Mario and friends are back on the courts in hopes
of continuing Nintendo’s winning streak for the Switch with Mario Tennis Aces, the newest installment
of the long-running sports series. Right from the moment it was unveiled, Nintendo
and developer Camelot set out to prove that they took criticism of the previous incarnation
to heart and were ready to deliver a superior game. Aces is a clear step up from the barebones effort
of the Wii U predecessor with the long awaited return of the story mode
not seen in over a decade. The game wastes no time in its setup,
dropping you immediately into the adventure mode as you set out to stop an evil tennis racket
that’s possessed several of Mario’s friends. It’s a great way to start the game as the early goings serve as basic tutorials on the various new mechanics, wrapped with morsels of narrative to hold your interest. You eventually move on to the thick of the adventure, facing off
against increasingly more challenging opponents, tackling various mini-games,
and dueling it out against iconic Mario bosses. The adventure mode is certainly a welcome addition
and something the series has been lacking. It incorporates a character progression system
for Mario, allowing him to level up through both victory and defeat. Plus you can net new rackets by successfully undertaking some of the optional mini-games. It’s a meatier offering than we’ve seen in some time,
but it comes up a bit short in the end. The formulaic nature becomes too repetitive,
and the variety of activities isn’t that impressive. For the most part, things move along at a brisk pace,
but towards the end, a handful of activities slam on the brakes
as you struggle to overcome sharp difficulty spikes. One other big disappointment
comes from the lack of a proper mini-game mode. Though you can replay the existing mini-games
in the adventure mode as much as you like, there isn’t a dedicated mode to do so more easily. Paired with the absence of the additional challenges
and rewards found in older installments, it’s a missed opportunity, limiting Aces’ replayability and appeal. That being said,
the new mechanical additions to Aces are fantastic. Thanks to the wide range of new tactics at your disposal, matches can get extremely heated, especially when playing online against other opponents. After building up enough meter on your energy gauge, players can utilize several special abilities to try to turn the tables on their opponents. These new tactics really up the tension in matches and allow for a lot of improvisation and strategy. Factor in that your rackets have durability and can break if you mistime a counter to a zone shot,
and it can get incredibly intense trying to guess what your opponent will do
while also trying to throw them for a loop. Engaging in these mind games makes
for some of the best moments in Aces. After you’ve seen and done everything
in adventure mode, all that’s left is to turn to the various local and online offerings. Given the modest offline offerings,
it’s clear that the satisfaction you’ll get out of Aces is largely dependent on your enjoyment
of the online features. The good news is that we’ve never encountered
a single connectivity issue; playing online feels silky smooth and very responsive. If you thoroughly enjoy taking on other opponents
and experiencing the rush of trying to outsmart them, you’ll get many hours of enjoyment
out of Aces’ online matches. Your victories and defeats
are all recorded and factored into your rankings, so if vying for leaderboard positions is your thing,
you’ve got your work cut out for you. All of the new mechanics in Aces might be a bit much to take in the more competitive space of online matches, so if you want to trim the fat,
there is a simple mode that removes all of the special abilities
and focuses on just the basics. Or you can take a more casual approach
in the no-strings-attached free play mode, which is a good way for newcomers
to get their feet wet. One final incentive
to compete in the online tournament mode is the ability to gain access to new characters
each month simply for participating. It’s an interesting approach, clearly aimed at trying
to increase the game’s longevity. If you don’t compete, that new character will be unlocked for everyone by the following month, but the extra nudge to get characters sooner
is a strong incentive to participate online at least once a month. Mario Tennis Aces is an improvement
over its predecessor with the long-awaited return of the story mode and exciting new mechanics which make for much more intense and enjoyable matches. The limited scale of the story mode
and lack of additional challenges, especially in regards to the mini-games,
do hurt its appeal. The online mode is solid, if not a bit sparse,
so your mileage may vary depending on your affinity for multiplayer. It’s not quite at the level of earlier installments, but Aces shows
that the Mario Tennis series is back on the right track. Easy Allies Reviews are made possible
by generous viewers just like you. If you like what you see, check out patreon.com/easyallies to help us make more. For just $1 a month, you can gain access to weekly updates, spoiler discussions, and exclusive shows.

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Dennis Veasley

52 thoughts on “Mario Tennis Aces – Easy Allies Review”

  1. I suck online, but this game is just a super fun way to go in, play some tennis with Nintendo characters and have a ball. No pun intended.

    The controls feel superb.

  2. Extremely addictive but it has some serious flaws.
    You can't choose courts, there's no tennis rules (no 6 game sets, no sets) and the netcode sometimes is great, sometimes not.

  3. Already ordered mine. The tournament demo was a blast. Feels like if you enjoy MP, you are safe to go.

  4. Now Camelot needs to work on a true sequel to Mario Golf Toadstool Tour, and include Link, Zelda, Samus, etc. Except for Mario Kart to a certain shy extent, Nintendo needs to apply the Smash formula to more games. It's not like they don't own the IPs.

