Oh yeah, a new Mario Tennis game baby. So
let’s plug Ultra Smash in and see what epic opening the game has
in store. Oh. Well, at least it’s pretty,
I guess. And that about sums up Mario Tennis: Ultra
Smash. It’s pretty–but there’s not much to it. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s
the good news: the core gameplay is still pretty solid. The controls are fast, responsive,
and wonderfully simplistic, allowing you to pull off all kinds of shots with almost no
learning curve. So when it comes to the very core of the gameplay, Mario Tennis still has
it. But here’s the bad news: it mucks up that
core gameplay up with some questionable new & returning features. One of these new features
is the Ultra Smash, which allows you to launch the ball at blistering speed whenever a star-shaped
spotlight appears on the ground–it’s basically a new type of Chance Shot from Mario Tennis
Open. And it actually wouldn’t be that bad of an addition–except that the rest of the
Chance Shots are back too. And my main problem about the Chance Shots–and now the Ultra
Smash–is that it makes the gameplay more about them than actual Tennis. I mean, they’re
overpowered, reveal exactly where the ball’s going to land, and appear all the freakin’
time. I felt like I was mindlessly running point-to-point more often than using actual
strategy. And all of this chance-based gameplay is compounded
by the game’s primary new mode: Mega Battle, where Mega Mushrooms are randomly thrown onto
the court that make your player bigger, stronger, and extends their reach. And while it is kind
of fun as a novelty for first few matches–it quickly wore out its welcome because it’s
just another gimmick layered on top an already gimmick-ridden experience thanks to the Chance
Shots & Ultra Smashes. But mercifully, the game has a Classic Tennis
option that turns all of those gimmick off–so yeah, no Mega Mushrooms and no Chance Shots.
Even the game concedes this is the mode you want to play if you like strategy being a
factor. So needless to say, this was my preferred way of playing, if only because it reminded
me of how the classic Mario Tennis games used to play. Unfortunately, Ultra Smash is still missing
almost everything else that made those original games so special. Instead of a variety of
well-themed arenas, you get just the one stadium here. Although you can at least swap out the
court itself for different materials that affect how the ball reacts. Then there’s the serious lack of new modes.
Beyond Mega Battle and Simple Tennis, all that’s left is the snorefest, Mega Ball
Rally, in which you hit a slightly larger ball back and forth in as long of a rally
as you can, and knockout battle–which is the closest thing this game has to a single-player
mode, where you battle progressively more challenging opponents in a round of Tennis. Of course, Mario Tennis has always been at
its best when played with friends–and that’s still the case here too. And thankfully, the
game even allows you to even take the action online too–unless you want to play with your
friends. Yep, in a baffling decision, there is no friend option at all, meaning you can
only go up against random players. But, I will say the online multiplayer ran well in
my experience, with only occasional connection issues when playing in doubles matches. Although
speaking of which, if you want to play Doubles, you’re going to find a partner first–either
a friend on the same system, or an amiibo figure that you’ve trained in the Knockout
mode. Unfortunately, there is no option to use a standard CPU as a teammate, which means
you’ll be at a huge disadvantage if you haven’t properly trained your amiibo. On the upside, what little that is here actually
looks pretty great. The game runs at a buttery-smooth 60fps, and the characters are superbly animated.
I especially love their reactions during the instant-replays. This is the kind of character
and attention to detail that I wanted to see from the rest of the game. So here’s the deal: Mario Tennis is a great
looking game…without much to offer. Sure, what’s there, though flawed, can still be
fun. But it’s the same fun that I’ve had many times before in past Mario Tennis games–only
there was a lot more to play around with back then. As such, the overall experience of Mario
Tennis: Ultra Smash just left me feeling meh. While it may take the series visuals to new
heights–it wasn’t worth trading in its soul. Thanks for watching and make sure to stay-tuned
to GameXplain for more reviews and other things gaming too.

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash – Video Review (Wii U)”

  1. No intro, less characters, less content, no playing with friends online, AND IT'S $60!?!? Nintendo, WHAT THE FRICK ARE YOU DOING!?!? YOU'RE MAKING ME ANGRY, GRRRRR!!! >~<#

  2. Well, I got the game. And…I like it. Like Mario Party 10, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is better than most people make it sound.

