Mario Tennis Open

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Mario Tennis Open
North American box cover
Developer(s) Camelot Software Planning
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Release date Retail
USA May 20, 2012
Canada May 20, 2012
Japan May 24, 2012
Australia May 24, 2012
Europe May 25, 2012
HK April 12, 2013
ROC April 12, 2013
South Korea April 18, 2013
Nintendo eShop
Europe October 18, 2012
Australia October 18, 2012
Japan November 1, 2012
USA December 20, 2012
Nintendo Selects
Europe October 16, 2015
Genre Tennis
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
USK:USK 6.svg - Six years and older
Mode(s) Wi-Fi, Multiplayer
Nintendo 3DS:
3DS Card Icon.png Cartridge
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Nintendo 3DS:

Mario Tennis Open is a sports game for the Nintendo 3DS and the sixth (fifth in PAL regions) installment of the Mario Tennis series (developed by Camelot Software Planning). The game features gyroscope support and online multiplayer (using the Nintendo Network procedures). This is the first handheld installment in the series to not include a Story Mode or RPG elements and the first handheld installment with a Tournament mode. This game is also the first Mario game to use QR (Quick Response) codes. In this case, it is used to unlock playable characters and the Yoshi costume.



The gameplay features the traditional basic elements from previous Mario Tennis games. To win, the player must score points by hitting the ball into the other side of the court and bounce twice, the basic objective of tennis. Players earn 15 points for every shot that is successful and can win the game by earning set, game, and match points by earning 60 points on each game. The amount of set and game points can be set by the player in exhibition mode but not in tournament mode.

This game uses the buttons of the 3DS during single or multiplayer matches, though players can perform various tennis shots by selecting the shot panels on the touch screen, which will light up to alert the player of the best shot to use in a given situation. By holding the 3DS vertically, players can make use of the aforementioned gyroscope support, disabling 3D functionality. This places the camera behind their character, whose movement becomes automatic, and allows players to control the direction of their shots based on the position of the console. The gyroscope support can be disabled either by holding the console horizontally or by disabling it in the Options menu. There are also Special Modes in the game, such as "Super Mario Tennis", where the player needs to hit enemies, blocks and coins with tennis balls in some levels of Super Mario Bros..

Menu controls[edit]

  • Circle Pad/+Control Pad - Select
  • A Button - Confirm
  • B Button - Cancel
  • Start Button - During a match, this button pauses the game and opens a menu that contains choices such as viewing game rules, setting gyroscope controls, choosing to re-do matches, and canceling matches.
  • L Button - Toggles between the character's dominant hand.
  • R Button - Toggles between the character's star rank. In multiplayer, this is based on the data of player who created the room. Therefore, the player who has created the room needs to have his or her characters starred if members of the room want to give their characters a star rank.

Game controls[edit]

  • Circle Pad/+Control Pad - Moves the character.
  • A Button - Performs a topspin shot that is faster. It has a high trajectory with a forward spin.
  • B Button - Performs a slice shot that is slower. It has a low trajectory with a backward spin. During a replay, this button restarts the replay at another angle.
  • X Button - Performs a simple shot. This button automatically performs the appropriate shot. Chance Shots performed by this button are slightly weaker.
  • Y Button - Performs a flat shot that is the fastest shot, but it has no spin. Also, this button can be used for Smash Shots. Note that Smash Shots and Purple Chance Shots are different shots.
  • A ButtonB Button - Performs a lob with a very high trajectory, which can land at the back of the court.
  • B ButtonA Button - Performs a drop shot, with very little bounce and trajectory. The ball can land at the front of the court.
  • A Button/B Button/B Button (while the opponent is receiving or serving the ball) - The character performs a taunt that makes his or her next shot stronger.
  • L Button - If the player is charging the ball, this button cancels the charge. It lets the partner know that player is going to hit the ball by saying, "Got It!"
  • R Button - If any character is serving, the button cycles through the three shot panel configurations: 3-panel, inverted 3-panel, and 6-panel.

Chance Shots[edit]

Mario standing over a blue Chance Shot area.

Chance Shots can appear if the opponent performs a bad rebound. In that case, a small colored area with a symbol of a Mario enemy or item appears in the player's court. The color of the symbol matches the colors of the panels in the touch screen (if the touch screen is set to the 6-panel shot panel). To perform a chance shot, players have to perform a shot whose color corresponds to the colored area when they are in the area, either by pressing the correct button or button combination or by touching the matching color on the touch screen. Otherwise, the shot is a normal shot. However, players can perform a simple shot that automatically selects the appropriate shot, but this Chance Shot is slightly weaker.

