As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the online demo for the new upcoming Mario Tennis game, Mario Tennis Aces, recently went live on Friday the 1st June, giving Switch owners a chance to have a hands-on experience with the online tournament element of the game before its final release on June 22nd. After our hands-on experience with the demo, here are our first impressions of the latest title in the Mario tennis series.
Let’s start off with the brand-new features that Aces has to offer. In a surprise twist for the series, the game throws a few fighting game-style mechanics into the mix. These include filling up an energy gauge to unleash special moves and slow down time. Also, at certain points a star will appear on the court; if you stand in this star and press the right shoulder button, the camera goes to a first-person perspective and lets you take a more precise shot. These new mechanics make the overall experience of each match more exciting as it gives players a bit of extra challenge in the way of perfecting the use of these new tactical options. When you first start playing matches, these new mechanics can be daunting, but learning how to use the skills quickly and effectively is immensely fun and satisfying. As in many of the Mario sports titles, there are many different character classes to choose from, like speed and power, as well as defence. Experimenting with each different player type is a great way to try out every character the game has to offer, and once you have found your perfect match, you will be winning tournament after tournament in no time at all.
In the online tournament demo, the player is given three game modes to choose from. These were: simple tournament, standard tournament and match against the computer. Match against the computer is pretty self-explanatory, you play a match against the AI; the other two, however, might need a bit of an explanation. Standard tournament is the complete Mario Tennis Aces experience. You get a normal Mario tennis tournament with the exciting new mechanics mixed in. Simple tournament, on the other hand, takes you back to a time where there were no energy gauges or stars on courts. It’s the original Mario tennis experience with improved graphics and, of course, on Nintendo Switch. We do know that these obviously won’t be the only modes in the full release. In fact, as you may already know, Mario Tennis Aces is the first Mario tennis game to include a fully-fledged story mode. As well as matches, this story mode will include tennis-based challenges, including hitting fireballs back at piranha plants. Pretty much your bog-standard sports game story mode.
Another thing to note about the upcoming Switch title is that it is not a game that becomes tedious too quickly. For anyone worried that they will not get their money’s worth for this game, I can assure you that you will definitely get more than just a few hours out of it. Even just the online mode will occupy you for hours on end as you try to slice, lob and drop shot your way to the top. Not to mention the local multiplayer and story modes. We also know that in the initial release of Mario Tennis Aces, there will be a total of 15 playable characters to unlock, including Chain Chomp and Bowser Jr. What may discourage some casual Nintendo gamers from buying this upcoming title is that, to play the online multiplayer, Switch owners will soon need the upcoming Nintendo online service. However, there is quite a gap between the release of Mario Tennis Aces and the release of the online service, so if you are wanting to play this game to its full potential but don’t want to pay for Switch online, I recommend buying the game as soon as possible after release.
So far, the game seems like it is going to be another success for Nintendo. From what we’ve seen, it will be light-hearted fun and an immensely fun title to play for gamer of all ages. Look out for the game’s full release on June 22nd and look out for more Mario Tennis Aces right here.