Usually I don’t enjoy sports games with one exception: Nintendo sports games. I think the only golf game, for instance, that I played and also enjoyed as a kid was Golf for the original Gameboy. Same for Ice Hockey or Soccer for the NES and Tennis on the Gameboy again (and don’t get me started about the awesomeness that is everything Wave Race!). So when Nintendo published a new instalment of their Mario Tennis series for the Switch in 2018 I knew I’d eventually get it.
2018 was in general a very exciting year regarding Switch releases with Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Kirby Star Allies, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Dead Cells, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (just to name a few), so I quickly forgot about Mario Tennis Aces and only came back to it last week (basically in preparation for Mario Golf Super Rush 🤪).
For those of you who have never played a Mario Tennis game, it’s basically simplified Tennis with some extra action elements like that you charge up an energy bar in order to do some special shorts or slow down time. Another Mario-aspect of the game are the themed levels where you basically have courts in old ruins, on frozen lakes, or (obviously) in one of Bowser’s castles. I wrote “courts” but actually not all levels in the story mode are normal tennis matches. Most of the levels are actually about hitting classic foes (mostly poor Koopa Troopas) or fighting huge bosses like a giant squid that shoots ink balls from its mouth. I had lots of fun and quite a bit of challenge there 🙂
Sadly, outside of the story/adventure mode there is only the multiplayer mode which you can play on- and offline. There are tournaments there and such but it’s nowhere near what you get for instance in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The matchmaking there also seems to have very few matching criteria so I always ran into folks that were far better than me. I might try it again and again over time but for me the main attraction of the game was the adventure mode.
So is there nothing like a challenge mode or something where you can try to beat highscores? Yes and no. There is nothing like that in the main menu but if you finish the story in the adventure mode, then you gain access to a Trials Island where you can find 5 trials which have highscores attached to them.
Personally, I think that Mario Tennis Aces is a good game and I had lots of fun in the adventure mode. Is it worth €50-€60? I’m not sure. If you can get it second-hand or at a discount, though, you should give it a try 🙂
Over the years I've written quite a few reviews 🙂 You can find them at /reviews/.