Despite personally being disappointed by Nintendo’s E3 announcements, I will say that there are two of them I was excited about. Star Fox Zero is one of them, but I also liked the potential underdog – Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U.
We’ll attack the first impressions from a demo standpoint, since that was the majority of what we got to see at E3.
First, some basic facets of the game, based off of what we saw in the demo:
*Singles and Doubles play available*Mario, Peach, Toad, and Bowser are playable characters
*New item – The Mega Mushroom, turns any player who grabs it into a giant
*Button combinations produce a different kind of shot; for example, “A” has top-spin, “B” is more of a low-straight shot, “X” for special, etc.
*New style of shot called the “Jump Shot”
*Toads and Shy Guys put aside any differences as they sit in the crowd to unite, for tennis!
From my perspective, the game seems like it will be incredibly fun when the full version of it is released. The demo at E3 was extremely limited. Four playable characters (the Mario Kart 8 E3 demo in 2013 had half the roster available), two game modes (who knows if there will be special kinds of skirmishes and game modes in the final version… online maybe?), and only one stage/level. We really have to arm our imaginations to think of what could be in the final version.
As far as controls and gameplay goes, I would say the E3 demo was quite fluid and made for a fun experience. It seems as though a common mistake of players (even Nintendo’s “Treehouse” staff) is to continuously press the button, whether it be A, B, X, or some combination, over and over again until they realize that they’ve actually just spent the entire time charging up for the shot and the ball is already over their heads or behind them. Perhaps that can be considered a flaw, but I consider this more of a warning for you: after you’ve pressed your button combo, remember to let it go!
The only other word of warning I could give is to go for the Mega Mushroom only when you’re prepared to do so; there are times where the mushroom will be thrown onto the court right when you’ve just knocked the ball back at your opponent, and if you’re too distracted by getting the giant mushroom, your opponent may be able to just smack the ball in the opposite direction. This makes for a bit of a strategic decision on your hands once those mushrooms are out on the court!
All in all, it seems as though Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will please fans of existing Mario Tennis games while also bringing in new players seamlessly to the franchise. Be looking out for Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash on Wii U this holiday season (2015)!