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Review Rond-Up: Mario Tennis Open

Hankering for a game of tennis but don't want just a regular game. Well how about taking Mario and his friends for a spin. Lets see what the critics had to say about Mario Tennis Open for the 3DS.

MetaCritic:   70/100

GameTrailers:   8.1/10
Mario Tennis Open’s single player mode is fun for a few hours, but it will ultimately leave you wanting more. Thankfully, the multiplayer mode with its online functionality will keep you coming back well after you’ve plowed through the main course. Mushroom Kingdom tennis vets will miss the career mode, but anyone just looking for a solid competitive game that’s best enjoyed in short bursts will be well taken care of.
GameInformer:   8.0/10
For the first time in series history, Mario Tennis Open offers full online multiplayer – both singles and (impressively) doubles. It also has local wireless multiplayer. Based on my experience, both modes work smoothly. This isn’t the tennis revolution that some might have hoped for, but it’s a solid new feature in a franchise that’s built its popularity on slow, incremental improvement.
IGN:   6.0/10
The fundamental Mario Tennis Open experience is sound. Camelot’s decade of tennis experience means they understand how to make the sport engaging and addicting. Using the 3DS’s touch pad or buttons for the game’s six types of shots is a welcome addition. The inclusion of a gyroscope mode allows players to strip away the challenging nature of court position to focus on selecting the right shot for the occasion.

Yet Mario Tennis Open struggles in just about every other regard. The game never embraces its Mario heritage, never allowing itself to break out of a more typical tennis mold to be something unique. Online competition won’t be fair since players can’t omit gyroscope players’ ability to automatically navigate the court. Customization proves limited, despite its sheer quantity, because only Miis can be altered and the item’s statistics are displayed inadequately. Likewise, mini-game variations on tennis are rather creative, but won’t hold up over time. Stacked up, these deficiencies overwhelm what is, at its core, a great game. It’s a shame just about everything Mario Tennis Open attempts to add on top of that is remarkably unworthy of its lineage.
GameSpot:   6.0/10
Mario Tennis Open is technically sound, and with a few friends, there’s definitely some competitive fun to be found. If you're willing to deal with the lack of a true singleplayer experience (beyond competing against AI opponents for cups) you'll likely enjoy yourself, though the omission definitively feels like a tremendous missed opportunity. Online multiplayer is a good addition, but it just needs more than that. So, to put it in tennis terms, it's not really a foul, but it's definitely close to the painted line.
GameTrailers:   5.5/10
Even then, there's very little to keep you coming back for long--the tennis just isn't exciting enough. It lacks the subtleties of more realistic tennis games, but is also missing the grandiose moveset of other Mario Sports titles. The changes brought on by the different control methods convolute an otherwise basic game, and there's not enough substance--or enough skill required--for Mario Tennis Open to be treated as a serious tennis game. Playing against friends can be fun, but this is otherwise a rather uneventful, forgettable instalment.


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