> The Beesley Buzz: Anyone for tennis? Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Nintendo Wii U

Anyone for tennis? Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Nintendo Wii U

Everyone who knows me realises that I am no sports player. No fitness fanatic. No gym bunny. J is as energetic as it is possible to be, D is a great creative force, T is a true dancer. But me - no, running around is not something I enjoy.
So when we were given the chance to review 'tennis' I was unsure... until I realised it was Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash on the Nintendo Wii U !  That changes everything. Even I can run around on an electronic tennis court!
Playing as Mario - a great all-rounder.
As we have come to expect from Nintendo games, this is an excellent Mario take on the real-life game. You can choose which character to play as (I like to be the great all-rounder, Mario himself) each with their own strengths which you will recognise from other games in the Mario family (strength for Bowser, Speed for Yoshi and so on). You can choose between different game types, too - from rally practice (where you try to get the longest possible rally), to a traditional game, to a Knockout Challenge where you have to win to stay on and play another character, to the full Mario-experience Mega Battle. Of course, there are special shots, trick shots, power shots, and that Mushroom that makes you a giant.
Each character becomes a giant if they run over the mushroom, making it easier to hit the ball and making the shots faster.
The controls are really easy - use the joystick to move to where the ball is heading, then press any of the buttons (A, B, X or Y) to hit it back. It very rarely goes out or hits the net (and then it is because you didn't get to the ball in time). More complex shots can be achieved by being in the right place (a coloured marker on the court that appears) and pressing the right combination of buttons (which also appear so you know what to do). These make it easier to win the point, but you can play without them.

And, of course, the more games you play and points you win, the more special settings you unlock. The boys love the 'mushroom court' which adds plenty of bounce; I liked the Bounce-out court, which spins the ball to the edges when it bounces, making it hard to return.
There are a range of courts to choose from, and more to unlock later on. My favourite is the Bounce-out court.
With both singles and doubles games available, and the option to play against others over the internet, there really is a huge amount packed into this game. Up to four players can join in (although it was also fun to play two-against-one when only three of us wanted to join in, creating more of a challenge!) and there is also fun to be had with an amiibo - you can have him play alongside you, and he improves in each game to make a more formidable team.

One of our favourite little extras is the unique responses from each character when they lose a point - from simply saying 'oh no!', through to sobbing and throwing a tantrum, they really did make us chuckle as we played on.
Daisy does not take losing a shot well - she sobs and sinks to the floor (but is quite happy enough to jump up again for the next point, so don't feel too sorry for her!)
This is a hugely popular game in our family - easy to play to start with and very easy to control, but becomes more of a challenge as you try to master the various trick shots. With these added 'special shots' anyone can still win, though, so the youngest can thrash the more seasoned player if they get their timing right.

You can choose what is displayed on the Nintendo Wii U Game Pad screen to make it easier for you - here we have just a score board, but you can have it showing your player (with the TV showing your opponent in 2-player games).



Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is available to buy from Nintendo Official UK Store here

Disclosure: We were sent the download code for this game for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own.

2 comments:

  1. Oh this is what the Bug has written on his Santa letter! I couldn't read his writing and Google was struggling to translate it for me. Ahem, I mean, so I could clarify for Santa ;)

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