Players on the receiving end of a Chance Shot experience special effects that can hinder them. However, they can lessen the effect by pressing the opposite shot. For instance, red Chance Shots may not make much of an impact if the player retaliates with a (blue) slice shot. The recommended counter button is lit up for the receiving player.

Here is a list of Chance Shots and their effects.

Color Icon Effect Counter
Red Fire Flower Creates a flaming shot similar to Mario's Iron Hammer and Bowser's Fire Breath. When opponents hit this Chance Shot, they can be be drastically pushed back. Slice (blue)
Blue Blooper Creates a highly curving ball with a blue sparkling trail. Players who receive this shot spin out of control for a brief moment. Topspin (red)
Purple Star Similar to a Smash Shot, but this Chance Shot is much stronger. Flat (purple)
Yellow Cheep-Cheep Creates a curving extreme lob that bounces at the back edge of the court. Slice (blue)
Gray Bob-omb Creates an even lower drop shot than a normal drop shot. Topspin (red)

Game modes[edit]


All of the Trophies from all the Cups in the Records Screen.

Tournament mode is very similar to the tournament mode in the previous Mario Tennis games. However, two more cups are added and the arrangement of the cups are different. Players must have a star ranking to participate in the second set of cups. They can achieve this by beating the Champions Cup. However, in the Doubles Tournament, only the character they control earns the star rank. Beating Champions Cup unlocks the Pro difficulty, which is more difficult than Expert, while Final Cup unlocks the most difficult COM difficulty for Exhibition Mode, the Ace difficulty.

Once the player has unlocked a cup, he or she can play that cup at any time, no matter what character is being used. As a result, characters do not have to clear all three cups to beat the Champions Cup to earn the Star Rank, unlike in the previous titles.


The records for previous exhibition matches.

Similar to the preceding Mario Tennis games, exhibition mode is a basic versus mode. Players can choose a singles or doubles match. After that, they can choose their character and opponents and press the L Button or R Button to give characters a left handed dominance or a star rank, respectively, if they want. The opponent's CPU's difficulty can be chosen after that, ranking from lowest to highest: Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Pro, and Ace (Pro and Ace are unlockable). A blue triangle means Novice, a yellow circle means Intermediate, a green circle with a dot in the middle means Expert, a red diamond means Pro, and a rainbow star means Ace. After this, players can choose any court they currently have, and then they can determine the games and sets. After this, the match starts. Chance Shots cannot be turned off, unlike Power Shots from the previous games.

Special Games[edit]

Another regular feature of the Mario Tennis series, the Special Games, is also present in Mario Tennis Open. These games, like the name says, have special rules and features that differ from normal gameplay. Some of these games bear a very strong resemblance to the Special Games in the previous Mario Tennis titles. However, unlike in the previous Mario Tennis games, Ring Shot is included within the Special Games rather than as another option for exhibition matches. Each Special Game has four difficulties, which are named according to the Special Game. Other than Super Mario Tennis, the last difficulty is a challenge that tests how much a player can do before running out of tries.

Players can unlock characters by clearing Level 3 of each Special Game. Players can unlock outfits for their Mii if they meet the requirements for unlocking them in level 4.

Name Image Description
Ring Shot Ringshot.png This game is similar to Ring Shot from Mario Tennis. The player must win by hitting the ball through rings that appear over the net. Multiple rings appear, each decreasing in value as they get bigger. The game is over when time runs out or the goal is achieved.
Super Mario Tennis SuperMarioTennis.png In this game, the player must hit the ball onto a wall with Super Mario Bros. levels playing on the wall. Hitting items, enemies blocks and coins will increase the time limit. The game is over when the level is completed or when all lives are lost.
Galaxy Rally Galaxyrally.png The player must rally a ball with a Luma while not letting the ball drop into Black Hole. There are Shrinking Tiles which disappear after the ball bounces on it. The game is over when the 3 balls are lost or the goal is achieved.
Ink Showdown Inkshowdown.png This game plays similarly to Piranha Challenge from Mario Tennis. The player must return all balls that an Inky Piranha Plant spits at them, without letting the opponent return it.


