Mario Tennis Open is just what 3DS owners need, even if they don't know it yet. Developed by the Mario Tennis savvy folks over at Camelot, Open drops the over-the-top nature of its Power Tennis days and instead opts for a simpler strategic approach. Mario Tennis Open has the trademark Nintendo charm lathered all over it, from retro nods to gorgeous character models and addictive gameplay.
Making a Racket
Mario Tennis Open isn't about super-mega-powerful shots and power-ups, it's about the sport of tennis. The subtle strategy of knowing when to use the Slice, Backhand and Lobs to your advantage. Shots still leave a colourful trail behind them, and you can now use 'Chance Shots' which blast explosions of colour, and which can be achieved when you step into the coloured squares that appear during a rally. Press the right button you will perform a shot that will blast over or around your opponent, and while these can be countered and returned, failure to do so using the right shot will leave you stunned for a moment, leaving your court wide open to your opponent.
There's plenty of content for you to get your teeth into with Open. The main chunk of the single player mode is taken up by tournaments, which hitch up in difficulty as you go and become a fairly decent challenge early on. However, if you want a real challenge then you will want to hop online and take on your friends - or the masses - in the Online and Local Multiplayer modes.
Mario Tennis Open also includes some very addictive mini games. our favourite was Ring Shot, which challenges you to get a high score hitting your ball through growing rings on the tennis court. The bigger the rings grow, the less points you will ear and not only that, if you hit your ball through several rings you will earn more points with a multiplier of sorts - which we certainly needed as the difficulty increased.
What the Deuce?
Mii Customisation plays a big part in this game. As you conquer tournaments - and other players - you will start to unlock clothing and equipment in the Item Shop which you can use your hard earned gold coins to equip your character. Different items will allow you to upgrade your Mii's Power, Spin and Move skills. There are some items you can only unlock by completing certain tasks within the game, such as earning a certain amount of coins during the retro Mario 1-4 level, offering a real sense of reward which you wouldn't receive from an Achievement or Trophy.
Brilliant use of the addictive StreetPass functionality allows you to challenge the Miis you have met while out-and-about to a heated rally. It records your StreetPass match-winning streak which could become competitive around the office or playground. You can also take part in the addictive Ring Shot mode with StreetPassed Mii's and access a handy list of all the Mario Tennis Open 3DS StreetPass players you have encountered.
Mario Tennis Open also provides some of the best use of Download Play in a Nintendo title yet. It allows up to 4 players to download the game from one 3DS to their own system, letting you all play singles or doubles, tackle several mini games together, and you can even pick which character you can play as (including your own Mii) without being restricted to a generic coloured Shy Guy like in Mario Kart 7.
Mario Tennis Open is a title worthy of being in all 3DS owners collections no matter what age or gender. It's a blast to play and provides hours of fun. Some of the challenges in the game are pretty tough and will even have the most hardened gamers retrying again and again. Serve up your copy of Mario Tennis Open right now!
- Seamless online play
- Charming ensemble of characters
- Most robust use of Download Play yet!
- Gyro controls can get in the way if you don't turn them off
- The mini games might make you forget you have a life to be getting on with...
We can't wait to take you folks on the court! Drop your 3DS friend code to us on Twitter (@Gamedigital) or email it to us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Mario Tennis Open' to take us on!