Everyone’s favourite plumber grabs a racket and returns to the courts in a 3D venture.
17 years ago Mario’s Tennis marked the gaming icon’s first proper arrival to the sport on the Nintendo Virtual Boy, a console using a head mounted display that was deemed the first to ever deliver the illusion of 3D visuals.
Now, the plucky Italian is returning to his three-dimensional tennis roots for the first time since in Mario Tennis Open – which also happens to be the first tennis title to grace the 3DS. Whilst fans of previous entries in the franchise can take to the court using the familiar basic controls, Mario Tennis Open also offers players touch screen options, as well as a control system based around the 3DS’ gyro sensor.
Gamers can move the 3DS to shift the camera from a high angle to down behind the player. By using the gyroscope sensor, players can in turn control the views and direct volleys, slices and smashes easily all across the court.
Those wanting to take to the courts online now can for the first time in Mario Tennis’ history. There’s the option to play singles or doubles online with up to four friends. Users can even take on passers by using only one copy of the game via a local connection. Players wanting a challenge can take part in the online Open Match mode, a feature that pits players of similar skill levels against each other. They can now display, customise and swap customised Mii characters with one another, fight to the top of leaderboards and show off winning streak records using 3DS StreetPass.
Nintendo’s latest entry in the Mario Tennis franchise is packed full of memorable stadiums, playable favourite characters and is sure to appeal to Mario fans all ages – even those old enough to remember the first time he picked up a 3D racket. It’s also a top choice for sport fans.
Green on the screen
Nintendo is ensuring that Mario Tennis Open is firmly in the public consciousness through an intensive ad campaign. Two weeks prior to release, a TV campaign will highlight the game’s family appeal by targeting housewives and children.
Mario Tennis Open will be promoted through an online campaign encouraging gamers to pre-order the title. This will continue alongside the TV coverage post-launch as the campaign turns its attention to ‘purchase now’ messages on a host of family websites.
The marketing campaign will hit some of the UK’s busiest shopping centres in a bid to push pre-orders and sales of the game at retail.
After a long break from the sport, Mario Tennis Open marks Mario’s return to tennis. The plumber cemented his status as king of the court with games on a variety of platforms including Mario Tennis, Mario Power Tennis (GameCube/Wii) and Mario Tennis: Power Tour (GBA).