Bring it Back, Camelot!
Recently we have gotten some more details about the upcoming Mario Tennis Aces for Nintendo Switch. The most recent Nintendo Direct highlighted the gameplay, types of hits (top spin, back spin, power, block, lob), and showcasing power moves. We also were told that there will be 15 playable characters and were given a quick glimpse at who they are, and learned that there will be online tournaments where you can unlock new gear and new characters.
The one thing they touched briefly on, and which I would have liked to know more about, was the story mode. A few video clips showed Mario talking to NPC’s and then playing what looked like a mini game or challenge against a giant piranha plant; however, no further details about this story mode were revealed.
I have a feeling the story mode will play like a classic Super Mario game, where you play as Mario and move from dot to dot playing various game modes and challenges; but is this what we would really want? In my opinion, for Nintendo to announce that they are bringing a story mode back to Mario Tennis — something we haven’t seen since Mario Tennis Power Tour for Gameboy Advance — then it needs to be epic. This is why I am hoping, and why we need Nintendo to bring back the Mario sports RPG style story mode.
If you never played a Mario sports RPG then you are missing out. The first time I played one was Mario Tennis for Gameboy Color, and it made me like the game so much more. You were given the option to pick from four character designs (two male and two female), and from there you were sent into the world of Mario Tennis where your objective was to be the number one tennis player at the Mario Tennis Club.
Instead of fighting monsters or delving into dungeons, you gained experience points and money by participating in singles or doubles matches, completing various tasks around the tennis club, and by completing mini game challenges. You could also go to the shop and upgrade your racket, shoes, and clothes to make your character even better. Now, I am not sure how many people actually enjoyed this style of gameplay, but personally it was a great experience and a good change of pace from classic RPG’s. I was able to create my own character in the world of the Mushroom Kingdom, and have them play against the great Mario icons I’ve learned to know and love. This same style of gameplay was seen again on the Gameboy Advance version of Mario Tennis and Golf, and was equally great if not even better.
The Mario sports RPG’s gave so much more depth to the installment of each game. Rather than just playing a match against computer players over and over again, you could actually feel as though the single player mode had a purpose and was made for the enjoyment of the player, not just a repetitive way to hone your skills
Being that Switch is a hybrid console makes me a little hopeful that we will finally get another, well needed, Mario sports RPG in Aces. Mainly because all the handheld versions of the sports games had them, with the exception of the more recent Mario Tennis and Golf games for 3DS and Wii U.
Let me know your thoughts or what you would like out of the Mario Tennis Aces story mode in the comments below.