Wii U Review: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

Can Mario serve up a must-have Tennis outing?

Mario is back on centre court once again for the Wii U version of the Mario Tennis series which began on the N64 and resulted in the questionable creation of Waluigi. This time around we get a very basic package that has different types of courts to play on, as well as new characters like the Sprixie Princess from Super Mario 3D World and Dry Bowser, although most of the unlockables are earned very quickly either through playing a number of games or buying them with coins earned through them.
You can play standard games or you can play Mega Battles which lets you use Mega Mushrooms to become huge and makes it harder for your opponent. As a tennis game, it functions as well as you would hope and it can be fun..especially playing against friends or online opponents, while playing the AI isn’t as rewarding. You play either with the Wii U Gamepad or the Wii U Pro Controller, there’s oddly no motion-controls or support from the Wii Remote, which I believe would have made it a much more enjoyable outing.
It doesnt help that there’s no real tournaments to try and overcome, the only challenge is playing against each character as the difficulty rises. It’s a very bare game and at full price you will find yourself asking just what it is you have paid for. On the good side though, you do get a code for Mario Tennis on the N64 if you buy it from the eShop (for a limited time) which has so much more to offer than the latest game.

Visually though, Ultra Smash is charming and runs at a very solid pace. All the characters look brilliant and have great animations. The courts are also nice and varied in their design, while each definitely handles differently than the last.

The Verdict

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is about as basic a tennis game as you can get. It has only a handful of modes, no tournaments to speak of and that’s about it. If it wasn’t for the limited code for Mario Tennis 64 I’d say it wasn’t worth your time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun game…it handles well and doesn’t do anything wrong, its just lacking content and around the holidays that’s not something you want.

Score: 6.5