Nintendo Power have confirmed the game is coming to the US eShop/Virtual Console soon, although they haven’t yet said a date.
Still, they previewed it in their latest issue and describe its release as ‘imminent’, so if you like platformers, you should definitely consider buying Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 when it comes out over there.
Not all of them obviously, but Nintendo has just recently released some new screenshots of Mario Tennis Open showing many of the game’s courts from different angles. Have a look:
First up, the inevitable Bowser’s Castle themed court. Looks pretty dangerous all things considered, with Bowser’s Castle itself in the background and the setting being a hellish landscape filled with volcanos and lava.
Next up we’ve got the desert court. This one reminds me an awful lot of Dry Dry Ruins and Thwomp Desert from Mario Kart Wii thanks to the graphics style and the pyamid and ruins in the distance. Compare:
To the screenshots. Looks pretty similar, right? Oh well, guess Nintendo want to make all their recent Mario games look the same now.
DK Jungle is another court, and as you can see it seems to be heavily based on Donkey Kong Country Returns. The tree house is the same, the graphics style is similar, there are what look like tikis in the background and it just seems like the kind of design Retro might have came up with. Also, what’s with the tree canopy above? It looks kind of bizarre with the blue tint and the white light shining through.
There also seems to be a Mushroom Gorge like tennis court, as shown above. Odd choice I suppose, but it’s nice Camelot or whoever is referencing Mario Kart as well as the mainstream Mario franchise.
Next up is Princess Peach’s Castle. This court seems to take a lot of influence from the non Fawful altered version of the castle from Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story with a similar colour scheme/style of decoration/room layout. Compare to:
There’s a definite resemblance to the room just before the meeting/conference one shown in the intro. As much as it won’t return, I’d love it if the tune played much later in the same area was in Mario Tennis too, that sounded fantastic.
But the most amazing looking court in the game has to be the snow one. That level is looking fantastic. The Mario 64 like penguins and all the random decorations are neat enough, but wow at that aurora in the sky. I so love it when video games use that effect in their ice/christmas themed levels.
Oh, and here’s betting Nintendo calls it ‘Sherbet Land’, because that seems to be the go to name for ice levels these days.
This one seems to be a beach like court.
Finally, we have the standard court for people who just want a nice simple tennis match without worrying too much about the environment around the. Looks pretty neat, although I swear I’ve seen that same crowd of generic Mario enemies in every single sports spinoff since Mario Kart Wii…
All in all though, Mario Tennis Open is looking to be a fantastic game with some really interesting courts to play on. Here’s hoping the game ends up being as good as it looks and revives the Mario spinoff genre again.
Not that this is apparently too common or easy to trigger, it apparently happened to the finder at random when he was playing the Grand Prix mode. But as you can tell, the game’s testers missed a trick here:
Going straight through a wall and being placed about three seconds ahead of where you fell off? That’s pretty terrible programming on someone’s part.
It seems to save time too, considering that the AI opponent was literally right next to him when he fell and he had a second or two lead when Lakitu put him back on the track. Worrying really, if this ends up being something that can be deliberately exploited online, then it looks like a Bowser Castle 1 level bug* that could easily be used to change the tide of a close race.
* Referring to a trick which saves about two or three seconds and is useful in lower ccs and in time trials.
There are also worrying rumours of shortcuts like the one in DK Jungle (minor and mainly useless) existing in Toad Circuit and Bowser’s Castle, which would imply that to some extent this game’s testers didn’t do a very good job at finding and telling programmers to fix bugs.
So yes, one shortcut near enough found in Shy Guy Bazaar, and others implied to exist. Pity there’s no worldwide rankings/time trial leaderboard for this game, it’d be really useful to download the top ranked ghost data and figure out what unusual exploits have been found but not well documented as of yet. Still, looks like this game will be totally broken pretty shortly, with bugs and glitches being found on about half the tracks in it.
Apparently so, where in a way similar to how Smash Bros had Adventure Mode and the Subspace Emissary, it seems Mario Tennis Open will have a 2D platformer style mode where you run and jump through familiar game levels and attack Koopas and Goombas (among other enemies) with tennis rackets and moves.
It doesn’t seem to be just one or two levels like in Mario and Sonic at the [insert title here olympics] either, given that the press release this is taken from actually outright says ‘levels‘ in a way more than just implying amany of them. Also interesting is how it mentions ‘familiar levels’, which suggest the intention is to remake Mario 64/Sunshine/Galaxy/SMB 1-3/NSMB levels and add in tennis related things. Could be interesting to see, and makes me think of this from a Mario and Sonic game:
Beating up bosses with tennis rackets and balls could be interesting to see, don’t you think? Imagine smashing bob-ombs straight into Big Bob-omb with a racket. Or fighting the last boss from Paper Mario (any game) with your fancy tennis playing abilities.
That’s not all though, there are also unlockable costumes you can get for your Miis to make them look like Mario characters. The artwork for this is hilarious:
Those costumes look incredibly disturbing if you ask me. The Bowser one is bad enough (although the impact is lessened by the fact it’s been a Mario Party item for as long as I can remember), but the Yoshi one… dear God that looks just wrong.
Still, guess it’s not that bad of an idea, and hey, the Bullet Bill costume could be fun to see.
Other nice features the game has are online multiplayer (both singles and doubles matches with co-op as an option) as well as both touch screen based and button based controls for people who want to play in the same way as in the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube versions of the game.