    For one, the game has a solid base. The controls are responsive, and the pace is consistently fast. The Mega Battle mode is very fun, and it gives the Mega Mushroom some prominence in a spin-off (complete with a great remixed theme!).

    As for the characters, it is a bit small in size, but the quality is there; we got the Big Eight, most of the secondary characters, and even a brand-new player, Sprixie Princess.

    There is a notable lack of single-player modes, but the Knockout Challenge and Mega Ball Rally are cute diversions from the main modes.

    Also, the game looks beautiful, with its 1080p graphics, colorful backgrounds, and impressive character animations.

    Basically, what I am trying to say is that Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is a good game. Sure, it does not boast the variety of modes from its predecessors, but in the end, it is a decently passable game. Considering it was under development during Iwata's passing and released after Star Fox Zero's delay, it is good; it could be worse than it is.

    I respect that not everyone agrees with me, but I wanted to give this game a little bit of love while most others are salty. And I try not to expect an over the top, crazy multiplayer experience in every Mario spin-off. Sometimes it's good to have a more simplistic game.

    I apologize for my rant here, GameXplain. I just wanted to say how I felt. 🙂

  3. The chance spots only appear if you have a bad rebound and you the wrong shot response, so the chance spots appearing a lot is completely the fault of the player (assuming you're playing with only humans)

  4. I don't know but im pretty sure nintendo rushed this game, i mean like the courts are plain and simple, the character roster looks like its unfinished, the only item you can use is the mega mushroom and you can't play with friends online, this game is like its in development…..

    i ran out on what to say but i guess i might get this game to see if its worth it or not..
    (sorry for my bad english DX)

  5. I don't know if I'm going to get this, reviews for it have not been good and it doesn't have many options like the previous Mario tennis games did.  Why cant it have as many options as Mario power tennis for the gamecube? That's a solid game with many many options.  It has many different courts, several tournaments, minigames just so much more to offer.  Here it looks like it just has mega battle, that big ass ball rally, and online.  Power tennis had probably twice as many options than this game

  6. The Biggest Flaw I found with this game is the lacking of stages, just think of all the locations they can go to? Like maybe a Isle delfino stage which has a sand texture with the mega mushrooms getting replaced with Flood Nozzles that you can use against your opponents. Or a Snow stage with ice physics, but the Mega Mushroom gets replaced with the Penguin Suit, which can let go go faster if you belly slide, and has better traction? What about a stage based off the Minigame Concentration in SM64DS, where wherever the ball lands breaks a block that it lands on, limiting to space you have to play with? What about a Mario Kart based stage? A Luigi's Mansion stage? Daisy Cruiser? Just imagine an Airship stage! There are so many Things you could have done Nintendo, but we just get the same stadium over and over! …there's not even any stage hazards!

  7. I am going to pick this up, I never been a fan of the gimmicks so I will play it anyway and I am sure Nintendo will offer dlc in the future kinda like splatoon.

  8. Nice review! I think that pretty much confirmed to me that this isn't a game I need, which is a shame since I loved the N64 Mario Tennis and always wait for a return to form for the series. The fact that pretty much all the character art on the select screen is just reused from past games – and the girls aren't even in the sports outfits they wear in-game lol – sums up how much they were just phoning it in with this one.

  9. I hate the fact that Nintendo is lazy to put effort into their side games, which I truly loved during the N64 and GameCube era. All I see now is graphical adjustment with a different title name. Now don't get me wrong they are doing well with the main games and I'm enjoying them, it's just I want those good side games back on track! JEEZ NINTENDO GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER

  10. how long did the developers put into this game? I mean, seriously, they could've at least put in some more effort in online mode, and add in some more arenas, right?

  11. No Matter a What Anyone Says The Mario Baseball/Sluggers Series is easily the best funniest and the one that should have another sequal

  12. I'm surprised that you manages to stretch all the content in this game to 4 minutes. You could go in detail on the entirety of the game content in two minutes, max.

  13. Mario Tennis: Bare Bones. Seriously. Of course the gameplay is fine, it hasn't changed in years 'cause it's Mario Tennis. But that's all this game has.

