Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Review
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Box Art
System: Wii U
Dev: Camelot
Pub: Nintendo
Release: November 20, 2015
Players: 1-4 Players
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

There are a few unlockables to be had, either by performing repetitive tasks or via in-game currency that you earn simply by playing. Most of these are “star” versions of the regular cast and new types of courts. I saved up my coins to grab the Ice Court, thinking that could lead to some fun shenanigans, but I was disappointed. It was just a teeny bit slippery, but mostly felt like playing on any other court. The crowd didn't even look any different – at least throw some of those adorable Super Mario series penguins in there, Camelot!

Other than these unlockables and the ability to rank up an amiibo partner (my Yoshi amiibo had way more important Smash Bros. data on him, so I didn't try ranking him up), Ultra Smash lacks the RPG elements that were once a mainstay in Mario sports titles. You can't customize your players at all – Toad will always just be fast and Rosalina powerful – and you can't change your racket or the ball.

Yoshi's Woolly World Screenshot

I couldn't tell you why Ultra Smash is so bare-bones, a fact that comes through in everything from the fanfare-free startup to the lack of options and character flair. I just know it feels like a half-hearted Mario skin on top of a basic arcade tennis game. Mario sports titles are usually far more feature- and fun-filled than this. Big tennis fans will probably enjoy the Mega Mushroom-free mode, but I see most other players (particularly children) getting bored quickly with the title.

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If you're looking for a casual tennis game to play with friends, Wii Sports Club Tennis is still where it's at. You can grab it for your Wii U on the eShop for under $15. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will do ya if you're big on using buttons instead of swinging Wii Remotes or if you absolutely must perform fancy shots. Just know that this is a full-priced game that says, “Here, play some tennis,” and not much else.

By
Becky Cunningham
Site Editor
Date: November 18, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Nothing looks bad, but the design is wholly unimaginative.
4.5
Control
Precise and responsive, the only downside is the mandatory giant mushroom transformation sequence that interrupts the flow of play.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
It's just kinda there, and the characters are even lacking their signature catchphrases. Apparently it's not-a-me, Mario.
3.0
Play Value
People who are really into tennis will get the most of this bare-bones title. Everyone else will probably get bored pretty quickly, even with multiplayer.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Compete with friends in a fun multiplayer mode.
  • Challenge players from around the world in Online Mode.
  • Control your character's every movement on the court, using precise timing and the correct shot to outwit your opponent.
  • In Mega Battles, get the Mega Mushroom to gain a BIG advantage over your competition.
  • Train your amiibo to become the ultimate doubles partner! Earn stats in Knockout Challenge and team up against online opponents in doubles matches.

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