3 Ways Mario Tennis Aces Can Change the Game
A main problem of Mario Tennis Open and Ultra Smash is how they simplified the gameplay. In Mario Tennis, you have several different shots that you can use on the fly: topspin, slice, lob shot, etc. Those two games featured a chance shot system; an icon will appear on the floor when using a particular shot. Standing on said icon created an added beneficial effect. This trivialized gameplay down to always using the shots that the game told you to use, rather than experimenting with different kinds of shots for different scenarios.
Mario Tennis Aces does away with that system. The trailer explains that “new wrinkles in tennis gameplay will challenge your ability to read your opponents position and stroke to determine which shot will give you the advantage.” While the trailer doesn’t do a great job of demonstrating how this works, it sounds like this new system will guide players on how to make more effective use of their various shots, and will not simply power up a random type of shot like in Open and Ultra Smash. While this is merely conjecture based on the language in the trailer, at the very least, getting rid of the system that Mario Tennis Open and Ultra Smash used is a win in my book.
Something else that I’m thankful for from the trailer is the return of more Mario-esque courts. What I mean by this is the inclusion of whacky mechanics that you wouldn’t find in a regular tennis game, but feel right at home in a Mario game. We get a brief look at a match between Mario and Donkey Kong on a court where parts of the net are separated by warp pipes, but unfortunately don’t see how the warp pipes actually affect the tennis. Is it possible to hit the ball into the warp pipes to send them out of another warp pipe? Or are enemies going to pop out of them? Whatever happens, it’s sure to be the kind of fun that only a Mario sports game could provide. This was another problem with the previous two Mario Tennis titles: there were way too few courts with these kinds of Mario gimmicks. Sure, include a few traditional courts for a fair round of tennis, that’s all well and good. But when it comes to the more gimmicky courts, the more the merrier I say.
And not something that really effects the gameplay per se, but take a look at Mario’s swanky new duds. We’ve seen a few of the female cast members get a change of attire for the sport/racing games, but never the Mario Bros. themselves. Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi are all sporting some more ‘tennisy’ apparel this time around. Looking good, fellas. Could this be implying that we’ll be able to change characters’ costumes this time around? Probably not, but that would be pretty sweet.