Updated Preview (11/2/15):
Two new trailers have been released by Nintendo. These show off more characters and courts. Enjoy!
Updated Preview (10/22/15):
The information for Mario Tennis Ultra Smash keeps on trickling out this week. I had questioned whether or not the game would feature online multiplayer, and Nintendo has answered that question with a resounding yes. Also of note is the extensive use of amiibo. Similar to Super Smash Bros., you can tap a compatible amiibo figure to the GamePad and utilize them to play as a partner in online doubles mode or in the offline Knockout Challenge. The figures will gain experience and skills the more they are used. The full press release is below:
Mario and other residents of the Mushroom Kingdom head back to the tennis court on Nov. 20 in the Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash game for the Wii U home console. And Nintendo has served up lots of new details about the game:
amiibo Compatibility: Players can choose supported amiibo figures to be partners in online doubles matches, or players can enlist them to battle strong computer-controlled opponents in the offline Knockout Challenge mode. The more matches an amiibo plays, the more experience and skill it will gain. Currently available compatible amiibo include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Yarn Yoshis, Rosalina, Wario, Toad and Donkey Kong.
New Moves: On top of standard shots like topspin, lobs and slices, the new Ultra Smash move sees characters leap high into the air and smash the ball down to devastating effect. Colorful Chance Areas occasionally appear to help players unleash super-strong smash or bamboozling slices to flummox adversaries on the other side of the net.
- Knockout Challenge: Tense tiebreak matches against increasingly difficult computer-controlled opponents await in this single-player mode. If the going gets too tough, players can call in a compatible amiibo as a doubles partner.
- Mega Battle: After grabbing a Mega Mushroom, characters grow to gigantic proportions and can dominate the court with their increased power and range.
- Classic Tennis: For those who prefer their tennis a little more traditional, Classic Tennis offers two variations: Standard mode features Chance Shots and Jump Shots but no Mega Mushrooms, while Simple puts competitors on the court with nothing but the net and the ball.
- Online Multiplayer: Go up against adversaries from around the world in competitive ranked play in either Mega Battle or Classic Tennis modes, or quickly jump into more casual matches. Two players* on the same console can team up to take on all comers, or a supported amiibo can join as a doubles partner on the online courts.
Multiple Controller Options: Players can choose their favorite control option, as the game supports the Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller and Classic Controller Pro options.
Updated Preview (10/20/15):
Well, wouldn’t you know it? Yesterday I had lamented over the fact that Nintendo hadn’t given us a shred of new information (save for a release date) on Mario Tennis Ultra Smash since E3. Well, here we are a day later and a new trailer emerges! I’d like to say I’m responsible for this, but we all know Nintendo operates on its own timetable.
In the new trailer we get to see the updated roster. You’ll find: Mario, Peach, Bowser, Boo, Waluigi, and Daisy battling it out on the courts. From the screenshots shown at E3, we also know Toad is a playable character. We expect many more personalities from the Mario universe to be unveiled prior to launch this November 20.
Original Preview (10/19/15):
It’s hard to believe that Mario Tennis Ultra Smash for the Wii U is scheduled to come out in a month and we haven’t seen or heard any new information about it since back in June at E3. As one of the few remaining games left to prop up Nintendo’s holiday lineup, I expect some sort of a blowout soon, but until then we have some of the basics to go over.
Like prior Mario Tennis games that have appeared on Nintendo consoles, this one supports up to four players simultaneously. 1v1 and 2v2 matches can be played locally. As of this time it’s not evident whether or not the game will have an online mode included. If it were any other company I wouldn’t even have to ask, but Nintendo is all over the place when it comes to supporting online play.
The main hook this time around is that the players can become huge in the Mega Battle mode. Eating the Mega Mushroom will supersize your character and give a temporary advantage to you and your teammate. In addition, there’s a new jumpshot technique to spice up your gameplay and return the ball like never before.
Nintendo is promising new characters this time around. Will they be limited to the Mushroom Kingdom or pull familiar characters from other franchises, like Mario Kart 8 did? We should know very soon. Mario Party Ultra Smash is scheduled to release on November 20, 2015.