Mario and friends are back on the tennis court for some all out fun and exciting new challenges in the latest sports game for the Nintendo 3DS. With this recent installment in the Mario Tennis franchise, Mario Tennis Open definitely adds its own spin to the mix and style of playing.
When you begin the game, you are taken right into a short tutorial where you learn the basic controls. Here you can adjust your view on the court, by using the handheld itself. You can experience play through the Dynamic view, which gives you a more on-the-court feel, or the Flat view, which gives you an overhead look at the entire court. To switch views back and forth, just slightly tilt your 3DS up or down, it’s that easy! Most importantly in the tutorial, you learn your ball shots. On your touch screen you have a shot panel and you can choose to view all six different ball shots (flat, slice, lob etc.) or keep it simple with only three general shots. On the panel with the six shots you will see the ball shots are color coordinated and correspond with the Chance circles that pop up on the court. By standing on the Chance circle and hitting the shot of the corresponding color on the touch screen, you have little extra power blast behind your swings. I know it sounds confusing and might be overwhelming at first, but it’s actually very simple and anyone at any gamer level will quickly catch on after a few serves. Rather than use the touch screen, you can always just use the buttons which are labeled on the touch screen as well. If you missed the tutorial or want to hear something explained again, you can head over to the Clubhouse at anytime to replay (and even earn an extra 200 coins each time you complete it).
Now onto the game play! There are four different game modes: Single Player, Local Multiplayer (play with nearby 3DS owners), Online Multiplayer and StreetPass (play with Miis you’ve met through StreetPass). I must apologize I haven’t had the opportunity to play through all of them. Under the Single Player you can choose Tournament (Singles or Doubles), Exhibition or Special Games (more on them later). In the Tournament mode, you play through different cups against different opponents. After you complete each match, a new item is unlocked, whether it’s a racket, shoes, or wristbands. These items are then available for purchase at the Clubhouse. Also after winning a tournament you receive an invitation to the next cup. The farther you advance in the tournaments, the more items you unlock and hopefully some new characters! As for characters, you have your choice of the usual suspects or you can choose to play as your Mii!
A fresh new feature that sets Mario Tennis Open apart from its predecessors is the Special Games mode. There is no RPG mode like the other Mario Tennis games but I think the Special Games make up for that loss. The Special Games mode is the only mode where you can collect coins. You can then use your coins to purchase any of the outfits, rackets, wristbands and shoes you unlocked in the tournaments available at the Clubhouse item shop. Each item has its own detail and can add a little extra power, spin or speed to your game. There are four different Special Games that will keep you addicted not only to wanting to collect the coins for that must-have outfit or shoes, but because they are very challenging: Ring Shot, Super Mario Tennis, Galaxy Rally and Ink Shot. Even a tennis match through the very first Super Mario World will keep you coming back for more (I find that game the most difficult and it sort of reminds me of racquetball). So just when you think this game gets boring, remember there are high scores to top and coins to collect! The Special Games mode is also a great way to practice your ball shots and maneuvering the controls and court in general.
With the release of Mario Tennis Open, Nintendo of America has added a little something extra to Club Nintendo members. If you are a Club Nintendo member, you can access exclusive QR Codes that you scan with your 3DS (instructions are on the site) and get different suits added to your Clubhouse. Right now you can access the Yoshi suit (being a HUGE Yoshi fan I just had to get this and already have my Mii wearing it!!). You can also particiate in a Yoshi Hunt (open to everyone) by using the clues on the Mario Tennis Open official site to go to other websites to find the QR Codes for the Red and Pink Yoshis. The Blue Yoshi QR Code is actually on the official site. Also, if you noticed, there is one more “question mark” showing that maybe more suits/Yoshis will be announced! If you aren’t a Club Nintendo member, sign up now so you don’t miss out!
Overall, Mario Tennis Open is a simple, fun game of traditional tennis-play with some fun new perks. If you are just looking for something light to play until the next big game is released or just to pass the time, this is the game for you. It’s not too challenging to the advance gamer but it definitely gets a 10/10 in the fun-factor department.
There you have it folks … Game, Set, Match!
– Written by Guest Blogger Missy
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