Clearly being touted as Nintendo’s next big Switch release, the lid has been blown off of Mario Tennis Aces with expanded info on gameplay, characters, and even a final release date.
The next installment of the long running Mario Tennis spinoff series took the longest focus of yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, spanning just over five minutes. In this time, Nintendo revealed several series characters set to be playable within the title, as well as spending the majority of the segment detailing the heightened level of strategy that will go into each match.
As it stands, Nintendo has confirmed that over 15 characters will be playable in Mario Tennis Aces, including Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Toad, Toadette, Bowser Jr., Boo, and Chain Chomp. Much in-line with previous installments, each character has a classification based on their playstyle. Further details are provided in the official press release from the Nintendo Direct:
Unleash an arsenal of shots and strategies in all-out tennis battles with friends, family and fan-favorite Mushroom Kingdom characters. With up to four-player local (additional accessories may be required and are sold separately) and online* multiplayer, and a story mode that even includes creative boss battles, Mario Tennis Aces is one of the most robust Mario sports games yet. The intuitive and deep gameplay allows for exciting competitions in the living room or, really, anywhere using the power of Nintendo Switch. In Swing Mode, players can use their Joy-Con controllers like a tennis racket, swinging them to initiate the tennis swings in the game. Mario Tennis Aces launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on June 2
In what has been dubbed as “refined Tennis” gameplay for the series, players will now be able to quickly determine and utilize specific types of shots on the fly to best fit a situation. This ranges from basic shots that seasoned veterans are accustomed to, to special shots that will not only travel at high speeds, but also carry the potential of breaking the opponents racket and forcing them to forfeit. Each of these can be utilized in tandem with what is called a “zone shot”, which allows users the possibility of pinpointing the shot themselves before it is made.
This new type of stylized gameplay goes to great lengths to match up with the newly designed courts, which at present, amount up to a good handful compared to the singular offering from the previous installment, Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. However, for those who prefer the basics, standard non-strategized play is available in all settings and modes. Motion control akin to the Tennis mode on Wii Sports is also available.
Speaking of modes, Nintendo has also confirmed that Mario Tennis Aces will feature a story mode for the first time since the series landed on the Gameboy Advance. While details are admittedly light, it is stated that this will offer fans a “new challenge” in addition to the other types of gameplay.
Finally, expansive online functionality has been detailed for the title, including both simple matchmaking as well as competitive tournaments. Participating in these tournaments will increase a person’s rank, while also earning them special in-game materials such as outfits or even new, unlockable characters.
Similar to both Splatoon 2 and ARMS, a free pre-launch event demo will take place sometime before the game’s release on June 22. This will be in the style of a tournament and will both test out the online servers for Mario Tennis Aces, as well as give players a chance to try the game for themselves a bit early. More details will be given at a later time.