Friday, 2 October 2015

First Impressions: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

I got Mario Tennis for the 3DS a while a go and was pleasantly surprised by it and, as such, I have kept tabs on any developments in the Mario Tennis franchise. Ultra Smash for the Wii U is the next installment in this franchise and I was fortunate enough to play some at EGX 2015. Here are my I thoughts on the Mario themed sports game.
I played doubles with Harry versus my Dad and Tom. It was close, with the first set going straight to us with many aces being played. The next one was close but went to my dad and Tom due to some well timed jump shots and confusion on our court (we were playing at the back). The final set was even closer, with us still being on the back court but being able to bring it back from 15-40 to win the match by some lucky plays. This is what I thought of the game:

The graphics are probably the best improvement with smooth animations and very grassy grass. However, due to there being no, asymmetrical multiplayer (at least for doubles), it means that your character can be lost in the action, especially if you are in the back court. This makes following the special shot circles quite hard although just a general shot, if played well, seems to be fine for scoring (as long as you are playing against my Dad!).

This confusion is enhanced by the signatory power-up, the Mega Mushroom. The Mega Mushroom does what it says on the tin. It makes you grow. Huge. With a starting animation every time it is hit, in which your character slowly grows into a giga-version of themselves (ah! Giant Toad!), your character proceeds to destroy Tokyo and moonwalk into the ocean. Hang on. Am I talking about something else? In actuality, the character just has an increased area to hit the ball and be hit with (many a point was lost by the character being smashed in the *reducted*).

If there was one point I didn't like it was that the controls seemed to take a long time to take effect (the character either pauses before the shot or does a taunt while waiting for the ball). This was annoying because I thought the character just wasn't responding and it makes you lose immersion when your character doesn't respond in real time.

Overall, I can't wait to play this game more when it comes out over the Christmas period. Now, one question Nintendo. Will it have amiibo support?!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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