Retrospective Review – Mario Tennis Open

Mario Tennis Open ~ General Information:

  • Developed by Camelot
  • Published by Nintendo
  • Released on May 20, 2012
  • Price: $39.99 (MSRP), $34.99 (Pre-Owned @ GameStop.com)
* This retrospective review is based on excerpts from my full review of Mario Tennis Open, originally posted on GameFreaks365.com. You can check out the full version of the review there, or continue reading for the summarized “retrospective” version.

Summary ~

…this game is fundamentally the exact same as it has always been: it’s the Mario Tennis that you have known and loved for years, whether you played for the first time on the Nintendo 64, the Game Boy Color, the Gamecube, or the Game Boy Advance…For the most part, Mario Tennis Open succeeds at everything you’d hope for: it’s a solid game of tennis, from the variety of shots to the roster of characters and the selection of courts.

…on the new “Dynamic Mode”:

I noticed that playing Mario Tennis Open in “regular mode” – i.e., holding the 3DS at a “rested” position, and not using the gyroscopic controls to aim – was ultimately much harder than using the Dynamic View. Basically, the automatic movement in the latter takes away the responsibility of positioning your character on the court, which is actually pretty difficult to do during some of the fast-paced matches featured in this game. Regular mode really brings out this difficulty, which can be maddening at times – a shame, considering the 3D effects can only be enjoyed when the regular mode is active.

…on the unusual lack of replay value:

 For what it’s worth, Mario Tennis Open is one of Nintendo’s most robust online offerings to date, from the extensive collection of unlockable custom items to the glorious return of the “Download Play” feature. Unfortunately, with all those things considered, the game still feels very light on content – unusual, considering that almost every Mario sports title to date has been loaded to the brim with “stuff to do”.

…on the overall quality of the game:

Mario Tennis Open will no doubt satisfy the fans of Mario Tennis games and Mario sports titles in general, but it won’t be for the same stretch of time – the lacking replay value really hurts the overall package, though not enough to forget how solid the fundamentals really are. This game is very well designed, from the various shots and courts and unlockable items to the gimmicky features exclusive to the 3DS and the accessible multiplayer content.


…on the small feeling of disappointment:

Unfortunately, the game falls a little short of some admittedly high expectations – but the result is still Mario Tennis, and just knowing that I can turn on the game and enjoy a quick match alone or with anyone in the world online is reasonably satisfying.

Scores ~

Design/Concept: (6/10)
Presentation: (9/10)
Functionality: (8.5/10)
Replay Value: (5/10)

Final Score**: 7 out of 10

** The final score in this review has been adjusted and changed from the final score of the original review. Although the content of the review is still the same, the writer feels that the lack of replay value has greatly diminished the overall value of the game, thus warranting a lower score to reflect that idea.
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