In my reviews, I like listing the games that the developer of said game has previous developed. I take a deep look at the features inside the game. I will also list my favorite and dis-likable parts throughout the game. My reviews will be harsh, because I'm sick of seeing almost every game get 10's. Most of my reviews will most likely have spoilers, so beware. That being stated, on we go to the review below!
For those who don't know, Camelot Software Planning (Camelot for short) is the developer of this game, Mario Tennis Open. Games Nintendo followers might of heard of include: The Golden Sun series, all previous Mario Tennis games, and all Mario Golf games. Fans of Sega systems will better know them from the Shining Force series. More information about Camelot and a list of their entire games can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelot_Software_Planning
Now onto the actual review: What happens when you put Mario and Tennis together? Well, what we get is just that. There are 18 characters for you to choose from, 24 if you include 6 Yoshi characters accessed via scanning a QR code, that are from the Mushroom Kingdom. Some are hidden, meaning you have to unlock them by doing something special. And yes, you can play as your Mii. But we'll get into more of the details in a bit. For now, lets just talk about the main features of the game.
Starting up, you can have a total of 3 files to select, similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising. This is a good option if you have multiple people playing on one 3DS. The modes in the game are: Single Player, Local Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer, StreetPass, and Clubhouse. In single player, you can take part in Tournaments, exhibition, or special games. There are 8 tournaments in all, with each getting progressively harder. It's also worth to mention that you can play either Singles or Doubles. Exhibition is exactly what you think it is. As for Special Games, there are a total of 4. They're all fun and exciting, but the length of each and the low amount of these 'special games' is underwhelming. At the end of each game, you earn coins for customizing your Mii character. I'll get more into that soon.
You can either play with someone who owns the game or does not own the game via Download Play. Meaning you really only need at least 1 copy of the game. The only thing you can do is Exhibition mode, Ring Shot, or Super Mario Tennis (2 of the 4 Special Games). This is also disappointing considering 2 of the 4 games are not playable. It's a little limited, but the way the games are set up, you can't really add 2 human players for all 4 games.
You can either play in a exhibition match with one of your friends or an open match with a random stranger. Sounds great, right? Nope. You can't even play doubles with your friends. There isn't really a good way of communicating on the 3DS to set up a match on the spot. Another thing about it - A player can have a setting on to where their player moves by itself while they use gyro controls, giving them a huge advantage. Other than that, the online is pretty solid, but it certainly has its flaws.
Crazy about streetpass? Well you're in luck. Every time you hit up a streetpass, you can play with them (They'll be controlled by a CPU) by either a match or Ring Shot. Each time you beat your opponent in a match, you are awarded coins.
So speaking of coins, we come to the last inclusion of the games features called Clubhouse. This is where you go when you either want to spend your coins on merchandise to dress up your Mii character, change your current outfit with items you have bought, or to check out those lovely records. You have to play in tournaments to first unlock the items and then you can buy them, but it's balanced because you need those coins to buy the merchandise in the first place. There are a lot of customization you can make, giving your Mii character different Power, Spin, or Move (Speed). The only downside to this, is that all of this is only for your Mii and no other characters in the game. So people who hate Mii's are going to dislike this feature, which is a good amount of the game.
After taking a look of Mario Tennis Open's features, let's talk about the game itself, Tennis. When playing a match, you can either use the touch screen, gyro controls, or regular (Using the buttons). There is a big change to the gameplay though. Most of the time, when the ball is hit to the other side, a circle pops up. This means that if the player stands in it and hits the ball, while hitting the corresponding button inside, the ball will do a special move. This gives the game a fresh start, but the downside is that you can never turn this feature off. Another thing is that the circles give off where the ball is going to bounce at, making this game extremely easy. However, in the later and harder tournaments of the game, in order to just score a point, you'll have to use one of them just to confuse the CPU. They get really annoying after a while and make people want to stop playing due to how these 'special circles' are.
(This list does not list everything that I hate/like about this game)
Random things I like about Mario Tennis Power:
- When you come in first when winning a tournament, the picture of the trophy appears on the top screen when selecting the character.
- The special games
Random things I hate about Mario Tennis Power:
- Coins are pretty much useless unless you like playing as your Mii Character
- Cannot play doubles online
- The special circles that appear when playing
- The intro when you start playing the game is not even in 3D, even though the title screen is.
Mario Tennis Power is similar to its previous games. Camelot tried a new and fresh design to the gameplay, but the amount of flaws are overwhelming, which is why I'm giving this game a 4 out of 10. However, if you enjoy Mario and Tennis, then I highly recommend this game. This is not a horrible game like Superman 64 by all means. But if you're on the fence and can't decide, I say either wait till this game is on the discount bin or pass it completely. You certainly won't miss out on anything special.
I like to rate games on a scale of 1-100, but since I have to put in a number between 1-10, I'll rate it as so.