Mario Tennis Aces

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Mario Tennis Aces
Mario Tennis Aces.jpg
Packaging artwork, featuring Princess Peach and Mario in the game's tennis attire
Developer(s)Camelot Software Planning
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Director(s)
  • Shugo Takahashi
  • Tomohiro Yamamura
Producer(s)
Designer(s)
  • Hiroyuki Takahashi
  • Shugo Takahashi
Programmer(s)
  • Haruki Kodera
  • Yutaka Yamamoto
Artist(s)
  • Satoshi Tamai
  • Tomoyoshi Yamane
Composer(s)Motoi Sakuraba
SeriesMario Tennis
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseJune 22, 2018
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Mario Tennis Aces[a] is a tennis game developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. An entry in the Mario Tennis series, it was released worldwide on June 22, 2018. The game sold over two million copies by September 2018, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch.

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay of Mario Tennis Aces consists of playing matches of tennis with various characters from the Super Mario series. Players can pick from Mario, Luigi, Wario, Peach, Waluigi, Daisy, Rosalina, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Toad, Toadette, Chain Chomp, Bowser Jr., Boo, and Spike to play as.[1][2] New characters will be added by participating in monthly tournaments, or will be added to the roster the following month if the player does not participate. Numerous characters have been added in the game such as; Koopa Troopa in July, Blooper in August, Diddy Kong in September, Birdo in October, Koopa Paratroopa in November, Petey Piranha and Shy Guy in December. Similar in fashion to previous installments of the series, Aces incorporates many techniques, such as "topspins", where the ball travels parallel to the direction hit, "slices", where the ball curves to one side when hit, and "lobs", where the ball travels upwards.[3]

Aces adds several new mechanics to the Mario Tennis series. Using the motion controls of the Joy-Con, the player is able to initiate a "zone shot", where the player can aim directly where the ball will go while the game enters a paused state.[4] If the opponent counters the zone shot, their racket will take damage.[5] When a racket is hit with a zone shot three times, it will break, forcing the player to forfeit the match if it is their last one. Players have multiple rackets to use each match.[6] However, players are able to counter a zone shot without taking damage using a "block", which can be performed by hitting the ball with perfect timing. Another new addition in Aces is "zone speed". When a player activates zone speed, the match goes into slow-motion, but their character moves at normal speed, making it so faraway shots are easier to reach.[3] The zone shot and zone speed moves use up part of the players' energy gauge, which is filled and depleted throughout the match. To refill the gauge, the player must keep a rally going with the opponent or use the trick shot ability[7].[8]

The trick shot ability enables the player to quickly travel to where the ball will land.[9] If the trick shot succeeds, then the player's energy gauge will increase dramatically. However, it is easy to misjudge the timing and therefore is a risky move to make. Another ability available to players at the cost of their energy gauge is the special shot. To activate it, the player must have a full energy gauge. The ability unleashes an extremely powerful shot that has the power to break the opponent's racket regardless of its current damage. However, the special shot can be blocked similarly to the zone shot. Aces also has a "simple rules" mode, where only simple shots are allowed and zone shots, zone speed, trick shots, special shots and the energy gauge are nonexistent.[1]

The game also features an online multiplayer mode, where tournaments can be set up, as well as singular matches.[10] Players can unlock additional outfits and characters by participating in special online Tournaments held by Nintendo. Another gameplay mode is "swing mode", where players are able to swing the Joy-Con controllers to simulate hitting the ball with a tennis racket, similar in fashion to Wii Sports and New Play Control Mario Power Tennis.[11] In addition to regular tennis matches, the game offers a story mode similar in fashion to Mario Tennis: Power Tour.[12] Addtional characters were added as downloadable content, such as Pauline, Boom Boom, and Luma.[13]

Release[edit]

The game was announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation in January 2018.[8] A free online tournament using a demo version of the game was held from June 1–3, 2018.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic75/100[16]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Game Informer8/10[17]
Game Revolution4/5 stars[19]
GameSpot7/10[20]
GamesRadar+4/5 stars[18]
IGN7.5/10[21]
Nintendo Life8/10 stars[22]
VideoGamer.com7/10[23]
Digital Trends7/10[24]

Mario Tennis Aces has an aggregate score of 75/100 on Metacritic.[16]

Mario Tennis Aces received positive reviews overall according to Metacritic and is thought to be amongst some of the better games in the Mario Tennis franchise, being considered an improvement over Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.