  5. I wish somebody else would a review this. I like damiani and respect his opinion but I find he's too harsh.

  6. Please Nintendo let Camelot make a new Golden Sun for Switch. It’s a shame all they’re allowed to make are Mario sports games.

  7. That marker-squeak-making-the-Mario-theme bit was very charming. Props to whoever on the dev team did that animation/audio combo.

  8. This game is sorta like Splatoon at first, a great game, solid fun multiplayer (if the internet connection is good), but lacking in features that will hopefully get fixed.

  9. Woah, surprised to see such a swimming in sevens score when honestly the preview floored me and it seems to have a lot of what people thought the previous one was missing, I heard barely any complaints at all.

  10. Don't let Damiani fool you; the "story mode" is incredibly shallow both in it's character progression and actual narrative content. The variety in level design is decent, but that's not saying much for a 3.5-4 hour gameplay offering (especially when a large portion of that play time is the spent repeating levels several times due to steep difficulty spikes).

  11. This game lacks content, story mode is laughable and too easy, net code is trash, 5/10. EZA I find are way too kind with most games they review…

  12. Mario Tennis Aces Review Scores:

    EPNdotTV (YouTube Channel)- 9 out of 10
    Famitsu- 33/40
    HobbyConsolas- 92/100 Excellent
    The Games Machine- 9.1 out of 10
    GameXplain- Likes-A-Lot!
    ShackNews- 9 out of 10
    XGN- 9.0 out of 10
    Eurogamer- Recommended!
    GamingBoulevard- 8.5 out of 10
    NintendoLife- 8 out of 10
    GamesRadar- 4 Stars out of 5
    COGconnected- 86/100
    WeGotThisCovered- 4 Stars out of 5 Great!
    Wccftech- 8 out of 10
    MyNintendoNews- 8 out of 10
    Critical Hit- 8 out of 10
    Twinfinite- 4 out of 5 Great!
    Gamepro- 85/100
    Gamespot- 8 out of 10
    Nintendo Insider- 8 out of 10
    Game Informer- 8 out of 10
    Hardcore Gamer- 4 out of 5

    Make sure you have a "Nintendo Switch LAN Adapter" for other online multiplayer games for smooth online gameplay.

  13. This game is so intense.

    A little light on content, but the core gameplay is fantastic. I hope Nintendo keep supporting like they usually do with their online games.
    I mean both Splatoon and ARMS greatly benefited from that.

  14. Sharp Difficulty spikes man… that boat level was pure BS… had to cheese it by breaking all the rackets of the enemy.. there was no way to win otherwise after 2 hours of trying

  15. It is extremely addiciting. Just hopping in to get a quick match of tennis feels so good. However it's flaws are present in almost any game mode you play.
    – Standard tennis: unavailable – there is no normal game of tennis with official rules/sets
    – Pro mode is just spam zone shot every time the star appears
    – Blocking feels almost impossible without slow-mo time.
    – Adventure mode is a joke, don't give it any credit. The games themselves are fun but the whole premise of a story mode is absent.

  16. Wow never encountered connectivity issues? Maybe only the European servers suck but me and my friends (and I've read of others as well) encounter big lag spikes regularly. We don't have those problems with other games. Sometimes the game pauses for seconds to recover.

    Also: You don't even mention the issue of not being able to play a regular length tennis match. Can't even play a best of 3 set match. If you read online you notice I'm not the only one who is missing that.

    Usually I love Easy Allies reviews, but this one seems off to me. Most of the stuff said and the final score are all fine, just not even addressing those issues feels weird.

  17. I dislike the critical lauding of “carrot on a string” nonsense like experience points and leveling-up in games where it’s not necessary. It only gives a game more depth for obsessive types who like watching meters go up more than actual gameplay built around challenge. It has its plac on MMOs and other games built for obsessive people, but it’s a detractor in games outside of that genre.

  18. This is basically a fighting game. Playing online is the main appeal of the game.
    Did Damiani only play a single online match? All the footage is from single player, and the times we see online stats they're at 0% win. This is like reviewing Street Fighter after playing the story mode once.

  19. A step in the right direction seems about tright for this sports series. I mean Nintendo seems to be doing that with Mario Party so i guess now it's this series turn to get that treatment.

  20. This is sad. It feels like Nintendo/camelot got the gameplay spot on but then didn't concentrate on the customisation, fluff and single player content which are the easier components to implement.

  21. So for the first 10 months of 2018 all we're getting on Switch are ports and a middle of the road Kirby and Mario Tennis game. Pokémon and Smash Bros will be good but, damn, it's starting to feel like the Wii U Era again.

    Switch is good for anyone who never owned a Wii U and great for anyone who never had a Wii U or PS4/Xbox One but anyone who plays video games to any degree probably owned at least one of those and the Nintendo fanboys acting as if this isn't an issue definitely owned Wii Us.

    3DS and Wii U games aren't really coming out any more so what's the problem? It seems like all of Nintendo's developers are all hands on deck with the Switch so you'd think we would get more than four brand new games a year from them.

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