Mario Tennis Ultra Smash
The fan favorite Mario Tennis franchise is finally coming to the Wii U. With Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Nintendo is going big – literally.
Even for a series that has featured flaming tennis balls and friendly dinosaurs with rackets, the action in Ultra Smash's Mega Battles mode is over-the-top. Characters jump tens of feet in the air to return a high-bouncing smash, have a big arsenal of shot types during play, and field power-ups thrown onto the court by Toad. Though I only played the mode for a brief time, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash seems like the most frantic entry the series has seen to date.
In the build I played, the only power-up being thrown onto the court was a Mega Mushroom, which caused the character who grabbed it to grow massive in size – so big that Bowser takes up his the majority of his side of the court. There’s no telling if other kinds of power-ups will make an appearance, but with a rich catalog to choose from, the team could get really creative.
The only characters revealed so far are Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Toad, but players can expect to see a strong cast of characters pulling from Nintendo’s biggest IPs. Nintendo has said that new characters will be making their Mario Tennis debuts with Ultra Smash, so it will be interesting to see if Mario Kart 8’s crossover DLC that features Link and Animal Crossing characters will influence the Mario Tennis franchise to experiment with bringing an even wider range of characters to the roster.
Players have the option to use the Wii U’s many controllers with Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, including the GamePad and Pro Controller. A strange caveat of the various control options available is that players can use the Wii Remote for play, but only in its sideways-turned state. The lack of motion controls wouldn’t normally be a big issue, but tennis is one of the few sub-genres where motion controls make sense and are fun.
Fans of Mario, Tennis, and the combination of the two should keep their eyes on this one as more is revealed in the months leading up to launch. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash comes to Wii U this holiday season.