Mario Tennis Aces
|Mario Tennis Aces|
Primary artwork, featuring Princess Peach and Mario in the game's tennis attire
|Developer(s)||Camelot Software Planning|
|Release||June 22, 2018|
Mario Tennis Aces[a] is a tennis game developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. Part of the Mario Tennis series, it was released worldwide on June 22, 2018. The game sold over 2.6 million copies by March 2019, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch.
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. New characters are added by participating in monthly tournaments, or are 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 2018, Blooper in August 2018, Diddy Kong in September 2018, Birdo in October 2018, Koopa Paratroopa in November 2018, Petey Piranha and Shy Guy in December 2018, Luma in January 2019, Boom Boom in February 2019, Pauline in March 2019, Kamek in April 2019, Dry Bones in May 2019, Fire Piranha Plant in June 2019, and Dry Bowser in July 2019. 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.
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. If the opponent counters the zone shot, their racket will take damage. 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. 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. 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.
The trick shot ability enables the player to quickly travel to where the ball will land. 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.
The game also features an online multiplayer mode, where tournaments can be set up, as well as singular matches. 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. In addition to regular tennis matches, the game offers a story mode similar in fashion to Mario Tennis: Power Tour.
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. 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.
Aces sold 247,161 physical copies within its first month on sale in Japan. By March 2019, total sales had reached over 2.64 million copies, making it the best-selling Mario Tennis game. As of March 2019, it has sold 550,000 copies in Japan.
|2018||Game Critics Awards||Best Sports Game||Nominated|||
|Best Family/Social Game||Nominated|
|Golden Joystick Awards||Best Competitive Game||Nominated|||
|Nintendo Game of the Year||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2018||Best Family Game||Nominated|||
|Gamers' Choice Awards||Fan Favorite Family-Friendly Multiplayer Game||Nominated|||
|Australian Games Awards||Sports, Racing or Fighting Title of the Year||Nominated|||
|2019||New York Game Awards||Raging Bull Award for Best Fighting Game||Nominated|||
|D.I.C.E. Awards||Sports Game of the Year||Won|||
|National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards||Game, Franchise Sports||Nominated|||
|Italian Video Game Awards||People's Choice||Nominated|||
|Best Family Game||Nominated|
|Best Sport Game||Nominated|
- マリオテニス エース (Mario Tenisu Ēsu)
- Camelot Software Planning, (June 22, 2018). Mario Tennis Aces. Nintendo. Scene: Staff Credits.
Camelot / Game Design Lead: Hiroyuki Takahashi, Shugo Takahashi / Director: Shugo Takahashi / Art Director: Satoshi Tamai [...] Programming Lead: Haruki Kodera, Yutaka Yamamoto [...] Music: Motoi Sakuraba / Nintendo / Director: Tomohiro Yamamura / Art Director: Tomoyoshi Yamane [...] Producers: Hiroyuki Takahashi, Shugo Takahashi, Toshiharu Izuno, Toyokazu Nonaka, Keisuke TerasakiCS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
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