each of them feels unique from each other. The Mii can be upgraded to essentially gain all the abilities that the normal characters have. Or something to that effect. I imagine you can choose what “type” of player he is.
Most importantly however, Mario Tennis Open for 3DS will feature full-on online play! YESS!!!!!!!! The game will also feature local play so you can play with those next to you who own a 3DS, and do so wirelessly. The game will even feature a Co-Op Download Play mode so you can play through the game (or at least against the CPU) with a local friend who doesn’t own a copy of the game! Snazzy! The game also supports StreetPass, and will thus allow you to pick up new Miis for your “StreetPass Plaza”, who will then appear in your game as opponents (I assume).
Characters revealed so far include: Boo, Bowser Jr., Waluigi, Wario, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Yoshi, Daisy, Peach, Luigi, Mario and Mii. At least four additional characters will also be in the game. I’d reckon one of them is Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy, who was featured as a playable character in Mario Kart 7… but she’s yet to be in a Mario Sports game. Considering that, she’s a pretty safe bet as one of the unlockable playable characters. Who else do you think is in the game? Toad better be playable! OR ELSE! He’s my favorite Nintendo character and yet he always gets the shaft. >_<
Modes in Mario Tennis Open include Tournament, Free Competition and Special Game (more on that below), with the Tournament mode featuring 8 different cups to master in single-player in either singles or doubles play. And Free Competition mode allows you to modify settings like the court you play on, the amount of sets you’ll play, etc. and just play for fun.
One of the coolest new features comes in the non-campaign mode minigames. The typical modes found in other Mario Tennis games return here, including Ring Shot (hit the ball through the rings that appear on the court), Inkspot Showdown (enemies shoot ink that obscures your view), the all-new Galaxy Shot (Forced to hit the ball to a different spot on the court each time or the panel beneath you drops, ending your game), and an INSANELY awesome “Special Games” mode which features CRAZY and super unique challenges that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before (IN ANY GAME!).
The most special above all is a Special Game that has you playing through COMPLETE World 1-1 and World 1-2 levels of the original NES Super Mario Bros…. where you control your character on the tennis court as Super Mario Bros. the NES game automatically starts playing on a wall in front of your character on the court in front of the “screen”… You then must guide the 8bit Mario and defeat the enemies in front of him by hitting them with your tennis balls! ABSOLUTELY BONKERS and PURE GENIUS! You’ve probably already seen it, but even if you have, WATCH IT AGAIN! It’ll blow your puny little mind…. This one aspect alone almost seals the deal for me… Not sure if there will be other kinds of “Special Game” minigames to play, but hopefully so!
To make sense of what is happening above, your Mario will die if time runs out. So what you must do is hit Blocks or Enemies to add time to your counter, and hit Mushrooms or Fire Flower power ups to give your shots increased strength. What’s crazy is that you can even hit a pipe and Mario will go down that pipe and enter the underground Coin-filled special areas just like in the actual game! And the two levels play out in their ENTIRETY right in front of your awe-struck eyes. It’s truly amazing when you think about it. No word on whether or not there are MORE levels… although this would be PERFECT for 3DS DLC! Don’t you think? So hopefully there’s much more to this mode than is now known…
And for those who were wondering, a new Puzzle Swap for the Play area of the StreetPass Mii Plaza has already opened up, allowing you to get new panels and start collecting new Mario Tennis: Open set of panel pieces! And you can do so RIGHT NOW. Whether you’ve already collected all the original pieces or you just started, you’ll now run into these Mario Tennis: Open panels. So keep heading out with your 3DS and collecting new Miis for your “StreetPass Mii Plaza”!
Here is the new Nintendo Direct Mario Tennis: Open trailer!
Now I will show you a gigantic Mario Tennis Open Wallpaper that reveals seemingly all but four of the game’s characters. See the SPOILER ALERT above to read exactly who they are, or scroll below to see the pic.
Click on the image to get a much bigger version of the Mario Tennis Open characters list roster.