Mario Tennis Aces
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Mario Tennis Aces is an upcoming sports game in the Mario Tennis series for Nintendo Switch set to release on June 22, 2018. It is the eighth installment in the series and will be the first Mario Tennis series game since Mario Tennis: Power Tour on the Game Boy Advance to feature a Story Mode. The game was first announced via a Nintendo Direct Mini presentation on January 11, 2018.
The base gameplay appears similar to that of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, featuring different types of shots. Characters have an energy gauge that can be used to perform Zone Shots, Zone Speed, or Special Shots. The energy gauge can be increased by simple rallies or by performing Trick Shots, which require proper timing to hit the ball back. Zone Shots can be performed upon reaching a star icon on the ground, and allow the player to aim their shot anywhere on the court using motion controls. The longer they take to aim, the more energy it depletes. Zone Speed allows the player to slow down time to allow them to reach a far-off shot in time. Special Shots are performed like Zone Shots, but require a full energy gauge. Ultra Smashes, Zone Shots, and Special Shots are able to damage rackets. Rackets can withstand three Zone Shots and Ultra Smashes combined or one Special Shot before breaking, and after being broken they are replaced with a new one, forcing the player to retire when they no longer have any usable racket. With proper stroke timing, the shot can be blocked, increasing the character's energy gauge and protecting their racket from damage. In doubles, each pair shares one energy gauge. Unlike Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, there will be a left-handed option for characters.
Other than the base style of gameplay, the game will also include a "simple rules" mode which excludes the new types of shots, as well as "Swing Mode", which allows the player to use motion controls to swing their racket, similarly to Wii Sports. Unlike Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, the game will feature a traditional Tournament mode where the player can challenge computer opponents. Online multiplayer is also supported for up to four players (friends or other players) as well as for online tournaments. Participating in these can provide the player with participation prizes, including special in-game outfits or additional playable characters.
The game also features a story mode set on an island, which includes various challenges for the player to complete, such as missions and boss battles. The story appears to focus on Mario as he tries to rescue those that have been possessed by a dark force, whose energy is imbued in a special tennis racket called the Legendary Racket. The possessed characters take on a mummy-like appearance with glowing eyes, and their souls are taken by the dark force. To rescue them, Mario has to go around the island and complete challenges given to him by various Mario franchise enemies, like Boos and Petey Piranha. Along the way he can obtain different rackets that have different attributes, as well as level up his own stats such as running speed. Should the player's rackets all break, they will receive a game over.
Emblems for Birdo, Diddy Kong, and Paratroopa have been seen on a bag available as a preorder bonus, but these characters have not been explicitly confirmed as playable. Similarly, Shy Guy and Dry Bones have been shown with tennis rackets, but neither of those characters have been confirmed playable.
Like in Mario Power Tennis, some courts contain hazards that can be toggled on or off.
Demo and pre-launch online tournament
Prior to the game's release date, a free demo is set to be released on the Nintendo eShop on May 24, 2018. This demo is set to include a pre-launch online tournament, as well as the ability to play single-player matches. The tournament allows players to play as Mario, Peach, Yoshi, and Bowser (with more characters becoming available as the player earns points), and all tournament participants can receive an alternate costume for Mario that dresses him in his usual clothes (effectively making him appear identical to his appearance in Ultra Smash), usable in the full game.
References to other games
Names in other languages