Mario Tennis Open – Guest Blogger Review!

Mario Tennis Open

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

Would you be interested in writing a guest blog for the Glux Blog?  Email me and let me know what you’d like to write about!

Advertisements

Game Preview: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

These two big game characters are already accustomed to being in some of each other’s titles, but that doesn’t drown any of the excitement from this great release this winter. Mario & Sonic at the 2012 Olympics offers up a definite departure from regular mash up games of the past, aside from the Beijing release four years ago. This follow up Sonic and Mario combination looks to be one of the great Wii and Nintendo 3DS games of the winter season, along with their own releases Sonic Generations and Mario Kart 7.

The game (released on Wii, February for 3DS) itself will include a great stable of characters just like Mario Kart 7. Sonic and Mario will be joined by 18 other characters available for game play, including members from classic Nintendo and Sega releases. Because the release will have the theme of the 2012 London Olympics, the event options are a major factor for game play. With over 50 different sports to choose from, this release will be full of great competition. Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will also include 11 brand new events tailored specifically for this release.

This will mark the first time that a Mario and Sonic Olympic release will be available for the Nintendo 3DS. On the handheld console, the events will be playable in multiple modes, with both single and multiplayer. From early reviews, the title is supposed to play excellently with the capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS. One great example is the use for the swimming events, where a blow into the microphone works as players get air during the competition.  Blowing into the microphone at the wrong time has a negative effect on the performance of your character, slowing them down.

Some of the other exciting events that incorporate the 3DS capabilities are the Race Walk, which requires swiping across the stylus with the music, as well as the Balance Beam, in which players use the gyro sensor, moving the 3DS back and forth to stay up.

The sheer volume of events is sure to be a prime attracter for this release. In addition to over 50 events, there will also be over 20 different venues. There will be the same amount of events on both consoles; however each event on the 3DS will be shorter than their Wii counterparts. The Wii release, which is already on the market, will contain new events such as Horse Riding and Football, along with some others.

The title will be out in February and likely to strong fanfare, because of great events and game play. Both Mario and Sonic will have their names on other titles during the holiday season on the 3DS with Generations and Kart 7, but look for their Olympic combination to be a popular release throughout the first half of 2012.

– Written by Guest Blogger Justin Taylor

Would you be interested in writing a guest blog for the Glux Blog?  Email me and let me know what you’d like to write about!