  14. It's pretty astounding that this is selling for the same price as Smash Bros.. Smash Bros. is ten times the game this is.

  15. what is the deal with the ranking system, me and my cousin have a rating of 2436 in doubles and just beat a team and it gave us +0 to our rating.. what is the point of the rating if you get +0????

  16. What about online rankings, voice chat " I doubt it" and mii support and some other standard stuff????? You don't say it does or doesn't have any of that….

  17. I like Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, but even I will admit this game REALLY needs DLC. What is offered in the vanilla game is too low for a Wii U title. Here's to hoping we get DLC before 2016.

  18. See Nintendo, this is what happens when you force an RPG developer (Camelot Soft) to make nothing but sports games for five years.

  19. This game is pahtetic, every single camelot mario tennis game before this one has more content and grace ….and the worst part, for 50 dollars.

  20. the game sucks. why there aren't any tournament modes? or different courts or why they didn't bring back the power shots from Mario power tennis?

  21. For me personally, I saw reviews and I was like…. Meh I'll definitely not get this. And then my grandparents sent this to me as a gift and so I played it. For what it's worth.. It's really fun. Like really fun. It's amazing how much more technical you have to be in this one compared to the other installments considering there are no special moves. You have to rely on optimal punishments and moves. There's even strategy that comes into play when using the mega mushroom, such as when to use it, or if I can play against the opponent without using it first to make them waste theirs and such. As an avid Mario sports game player, I believe that this game isn't getting the recognition that it deserves. Sure, it's definitely FAR from perfect and has a lot of design flaws, but aside from the few quirks, it's pretty great. One of the only things I would complain about is the online mode. That is pretty trash. Other than that, it's a great game to spend some time on. 3.5/5 stars. 🙂

  22. There's only one reason for not buying this game, only one arena!!! Sh*t Only One Arena! Just a stadium, sorry that's not a Mario Tennis game for me, it's like playing 32 courses in Mario Kart in only one stadium, it's stupid

  23. Finally got to play this "game" and I even have to disagree with your first sentence. "The Gameplay is solid". No it isn't! You can't do anything wrong! We played this and Mario Tennis 64 afterwards and in the 64 version we were terrible because that game act think ally punishes your mistakes. Ultra smash never does that. No fouls, no outs, nothing. You reach shots that you never never never should get.
    This game needs no skill at all and I could barely play it 30 minutes and be pissed off already. No game mode is fun, characters all feel the same and the jump shot is just overpowerd as hell.
    The gameplay is completely off.

  24. I skipped this game cause it's boring. It's sad cause mario tennis 64 and power tennis were fun to play. They Had fun courts, characters, and gimmicks. I hope DLC comes out. Like a Power Tennis Pack. And An 64 Classic Pack. Heck even a 3ds/Gba Pack. This Game Needs Variety.

  25. I only got interested in this game because it had Rosalina. Too bad Mario Tennis Open didn't have her…

  26. I'll never understand Nintendo's obsession with adding such random characters to their Mario spin-off sports and Kart games. Gold Mario!? The Sprixie!? Metal Mario!? THE FUCKEN HONEY QUEEN BEE IN MARIO KART 7!? Even Shadow Mario would make more sense than these characters, and he's only ever appeared in Mario Golf Toadstool Tour!

  27. This is an amazing work of art, meticulously crafted by true geniuses. It is 100% perfect with absolutely no flaws whatsoever, and should be worth more than the Wii U itself. So much time and effort must've been put in to this outstanding project.

  28. Hi everyone. Coming back from year 2022. And yes, mario tennis, strikers, olympics, and basketball is the greatest thing ever.

  29. Actually you can now play with your friends online. You just have to go to online like normal, because no one else plays the game

  30. The thing is, this game is not even bad. It's just…. empty. There's almost no content at all. It's like judging an empty house. There is so many things you can do about it but what would I say about it? Judging a bad house is much more easier than judging an empty house. I really wished this game wasn't rushed, because it would ended up undone like this.

  31. Mega mushrooms and making the ball bigger don't make the game any better. They're just tactless gimmicks.

  32. I just saw this game at Wal-Mart sealed for like $5. That NEVER happens to 1st party Nintendo games, especially those in the Mario series. It just goes to show how lifeless and low effort this game was…

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