The courts themselves have a number of interesting quirks, such as a ship-based level which has a mast in the middle of the net, which has the potential to cause havoc! And when playing in tournament mode, you’ll find that the individual characters have their own specific playstyles. This has led to a number of people already calling out some balance issues (Toad is supposed to be particularly weak), whilst I’m a big fan of playing as Boo, who can add some wicked spin curve to his shots. Finally, there’s also the ability to play by flailing around with the joy-cons. It’s functional but a gimmick to try once really.
Local multiplayer is a bit odd on the Switch. The screen is split, even when you have separate controllers, which makes it a bit of an odd (and overly) small play area, particularly for doubles matches. Online multiplayer is better, with plenty of people online, snappy matchmaking and very little lag. It’s a great way to play, although you should be aware that the game already has quite a competitive scene, and much like a fighting game, be prepared to lose. A lot.
The Switch has a significant power deficit when compared to the other consoles, but Aces is one of those games where you can hardly notice it. Whether you’re playing docked or on the go, this is a game full of charm and life, and uses the Nintendo characters to the fullest. It’s quite a cutesy looking game, even on the world map, but that doesn’t affect the tennis chops of the game at all. It’s incredibly crisp, runs flawlessly, and has a huge amount of visual variety in the different courts that are on offer. The music is classic Nintendo, but suits the game really well.
‘Mario Tennis Aces‘ is a fine looking and playing game badly let down by the actual content on offer. Clearly aware of the paucity of the story mode, Camelot have opted for an extreme level of difficulty rather than actually adding more levels, which is really frustrating. The online play is decent, although this will soon be locked behind Nintendo’s paywall, whilst many players have expressed their frustration that there’s no actual way to play with normal tennis rules. I hope Aces gets a generous dose of DLC or massaging in patches, because there’s a brilliant game here somewhat strangled by the modes on offer.
- 1 2