Yes really. I only had a little time before work, so I just gave up and bought Mario Tennis instead. It’s possible it was hidden within the pre-order page somewhere.
Maybe check again when you get home. It should definitely be there.
Crush40 is back! (The band that does the music for Sonic games.)
I was hoping this would be more like Sonic R, but it still looks good.
Please tell me Tennis sucks so I can save my money. (Impressions please.)
Well, I enjoyed the demo a lot, so it’s unlikely I’ll say that. That said, if you’re looking for a relatively traditional tennis game, you may not want it — there are a bunch of superpowers and special moves in the standard mode. One podcast described it as basically a fighting game, and I think that’s pretty apt.
Eurogamer’s review (and another I skimmed, maybe Polygon?) suggested the single player campaign isn’t all that deep or lengthy, and the game can be difficult to the point of frustration. That cooled my enthusiasm a bit.
This is worth knowing about if you have kids who play the Switch:
I was somewhat looking forward to Tennis when they announced it would have a campaign, since I assumed it would be a deep 10-15 hour RPG like the old Camelot golf games on Game Boy. Sadly, the reviews do confirm it’s more of a 2-4 hour tutorial.
After an afternoon with Mario Tennis Aces, here are some quick thoughts.
- It’s probably not worth it if you’re primarily interested in single-player. There’s adventure mode, which is supposed to be short, free play against AI, and a tournament mode featuring three different tournaments to win. Tournament mode itself is fine, but since there are only three of them and there’s no unlocks or even special victory screens for different characters, you don’t have much incentive to return to them.
- Unlike Mario Tennis 64, there are no unforced errors, so you can aim for the lines with no fear of hitting the ball out. This makes playing defensively pointless since you know your opponent isn’t going to make an error. Consequently, this means that speedy characters are probably not very effective competitively since keeping the ball in play is pretty much all they’re good at. That said, there are occasionally forced errors when you try to return an especially powerful shot.
- Online connections are much stronger than during the demo. Now, you must wait ten seconds before the match starts while it tests your connection, so you’ll have a better idea how strong the connection is before agreeing to the match.
- There’s online rankings, but it does not seem to influence matchmaking. Most of my matches so far have been one-sided affairs, wining easily in one round, getting crushed in another.
- Court selection in free play mode is roundabout and unintuitive. It selects a random court by default. However, you can select which courts are included in the rotation from the options screen. Meaning that if you want to play on a specific court, you can set all the others to ‘off’ so that when it randomly chooses a court, it will only have the one option. On this screen, it only lists the courts by their name and offers no details as to how they play (fast or slow, strong or weak bounce), so you’ll have to remember which is which. So, if I’m playing with someone that wants to play on a specific kind of court, they will have to be as familiar with the game as I am to make their selection. This should have been handled better.
- For local multiplayer, free play is essentially the only option. I was expecting a tournament mode like Smash Bros. has where me and the people I’m playing with can all play in the same knockout tournament against AI opponents as well as each other. But tournaments are single player only. You and a partner can play doubles against online opponents which is neat I guess. That’s it as far as local multiplayer is concerned.
- You would think being able to adjust set and match length would be standard in a tennis game, but that’s not available here. Your only options are tiebreaks and a single 2-game set. Tournament and adventure mode feature different match lengths, so it’s not like longer matches are not in the game at all.
- The gameplay itself is great and it’s really fun to play against another person locally.
- There’s at least eight courts and all have decent variation. Some have hazards (which can be toggled off). Aside from the basic clay, grass, and hard courts, all additional courts are unlocked in adventure mode. One thing that bugs me about the three starter courts is that the developers are under the impression that the ball bounces the same on clay and grass courts (both rated as having normal bounce). This is still an improvement over the N64 game where clay produced a weak bounce. The unlockable courts have more bounce variance, but it does not seem unreasonable to expect a grass court to have a low bounce and a clay court to have a high one like in real life. Grass courts do play noticeably faster than clay though, so it has that in its favor.
- Simple mode—without all the power shots and energy gauges and such—is included and is a much different gameplay experience. Positioning matters more and it’s probably friendlier to beginners since they’re not overwhelmed with all the extra stuff. If you just want a pure tennis game, this is that (just, you know, without the unforced errors). I think I’ll ultimately spend more time with it than standard mode, partially because this seems like mostly a local multiplayer title to me.
In sum, it’s a solid enough game and maybe they can add some more options in patches or updates to improve it. Still, the demo had me expecting better.
That’s disappointing. I haven’t had a good opportunity to play a decent tennis game since… Match Point on the ZX Spectrum (and if anyone remembers that, high five).
A very weird thing I just noticed around Switch is how much of their library is digital only right now.
I was trying to take advantage of a 20% discount on Google Express for new customers + an additional $20 off $60 on Google Express deal on Amex to stock up on some Switch Games but wasn’t able to find a lot of the games I was hoping for.
Ended up with Mario Odyssey + Puyo Puyo Tetris + a Switch Carry Case for $70
You couldn’t buy funds for your Nintendo wallet?
Trying to take advantage of the discounts :) - Was originally planning to buy Hollow Knight and Yoku’s Island Express, neither of which were available as physical copies ( I think)
I understand that, but major retailers (in US at least) have gift cards for Nintendo eshop, just like steam, etc
Great point. I should’ve checked to see if that was on the list of exempt items for the 20% off deal first :|
At any rate, there are a lot of digital only titles. There’s also a company called Limited Run that does small batch physical releases. But unless you are a major title, it just doesn’t make financial sense to do physical production these days
Yoku’s is available in old-school physical stores on all the platforms. Hollow Knight is indie so digital only.
For people playing Pinball FX in vertical mode, a new accessory makes that a bit less annoying:
Saw that a couple of days ago. Looks cool, but don’t usually play while holding the switch (I use a stand). Great for shmups as well, I’d think.