Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - Wii U

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Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U)
Requires: Wii U Gamepad
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Tennis
Media: Custom optical disc Arcade origin:No
Developer: Camelot Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 20 Nov 2015 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+


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Mario has been playing tennis since right back in the 1990s, and he's still at it in this bright, accessible Wii U title that comes with a lively sense of fun.

While the game isn't exactly dedicated to being a realistic sim, take some care when choosing which character to play as, as each one has an individual play style. Likewise choose the court material skin carefully, as they cause the ball to act slightly differently.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash has a number of game modes, each with its own little quirks. Each game can be played either in singles or doubles and up to four players, with the exception of the Knockout Challenge mode.

Mega Battle is the largest option on the main menu, and is the default mode for Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. The game is a standard match, with the addition of Mega Mushrooms. These power-ups randomly spawn whilst playing and will cause the player to grow in size (as expected in the Mario universe), making them more powerful in both offense and defence.

Classic Tennis is another mode, in which Mega Mushrooms will not appear. It does what it says on the tin!

Knockout Challenge Mode is the only mode that is purely single-player and is arguably the greatest challenge. You are pitted against each of the characters in turn, with each new challenge growing in difficulty. The game is not based on standard tennis scoring, but instead is based on the winner of seven rounds, leaving you confident in the first few rounds, and chewing a hole in your lip by the tenth.

If you've had enough of playing against computers or running your friendships through the mill, then Online Mode might appeal. Online can be played singles or doubles and alone (locally) or with a friend (or amiibo). When looking for an opponent you can choose to either play a friendly match known as Relaxed, where you just play for fun, or a Serious match that involves ranking.

Due to the competitive nature of this game, Nintendo had to insert a bit of light-heartedness and co-operation, just to make sure that families don't end up falling out by the end of the session. Mega Ball Rally was invented for just this reason - you have to work together to try and get the longest rally you can.

There are 12 characters to choose from with a fresh game save and four you can unlock. Compatible amiibo will unlock a training menu that will allow you to change their stats for coins gained while playing the game.

In other words: there's everything to play for!