IGN felt that Mario Tennis Aces was "an extremely fun arcade tennis experience, colourful and dazzling to look at and smartly balanced in its back-and-forth play". Although praising its new mechanics for making the game "far more fun, well balanced and less gimmicky brand of superpowered tennis than that of its disappointing Wii U predecessor, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash". Aces' adventure mode was criticized for feeling underdeveloped and not having enough replay value (such as harder versions of challenges after completing it) or unlocks, and that the main multiplayer modes lacked court selection and local tournament functions.[21] GameSpot felt that Mario Tennis Aces "does what this series has done best, and improves what it's rarely gotten right prior", and arguing that the adventure mode was a good way for existing players to learn the new mechanics of Aces, but that the Swing Mode had imprecise motion detection, and that the game's multiplayer modes were lacking in options, and did not display stats for opponents.[20]

Sales[edit]

Aces sold 247,161 physical copies within its first month on sale in Japan.[25] By September 2018, total sales had reached over 2.16 million copies.[26]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2018 Game Critics Awards Best Sports Game Nominated [27]
Best Family/Social Game Nominated
Golden Joystick Awards Best Competitive Game Nominated [28][29]
Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated
The Game Awards 2018 Best Family Game Nominated [30][31]
Best Sports/Racing Nominated

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ マリオテニス エース (Mario Tenisu Ēsu)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (March 8, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces launches this June on Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Meet the all-stars". Nintendo (Mario Tennis). 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Walker, Alex (March 8, 2018). "I'm Going To Get So Angry At Mario Tennis Aces". Kotaku. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "『マリオテニス エース』多彩なショットやモードなどテニスシステムに関する詳細情報を紹介【Nintendo Direct】". Famitsu (in Japanese). March 9, 2018. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Reseigh-Lincoln, Dom (March 8, 2018). "Take Centre Court And Trick Shot Your Way To Glory In Mario Tennis Aces This June". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (March 10, 2018). "Nintendo Switch's Mario Tennis Release Date, More Details Confirmed At New Direct". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "Mario Tennis Aces review - Games Whisperer". Games Whisperer. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  8. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (January 11, 2018). "Nintendo Direct Mini January 2018: The 5 biggest announcements". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  9. ^ Hardawar, Devindra (8 March 2018). "'Mario Tennis Aces' hits the Nintendo Switch on June 22nd". Engadget. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ Hester, Blake (March 8, 2018). "'Mario Tennis Aces' Comes To Switch In June". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Walker, Alex (March 9, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Out June 22, Will Have A Wii Tennis-Style Mode". Kotaku. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Calvert, Darren (January 11, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Brings A GBA-Style Story Mode To Switch". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Wales, Matt. "Pauline, Luma, and Boom Boom join Mario Tennis Aces' playable roster early next year". Eurogamer. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  14. ^ Sato (March 8, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Releases On June 22 With A Pre-Launch Online Tournament". Siliconera. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Krishna, Swapna (June 1, 2018). "Get your first taste of 'Mario Tennis Aces' on Switch this weekend". Engadget. Archived from the original on June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Mario Tennis Aces Critic Reviews for Switch". Metacritic. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (June 22, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces – A Successful Return Serve". Game Informer. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  18. ^ Loveridge, Sam (June 20, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces review". GamesRadar+. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Faulkner, Jason (June 26, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Review – A Smashing New Approach". Game Revolution. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Clark, Justin (June 20, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Review In Progress: Aim High". GameSpot. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Ogilvie, Tristan (June 20, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Review". IGN. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Diver, Mike (June 20, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces Review (Switch)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  23. ^ Cook, Adam (June 20, 2018). "Mario Tennis Aces review". VideoGamer.com.
  24. ^ Gurwin, Gabe (June 25, 2018). "'Mario Tennis Aces' review". Digital Trends. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  25. ^ Romano, Sal (July 25, 2018). "Media Create Sales: 7/16/18 – 7/22/18". Gematsu. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  26. ^ Saed, Sherif. "Nintendo Switch sales top 22.86 million, overtaking the GameCube". VG24/7. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  27. ^ Watts, Steve (July 5, 2018). "Resident Evil 2 Wins Top Honor In E3 Game Critics Awards". GameSpot. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  28. ^ Hoggins, Tom (September 24, 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  29. ^ Sheridan, Connor (November 16, 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards 2018 winners: God of War wins big but Fortnite gets Victory Royale". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  30. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 13, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018 nominees led by God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2". Polygon. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  31. ^ Grant, Christopher (December 6, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: Here are all the winners". Polygon. Retrieved December 7, 2018.

External links[edit]