Mario Tennis Open is a game for Nintendo 3DS. It is a successor to Mario Power Tennis originally released for Game Boy Advance and is the sixth installment of the Mario Tennis series. Announced just before the Tokyo Game Show in 2011, the game was released in North America on May 20, 2012 and all the other major regions by the end of the month. The game features gyroscope support and online multiplayer (using the Nintendo Network procedures). This is the first handheld installment in the series to not include a Story Mode or RPG elements and the first handheld installment with a Tournament mode. This game is also the first Mario game to use QR (Quick Response) codes. In this case, it is used to unlock playable characters and the Yoshi costume. The game requires 2019 blocks to download from the Nintendo eShop.
The game utilizes the 3DS' gyroscope controls as well as the touch screen. It supports online player matches via Nintendo Network and offers a monthly leader board. Winning in an online match gives the player a "Victory Medal". What these Victory Medals will be used for is unknown. The game uses the StreetPass feature to allow players to engage in competitive StreetPass Matches or co-op Ring Shot challenges using ghost data of people they encounter. Players have the ability to upgrade their Mii's abilities with about 200 original items such as tennis rackets, outfits and costumes that feature different attributes and abilities. For example, by wearing a Yoshi costume, the Mii gains the speed of Yoshi. These can be unlocked either through normal playmodes or with QR Codes.
Aside from the single and multiplayer modes, the game features four special modes. These are:
Super Mario Tennis
|"Play the original Super Mario Bros. game by volleying against the in-game action to progress. Collect coins, stomp enemies, and find Muchroom power-ups all with your tennis swing. Also playable with two players."|
|"Train your aim and hit the ball through rings to score big. The smaller the ring, the higher your score-and go for multiple rings for a bonus. Playable with up to four players."|
|"Rally with the Luma for as long as possible while avoiding the holes that open up on the opposite side. Aim for Star Chips to create a Launch Star and get extra Coins."|
|"Try to return the tennis balls launched by a trio of Inky Piranha Plants, and get them past your opponent. Watch out for ink balls that could temporarily cloud your vision."|
The game features 17 playable characters including Miis, each in one of six player classes. There are four hidden characters that are unlocked by completing certain challenges.
|"Mario is flexible and can|
respond to any situation.
He's your man especially
if you are unsure of
which character to use,
or if you are a beginner."
|"Compared to Mario, he is a bit|
less powerful, but Luigi
is good at ball handling.
His specialty is playing
up front, at the net."
|"With her light foot and technical|
shots, Peach can really aim for
the corners of the court.
She will lead her opponent
around by the nose with
her skillful play."
|"Compared to Peach, Daisy can|
do more powerful shots. She's
very energetic on the court, too."
|"Yoshi's strength is of course|
his speed. Even when his
opponent hits a well-placed shot,
Yoshi can usually hurry over
and make the return."
|"Bowser is proud of his power.|
The shots released from his
massive body have explosive
power! No shot is too strong
for him to return."
|"Among all the Power-type players,|
Donkey Kong can move most
quickly. With his dynamic
shots, he can overwhelm his opponent."
|"Diddy Kong is small and quick.|
He is acrobatic as well,
so he can receive the ball
with ease and return a
very powerful shot."
|"Wario may look comical, but|
he sure can return the ball.
His direct shots are very
powerful. Based on the way he
jumps around on the court,
he might not be as
sluggish as you think..."
|"Waluigi's strength lies in his|
long arms and legs!
He can cover a wide area,
and return any balls with a smash."
|"With his quick moves, Bowser Jr.|
has no problem returning balls.
He can hit surprising
Slices that confuse his opponents."
|"Boo can seriously curve|
balls to the left and right.
Boo's shots, especially the
Slice, are literally very tricky.
Also, Boo can quickly catch
balls with a ghostly ability,
even the distant ones."
|"Use your own Mii character|
to play alongside the big boys."
|Character||How to Unlock||Character||How to Unlock|
|Complete 'World 1-3'|
in Super Mario Tennis.
|Complete 'Pro Rings Challenge'|
(500 ring points in 3 minutes)
in Ring Shot.
|Completie 'Superstar' challenge|
(finish a 100-hit rally)
in Galaxy Rally.
|Complete 'Inksplosion' challenge|
(score 30 times)
in Ink Showdown.