There are a total of 25 playable characters in Mario Tennis Open. Four of these are unlocked during normal game play, but multicolored Yoshis and Metal Mario can be unlocked using QR codes. Additionally, each character will be in one of the six player classes available in the game, excluding the Miis as they can be customized. The four hidden characters can each be unlocked by completing level 3 in the respective Special Game.

Starting characters[edit]

Unlockable characters[edit]

Unlocking criteria[edit]

Unlocking criteria for these participants
Luma Complete Level 3 of Galaxy Rally
Baby Mario Complete Level 3 of Super Mario Tennis
Baby Peach Complete Level 3 of Ring Shot
Dry Bowser Complete Level 3 of Ink Showdown

QR downloadable characters[edit]

The Yoshi Hunt[edit]

In Europe, a Yoshi QR Chase was set up in 30 participating ASDA stores, and in participating EB Games and JB Hi-Fi stores in Australia and New Zealand. This special QR event allowed consumers to scan the code via the game to unlock certain Yoshis to play as. All countries where the game has been released have all QR codes in regards to the colored Yoshis.

Although not part of the Yoshi Hunt, a Yoshi costume (pictured right) can also be unlocked for the player's Mii by scanning a specific QR Code.


QR Codes[edit]

The QR Codes can be found here. In order for the player to scan a QR code, they must go the file select screen and press both Up on the +Control Pad and Start. However a save file must be created first before they can scan a QR code.



Picture Name Type Ball Speed Bounce
Mariostadium2.jpg Mario Stadium Grass Court Fast Weak
Mariostadium4.jpg Mario Stadium Hard Court Normal Strong
Mariostadium6.jpg Mario Stadium Clay Court Slow Weak
MushroomvalleyMTO.jpg Mushroom Valley Mushroom Court Slow Strong
WariodunesMTO.jpg Wario Dunes Sand Court Slow Weak
DKJungleMTO.jpg DK Jungle Wood Court Normal Normal
PeachpalaceMTO.jpg Peach's Palace Carpet Court Fastest Normal
Penguiniceberg.jpg Penguin Iceberg Snow Court Normal Strongest
BowsercastleMTO.jpg Bowser's Castle Stone Court Fast Strong
Galaxy Arena.jpg Galaxy Arena Crystal Court Fastest Strongest
Morph court.jpg Galaxy Arena Morph Court ??? ???

Tennis gear[edit]

Main article: Mario Tennis Open Mii Gear

Gear may be bought for the players Mii with coins that that are earned by playing Special Games. They must be bought at the Clubhouse for a certain amount of coins each and alter the Mii's statistics. Costumes may also unlocked by clearing certain conditions, such as Staring a character.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Tennis Open.


Critical reception[edit]

Mario Tennis Open received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with aggregate websites Metacritic and GameRankings giving the game a 69 based on 58 reviews[1] and 69.26% based on 38 reviews.[2] Critics often cite that while the title is considered a solid title, they lament that it plays and feels too similarly to previous titles in the series, with Chance Shots not greatly improving or changing the gameplay up to make the title stand out, and the game was overall a disappointment. Reception towards the Mii customization was mixed; the overall customization was praised, but the pie-chart system of viewing stats has a universal negative reaction. Some critics complain that Miis receive too much focus compared to the Mario series characters as well. Praise has been given to the Special Games, however, especially the Super Mario Tennis Special Game.

Eric L. Patterson of Electronic Gaming Monthly has felt that while the title is a solid one for any Mario Tennis fan, it is not a great Mario Tennis title, and gave the game a 7 out of 10.[3] Richard George of IGN has concluded that the game is "Okay", acknowledging that, "Camelot’s decade of tennis experience means they understand how to make the sport engaging and addicting...Yet Mario Tennis Open struggles in just about every other regard.", where the score is a 6.5 out of 10.[4] Griffin McElroy of Polygon has lambasted the Chance Shots system in his review, calling out the over-reliance on them and their random spawning.[5] On a more positive note, Matt Helgeson from Game Informer has given the game an 8/10, appreciating how Mario Tennis Open goes back to the basics due to him disliking the Power Shots feature of Mario Power Tennis, and that the game introduces online to the series.[6]

Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Nintendo 3DS Richard George, IGN 6.5/10 "Stacked up, these deficiencies overwhelm what is, at its core, a great game. It’s a shame just about everything Mario Tennis Open attempts to add on top of that is remarkably unworthy of its lineage."
Nintendo 3DS Eric L. Patterson, EGM 7/10 "For those looking for a well-crafted, enjoyable tennis game, Mario Tennis Open will leave you satisfied. For those looking for a great Mario tennis game, you’ll probably be left wanting more."
Nintendo 3DS Neal Ronaghan, Nintendo World Report 7.5/10 "It might not hold a candle to the handheld Mario Tennis games in the Game Boy lineage, but Mario Tennis Open is a still great game that is sadly hampered by a small feature set and harebrained online."
Nintendo 3DS Griffin McElroy, Polygon 6/10 "What little content is here doesn't reach the heights that it should. I can't remember the last time an otherwise superb game was betrayed so completely by a single mechanic. Instead of making the whole of Mario Tennis Open about strategically countering your opponent's volleys, a system which is fully and brilliantly implemented, Camelot has made it an afterthought. It's something you do to stay alive while you wait for the stars to align."
Nintendo 3DS Matt Helgeson,
Game Informer
8/10 "I enjoyed Power Tennis (both times), but the balance-breaking power shots were far too vital to winning. In response, Camelot has scaled back the wackiness with Open, which translates to a casual tennis game that plays it fairly straight."
Nintendo 3DS GameTrailers 8.1/10 "Mario Tennis Open’s single player mode is fun for a few hours, but it will ultimately leave you wanting more. Thankfully, the multiplayer mode with its online functionality will keep you coming back well after you’ve plowed through the main course. Mushroom Kingdom tennis vets will miss the career mode, but anyone just looking for a solid competitive game that’s best enjoyed in short bursts will be well taken care of."
Nintendo 3DS Adam Riley, Cubed3 6/10 "Mario Tennis Open impresses and disappoints, unfortunately, proving to not be the out-and-out champion many were expecting, yet still managing to offer enough familiar fun to engage fans of old and newcomers alike. Brace yourself for a brief single-player mode and remove all thoughts of serious tennis from your mind and it will not be too much of a let-down."
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 69
GameRankings 69.26%


Mario Tennis Open is the 21st best selling game for the Nintendo 3DS, selling 1.11 million copies worldwide, as of March 31, 2013.[7]


Main article: List of Mario Tennis Open staff

Camelot Software Planning, which has developed previous Mario Tennis and Mario Golf titles, also worked on this title. The director was Shugo Takahashi while the lead designers were Hiroyuki Takahashi and Shugo Takahashi, as with previous installments of the Mario Tennis series. Motoi Sakuraba composed the music. Mario Tennis Open has a different set of announcer voices for each version, a rare aspect in a Mario game. The executive producer was Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo while Shigeru Miyamoto was the supervisor.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Tennis Open media.
MT3DS Trailer.ogg
Mario Tennis Open - The game's trailer as seen on Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011.

File info
Audio.png Opening/Title Theme - The theme that plays when starting the game.
Mario Tennis Open Music - Opening Title Theme (Soundtrack - Nintendo 3DS).ogg

File info
Audio.png Main Menu Theme - The theme that plays while in the main menu.
Mario Tennis Open Music - Main Menu Song (Soundtrack - Nintendo 3DS).ogg

File info
Audio.png Mario Stadium - The music played on the Mario Stadium courts.
Mario Tennis Open Music - Mario Stadium Clay, Hard, Grass Court Song (Soundtrack - Nintendo 3DS).ogg

File info
Having trouble playing?

References to other games[edit]


  • This is the first installment in the series to have a Tournament mode but not an Item Battle mode.
  • Rosalina was intended to appear as a playable character, but was replaced by Luma due to the sheer amount of time it would take to model her character.[8] She would later be included as a playable character in the next Mario Tennis installment, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.


  1. ^ Metacritic score of Mario Tennis Open Metacritic. Retrieved October 31, 2015
  2. ^ GameRankings score of Mario Tennis Open GameRankings. Retrieved October 31, 2015
  3. ^ Patterson, Eric L. (May 16, 2012) Review of Mario Tennis Open. EGM. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  4. ^ George, Richard (May 12, 2012) Review of Mario Tennis Open IGN. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  5. ^ McElroy, Griffin (May 24, 2012) Mario Tennis Open review: Foot Fault Polygon. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  6. ^ Helgeson, Matt (May 16, 2012) Mario Tennis Gets Back to Basics, Goes Online Game Informer. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  7. ^ Top Selling Software Units - Nintendo 3DS Software Nintendo. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  8. ^

External links[edit]