Outside of the main character choices there are also 7 different colored Yoshis to unlock with QR Codes. These Yoshis have different stats than that of the standard green Yoshi. The QR Codes will be distributed over a course of time in a variety of ways. In the UK, a promotion entitled "The Yoshi Chase" involes the distribution of QR Codes to various stores and locations. The QR Codes are region locked, meaning there are different codes for each Yoshi in the major geographical regions. Other character variations such as Metal Mario are also available to unlock with QR codes.
|Character||JP QR Code||NA QR Code||EU QR Code||Character||JP QR Code||NA QR Code||EU QR Code|
Light Blue Yoshi
- Shy Guys
- Koopa Troopas
- Inky Piranha Plants
- Piranha Plants
- Lumas (Blue, Red, Green, and Turquoise)
- Buzzy Beetles
- Koopa Paratroopas
Mario Stadium - Grass Court
"Tennis aces face off on this famous court."
Mario Stadium - Clay Court
"A legendary court known for high drama."
Peach's Palace - Carpet Court
"This court is in Princess Peach's lavish palace."
Bowser's Castle - Stone Court
"Bowser's fiery court built on boiling magma."
DK Jungle - Wood Court
"A rugged court in the heart of the jungle."
Mushroom Valley - Mushroom Court
"A court built on a gigantic Mushroom."
Penguin Iceberg - Snow Court
"A penguin-filled court floating in icy waters."
Wario Dunes - Sand Court
"A desert court surrounded by ancient ruins."
Galaxy Dome - Crystal Court
Unlocked by completing the Final Cup in the Star Open Tournaments.
Mario Tennis Open received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with aggregate websites Metacritic and GameRankings giving the game a 69 based on 58 reviews and 69.26% based on 38 reviews. Critics often cite that while the title is considered a solid title, they lament that it plays and feels too similarly to previous titles in the series, with Chance Shots not greatly improving or changing the gameplay up to make the title stand out, and the game was overall a disappointment. Reception towards the Mii customization was mixed; the overall customization was praised, but the pie-chart system of viewing stats has a universal negative reaction. Some critics complain that Miis receive too much focus compared to the Mario series characters as well. Praise has been given to the Special Games, however, especially the Super Mario Tennis Special Game.
Eric L. Patterson of Electronic Gaming Monthly has felt that while the title is a solid one for any Mario Tennis fan, it is not a great Mario Tennis title, and gave the game a 7 out of 10. Richard George of IGN has concluded that the game is "Okay", acknowledging that, "Camelot's decade of tennis experience means they understand how to make the sport engaging and addicting...Yet Mario Tennis Open struggles in just about every other regard.", where the score is a 6.5 out of 10. Griffin McElroy of Polygon has lambasted the Chance Shots system in his review, calling out the over-reliance on them and their random spawning. On a more positive note, Matt Helgeson from Game Informer has given the game an 8/10, appreciating how Mario Tennis Open goes back to the basics due to him disliking the Power Shots feature of Mario Power Tennis, and that the game introduces online to the series.
References to other games
- Super Mario Bros. - A remix of the overworld music from this game is heard in the tune that plays when the trophies for the Mushroom, Flower, and Banana Cups are displayed (after the scenes where the character is shown with his/her trophy). Part of the melody of this tune is heard in the music for the title screen and credits, and during exhibition matches in Mario Stadium. The Special Game Super Mario Tennis is heavily based on this game. The overworld, underground, and castle themes from this game are featured, as several levels are replicated (albeit with minor revisions). The Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star also appear in Super Mario Tennis.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 - Tanooki Mario can be unlocked as a costume and racket.
- Super Mario 64 - A cover of Peach's Castle's theme plays in Peach's Palace. Also, a cover version of Bowser's boss fight music plays in Bowser's Castle.
- Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64) - The special game Ink Showdown is based off Piranha Challenge. Also, the game, break, set, and match point themes for the Star Open tournaments are covers from those in this game. Baby Mario also returns as a playable character with the exact stats and some recycled voice clips from this game. The Toad, Birdo, and Shy Guy suits can also be earned, along with their rackets, which is a reference to their being playable characters in the original Mario Tennis. The equipment also gives the player's Mii similar stats that they had in this game too.
- Wario Land 3 - The overworld theme from this game, particularly from the level Out of the Woods, is played in the Wario Dunes court.
- Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color) - The theme music that plays during the Set or Match Point of the aforementioned game is a cover and sampled for the Star Open Set Point in this game.
- Wario Land 4 - The pyramid featured in this game appears at the front of the Wario Dunes court.
- Super Mario Sunshine - A small bit of Bowser's battle theme from this game (which was used as the theme for Bowser's Castle in the previous game) is interpolated in the new Bowser's Castle theme.
- Mario Power Tennis - Galaxy Rally plays similarly to Gooper Blooper Volley. Mario Stadium is very similar to the Peach Dome. The rackets and costumes of Koopa Troopa, Petey Piranha and Wiggler can also be earned, which recalls their being playable characters in this game. Also, the character and announcer voice clips, and characters' actions in the menu and actual match, are reused from this game. But this time, the characters and announcer adopt new schemes, which are also carried on to later games:
- The characters perform their winning and losing actions not just after the match, but after games and sets as well.
- The announcer does not say "final set" when the match has only one set.
- The name of the serving character is no longer mentioned.
- The announcer says "server" or "receiver", instead of the character's (or characters', for doubles) name, to indicate who won the game, set, or match, or has the advantage after a deuce.
- Super Mario Galaxy - The only unlockable court, Galaxy Arena, takes place in the Comet Observatory. Also, a cover version of the Comet Observatory's theme plays during an Exhibition match. In the Special Game Galaxy Rally, there is a black hole underneath the court, a Launch Star and its Star Chips, and Star Bits. Differently-colored Lumas and the whole Comet Observatory can be seen in the background. Also, a planet from the Gateway Galaxy is seen. The Good Egg Galaxy music is played in this Special Game. A Bee Mario racket and costume are available.
- Mario Kart Wii - Mushroom Valley takes place in Mushroom Gorge, as the track itself can be seen below the court. The court takes place on a Mushroom, which brings back the aspect of the red mushrooms being very bouncy. Also, several voice clips are reused from this game.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - Peach's Palace is heavily similar to the first room of Peach's Castle in this game.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii - A Propeller Mario racket and costume are available.
- Super Mario Galaxy 2 - A Cloud Mario racket and costume are available.
- Super Mario 3D Land - Inky Piranha Plants originated from this game, and both games use the same splatter design.
- On the American box art, there is a scoreboard that displays the name "Koopa" instead of "Bowser". This is a localization error when the game was Americanized from it's native Japan where Bowser is known as "King Koopa".
- Rosalina was intended to appear as a playable character, but was replaced by Luma due to the sheer amount of time it would take to model her character. She would later be included as a playable character in the next Mario Tennis installment, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.
- This is the first and so far only Mario Tennis game to have a golf counterpart released after it.
- ↑ Metacritic score of Mario Tennis Open Metacritic. Retrieved October 31, 2015
- ↑ GameRankings score of Mario Tennis Open GameRankings. Retrieved October 31, 2015
- ↑ Patterson, Eric L. (May 16, 2012) Review of Mario Tennis Open. EGM. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- ↑ George, Richard (May 12, 2012) Review of Mario Tennis Open IGN. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- ↑ McElroy, Griffin (May 24, 2012) Mario Tennis Open review: Foot Fault Polygon. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- ↑ Helgeson, Matt (May 16, 2012) Mario Tennis Gets Back to Basics, Goes Online Game Informer. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- ↑ Top Selling Software Units - Nintendo 3DS Software Nintendo. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- ↑ http://himastime.blog21.fc2.com/blog-entry-653.html
- Official American website
- Official Japanese website
- Official Oceanian website
- Official European website
- Official Chinese website